Sunday, May 29, 2016


Oh, you thought GARY LEWIS was the first guy to cover "Sealed with a Kiss."

Introducing...Barry Gordon.

Actually he needs no introduction, does he? Not to fans of odd novelties.

Barry’s first fame came with the dopey novelty tune “Nuttin’ for Christmas.” This bit of coy bleating sold a million copies in 1955, when Barry was just six. It was quite an irony that the kid was (and still is) Jewish. He didn’t quite duplicate his Yuletide success with his next MGM novelty item, “Rock Around Mother Goose.” And nobody was too thrilled with yet another: “Zoomah, The Santa Claus from Mars.” Or yet another: “How Do We Look to the Monkeys.”

Barry became one of the more ubiquitous of the precocious kid actors in sitcoms, and ten years after his “Nuttin’” success, won the admiration of critics via the Broadway/Film hit “A Thousand Clowns.” In that one, he seemed like a diminutive Woody Allen, with his overly verbal and intelligent comical attitude toward adults (including Jason Robards Jr.)

With his new film success, somebody thought he had the makings of a tween singing star. Brian Hyland's “Sealed with a Kiss” had hit the Top Ten three years earlier in 1962. Now? Maybe it could re-ignite the career of kid-novelty rocker Barry Gordon.

Obviously we know the answer. Still, it's not too dated, and the kid sort of tries for a Pitney approach, which leads to sincere high-pitched howls of puppy love. It's much more fun listening than his other single, "Yes Sir, That’s My Baby.”

Fans of “A Thousand Clowns” will recall that “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” was strummed and sung by Gordon and Jason Robards Jr. way too often in the movie. A few years later, Gary Lewis got the cover version hit. And Barry Gordons days as a kid star were over.

My only contact with Gordon was when he was an adult and the President of the Screen Actors Guild. I asked him to look into the abuses on eBay, where photos of his members were being stolen and not only duped by 8x10 pirates, but used on t-shirts, mousepads, and in the adult section, Photoshopped onto porn bodies. His apathetic but perhaps legal-logical response was that the union was only in place to hassle the studios for more money and better working conditions, and everything else was up to individual actors and actresses. I countered that if he sent around a form for his members to sign, allowing SAG to remove these auctions and be authorized to sell approved photos or signed items, thousands upon thousands of dollars could be raised for the Motion Picture County Hospital (where retired, down-on-their-luck performers spend their final days). To be fair, I later wrote to another Screen Actors Guild president, Melissa "Little House" Gilbert, who shared Barry's lack of vision and utter stupidity.

Gordon ran for Congress as a Democrat, hosted leftist political talk shows on radio and on the Internet, and taught at California State University. "Sealed with a Kiss" is barely a blip on his impressive resume. But this IS the blog for blips!

The song also, on this Memorial Day Weekend, acknowledges the start of the humid season of hellish heat. It's a shitty time of year, and if there was a package to be sent to idiots who don't believe in climate change, I'd send them a pound of hot steaming shit. Sealed with a piss.


Thursday, May 19, 2016


Ever hear of Jane Little ? Of course not. Her death did get some minor attention as one of those “funny” news-curio items.

She was one of the "blessed" and “lucky” performers to drop dead on stage. It was during a rousing version of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Why it’s as if Irving Berlin was sitting alongside God and said, “Do me a favor…”

“What kind of favor?”

“Jane Little got into the Guinness World Record book for “longest tenure with an orchestra.” Since she’s got cancer anyway, let her go out in style. That’s not much to ask. I’m Irving Berlin, after all.”

“Yes, and your GOD-given talent has made millions of millions happy. You’re the little Jew that wrote 'White Christmas.'" after all.”

“Will you strike down Jane Little while she’s performing my song?”

“I’ve got your back. But that’s nothing, I’ve also got Quasimodo’s too. I’m such a fuckin’ kidder! ZAP!”

