Friday, April 10, 2015

Freberg Day

Stan Freberg, known for his satirical comedy records and funny advertisements, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88. Freberg takes much of the blame for how my sense of humour "turned out", as evinced by the double digit numbers of CDs I started collecting in high school after finding an LP of Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America on my parents' shelf.

Freberg was writing music and voicing cartoon characters as recently as last year although his later material, such as a 1998 song comparing Monica Lewinsky, Tara Lapinski, and Ted Kacsynski, was not as strong as his stuff from the 60s.

To give you a laugh on this rainy Friday, here are a few of my favourite Freberg recordings:

  • This commercial for Chun King Chow Mein will convince you to eat it every night of the week. (1:00 MP3, 475KB)
  • Great Pretender mocks banal musical accompaniments through a character that reappears in several of Freberg's satires, the subversive jazz pianist. (3:22 MP3, 1.5 MB)
  • Round, Round World, from his magnum opus musical on American history tells the tale of Christopher Columbus and King Ferdinand of Spain as they set sail for Miami. (5:35 MP3, 2.5 MB)

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