SONGS AND MORE SONGS BY TOM LEHRER marks the first-ever CD release of the original Songs By Tom Lehrer 10" LP, the biggest-selling humorous music album of the 1950s, plus the follow-up More of Tom Lehrer and all four of Lehrer's recordings with orchestra. Added bonus: a brand-new Lehrer performance of "I Got It From Agnes." Liner notes by Dr. Demento and Tom Lehrer. $15.98 plus shipping.
HENRY PHILLIPS: On the Shoulders of Freaks
These days, Henry's songs get almost as many requests as Weird Al's. $11.98 plus shipping.
BARNES & BARNES: Voobaha
The Barnes boys' first album, including "Fish Heads," "Cemetery Girls" and "Linoleum," plus scads of bonus tracks including the first song they ever sent to the Dr. Demento Show, which the Dr. refused to play at the time. From Oglio Records. $11.98 plus shipping.
OGDEN EDSL: Mower of the Ogden Edsl
"Dead Puppies," "Kinko the Clown," "Daddy's Money" and many never-before-released tracks by these legendary Nebraska nut cases. From Oglio Records. $11.98 plus shipping.
ALL THESE CD'S ARE NOW AVAILABLE FROM THE DEMENTO SOCIETY. USE THE HANDY ORDER BLANK ON PAGE 3. Sorry, these titles have not been released on cassette.
On the last weekend in June I'll be taking part in the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, NY (near Albany). I'll be doing a couple of afternoon programs of music and videos, and MC'ing a concert on Sunday, June 29 featuring Utah Phillips ("Moose Turd Pie") and many other fine acoustic performers.
Info: (518) 765-2815. And on July 5th I'll be doing my Sci-Fi Dementia show at the "Inconjunction," a sci-fi con at the Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis, IN. For info about that event write Inconjunction, PO Box 19776, Indianapolis, IN 46219, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is $25 until June 1 and $30 at the door.
Meanwhile we'll keep getting demented on the radio every week...keep those requests coming!
As an artist working with another artist, developing ideas with Dr. Demento is definitely the best of working conditions. Having been an artist for major TV and motion picture projects, I can tell you that the deadlines can be pretty rough, not to mention hectic. But Dr. Demento is an artist and that makes the Dr. easy to work with.
You see, many times an artist like me will submit several different ideas about the next project. The difficult part is finding the little gems of ideas that are usually hiding among the multitude of rough drawings and sketches. The easy part is that Dr. Demento always finds positive points about my submissions and, as usual, he finds a variety of ideas from the various sketches. Once we decide on the main idea based on the bits and pieces of the presentations, the rest falls into place very well, making my job look a lot easier.
During the many years I have known Dr. Demento, I have never heard him say anythinig unpleasant about anybody, and that demeanor extends into our relationship as well. It does not matter how late I am or how pressed we are to meet a deadline, The Dr. always has a pleasant attitude, good judgment and a good word of encouragement.
His many years as a real professional in the show business industry are displayed at every working moment.
Speaking of working moments...the Dr. seems to be in perpetual motion. (It sometimes makes me wonder...does the man ever sleep?) As many years as I have worked in different show biz arenas, I recognize him as the pro who understands what it's like to focus and dedicate himself to his work constantly. You can believe it when I say those of us who have had the privilege to work with Dr. Demento find him an inspiration.
Since 1993, Arthur Chadbourne has been Artistic Director for the Demento Society, designing the Society's CD and tape packaging, T-shirts, bumper stickers, buttons and other goodies.
DANA LYONS: Cows With Guns
Dana Lyons comes from a long tradition of troubadours who have raised our political and environmental consciousness with eloquent songs, often brightened with incisive humor. Most of this CD is quite serious, but the highly original, hilarious title track is our most requested song of 1997, so far. Great graphics, too.
REIGNING RECORDS, PO BOX 2627, BELLINGHAM, WA 98227.
Christine Lavin Presents LAUGH TRACKS -
Volumes 1 & 2
Humor has always meant a lot to Christine Lavin. Recently she assembled more than 20 like-minded fellow singer-songwriters for two evening of funny songs at the Bottom Line, a well-known New York nightclub (where Weird Al and I have also appeared several times). Each singer does one song (often with a spoken intro as comedic as the song itself). Contributors include Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, The Foremen, Lou & Peter Berryman, Andy Breckman, Don White, Chuck Brodsky and The Chenille Sisters, many of whom you'll recognize from the Dr. Demento Show and various volumes of our Basement Tapes. Great good-natured fun. SHANACHIE RECORDS - IN STORES (try the "folk" section). WEB: www.shanachie.com
THE SIMPSONS: Songs In the Key Of Springfield
Why do people tape every Simpsons episode? One reason is the music. Many episodes contain elaborate musical sequences with original songs or clever covers sung by the regular voices and/or celebrity guests, often well worth hearing again and again. Here are 39 of the best, selected by the show's musical director, Alf Clausen. Great liner notes by Clausen and show creator Matt Groening.
RHINO - IN STORES. WEB: www.rhino.com
TOON TUNES: 50 Favorite Classic Cartoon Theme
All together on one handy dandy CD...original theme songs from 50 different TV cartoon series, from Howdy Doody and Popeye to Animaniacs and Ren & Stimpy! True couch-potato nirvana. Many tracks are also available elsewhere, but not all. Should be a great party starter (and the liner notes could win you a few trivia contests!) KID RHINO - IN STORES.
