Friday, December 29, 2006

LET IT BE...in Chinese dialect - PAUL FREES


This blog's last but not least single for 2006 is appropriately, LET IT BE.
But in its most inappropriate form.
Paul Frees probably was used to racial stereotyping from having worked with Spike Jones, who regularly had his singers do black dialect ("You Always Hurt the One You Love"), Asian schtick ("Chinese Mule Train"), and questionable Semitism ("Tennessee Waltz."). Paul wasn't usually asked by Spike Jones to be racist but...Pillsbury made an offer.
In the 60's they sold non-nutritional powdered drink mixes. "Freckle Face" strawberry and "Chinese" cherry were among their "Funny Face" products. Paul voiced most of the characters.
And so, with Spike and Pillsbury for influences, it's no surprise that a few years later Paul saw nothing wrong with turning "Let It Be" into an R-infected Asian parody. (And he wouldn't be the last...Peter Sellers as "Sidney Wang" in "Murder by Death" for example).
My only real objection to what was considered goofy fun more than anything racist, is that all the other cuts on "Paul Frees and the Poster People" were accurate caricatures of famous stars (Karloff, Lugosi, Lorre, etc.) but he sounds nothing like the sweet, soft-spoken Warner Oland (as advertised) or even the stern and haltingly articulate Sidney Toler. Paul's "Charlie Chan" is just an excuse for clazed phlazing. Uh crazed phrasing.
But it's SO over the top it'll probably raise more smiles than middle fingers.
My appreciation of Paul's work verges on awe (he voiced Boris Badenov, Ludwig Von Drake, the Pillsbury Doughboy, etc.)...but I won't be surprised if a few of you listen to this and say "Aw...."
Charlie Chan sings RET IT BE
Instant download. No code words, porn ads, or 45 second delays.

1 comment:

Timmy said...

Any way to prease le-up?