Monday, February 19, 2007

MURDER BALLAD - Judy Henske Peggy Seeger

It's a killer: Rhino Handmade has just released "Big Judy," a 2 CD overview of Judy Henske's legendary career. I will buy it even though it's expensive. $40 for a lifetime of Judy is money well spent, compared to a half hour massage, a few games of bowling or one bad meal and a few drinks one night.
Henske, her mighty oak height and powerful voice making Janis Joplin seem like a willow in comparison, belted folk, sang jazz (on "The Judy Garland Show") and made a legendary psych-rock-folk album called "Farewell Aldebaran." Her offbeat humor earned her the title "Queen of the Beatniks." She was also the inspiration for "Annie Hall" (Judy and Woody Allen made an unlikely pair, but they were a combo for a while. They appeared together in an obscure issue of the magazine HELP; the photo of Judy on this page is from that issue.)
"Little Romy" isn't on the 2 CD set. It's a nice example of her ill folkie twisted humor. Most artists adapted old songs and modernized them. Here, Judy updated "Omawise."
Since I know you're the scholarly type, I've included Peggy Seeger's traditional version so you can compare the two. Seeger (half-sister to Pete, wife to the late Ewan MacColl) went on to write one of the best modern folk songs of all time, "Ballad of Spring Hill" which has been covered by everyone from Peter Paul and Mary to U2.
Two murder ballads!
OMAWISE Peggy Seeger
These are non-Rabidshare files, instant downloads. For more information (and product) on these two living legends, visit the dot coms for Judy Henske and Peggy Seeger.


Elaine said...

While I've never been a Henske fan, I've always had great respect for her, and, hey, any friend of Dave Guard's is okay by me. I've still got my old vinyl of that marvelous Whiskeyhill Singers LP. I don't remember where I got it, but it's stamped, "Property of Baker Correctional Institution."

I never realized she was the prototype for Annie Hall. Fascinating.

Anyway, any variation of 'Naomi ballads were the Forensic Files of yore, and I love them all. They give me many good ideas for my next caper.

And HELP, Harvey Kurtzman's post Mad masterwork! I hadn't thought of that magazine in years. Now I'm going to ebay to see if there are any issues available at a reasonable cost.

Elaine said...

Damn gremlins - paragraph three actually was to read -

Anyway, any variation of 'Naomi Wise' is important to me. Murder ballads were the Forensic Files of yore, and I love them all. They give me many good ideas for my next caper.

Ill Folks said...

Well, I wouldn't be so quick with the "any friend of Dave Guard's" remark. Dave and Judy didn't get along!

Her awesome rendition of "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" certainly stops that record in its tracks. Which may not be what Dave wanted since it's kinda out of place on a folk record.

Didn't realize there were so many Naomi wiseguys out there, still looking to plant the evidence on somebody. may have to search Ebay by category (magazines, backdate) since "Help" will bring you a lot of bizarre stuff, and not every seller mentions a good keyword like Kurtzman. There were also two HELP paperbacks, which might be easy to bibliofind. I think Harvey stuck his name in there as editor.

Re. Annie Hall, yeah, it's all there. Annie Hall's a singer, she's from Wisconsin...but Diane Keaton is completely un-Henske and made the role her own.

Baker Correctional Institution. That's where they handle mistakes involving various crumbs and safe crackers.

Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, There is a popular new group on Yahoo called THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. They have amazing rare audio files that are changed twice weekly, great photo's, lively discussions, and a membership that not only includes Judy's fan's, but her family members, friends, people who worked with her, author's of Garland biographies, Garland Historians, people who have created and/or directed film and theater projects about her, and many more. The only thing missing is you!
Please check it out.

Ill Folks said...

Yes, we WERE speaking of Judy Garland, somehow.

Henske's appearance on the Garland show is one of the few easily available video clips on her. After her ballad, she appears in a weird folk parody flanked by Jerry Van Dyke and Mel Torme. Judy's still slumping her shoulders when she has to be in the picture with shorter guys. Should've given Torme lifts instead.

The only other Garland-related artist on this blog is Bobby Cole, who was more than a good friend. Not that he'd want me to go blabbing about it in a Garland newsgroup. He turned down almost every author who requested an interview, which, no, tells you about his respect for her, not any animosity.

mantmarble said...

I'm the liner note writer for the Big Judy compilation and I just wanted to say that I really dig your site and your seemingly vast knowledge of esoteric pop culture. Keep it up!