Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sgt. Pepper's MAX MILLER

One of the many faces you probably didn't recognize on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band belongs to... Max Miller.
The Stone Age Benny Hill, merry Maxie was known as "The Cheeky Chappie" for the saucy tunes that got him banned from BBC radio for five years.
Probably all of The Beatles wanted him on the Pepper cover. Lennon and Harrison must have loved Miller's vaudevillian bravado (a style that may have later influenced Spike Milligan and the Monty Python troupe). McCartney and Starr probably also loved Miller's musical styles, ones that your mother would know, and still make for a sentimental journey.
He died in 1963, just before The Beatles changed the music world. He remains a beloved figure in England and has been the subject of a few TV documentaries and other belated huzzahs.

No Rapidshare. No codes or ads. Just "MARY FROM THE DAIRY"

Mr. Flood's Party - Horror-Psych Album

A late 60's psych band naming itself after a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson? They would either become the darling of college campuses or an obscurity on the illfolks blog.
This curio is a strange but pleasing mix of CS&N type harmony (most notable on the song "Deja Vu," which is not to be confused with the CSN&Y tune) and most any overwrought psych band of the era. Add a dash of Zappa; the band wasn't averse to drifting off into tongue-in-cheek chant ("Tangerine...tangerine...kiss my tangerine...") or mocking the "Evil Prince of Darkness" with saucy lyrics and a dash of doo-wop.
The best song is the shortest, probably the only one that might've had a shot at being a single. Not a hit single, but a single. It's "Simon J. Stone," which is the only song on the album that references Tilbury Town, where Edwin Arlington Robinson's characters lived in their anguish, chagrins and occasional glory. "Simon J. Stone, you're a good man, what is there left for a good man?" Or an obscure 60's psych band that put an old man on the cover of their album years before "Aqualung."

Join......the party.


He had Klass. Until he changed his last name to Barry.
The debonair Jewish actor became a star as TV's Bat Masterson, and then Amos Burke, both law-keeping dandies who regretted fist-fights if it soiled their expensive clothes.
Only Robert Vaughn made better use of 60's Hero Take #48 (mouth open, no sound coming out, followed by a mild glare and an exasperated grimace).
A closet vaudevillian, Gene Barry loved any opportunity to sing, and he did so in nightclubs, on episodes of "Burke's Law" and ultimately on Broadway in "La Cage Au Folles."
Here, you get Gene's somewhat gross version of the theme song with leaden lyrics ("Hey, Lovuhhh...") The original posting included "The Burke's Law Suite," a bombastic collage of great music from the original TV soundtrack. It's a lounge classic, and the rest of Barry's album, but it timed out via Rapidshare around Oct. 15th when they had their infamous file purging. "If nobody downloads in time, tough luck for us all." Illfolks Law.
"Burke's Law," produced by Aaron Spelling, is still great fun to watch. Ironically, the character first appeared on an episode of "The Dick Powell Show." The episode "Who Killed Julie Greer" starred Dick Powell as Amos Burke. That was in 1961. In 1963, with Powell suffering a terminal illness, Gene Barry stepped into the role and "Burke's Law" began it's two year run. When the spy craze hit TV, the show was re-tooled as "Amos Burke: Secret Agent," and retired after 17 episodes. In 1994, "Burke's Law" had a brief revival with Gene Barry once again in command, surrounded by a new team of sidekicks.
Despite the cad image, Gene Barry has had one of the longest marriages in Hollywood, and he capped his long acting career with a cameo in "War of the Worlds" (having starred in the original.)
Gene Barry is always a suave, humorous and compelling presence. Nobody has his voice or, come to think of it, those unusually sculpted ears. Your ears may get re-sculpted listening to the jaunty baritone of a man so in love with crooning he probably takes an extra shower each day just so he can sing in it.
"It's..." ...Burke's Theme sung by Gene Barry
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