Thursday, September 20, 2018

Your Thursday Moment of Steve Destroying What's Left of His Street Cred Forever

Okay, this is a very weird story, so please bear with me.

Of late, I've been going to sleep while listening to old radio episodes of The Jack Benny Program over at the invaluable INTERNET ARCHIVE. I've been a Benny fan since I was a kid, but totally because of his television work; the radio stuff, which I hadn't heard until recently, turns out (for my money) to be even smarter and funnier.

One of the best things about the show is the ensemble cast, and that includes crooner Dennis Day, who is absolutely hilarious in the comedy sketches. That said, however, when I was a sprout I absolutely detested Day's musical numbers. All that Irish tenor crap just made me cringe; I considered it the worst kind of cornball kitsch sentimental ickiness on God's green earth. And don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate lots of pre-rock pop -- c'mon, early Sinatra? You'd have to be a complete moron not to dig that. But Day, and all that in Dublin's fair city shit? Beyond the pale as far as I was concerned.

But a funny thing happened in the last few months -- listening to the Benny shows, I began to really really look forward to Day's non-comedic performances. And it's starting to freak me out.

Exhibit A: From 1951 (and an episode of the show I listened to for the first time last Tuesday), here he is singing a song (that was apparently a hit for him) entitled "Mary Rose."

Okay, call me a doddering old fluff, but that really gets to me. For starters, the song is genuinely sweet, and the orchestral arrangement -- especially the Irish flutes and strings on the instrumental break -- is lovely. And for another thing, Day's voice is objectively beautiful and he's geniunely musical; his phrasing is great.

I think what I'm saying is -- I'm getting really ridiculous in my old age and somebody please shoot me now. I mean, if you had told my twenty-something self that I would be grooving to this record in my declining years I would have assumed you were huffing drugs too potent for me to have even imagined.


Jai Guru Dave said...

You should take one of those Anscestry DNA tests. It will probably turn out that you are Irish somewhere back in the generations. That would explain the pull of the penny whistles.
I have Welsh anscestry; but I decided a while back that I should probably refer to it as "Celtic". It seemed a little cooler.

steve simels said...

I actually did take one of those tests. I thought I was Polish/Russian, but it turned out I'm actually descended from some weird prehistoric flightless bird.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

as walt whitman said, "do i contradict myself? very well, i contradict myself - i am large, i contain multitudes" - or something along those lines - this is from memory, not a net search

you are large - larger than you may have thought - by letting go of a smaller self you are able to appreciate a wider variety of the human experience - it is, as i am pretty sure you already know, something to rejoice in

thanks for mentioning that jack benny radio shows are available - i didn't know that

thinking of jack benny reminds me, somehow, of the movie la la land, which i saw last week

although it's not part of the power pop portion of his oeuvre, this morning i was thinking of todd rundgren's song/video "change myself" - as stuff keeps happening in the outer world, some of it not necessarily to our advantage, it reminds me that it's worth paying particular attention to that part of the world that is at least partially under our control

Jai Guru Dave said...

Almost forgot: You're a doddering old fluff.

Ken J Xenozar said...

Good lord. I think you may need to call for concussion checkup. Next thing you know, you will raving about this: