Saturday, May 19, 2012


Tony Randall passed away 8 years ago (May 17, 2004). He's remembered by friends and fans as vital almost to the end (he became a father at an age when most are grandfathers!). He was a great man, a great actor, and a pretty good singer, too.

Randall's first album (on Imperial) was issued back when he was an eccentric supporting actor in film comedies and sitcoms. The disc was sophisticated, odd, and even bizarre (a version of Nat "King" Cole's classic "Nature Boy" done with an Indian accent.) Years later (1967-68), now best known for talk and game show appearances (as the album notes on one of them states), he put out two discs of old nostalgia music for Mercury. At the time, "Winchester Cathedral" was a hit. He covered it, and such annoying tunes as "Boo Hoo" "You Oughta Be in Pictures"and "Lucky Lindy," along with "Stumbling" (which turned up in an "Odd Couple" episode sung by Monty Hall).

Mercury released a single to spike airplay for Tony. They chose the only contemporary tune on Tony's second album, Randy Newman's "Debutante's Ball." On the flip side: "We Only Kill Each Other" by veteran songwriter Jeff Barry (who'd had hits for The Crystals, Ike & Tina Turner and The Shangri-Las with wife Ellie Greenwich). Easily the oddest item in the Randall jukebox, "We Only Kill Each Other" can only be found on that obscure single…and here.

Remember, this thing was issued two years before the premiere of "The Odd Couple." (And five years before "The Odd Couple Sings" album in which Randall and Jack Klugman offered the fascinating and horrifying duet "You're So Vain" and Tony padded things out with nostalgia tunes including "When Banana Skins are Falling, I'll Come Sliding Back To You," which he also sang in 1968 for Mercury).

Here, sounding a bit like a very weary and depressed Felix Ungar, the 48 year-old Randall attempts to reach kid-oriented Top 20 AM radio by sighing about the problems of the day: "Narcotics and usury, gambling and vice, there ain't no big money in sugar and spice."

Then comes the hand-wringing chorus: "We only kill each other, why don't they leave us alone? We only kill each other, we only extinguish our own." Following this, the former Leonard Rosenberg sings a stanza about the late Ben Siegelbaum, aka "Bugsy" Siegel. The gangster was the subject of the 1967 book by Dean Jennings titled "We Only Kill Each Other."

But good songs never die….

TONY RANDALL Instand download or listen on line. No capcha code crapola, no extortion about paying for a "premium account" to enrich the pigs at some corrupt Eurotrash cloud server.

No comments: