It's the best one yet...here's what you get:
As always, you also get a DISCOUNT COUPON good for your next order of Demented CD's, records, tapes or T-shirts.
You can RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP AT ANY TIME AND GET THE NEW 1995 PACKAGE RIGHT AWAY. Your membership will be extended for an additional 12 months past the original expiration date.
(For instance, if you originally joined in September 1994, and you renew now, your membership will be valid through September 1996).
The 1995 membership is $15.95 -- including all postage and taxes.
SPOOKY TUNES AND SCARY MELODIES features TV's Fresh Prince and his partner DJ Jazzy Jeff doing "Nightmare On My Street," "Weird Al" Yankovic's horrific epic "Nature Trail to Hell," the urban contemporary sounds of Whodini's "Haunted House of Rock," Warren Zevon's rocking "Werewolves of London," some R&B blasts from Halloweens past including "Bo Meets the Monster" by Bo Diddley and "Castin' My Spell" by Johnny Otis and a real collector's prize: Allan Sherman's "My Son the Vampire," an ultra-rare 45 which was never on any of Sherman's albums and is making its first-ever appearance on CD or cassette. "He drinks blooood!" cries Sherman in his best Bela Lugosi voice. "Doesn't everybody? Have a glass."
SCARY STORIES is one to listen to by flickering candlelight, in a room quiet enough to hear the stirrings of the specters along with the nuances of the narrators. Five of the seven stories are by Edgar Allan Poe. Legendary actor James Mason reads "Shadow," while the amazing Theodore (a well-remembered denizen of late night TV in the not so long ago) casts his spell on "Berenice." "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" are brilliantly recreated by Nelson Olmsted. The mighty Boris Karloff offers "The Vampire Sleeps." A special highlight for many listeners is the American folk tale "The Golden Arm" as told by today's preeminent traditional storyteller, Jackie Torrence. All but one of these tracks are from albums that have been out of print for many years.
Both albums are available at a special low price -- $7.98 for CDs, $4.98 for cassettes.
Holiday time is box set time, and this year is no exception. Funny-music fans have three big ones to choose from. We admit to holding a special place in our demented heart for Permanent Record: Al in the Box by 'WEIRD AL' YANKOVIC (Scotti Bros. 72392 75451-2). Not only is Al the all-time most popular artist on the Dr. Demento show -- he also asked me to do the liner notes, and spent many pleasant hours telling me his entire life story (at least the parts I didn't know already). You'll find my 12,340 words in the lavish booklet along with about 200 rare photos. Al himself picked his 50 favorite songs, ranging from his famous men's room tape of "My Bologna" to his latest hit, "Headline News."
(Collector's footnote: Some copies of the box mistakenly include a later full-band recording Of "My Bologna" instead of the accordion-only original. Scotti Bros. Records has offered to let owners exchange these "mistake" discs for ones with the proper version; contact the company for more info.)
THE INSTANT MONTY PYTHON CD COLLECTION (Virgin CDBOX 3) contains eight complete original Python albums on six CD's. It's quite the bonanza; none of the eight albums had ever been released on CD in the USA before this. One of the eight is Monty Python Live at Drury Lane, the group's best live album, never before released here in any form.
Since this box represents a fairly major investment, there are a few things potential buyers should be aware of. One: it does not include the first Python album, the one with the original Dead Parrot sketch (though there is a live version of that). Two: The box has a 40-page booklet which is full of photos and song lyrics and other funny stuff but has none of the background information you expect with a big box set. Three: Most CDs are set up so if you want to hear one particular song all you have to do is figure out what track number it is and you can go to it right away. Not so with this box. The only places you can start play on any of the six discs is at the points where the original LP sides started. For example, if you want to enjoy the Matching Tie and Handkerchief album all the way through, no problem, but if you just want to play the Cheese Shop sketch or the Bruces song, that takes some effort, and if you don't have a "search" or "fast forward" on your player you're out of luck. (For what it's worth, the CDs of several individual Python albums released in Britain a couple of years ago are the same way).
The EMI label has a PETER SELLERS box containing most, if not all, of his comedy recordings for that label. At presstime I haven't yet had a chance to review it in depth, but it does look wonderful.
In England, EMI has released a series of three CD's containing the virtually complete works of the legendary BONZO DOG (DOO-DAH) BAND, Britain's top musical funsters of the 1960s. Titled Cornology, they're available individually or as a set. EMI also offers Recycled Vinyl Blues with "How Sweet To Be an Idiot" and other post-Bonzo gems by alumnus NEIL INNES (who would go on to be one of The Rutles). Look for these in the import racks.
Many listeners have asked where they can find a copy of "Penis Envy" ("If I had a penis I'd...") by UNCLE BONSAI. The FCC has levied hefty fines against stations that have played this track, despite its complete lack of four-letter words or other true obscenities (could it be the feminist content of the lyrics that gets some people upset??) Anyway, Uncle Bonsai has split up, but two fine CD's of their work, one a best-of containing "Envy" along with "Cheerleaders On Drugs," are available from Yellow Tail Records, 9102 - 17th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98115-3212 -- phone (206) 525-3546. Andrew Ratshin, the group's main writer (yes, he co-wrote "Penis Envy") has continued as a solo acoustic act, calling himself the Electric Bonsai Band (!), and his recent songs are also available on Yellow Tail CD's along with other quality muslc.
