1/23/12

Tom Lehrer Rarities Volume 5 (Leaping Fox)

The wait is over.  The bad news is, this looks like the final volume in this series, unless I can track down the handful of elusive bits that are out there, somewhere on the planet. (Discussed below.)
 As I mentioned before, Sphinx patron Arthur Castro's help was invaluable in pointing me in the direction of the full Bob Claster tapes (which have been cleaned to remove the tape hiss, and boosted a bit), as well as the two parodies that Mr. Lehrer prepared for Garrison Keillor's "American Radio Company" show, both for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Not only that, but he also was kind enough to point out that there were TWO performances of the "Hey Mr. Producer" show (sounds like a volume of HEY, MR. SPACEMAN, now that I notice it).  The one recorded for album release was the NIGHT BEFORE the one released on video.  Therefore, we now have an additional "Poisoning Pigeons" to enjoy.


While we are on the subject, and as I prepare a package to mail to Mr. Lehrer, let's briefly discuss what's left "out there" that would make a splendid Volume 6:
1) THE REMAINDER OF "THE PHYSICAL REVUE"  This exists, and I would hope the owner of the very old wire recorder-made tape would be interested in me improving it, as I did the rest of the songs (see Volume One). 
2) "THE SAC SONG" The Tom Lehrer Discography website says there's a soldier who claims to have a recording of Mr. Lehrer performing the whole song, perhaps as a guide for the film-makers working on "A Gathering of Eagles."  Who knows if this is even true.
3) WTBS INTERVIEW (October 20, 1965)  The rest of the tape that gave us "The Subway Song" contains at least one further in-studio performance.
4) VOICES OF VISTA #33 Part of a series of records produced for the Volunteers In Service To America, and there were quite a few of these, all numbered (65 is the highest I've seen thus far).  Mr.  Lehrer is interviewed on Side One of #33, with Side Two containing performances by The Brandywines, Clark Terry, and The Lovin' Spoonful.  Don't get excited if you find one with The Lovin' Spoonful and think you've found it; they are on several of these records.
5) "WITHOUT AN S" Ah, the "lost" Electric Company song.  I can't tell you how many VHS tapes of old episodes I have dug through trying to get lucky here, how many fruitless trades, and how many Internet Search Hours I have wasted.  I have researched this quite a bit, and I can tell you it was sung by the great Rita Moreno, it was a parody of a song entitled "Without a Song" (which may be the reason for its elusiveness: rights), and that it was aired in one of the early seasons.  The hunt continues.
6) "TREES" This was a song that was newly-recorded for the REMAINS OF TOM LEHRER boxed set, and then not used.  It WAS, however, issued on "promo cassette" versions of the set.  I seem to recall reading it was a cover, but I can't find my source at the moment.

There you have it.  Worry not; I'm on the case. 

8 comments:

Deadguy said...

Please repost this one too

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

Fixed--thanks for pointing that one out.

Anonymous said...

About 5 years ago, i came across a BBC acetate disc of Tom Lehrer on a second hand market. The disc features 10 tracks from the first album "Songs By Tom Lehrer", although in a different order. The disc isn't in great condition, and has quite a lot of background noise and a couple of scratches / skips.
Full track list is:
Side 1:
The Hunting Song
My Home Town
When You Are Old And Grey
I Hold Your Hand In Mine
The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz
Side 2
The Irish Ballad
Be Prepared
The Old Dope Peddler
Lobachevsky
I Wanna Go Back To Dixie

The songs "The Wild West" and "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" are not included.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants any more info on the disc, my email is:
dreamengine1@yahoo.com

Petrine said...

I have just found your site and I'm eager to purchase copies of your collections. Where can I find them?

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

Petrine:
As I told Mr. Lehrer, who gave me his blessing for this fan-made set (and asked for copies!), these would never be for sale. I'd be happy to re-upload them for you.
If it's easier, drop me a line at samtheq@juno.com and I can give you all the links at once, rather than making you dig through blog posts.

Petrine said...

Thank you so much!

Petrine

BearguyVA said...

Hello... like Petrine back in November '14, I too just came upon your site... just a little later than he did! Are the links still available somewhere? Thanks much