Little, who was only five feet tall, played a double bass taller than she was. She joined the “Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra” at age 16. Technically there should be an asterisk (ala Roger Maris) because it later became the “Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.” That means it’s technically two different orchestras that she played for.

She began sawing away on February 4, 1945, and finally crept past Mr. Frances Darger (who played the violin for 70 years with the Utah Symphony) on February 1, 2016. She died on May 15, 2016. Said a fellow musician, “Her bass crashed into my bass, she fell over onto the floor, and as quickly as we could, we dropped our instruments and got her offstage.”

She was taken away in an ambulance, was briefly revived, but she said nothing and a while later was pronounced a door nail.

Another asterisk: she dropped on stage, but didn’t technically drop dead.

What’s it all about, Alfie Wiedersehen? Is it just for the record books we live?

Shouldn’t we celebrate ALL people who care enough to play a large and difficult brown-colored instrument? Where’s BASSISTS LIVES MATTER?

And how about Jane wearing that un-PC Atlanta Braves cap? Native Americans are not happy that the idiotic baseball team plays stereotypical “Indian war” music to rally the players, and fans stand up and do “The Tomahawk Chop.” When will the Braves, Indians and Redskins understand NATIVE AMERICAN DIGNITY MATTERS?

For now, we only celebrate average working musicians if they achieve some feat of longevity (we love “world’s oldest…” news items), or die on stage, which always amuses people.

Dying while at work ONLY is amusing in show business. Nobody's smiling about: "Bus driver dies behind the wheel; dozens injured." Or: “World’s oldest dentist drops dead in the middle of filling a cavity.” Somehow religious fanatic assholes don't say in those cases, “how nice, to go out doing what you love to do most.”

40's actor John Garfield died while fucking. OK, he was probably doing what he loved to do most, but did he finish? And if he did, did she?

As to your download below...

I could’ve very easily found you a rousing “pops” version of that horrible tune and you could listen to it and imagine somewhere in the orchestra, an old bag toppling into a colleague. But I’m much more sadistic.

Let’s go with the creepy version where Mary Pumpkin's kitschy cooing is abetted by that chewy Macca-roon himself, producer Paul McCartney. Paulie had some kind of fetishistic crush on the waifish little blonde from Cardwell. Or Cardiff. Or whatever town had the tree branch she was seen chirping from.

McCartney’s unique idea for “There’s No Business Like Show Business” was to open it as a waltz, and then turn it into a turgid oom-pah march with soggy drums (was he playin’ ‘em again?).

To his credit, Paulie’s style worked on her hit “Those Were The Days.” He managed to take a shitty song that had already been destroyed by many a folk trio in America, and turned it into a nostalgic Music Hall piece. Not bad considering the teen singing it was hardly old enough to be nostalgic over being weaned. Covering “There’s No Business Like Show Business" was also an irony considering the little bitch had only been in show business for a few months.

A one-shot wonder girl who nobody cared about after her first album. An old lady nobody but some pompous Atlanta citizens heard becomes famous for dying. The Lord moves in mysterious ways! You just can’t figure out what the hell the point of it all is. And that goes double for this blog.

MARY NAPKIN There’s No Business Like Show Business


Marilyn Monroe was smart. How smart? She turned down “The Blue Angel,” a remake of the film that starred the legendary Marlene Dietrich. Wave your candle in the wind all you want; she knew she didn’t have the singing chops for the role, or the sense of evil that Dietrich had. It didn’t matter which Dr. Jekyll was going to play opposite her (Spencer Tracy, first choice, Fredric March, second) she hid her creamy white hide.

And so the role went to May (pronounced MY) Britt, the blonde with the cheerfully homicidal look in her eyes. Britt is today best known for her controversial marriage to Black ’n’ Jewish Sammy Davis Jr. Had this film been a hit, she might be a mispronounced legend alongside Anita Eggbert or Ursula Undress. But my oh May, the memory of Dietrich was still strong. The remake was also disappointingly bland; the original had much more of a sado-masochistic overtone to it, and the moody black and white photography suited the agony a lot more than glossy technicolor.

