Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Cocktails For Two" by Spike Jones and His City Slickers

Spike Jones - born on this day in 1911 - was a musical comedian known for injecting sound effects into popular songs to often hilarious ends; it's a genre which isn't much in favour today, since its particular brand of absurdity is guaranteed to puncture pomposity in whatever form it may appear (be it earnest or glib, arrogant or modest) and we are living in very pompous times indeed...

Cocktails for Two was written by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow for the 1934 film Murder at the Vanities*; it was given the Spike Jones treatment, with vocals by Carl Grayson, in 1944. Lyricist Coslow is said to have hated what he perceived as Jones' irreverence toward the material, although surely his punctured pomposity was mollified somewhat by the massive royalties its release on vinyl earned him - as it likely would when Jones' version was used in a 2006 UK Schweppes advert, had he not been dead for 25 years.

*Still only available on VHS, ugh!

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