Gangsters & Pranksters: Postscript

As always seems to happen, as soon as I wrapped up the last part of Gangsters & Pranksters, I either learned about or was reminded of several things that I might have liked to include. Foremost among them is this one, which is from a bizarre album called Songs of Couch and Consultation:


Says Allmusic:

Jazz saxophonist Bud Freeman came up with the idea for Songs of Couch & Consultation, a cult classic comedy album that pokes fun at psychoanalysis and psychiatric jargon. Freeman wrote a dozen songs’ worth of lyrics, which Leon Pober set to music and Bob Thompson arranged. Katie Lee, an extraordinarily pretty folk singer who previously recorded an album for Specialty called Spicy Songs for Cool Knights, was brought in to sing and pose for the cheesecake album cover. The songs describe an assortment of neuroses and psychiatric conditions in a variety of musical styles, delivered with a heavy dose of hand-wringing self-scrutiny. There’s ragtime, big-band blues, and even cowboy music as Lee coos her way through topics such as schizophrenia, repressed hostility, and maladjustment.

I also forgot (to my great shame) about the Bonzo Dog Band’s “Ali Baba’s Camel,” which begins with this snappy verse:

You’ve heard of Ali Baba
Forty thieves had he
Out for what we all want
Lots of LSD

Musically this song is pretty wackadoo, even by Bonzos standards, and so would have been hard to mix in with other stuff.


But I probably would have segued it into or out of John Holt’s “Ali Baba”:


And while we’re at it, let’s listen to King Tubby’s dub version, just because it’s awesome. That will be all for today. Class dismissed.

Gangsters & Pranksters III, Part 4

Year: 2021
Original Format: mp3

For those of you with Too Much Time on Your Hands, I have put together a YouTube playlist covering the entire Gangsters & Pranksters series. It is not comprehensive — I only included things that have a moving visual component — but it’s not a bad way to while away an hour or three.


If you prefer to stick with the old-fashioned audio, here you go. Playlist is after the jump, as always.

Continue reading “Gangsters & Pranksters III, Part 4”

Gangsters & Pranksters III, Part 3

Year: 2021
Original Format: mp3

Ringo in the “Back Off Boogaloo” video, looking like the world’s grooviest Yeti.

The nice thing about the “& Pranksters” part of this concept is that if you loosen your mind enough, you can squeeze in just about anything. I took some liberties here but the result sounds pretty damn good, to my ear at least.

Continue reading “Gangsters & Pranksters III, Part 3”