Thursday, October 8, 2009

Strolling down musical memory lane

Mr. David Barlow of Ephraim, Utah, mentioned Spike Jones in his comment on my Mitch Miller post. Actually, he mentioned Spike Williams and I wondered aloud if he meant Spike Jones and he allowed as how he did. Since I am constantly grasping at straws to come up with new subjects for my posts, a post on Spike Jones suggested itself almost immediately. I was only too happy to oblige.

Spike Jones and The City Slickers was the name of a a band that was not to be believed, back in the Dark Ages. If you are of a certain age you may remember Spike’s contributions to mankind. And if you’re not of a certain age, it is high time that you became aware of some of them. Here are just a few:

Sabre Dance

Cocktails For Two

William Tell Overture (Illustrated)

You Always Hurt The One You Love (Pantomimed by someone other than RWP)


The first half of that last one shows that the City Slickers could be a real orchestra when they wanted to be. The last half shows that they could never be a real band no matter how much they wanted to be.

Spike Jones and his City Slickers brought a little fun and laughter to what Tom Brokaw has called “the greatest generation.” You remember them. They were the folks who weathered the Great Depression and won World War II and brought us all into the world and tried to give us a better world than they had. I think they probably deserved to act a little silly every once in a while. They earned the right. That pantomime guy, however, may have crossed the line once too often.

Not your cup of tea, you say? Just wait. Another post will be along in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.


  1. I remember Spike Jones well, as do most of us "old codgers" (can females be "codgers?".)

    I always liked the "honk-honk" of the (assumed) bicycle horns in his arrangements. I think it must have been great fun for otherwise serious musicians to play that sort of stuff.

  2. spike who??????david barlow who?????i must have oldsheimer's disease

  3. Pat, it is my considered opinion that females can be "codgers." Present company excepted, of course.

    The "honk-honk" of the bicycle horns made me think of a handbell choir.

    Putz, you are being especially "codger"-like today!

  4. But it was my cup of tea and I do remember.

  5. I love all this "old" stuff. (Some things are timeless, though). I actually played in a handbell choir for years. That takes coordination! My new favorite William Tell Overture tuned song is Anita Renfroe's "Momsense."

  6. ARgh. Once again, it was not my beloved MDW, it was me, Rosezilla, i.e. Tracie!

  7. Thanks, Dr. John, for remembering. I do, too.

    Thanks, MDW/Rosezilla/Tracie (I knew it was you), I played in an adult handbell choir for a little while, until the church that had let our church use their $6,000 set of handbells wanted them back.

  8. Ah,Spike Jones...Spike Jones? The name sounds familiar...sort of rings a bell. Is he the one with the bright purple spiky haircut I passed on the street last week?