SPIKE JONES!!! (gunshot, slide whistle)
September 27, 2015 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Now me and my mate were back at the shack, we had Spike Jones on the box
She said, "I can't take the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk"
Now that just gave my heart a throb, to the bottom of my feet
And I swore as I took another pull, my Bessie can't be beat

--The Band Up on Cripple Creek

Nice post. One of the first things I did when YouTube was in its early days was to look up Spike Jones due to the Band reference. I found a song or two but this will complete my education, thanks.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:45 PM on September 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

posted by delfin at 2:49 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Not to be confused with the other Spike Jonze.
posted by Fizz at 2:58 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

ABSOLUTELY not to be confused.

Of course, there was also the Donald Duck cartoon Disney made, centered around Jones' "Der Fuehrer's Face"
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:33 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I grew up listening to Spike and the Slickers thanks to my uncle's original 78's. He was a big fan back in the day, and would jump at the chance to tell you all about when he saw the band live, back in the 40's. It sounded about as crazy as you'd think.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:43 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

When I was a kid I used to mix up Spike Jones and Spike Milligan.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:56 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I bet that sounded weird.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:59 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Billy Barty just kills it on That Old Black Magic.
posted by scruss at 4:28 PM on September 27, 2015

Needs more Miss Piggy.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:19 PM on September 27, 2015

Came in here to reference The Band, was honored to be beaten to the punch by madamjujujive.
posted by TedW at 5:46 PM on September 27, 2015

Came in here to post "beetlebaummmmm", easily trounced by delphin.
posted by sammyo at 5:50 PM on September 27, 2015

Great stuff! When we moved into a house in NJ in 1959 ( I was 11) the previous owner left an old radio with record player and stack of 78s in the basement, including a bunch of Spike Jones. My brother and I played them over and over.
posted by beagle at 5:56 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

And here is the mystic connection:
Spike->Doodles->Sigourney->Ghostbusters/Alien->SATAN or something. Or perhaps something else.
posted by hexatron at 5:58 PM on September 27, 2015

Here's the thing about Spike. He played music that sounded chaotic, loose and somewhat ridiculous, but peek beneath the hood and you realize that such music can only be pulled off with near-perfect choreography and some of the best working musicians in the industry. The only somewhat contemporary analogue I can think of is Zappa.
posted by vverse23 at 6:21 PM on September 27, 2015 [10 favorites]

"Cocktails for Two" and especially "Laura" never fail to crack me up. (And I speak as someone who likes the straight version of the latter song.)

Listened to Spike Jones in college in the 70s. So when Al Yankovic came along a few years later, I always thought Jones was the guy he could only aspire to be. There is something quite clever underneath all the campiness and fart noises.

Oh, and it must be "Beetlebaum," cos that's a nickname my parents had for me when I was little.
posted by NorthernLite at 6:25 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wait...Doodles Weaver was Sigourney Weaver's uncle? Whoaaaa...
posted by Thorzdad at 6:45 PM on September 27, 2015

Who are the three guys singing the "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down..." song? Was the main singer lip syncing?
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:33 PM on September 27, 2015

Thanks for posting this. I used to love when Dr. Demento would play anything by Spike Jones, and from that, I bought the Best of Spike Jones cassette when I was a kid -- and I nearly wore the tape out. But I never saw Spike & crew in action until the advent of Youtube. It really gave me a whole new appreciation for the precision he had in corralling that chaos.

posted by not_on_display at 11:16 PM on September 27, 2015

What's truly awesome is that this stuff was performed live. Today you'd build it with layers of overdubbing.

Can't wait to explore this more when i have more time and not on mobile.

The guy who wrote Cocktails for Two HATED what Jones did to his song, BTW. Yet i wonder what he collected in additional royalties from it ...
posted by pmurray63 at 11:17 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been listening to his four-CD compilation, "Strictly for Music Lovers", and there's some amazing deep cuts on there. I really enjoyed The Sound Effects Man and I've never liked Old MacDonald before his rendition.
posted by LSK at 11:56 PM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Spike Jones often conducted his orchestra, not with a baton, but with a revolver.
posted by Jode at 3:05 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Regarding that horse race winner, the spelling is all over the place. Above, it's Feetlebaum or Beetlebaum. My brother and I always thought it was Teitelbaum. Elsewhere, BeetleBomb, and Beitlebaum.

The correct version is apparently Feetblebaum, based on a character in the Doodles Weaver radio show, Dr. Feetlebaum. Weaver was a member of the Spike Jones band from 1946 to 1951 and is the voice of the announcer on the William Tell Overture recording. Weaver sometimes spelled his character's name as Feitlebaum, just to add one more variant to the list.
posted by beagle at 7:25 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I always pronounced it in my childhood mind as "Beetle Bum" and it made me laugh even more.
posted by not_on_display at 8:01 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

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