But, as I once mentioned to Ms. Britt, there was NO WAY of overlooking the stills from that film. This was all I saw when I was a mere pubescent twit. (No, that wasn't last week, wiseguy). I didn't know the movie or May existed till I was maybe 14 or so, thumbing through some old magazines. I was pretty damn stunned by her buoyant poses in that black lace whats-it she was wearing. And, looking up, there was the straight blonde hair and the straight-forward confident look in those crescented eyes.

I made a mental note (the thumb tack hurt) that I should try and see this film one day. But that day was several decades off, as the film never seemed to be on TV, VHS or DVD.

I suppose it was wise of the producers not to have May try and cover Marlene's songs. Things were already getting tilted by having a Swede play the role of a decadent German.

What was needed was a HIT song for Lola Lola to sing on stage. It should be as cheerfully raunchy as "Oom Pah Pah" in "Oliver!" or as overtly sexual but cartoonish as "Whatever Lola Wants" in "Damn Yankees."

The chore fell to the team of Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Yeah, THEM again, the guys who gave the world "Buttons and Bows" and "Que Sera Sera" (to name items that first turned up in movies that needed a tune to help get people into the theaters).

Their attempt at a sexy but sanitary German cabaret tune is pretty silly, and failed to become the film's highlight moment. How misguided IS this bouncy song? When May calls out, “What’s your favorite pastime boys?” A FEMALE chorus squeals “Lola!” Then the gals all sing "Lola Lola lives for love, anywhere she finds it! Any time you want her love, Lola never minds it!"

Oof pah pah!

Even so, you can see (if not hear) that May Britt was the kind of woman who could stun any man, and maybe even an elephant. Oh, the poor professor in the film! He could've explained it this way: "I fell to the floor. I got down on my knees. I looked at her, and she at me...."


My Ms. Britt, here's to you in the month of May...


"I Love You Alice B. Toklas" The Blades of GRASS

We're heading into another "Summer of Bummers." We'll be hearing about record heat and humidity. We're already getting record sludge heaped on us by our do-nothing dumbass political leaders. They ignore climate change as they bicker with each rival in attempts to gain or regain power. What power? The power to rule, and make things worse. And yes, "there will be blood."

The traditional summer diversion is going to a beach full of screaming babies, barking dogs, and jackasses blasting boom boxes. Enjoy the stench of barbecued meat, salt water and pollution. It only takes half the day to get there and back, leaving you exhausted, spent, and burnt.

Plan b is hiding inside a nice cool movie theater full of screaming babies, barking mad idiots texting or talking on cellphones, and jackasses talking back to the screen or using laser pointers on any woman's titties. The stench of stale popcorn and the odds of gooey residue on your shoes or on your seat, will add to the joy of spending way too much time to get there and back. You'll leave wondering why you wasted money on that miserable stupid comic book hero movie where everybody does back-flips when they fight, and there's an explosion every 3 minutes.

Summer SUCKS. It always did, but many have nostalgia for, or wish they were alive during... "The Summer of Love." It was a more peaceful time, give or take a motorcycle gang stabbing, police cracking students in the head, and people overdosing on paisley.

A favorite song of the era was "Whiter Shade of Pale," sung by Boko Haram long before they went rogue and began raping and killing people in Nigeria.

Ah, but that was the time for hippie-dippie chicks who were into drugs and free love and looked and/or dressed like Leigh Taylor-Young. You had to just try and find them. At the beach. At the movies. Where the fuck were they? In a dorm room fucking somebody other than you!

There were some heavy movies back then, some anti-hero films, some radical stuff, some experimental things, and...uncomfortable sitcom movies trying to be funny and cool at the same time. "I Love You Alice B. Toklas" is pretty dated, but it did attempt to take a sympathetic look at nerds (young or old) trying to find meaning in life and trying to bang a hippie chick. Oh yeah, and wondering if drugs would be the Great Answer.