WALLY PLEASANT: Wally World
We were delighted to have Wally as a guest on the show again recently. On his fourth CD, the pride of East Lansing, Michigan offers more of his jaunty, unpretentious little songs with deliciously warped lyrics. "The Day Ted Nugent Killed All The Animals," "Amusement Park Death Song," "Rumble at the Karaoke Bar," etc. MIRANDA RECORDS, PO BOX 1024, EAST LANSING, MI 48826. WEB: http://web.egr.msu.edu/~kingjere/wally.html
JUNIOR'S ARMY: Cars Don't Rust In Outer Space
From Otho, Iowa (pop. 581) comes an entertaining, well-produced CD of rowdy rock & roll with funny lyrics. Apparent influences range from Zappa to various arena rockers; there's a lot of musical variety here. Don't miss their backhand salute to the geriatric Rolling Stones. JUNIOR'S MOTEL, RT. 1 - BOX 138, OTHO, IA 50569. WEB: http://www.sky.net/~scare
TONY GOLDMARK: You Bug Me!
"Songs Guaranteed To Bug Your Parents" is the apt subtitle of this CD of ten short songs by the precocious pre-pubescent singer, who also wrote many of the tunes including "I Know You're a Fish" -- "the only song by any songwriter in history...to tackle the sensitive issue of flushing a fish down a toilet" according to the liner notes by columnist Dave Barry. DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB RECORDS, PO BOX 27901-120, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94127.
BILL MUMY: Dying To Be Heard
This is not a humorous CD, but many DSN readers will be interested. Bill Mumy, of course, wrote and performed "Fish Heads" and countless other supremely Demented songs as part of the duo Barnes & Barnes (with Robert Haimer). This is a set of beautiful, often quite melancholy Mumy originals. A fine singer and musician, Bill plays nearly all the instruments himself. On "The Ballad of William Robinson," Mumy imagines the little boy he portrayed on TV's Lost In Space in the 1960s as a man now his own age. Bill's young son Seth, now following in Dad's footsteps as a successful kid actor, helps out on keyboards. INFINITE VISIONS -- TO ORDER, CALL 1-800- 755-8735.
THE STAN FREBERG SHOW: The First 7 Episodes
Did you know CBS, NBC and ABC all started out as radio networks, before television was available? Every evening they offered sitcoms, crime shows, game shows, and variety shows, along with news and sports. In the 1950s, all that shifted to TV, and radio became a whole new medium dominated by 24-hour recorded music. The Stan Freberg Show, which debuted in July 1957, was the very last new comedy series to be introduced on prime-time network radio, and it lasted only fifteen weeks...but what a glorious swan song it was. Using the talents and collaborators that had made him America's #1 comedy record artist of the mid-1950s, Freberg devised comedy dramas whose ambitions and scope went far beyond what was possible on 45 rpm records. Many have called The Stan Freberg Show the greatest radio comedy series of all time. This reasonably priced ($34.98) four-CD set has the first seven shows plus an entertaining "audio foreword" recently recorded by Mr. Freberg and other cast members; a second volume with the remaining 8 shows is "forthcoming." Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with this release: the thin and boxy sound quality, far inferior to the out-of- print Capitol LP releases of excerpts from these shows, which were originally taped on state-of-the-art equipment in Hollywood's finest studios. Oh well, you can always pretend you're hearing them on an authentic 1957 $9.95 portable radio. RADIO SPIRITS, INC., PO BOX 2141, SCHILLER PARK, IL 60176.
Attention Star Trekkers: William Shatner's classic (?) LP The Transformed Man, and Leonard Nimoy's equally epochal debut LP Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space have both been reissued in their entirety on CD by Varese Sarabande Records, 11846 Ventura Blvd., #130, Studio City, CA 91604. The Nimoy CD also contains the Star Trek-related tracks from his second LP, The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy (but not, alas, "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"). Watch for Varese Sarabande's forthcoming CD of music from the legendary Ernie Kovacs' TV shows of the 1950s.
Also heard on the Dr. Demento Show...
"Wanna Wacka Weenie" by MALONE & NOOTCHEEZ, from the CD Two Heads (Lone Cheez Productions, PO Box 2383, Coppell, TX 75019)
"Stroke It" by THE VOODUDES, from the CD Wake the Dead (The VooDudes, PO Box 1413, Highland Park, NJ 08904-1413)
"The Hockey Song" and "Lost My Teeth" by THE ZAMBONIS, from the CD Play-Off Fever! (Dot Dot Dash, PO Box 1971, New York, NY 10009)
"Mothra" by THOSE DARN ACCORDIONS, from the CD No Strings Attached (Globe Records, PO Boix 5523, Mill Valley, CA 94942). (note: this CD contains a very brief cameo by "Weird Al" Yankovic)
"French H2O" by TRACY & THE HINDENBURG GROUND CREW, from the CD Margaret Dumont (Action Box Records, PO Box 10423, Burbank, CA 91310)
"Yellow Septran Bus" by ROD MYERS AND THE RAMPS. Gumps On Medication Cassette available from Rod Myers, 5850 Strath Moor Dr. #2, Rockford, IL 61107.
"All My Friends Are Drug Fiends" and "The Dog Ate the Baby" by BOBBY JOE EBOLA AND THE CHILDREN MacNUGGITS, from the CD Two Cats EP (Smiling Pug Productions, PO Box 21588, El Sobrante, CA 94820-1588)
"Zsa Zsa" by RICHARD GOLDMAN, from the CD Girls N' Cows (Gadfly Records, PO Box 5231, Burlington, VT 05402)
(Please continue to send orders to our post office box - PO Box 884, Culver City, CA 90232).
While you're online, check out the "Doctor Is In" web page, maintained by Jeff Morris and several other devoted Dementites. This is an "unofficial" page, which means the Demento Society does not own or control it, but it has tons of amazing resources including a list of stations carrying the show, a database of songs we've played going back to the early 1980s, artists' addresses, and a quick and easy form for making instant requests ("Very" Keri Maijala is in charge of that). The URL is
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!