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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weird Music Wednesday: Spike Jones and The City Slickers "You always hurt the one you love"

I love Spike Jones and his whole crew. His wacky wakikians, his City Slickers, all of them. I started listening to his music when I was small. Every summer back in Vermont, my Aunt Ella and cousin Beverly owned the records and we'd listen. It was fodder for my avid imagination. When I'd listen to the music I'd sit and imagine all the chaos going on around the band. I grew up with a fair amount of Lawrence Welk and Looney Tunes and frankly, that's what Spike Jones and his crew were, combined, only with a big helping of musical genius.
I love this tune. There are two versions here. I recommend them both. The first version here is an actual recording of Spike's crew singing the song. The second version is an audio recording that I'm the most familiar with.
In the black and white video are Paul Mousie Garner (with the bowl haircut) Sir Frederick Gas (with the frizzy hair), and Luther "Red" Roundtree. 

Here is some info on the illustrious genius that was Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones and his crew. I loved them all.

Spike Jones' father was a Southern Pacific railroad agent. Young Lindley Jones got his nickname by being so thin that he was compared to a railroad spike.[citation needed] At age 11 he got his first set of drums. As a teenager he played in bands that he formed himself. A railroad restaurant chef taught him how to use pots and pans, forks, knives and spoons as musical instruments. Jones frequently played in theater pit orchestras. In the 1930s he joined the Victor Young orchestra and got many offers to appear on radio shows, including Al Jolson's Lifebuoy Program, Burns and Allen, and Bing Crosby's Kraft Music Hall.[citation needed]
From 1937 to 1942, he was the percussionist for the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, which played on Bing Crosby's first recording of "White Christmas."[1] Spike Jones was part of a backing band for songwriter Cindy Walker during her early recording career with Decca Records and Standard Transcriptions. Her song "We're Gonna Stomp Them City Slickers Down" provided the inspiration for the name of Jones’s future band, the City Slickers.[2]
The City Slickers developed from the Feather Merchants, a band led by vocalist-clarinetist Del Porter, who took a back seat to Jones during the embryonic years of the group.[citation needed] They made experimental records for the Cinematone Corporation and performed publicly in Los Angeles, gaining a small following. The original members included vocalist-violinist Carl Grayson, banjoist Perry Botkin, trombonist King Jackson and pianist Stan Wrightsman.[citation needed]
The band signed a recording contract with RCA Victor in 1941 and recorded extensively for the company until 1955. They also starred in various radio programs (1945–1949) and television shows (1954–1961) on both NBC and CBS.

During the 1940s, prominent band members included:
The band's 1950s personnel included:

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