The movie can be summed up by its theme song, which is silly psych, more Captain Crunch than Sgt. Pepper. Auteur Paul Mazursky probably handled the minimal lyrics, while Elmer Bernstein did a Bacharach with the melody. And, nudge nudge wink wink, it was performed by The Blades of Grass.


Monday, May 09, 2016

William Schallert & Patty Duke: Don't Just Stand There --- Say Something Funny

In quite a coincidence, the Grim Reaper swung his scythe back and forth, and knocked off both Patty Duke and her television dad William Schallert.

The hard-luck Patty Duke, who battled a lot of physical and mental problems, was 69 when she died on March 29th, 2016. And now (May 8, 2016) William Schallert has died at the ripe old age of 93.

I was almost going to post on Patty back in March. The excuse would’ve been that as famous as she was (thanks to “The Miracle Worker” as well as her sitcom, her autobiography and her somewhat famous kids) nobody took her singing seriously.

But now that Schallert has passed on, it’s just too hard to resist some kind of homage to both of them. And so I offer the musical advice, titles of two Patty Duke songs, “Don’t Just Stand There…Say Something Funny.”

Patty was pretty funny. She was just a teenager when she took on the very daunting job of playing TWO roles in a demanding sitcom. She played “identical cousins…different as night and say.” The rave-up theme song, which some could probably sing by heart, talked about how cousin Cathy was fairly demure but the other? “Our Patty loves to rock and roll! A hot dog makes her lose control!”

Please, don’t conjure up any smutty images. Thank you.

Yes, for some baby boomers, Patty was the ideal girl you’d want to date. Or be. Depending on who you were. Or what you were. The stand-out in her TV family (which included a tolerable brother and a pleasant enough mother) was her understanding Dad, as played with restraint and wit by William Schallert.

I had a chance to thank the great Mr. Schallert for his many and versatile TV appearances. What a genuinely nice man. One of his first TV sitcom roles was as Mr. Pomfritt, an English teacher trying to deal with Dobie Gillis and Maynard G. Krebs: “You ready, my young barbarians?” No, they generally weren’t.

Fan favorite characters Bill played include “Nilz Baris” in the infamous “Trouble with Tribbles” episode of “Star Trek,” “Carson Drew” in the “Nancy Drew Mysteries” starring Pamela Sue Martin, and the hilariously old and frail Admiral Hargrade on several “Get Smart” episodes.

So often the character actor supporting a big star, Schallert did take the lead as “Filbert,” in 1964. Unfortunately the pilot episode didn’t get picked up for a series. In 1979, Bill took on a completely different type of role: he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. The following year, he led a strike, which lasted three months. In a strange twist, he was ousted by Ed Asner, who had complained that Bill wasn’t radical enough. After two terms, Asner stepped aside for somebody new…Patty Duke!

Patty Duke could be the subject of many paragraphs, but lets get back to her brief foray into music. When her sitcom was popular, she was naturally asked to get into the studio and start singing. It was quite a surprise when her first single emerged, the dark “Don’t Just Stand There.” It seemed like something donated by Leslie “You Don’t Own Me” Gore. It wasn’t exactly light-hearted. And neither were most of the other tunes she recorded, even the comically titled “Say Something Funny.”

Let's "Say Something Funny" about these two great entertainers, who worked so well and so often, through TV's golden era and beyond.

Say, many find “The Patty Duke Show” still funny. For many, say "Patty Duke" and there's a smile, with the sitcom being the first memory. As for William Schallert, when he had a good comedy role (he also had a big share of serious ones and even got to be a villain now and then), he made the most of it. He was very, very funny too.



The last gasp from The Ivy League Trio has turned out to be an enduring death rattle, the lp "Folk Songs from the World of Edgar Allan Poe."

