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1979: Albert's (in Omaha) is lit!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jukebox for August 30, 2014

It's Ben Light again (see also January 11, 2009)! Last time we had the science fiction utopian tale of the scientific robot man. This time, we're bending genders just to see what happens, with Ben's unnamed vocalist singing the role of a housewife with a special friend. Clicking the title will send you to archive.org and their meagre collection of his works. Let's see if I can embed the thing.

Okay, I can, but it wants to put all the songs in. Between you and me, I can only recommend numbers 2 and 4. (The extra space is apparently unavoidable.)


I listen for the bell
I’ve primped and powdered so
I know his footsteps well, and in case you didn’t know,
I’ve got a crush
I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man.

He shows me all his samples
And he looks so wondrous wise
That I can’t help but listen
As he looks into my eyes.
I’ve got a crush
I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man.

Oh, every time he comes he shows me something new
He sweeps my sitting room
With a fancy broom
He sweeps my dining room
And then my back porch too
For a man like that, what wouldn’t I do?

Oh, he sets me all a-twitter
My, I could write a book
Oh, what a wife that man could make
If only he could cook
I’ve got a crush
I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man.

[instrumental with tinkly, arpeggiated piano from Ben]

Oh, he takes me in his confidence
And he holds me in his spell
He plays with my… emotions
And he makes me feel, oh, well,
I’ve got a crush
I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man.

For every brush he sells, he gives a guarantee
That it would last for forty years,
That’s long enough for me!
I’ve got a crush
I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man.

He gives a special prize with every brush he sells
With ones as big as this, he gives a little kiss.
It won’t be long before my precious bankroll’s shot
Cause I’m a-gonna buy the biggest brush he’s got!

He’s got a brush that tickles,
And he’s got a brush that hurts
And then he’s got a special brush
That I think is the nerts,
I’ve got a crush

I’ve got a crush on the Fuller Brush Man!

Charming, and the music flows like water with Ben's liquid piano playing. I was so impressed by this and the Robot Man song that I listened to all the Ben Light sides I could find at Archive, and I was a bit disappointed with the rest of his output (which is far larger than what they have), because of a degree of casual racism that suddenly showed up and ruined everything for me. I do hope there's more of the good stuff out there somewhere.

ps: According to a link I followed at the bottom of Ben's page at Archive, he's not the vocalist in these recordings. They don't know the vocalist's name. It seems to be Bob Tank (2017 note). He sounds a bit like Benny Bell at times, but I think that's just the tone of their delivery. There's a two-CD set of recordings from Light (born Benjamin Leight in 1893), but these don't seem to be the party records, alas. Which doesn't mean they might not be great. Time will quite possibly tell.

Archive.org has some of his instrumental covers in decent fidelity, as of 2017. Included in a massive batch of around 25,000 tracks or something like that. Ben's playing (on the Steinway) holds up.


from January 26, 2001 (quoting myself):

I've been reading Marlowe lately. Great stuff. Nobody could begin a
story like him:

For long and weary hours, I bored myself
Counting the old, tired webs of spiders
In my narrow office. Just then I heard
A ringing sound from the bell out front,
And in my dismal garrett I beheld
A wench who made a good first impression
To my eyes. Her face, I thought could launch,
A thousand or so ships, her eyes burn down
A hell of a lot of topless towers.
I took in her form and her tear-streaked face
She beseechingly asked,  "Mister Marlowe?
I'm in trouble. They told me you could help."

  (Christopher Marlowe, _The Tragedy of The Big Slumber_, act I)

(This is on the web in a couple of places, but it seemed advisable to put it somewhere I could reliably point to it as needed.)