TOM LEHRER RARITIES revisited (Leaping Fox)

I was really, really underwhelmed with the "Tom Lehrer Rarities" disc I did a while back, and I badly wanted to re-do it. It was a quickie project...and then over the next couple of years, as new stuff was unearthed, and other, unknown stuff appeared from various sources, it became a desperate, singular mission of utmost importance!
So then, here's what happened. I have assembled every scrap of TL goodness that's "out there" and remastered it...every track has been boosted, run through filters of various kinds, and overhauled in some way. In short, the one disc of rare goodness is now THREE discs of unbelievable happiness!
Does this mean everything sounds excellent? Of course not! Given what shape many of these recordings were in (I mean, somebody set up a reel-to-reel recorder in a corner of an auditorium in 1951 to capture "The Physical Revue," after all!), miracles can't be worked on some of these...but in the case of "Revue," I can now understand the words more clearly, so it's a huge improvement! (And the first 25 seconds or so still has tape damage of the magnetic kind, so nothing could be done about that!) Everything has been re-sourced and cleaned up, and even speed-corrected where needed. (There was one Frost track that was waaaay too fast, for example). Anyhow, there's nothing else like this on the entirity of the Internets, and thanks to everyone who made this possible! Therefore, if anything, let this be three things:
1) A not-for-sale tribute to the man himself,
2) A way to have every TL recording possible, [if you own the 2000 "Remains" boxed set AND the two out-of-print LPs "Tom Lehrer Discovers Australia" and the 1966 stereo remake LP "Songs by Tom Lehrer" you have it "all"] and, finally,
3) A Christmas gift to the world!
So is there more out there? Of course! (A future post will discuss this.) But rest assured that if it ever surfaces, it will be added in the future!
Not-Too-Shabby Artwork (made for clear jewel-cases with snazzy inlays!) is included in each archive!
Stay demented, folks.


Volume One
Volume Two
Volume Three

Please see other posts on this very blog for VOLUME FOUR and VOLUME FIVE, and more!


MOVIE-WHEELS: Huckleberry Hound & Yogi Bear (1960)

Here's a really interesting thrift-store find I shelled out seven bucks for this week, and it's something I never knew existed. This is a product called "Movie-Wheels" that is a book-and-record set with the book built in. Actually, there's a wheel built into the cover that the user is cued to turn during the story, and a window allows for a slide-show of about 16 or so pictures to be viewed as you listen! The process is then repeated on side two, for both the record as well as the illustrations! This was a very clever item, and apparently there were others: a Felix the Cat one was recently spotted on Ebay.
Another thing that fascinated me about this item were the credits. Who would you expect to see listed doing the voices? Daws Butler, maybe? Try Jack Mercer of Popeye fame...yep, you heard me right. Mercer does his best here with what he's given, but to my ear just doesn't pull it off. But then again, could Butler voice Popeye, really? Well, maybe he could've, come to think of it...
Yet another interesting part of this are the 1960-style superlatives that the cover is littered with: "PLAY! HEAR! SEE! FUN! AMAZING NEW HI-FI THEATRE! THRILLING ACTION ENTERTAINMENT IN FULL HI-FI SOUND!" I don't know how thrilling hi-fi sound should have been at the time, but Ben-Hur this isn't. In fact, I found the recording to be tinny and filtery, and this was long before I de-clicked it, in case you're wondering. Also, it's a bit sloppy around the edges. Lest you think I was a bit abrupt at the controls, the ending music really does cut off like that on the actual record!
Not only does the cover boast "AS SEEN AND HEARD ON TV" (Imagine Billy Mays hawking this one circa 1960), but also--and this is important for Junior's educational upbringing--"AUTHENTIC SOUNDS of Count-Down, Missle [sic] Launching Satellite in Outer Space, Courtesy of UNITED STATES AIR FORCE"...Don't worry, that phrase makes no more sense to me, either, and it's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment to be sure...but it still warranted a plug on the cover!
Lastly, the detailed instructions (for dull, Cold War-era, unsophisticated kids) state that "This MOVIE-WHEEL contains a non-toxic, unbreakable Hi-Fi miniature LP record!" In layman's terms, sans hyperbole, we call this a "flexi-disc," and that's all it is. This is something like referring to an ice cube as a "scientifically modified refrigerated hydroxide cuboid," but you can't fool kids so easily today, now can you?