Song Of The Day 4/12/2015: Spike Jones & His City Slickers – “William Tell Overture”

You Pick the Artist III: For the third time I’m leaving my fate in your hands… well, let’s be honest, this isn’t just the third time I’ve tried to divorce my own motives and pawn responsibility off on somebody else. It’s not even just the third time this month. That’s why I’m chained to a tetherball pole in Burien right now. What I mean to say is, this is the third time I’ve left the artist selection for Song Of The Day in other people’s hands for a week. Last Wednesday I casually asked my Facebook associates to give me seven artists. If I was familiar enough with their work, I’d pick my favorite, or at least one of my very most favorite, song(s) and put each of them up here for a week. This has settled into a nice, biennial tradition here, as well as a great source for parimutuel bets in penal institutions. I can’t wait. Hey, I don’t have to wait. I can start this right now.

Brooks Martin gave me Spike Jones. For you millennials, this isn’t the same gentleman responsible for the movie Her or those old Beastie Boys videos your dad watches late at night on YouTube with the tinge of professional jealousy in his eyes. This is Spike Jones, the first great musical parodist of recorded music history, who came calling to me via the Dr. Demento radio show in my youth. Jones and his City Slickers were prophets of sheer exuberance and a very genuine passion for music of all forms. He needs a biopic. There’s gotta be room in the budget for bicycle horns and mouthwash.

It’s pretty impossible to determine my favorite Jones work; up until a few minutes ago I was going with “My Old Flame.” There’s also “The Man on the Flying Trapeze,” “Chloe,” the once-controversial “Der Fuehrer’s Face” and, of course, without question, no doubt, “Cocktails for Two.” But I chose the “William Tell Overture,” because in one fell swoop you get a good exhibition of all the tools Spike held in his arsenal better than almost anything else he did. With the possible exception of “Cocktails for Two.” In fact, why I don’t I just leave this here as well:

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