The trio had been signed to Decca's Coral label, and given a chance with two albums and a pair of peculiar singles (disappointing material not on their two fine long-players). A few years later, and with Ronn Langford replacing Bev Galloway as the bass voice, they somehow got a deal with Reprise to record an album of songs based on Poe's stories and poems.

The "Famous Monsters of Filmland" horror craze was still going on (the album was even sold via an ad in the back of that magazine) and folk acts were still popular (including Peter Paul and Mary). Somehow this fine album didn't quite get the attention it deserved.

At least one fan (Greg Kihn) has listed this as a very influential album. He recorded a kind of homage to Edgar A. Poe (as he billed himself, never EDGAR ALLAN POE) via an update of the poem "Annabel Lee." In his semi-retirement from rock, Kihn found an interest in writing horror novels.

As for the Trio, two survive: Langford's had a lucrative career in the world of car racing, and Bob Hider became a skilled photographer.

The Ivy League Trio re-wrote and excellently arranged the original material given them by their new record label. The album ranges from poignant ("Eleanora") to spooky ("House of Usher") to ludicrous ("Tell-Tale Heart" re-written as a Western!) to "The Pit and the Pendulum" which falls in between. It combines lusty folk balladry with over-the-top guignol as one might expect (and even demand).

The "Pit and the Pendulum" is actually well-suited to an under 3-minute treatment. The basic horror is a guy strapped down and looking up at a swinging, ever-lowering, sharpened pendulum. How do you stretch out a short story like that into a feature film? Roger Corman tried (so we include Vincent Price in the photo above) but he had to add a lot of filler. Ironically, one of the better if more obscure versions was "Teat and the Pendulum" from the 80's porn mill TAO. Their ten minute 8mm version featured a very busty and jiggly nude!

"Folk Ballads..." is one of the finest ill folk song albums, and if you like "Pit and the Pendulum" then reward the record dealer who has been waiting for years to unload it on someone, cheap.


Carroll O'Connor - REMEMBERING YOU

"It's all over now." I mean, the controversies over "All in the Family," and those charges of promoting bigotry. Today, the show is remembered, if at all, as a "classic." Some episodes are still very funny, even if too many are dated. Even the show's theme was pretty dated. Most listeners had no idea what "Gee our ol' Lasalle ran great" meant, and barely knew the Dodgers once played in New York.

Much of the show's success was due to Carroll O'Connor, but he modestly said his "Archie Bunker" character was merely a cross between Jimmy Cagney and Jackie Gleason.

During the run of "All in the Family," O'Connor was inspired to write lyrics for Roger Kellaway's closing theme song. Kellaway, a jazz pianist more in the Steve Allen mode than Errol Garner, conjured up a pretty nice melody. O'Connor was inspired to add wistful love-lost lyrics. The opening lines: "Gotta feeling it's all over now, all over now, we're through. And tomorrow I'll be lonesome remembering you..."



Lester (“Lee”) Waas (May 18, 1921-April 19, 2016) wrote one of the world’s most annoying jingles. So he's "saluted" here. (You were expecting a sniveling end-of-the-world post on the demise of Prince, the world's greatest entertainer? Or one on David Bowie, whose death had previously been declared the end of the world??)

Routinely called a Pavlovian mind-control stunt, a pernicious earworm, and a pain in the ass, the Mister Softee music (with or without words) is embedded into the brains of many, many people who resent it, and would never EVER buy one of these unhealthy, fatty, sugary desserts even if they were starving.

The TV commercials (featuring happy idiots singing the lyrics) were bad enough, but the jingle itself was absolute torture. It was unavoidable on many a hot summer night as the ice cream truck, parked on the street for an hour, would repeat the music box theme OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER. Easily heard a mile away, the Pied Piper tune instantly had the neighborhood rodents screaming at Mommy for money, and then marching out to ze truck. They lined up, wide-eyed and sweaty, to get their sugar rushes from turd-shaped soft ice cream cones and grotesque plastic platters of banana splits and various blobs of glop.

