"Mr. Cortex, We Love You!"
September 6, 2011 9:20 AM   Subscribe

In the early 1960s, actor/comedian/writer/composer/TV-star Steve Allen recorded How to Think, an educational album about the brain and the mind.

Appropriately bicameral, one side of the record consisted of spoken-word vignettes and jazzy jingles about the various parts of the brain. The other side gave listeners an introduction to logical reasoning and how to be a responsible thinker. Allen, a lifelong skeptic and activist for secular humanism, composed the music and narrated, joined by his wife, Jayne Meadows, and their young son Bill.

Songs and topics include:

- "Thank Goodness That You've Got a Cerebellum"
- "Look for the Evidence"
- the difference between fact and opinion
- the difference between concrete and abstract
- why it's important to control your emotions

Another online source for this record, which includes a transcription of the liner notes, can be found here:
posted by overeducated_alligator (12 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
What about the Steve-O-Meter?
posted by GavinR at 9:24 AM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

posted by cortex at 9:24 AM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

I had this as a kid! I loved it. Thanks for the nostalgic flashback.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:32 AM on September 6, 2011

Oh, one of my favorite records ever. A pal and I used one of the songs for the opening of our college radio talk show for years.

"It'll help both you and our nation
If you're open
To new information."
posted by mediareport at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2011

Heh. I was looking for this last year. Credit to jamaro for finding it for me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2011


full lyrics:

The cortex, a computer, it's a real troubleshooter,
'cause it helps to organize the things you learn.
Well, it takes the information that you get from each sensation,
commits everything to memory in its turn!

It helps you to remember, speak and think,
and does it all much quicker than a wink!

You'll need no club or revolver, for your cortex problem-solver
will apply the rules of reason for you.
If you know enough, not only, to come out of the rain,
but to invent an umbrella, then let me explain:
you're using the highest part of your brain,
the cortex,
I said, the cortex,
Mr. Cortex, we love you!

posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:49 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

Eggcity radio is a gold mine.
posted by Abinadab at 10:16 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Steve Allen made one of my favorite TV shows ever. I wish they'd remake it. But I have no idea who'd host it. Steve Allen was one of a kind.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Steve Allen had a short and unsuccessful run for political office in California, as I remember. I think for the Senate.

Google is failing me here. . .
posted by Danf at 11:32 AM on September 6, 2011

Woah, thanks for this and thanks for turning me on to Egg City Radio. Downloaded the album and intend to put it in rotation for my daughter.
posted by pianoboy at 12:05 PM on September 6, 2011

posted by cortex at 12:24 PM on September 6

Hit a nerve?
posted by maryr at 12:33 PM on September 6, 2011

BitterOldPunk: even more sad, Meeting Of Minds is basically not available online to watch, like hardly at all. I've set out at least twice since I joined thinking "oh, that would be a GREAT MetaFilter post!", and then finding pretty much not enough of it online to watch to make a post out of.

Truly one of the more remarkable television shows. When I was in high school, it felt like a secret thing, because it was on PBS in the afternoons, and I'd try to tell other kids at school about it and they'd stare at me like I'd completely lost my mind.

Not sure it needs a remake, but it certainly needs to be more available for people to discover and expore.
posted by hippybear at 3:27 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

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