Another ribald ditty much sought after is "The Rodeo Song" by Garry Lee and Showdown ("You p**s me off, you f****n' jerk") which was included (with bleeps) on my out-of-print Demento's Mementos album. You can now hear it in all its unbleeped glory along with nine other rowdy rave-ups by various artists on a CD called The Copulation Compilation, released by Mobile Record Service Company, 2716 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Phone 412-391-8182.
I'm not a huge consumer of instrumental film soundtrack CD's but one I enjoy immensely is The Beau Hunks Play Little Rascals Music (KOCH International 3-8702-2). The Beau Hunks, a Dutch orchestra, have painstakingly reconstructed the original arrangements of 50 of the lively and charming little tunes heard as background music during these familiar show films (originally known as the "Our Gang" comedies), and recorded them in state-of-the-art stereo. They previously did the same for the Laurel & Hardy themes written by the same composer, LeRoy Shield; the 2-CD L&H set on the Movies Select Audio label from Holland is well worth searching out through import dealers.
THE RUDY SCHWARTZ PROJECT of Austin, Texas is a band whose mix of satiric lyrics and adventurous, intricate music reminds many of Frank Zappa -- but the R. S. P. has an even more eclectic and varied mix of musical influences. While we await their new CD, due in 1995, we can enjoy a generous selection of the Project's early work on the recently released Salmon Dave (c/o Joe Newman, PO Box 4542, Austin, TX 78765).
The most eclectic CD of the past few months has to be White Men Can't Rap (Rhino R2 71750) which brings together, on one disc, Lorne Greene's "Ringo," C. W. McCall's "Convoy," and tracks by Jack Webb, Jimmy Dean, Tex Ritter, Lenny Bruce, Phil Harris, and Napoleon XIV, plus a song from the Broadway show My Fair Lady. What these improbable discmates have in common is -- all the tracks feature white people talking to music, but definitely not rapping in the 1990s sense. This fascinating, enlightening collection is part of Rhino's mid-price Spy Magazine Presents series.
Whimsical Will models the Dr. D T-shirt
Daws was the epitome of show-business genius. He lent his voice to hundreds of commercials, comedy records, and most notably TV and movie cartoons. He created dozens of the best-known cartoon voices of our time, such as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw and Elroy Jetson. In the Land of Dementia, Daws is perhaps best remembered for his records with Stan Freberg, including "St. George and the Dragonet," "Little Blue Riding Hood" and "Elderly Man River."
My association with Daws began in a Disney recording studio on 1975, when I was voicing the role of Christopher Robin in a series of "Winnie the Pooh" recordings. Daws, who provided the voice of Owl, became interested in my background and plans for my future in the industry, and invited me to attend a voice-acting workshop at his home studio.
Daws spent much of his time as a teacher, tutoring young actors and actresses in the use of their voices. He gave of his talents most generously, always just a phone call away for career advice, and ever ready to schedule an "emergency" session to review a script for a last-minute audition call. I studied under Daws for more than a decade, as he remained active in the industry until 1988, when he passed away at 71.
It was Daws who, in a roundabout way, introduced me to Dr. Demento. In September 1980, several of Daws' students organized a surprise gathering in appreciation of his generosity and achievements, and invited everyone who had worked with him.
Stan Freberg was there, reminiscing with Daws about their early days with the 1950s TV puppet show Time for Beany and its producer Bob Clampett. Dr. D was also there, as Daws had been a guest on his radio show. I'd been a big fan of the show for several years, and recognizing the Doc from a record album cover photo I introduced myself.
Dr. Demento and I talked for a long time, and he wound up inviting me to visit the broadcast the next weekend. The rest is, as they say, history!
As you listen to the Demented News you'll often hear samples of Daws Butler's work. It's my way of paying tribute to a man who was and will always remain a most powerful creative force in my life.
On a recent episode of THE SIMPSONS Bart and Lisa hear a bit of the show on a radio. (The episode is titled "Sideshow Bob Roberts").
On BOBBY'S WORLD, the children's series starring Howie Mandel, the animated figure of Dr. D appears in little Bobby's vivid imagination as he awaits a tonsillectomy. (The Doctor also supplies the voice of a talking lion in the same episode).
Watch for the re-runs!
(Please do not send song lyrics alone -- the Doctor can only use material in recorded form).
All Rhino releases -- comedy, rock, R&B, country and the utterly unclassifiable -- are available by mail. 132-page catalog $2.49. Order by phone - 1-800-432-0020. Or call 1-800-546- 3670 and speak with the Rhino music experts..
GET YOUR FRIENDS TO WRITE LETTERS TOO. Get a bunch of them to sign a petition! Many radio executives are simply not aware how many people enjoy Mad Music and Crazy Comedy. Let 'em know!
The Doctor thanks vou.