I vividly remember in the 70’s, living in a cruddy area where there wasn’t a store for several blocks, and none open in the evening. It was just the vulnerable area for a Mister Softee truck. Like a Great White Shark looming out of dark water, the big white truck emerged from the humid, misty darkness, its presence foretold by the LOUD and PERSISTENT melody searing the quiet of the night.

Looming into view very slowwwwly, that jingle was more persistent than a ringing phone, audible over a conversation, music or the TV. From six-story walk-up tenements to dilapidated private houses, ferociously hungry brats, not sated by a fridge full of Breyer's and Sealtest ice cream pints would seethe into the street, chittering and squealing while the tune kept playing AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.

Even if you LIKED that sickening junk food, unless you were under 14 (along with your IQ) you had to resent the intrusion of Mister Softee and that aggravating audio version of a smiley-face coming into your life and staying for an HOUR or more, several times a day. One could get very phobic about when it would ruin your concentration. It was especially tormenting at night; you’re home from work and want to relax and here’s that naggy naggy naggy tune OVER and OVER, AGAIN and AGAIN.

Like telemarketers calling five times a day, this invasion of privacy was considered just fine: “Wuddya complainin’ fer? Dey do a soivice. Ya got hunreds a guysss who’re makin’ a livin’ fer dere fambalees. Quit kickin’.”

Thanks to new technology, Mister Softee trucks were able to pollute the air by amplifying a simple music box. By the 70’s and 80’s, the music boxes were replaced by taped versions which were WORSE. The machines would overheat in the hot, humid air, and the jingle would repeat with a skip, or the last notes would speed up, or the tune would echo with a hoarse whine. It was worse than Chinese water torture with a drippy drain, since this monotony was now fiendishly altered into a disturbing, unnatural cadence. OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

For years, the only revenge was making jokes about a Mister Softee employee’s erectile dysfunction.

Started in Philadelphia in 1956, the trucks annexed more and more cities and states, conquering towns as far south as redneck-loaded meth-addled Florida. Der Softees franchised over 600 trucks during their prime reign of terror in the 60's and 70's. Maybe they were not as big as Good Humor and their old-fashioned ice cream cones (comedian Jack Carson starred in a movie called “The Good Humor Man” in 1950) but this icy bunch became the most notorious hell on wheels.

(Dis-honorable mention goes to Carvel, a soft ice cream chain of stores that offered the worst non-singing commercials in the world. Senile, raspy-voiced marble-mouthed Tom Carvel nattered about “Fudgie the Whale” with all the charm of a child molester tickling a child under its chin.)

What about rules against noise pollution? Sorry, but in most places there were NO ordinances against this torture. After all, politicians didn’t want to pass a law that would hurt THEMSELVES: around election time, many employed a truck that blared a jingle or had a barker use an amplified loudspeaker to tell the citizens to VOTE VOTE VOTE.

Today, urban sprawl means it’s easier to get ice cream and other fixes of sugar and fat via fast food joints and bodegas open all night. Mister Softee trucks, like Fuller Brush sales people going door to door, are almost obsolete except in rural areas, or lousy neighborhoods where store owners risk their lives staying open. In New York City ten years ago, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the trucks to cease and desist with the “music.” Even so, in poor areas of Brooklyn or Queens, the scofflaw trucks keep right on blasting the tune.

To this day, there are plenty of obese morons who smile the minute they hear the jingle, consider it cute, and have coconut skulls so dense they don’t mind if the truck parks and plays that tune OVER and OVER while others, suffering in the smothering humidity, have to shut the window to keep their sanity.

The man who inflicted all this torture? Lee Waas had been a pilot in the Air Force during World War II. After several odd jobs, he decided he could be an ad man, and set up his own agency. If a client wanted snappy copy, he could provide it. A slogan? Sure. A singing commercial? Well, why not! Waas came up with hundreds of jingles for use on radio and TV that nobody remembers. He was proud that the Mister Softee song became iconic, whether sung in TV commercials or used in music box form. You get samples of both, below.

