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A person who needs no introduction.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Twenty Fingers!

This is from a seven-inch LP that was sent out to retailers to promote the Titano "Sounds Great" accordion, back in the 60s. It ended up at our house, and I used to play it over and over, at 33, 45, and 78. Not so much at 16, because it took too long and wasn't fast enough. I figured the name, "20 Fingers Bossa Nova," was a hyperbolic exaggeration — yeah! this guy plays so fast, it's like twenty fingers! Turns out it was simply fact. There are two people playing. (Sadly, each one is playing his own accordion. Not two men playing one instrument, a la PDQ Bach.) The players are Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes, I belatedly hasten to add. Credit where due!

Years went by, during which the canister full of 45s and small 78s passed out of my grasp, never to return. Then the internet came along, and I ended up paying a modest sum to buy another copy of the disk from somebody in the Netherlands.

There's also a second side, where the announcer plays little bits and pieces, explaining what each feature is that's being shown off. I don't actually listen to this side much (shocking, I know!), but pass it along now for fans of features.

So now it's forty years after I first listened to this, and I have my own accordion (a Soprano, not a Titano, and maybe 20 years older than the one in the recording).  I like to listen to this from time to time, at normal speed, because that's just the boring kind of guy I turned into.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

George Grossmith Kills It

I have previously linked to a work of genius from 1915 (I was thinking 1908 before, for some undoubtedly persuasive at the time reason), Murders, by George Grossmith (namesake son of the original Ko-Ko in "The Mikado"). Having just now sat down and transcribed the lyrics from the song, I present them herewith. The number is half spoken. The narrator's voice most closely resembles Hans Conried as Snidely Whiplash, in a quiet, reflective moment:

I have a few confessions that I think I ought to make,
And I'll try to make them tenderly, for everybody's sake.
The first, about my laundress, who has left this world of strife;
If you'll listen I will tell you how she came to lose her life:

murdered her last Tuesday, for I thought it would be best
And never, never more will she tear buttons off my vest
And now I'll get my Sunday shirts and collars in one piece
For I murdered her last Tuesday; 'twas a merciful release.

There used to be an organ man who played along our street,
But now he'll never play again, his heart has ceased to beat.
I sallied forth one evening when the light was getting dim
And I pulled out my revolver and I pointed it at him

murdered him, that organ man, I don't think I was wrong.
He wasn't wanted in this world, he'd been here far too long.
Was it Saturday, or Friday now? I can't remember which,
But at any rate I murdered him without the slightest hitch.
(Poor fellow!)

A terrible misfortune has befallen our family:
My wife's poor mother has gone off into eternity.
She used to give me lectures, but she won't do that again.
She said my conduct pained her, so I put her out of pain.

'Twas on a summer's morning that the dreadful deed was done.
No fuss or talk about it, just a bullet from a gun.
She never seemed contented, and I thought it time she went,
So I murdered her one morning; it was very kindly meant.

Another notoriety has left this world full speed,
And once again, I take the blame. Was I who did the deed.
It's my caddy I'm referring to, a most obnoxious lad;
If I'd let him live much longer, I'd have soon gone raving mad

So I slew him in a bunker; it was Wednesday of last week.
I approached him with my mashie, and I finished with the cleek
And nevermore my slicing nor my pulling will he guy
For I murdered him in bogey, and he had a lovely lie.

Take me away, Constable. I am quite ready.

[reprinted from my LiveJournal and transplanted here so I can find it more easily when needed]