Waas (who married a woman named Wasserman) tried to parlay his Mister Softee fame and fortune by shoe-horning his way into other areas of pop culture. In the mid 60’s he called attention to himself as the President of “The Procrastinators’ Club of America.” In one hilarious stunt, he and his followers marched through the streets of Philadelphia protesting the war…of 1812. Ha ha, they took so long, the war was already over, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, ha ha ha ha. Ho ho ho. Hee hee hee.

MISTER SOFTEE TRUCK JINGLE Try listening to this for a solid fucking hour on a hot humid night

MISTER SOFTEE TV COMMERCIALS What nostalgia. Next, let’s look at movie footage from concentration camps


As sales for sugary soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi actually diminish slightly, and wary consumers choose variations on mineral water, "sparkling" drinks and other items that aren't loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners...we harken back once again to an earlier age.

"Funny Face" drinks (along with Kool-Aid and Keen) made kids HYPER. They (drinks and kids) were loaded with sugar. Add a snack to your "Funny Face" drink (a Little Debbie, a Ring Ding, a Sno-Ball, a Mounds bar) and you could run around and play all afternoon. Then what? Then come home and have a tall glass of Bosco or Cocoa-Marsh or Mountain Dew, and a Swanson TV dinner, and you'd be jumping up and down and cartwheeling like you were doin' the Freddie, begging to stay up for "Man from UNCLE" and even "The Tonight Show."

For most kids, the most popular flavor of the "Funny Face" drinks was GRAPE. Among slightly more "normal" or affluent kids, there was Welch's Grape Juice. Most certainly, any peanut butter and jelly sandwich required Welch's Grape Jelly (which you could empty pretty quickly, saving the container as a wonderful juice glass).

As you see from the above, there were plenty of "send away" premiums available on "Goofy Grape," including a kite and a sweatshirt and even a pillow.

Mr. Grape, and the other flavors, were voiced by that era's genius, Solomon Hersh, better known as Paul Frees. Yes, "Goofy Grape" (and the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ludwig von Drake, Boris Badenov, etc. etc.) was Jewish. Mr. Grape sounds a bit like Paul's "Captain Peachfuzz," who was based on comedian Ed Wynn. Paul was a man of a thousand voices, so he had no trouble making Goofy Grape pretty unique (complete with giggle).

Unlike the other Jewish man of a thousand voices, Mel Blanc, Paul Frees could do kid voices and even quasi-female voices. You get a sample of a kid voice via "Freckle Face Strawberry." Somehow the song manages to skirt the issue of how "funny" it is to be a freckle-faced kid by keeping him an actual strawberry, proud of his markings. I don't think there was a female "Funny Face," although "Chinese Cherry" was somewhat of an androgyne.

It's worth mentioning (since it's my blog) that Frees voiced "Daphne" in "Some Like It Hot." It's his most famous female voice. You thought Tony Curtis did a remarkable job changing his voice? Not by half. While Jack Lemmon had no trouble being a zany-voiced woman, Curtis couldn't master a convincing vocal. Paul Frees never revealed the secret that Curtis jealously kept. Finally, when Curtis was in his 80's, and it was common knowledge (thanks to Frees fans and some trivia-minded film buffs) Tony wrote a book on the making of "Some Like It Hot." He dropped a bare one sentence mention that "Daphne" was dubbed by Frees. If you were skimming for more paragraphs on Marilyn Monroe, you might've missed it.

"Here we are, back with you again..." (no, no, that was sung by Kukla Fran and Ollie), here's Goofy Grape, Freckle-Face Strawberry and a chorus...singing about the FUNNY FACE DRINKS.

Goofy Grape (Paul Frees) HOWDEE!

Freckle Face Strawberry (Paul Frees) I GOT 51 FRECKLES

Paul Frees and the Funny Face Choir The Drinking Song