Spike Jones  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911, Long Beach, CaliforniaMay 1, 1965, Beverly Hills, California) was a popular musician and bandleader specializing in performing satirical arrangements of popular songs. Ballads and classical works receiving the Jones treatment would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and ridiculous vocals. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, the band toured the USA and Canada under the title, The Musical Depreciation Revue.

Contents

Influence

There is a clear line of influence from the Hoosier Hot Shots, Freddie Fisher and his Schnickelfritzers and the Marx Brothers to Spike Jones — and to Stan Freberg, Gerard Hoffnung, Peter Schickele's P.D.Q. Bach, The Goons, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, Mr. Bungle and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Billy Barty appeared in Yankovic's film UHF and a video based on the movie.

Syndicated radio personality Dr. Demento regularly features Jones' music on his program of comedy and novelty tracks. Jones is mentioned in The Band's song, "Up on Cripple Creek". (The song's protagonist's paramour states of Jones: "I can't take the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk.") Novelist Thomas Pynchon is an admirer and wrote the liner notes for a 1994 reissue, Spiked! (BMG Catalyst). A scene in the romantic comedy I.Q. shows a man demonstrating the sound of his new stereo to Meg Ryan's character by playing a record of Jones' music.

In 1997, singers Artie Schroeck and Linda November directed a production in Atlantic City entitled "The New City Slickers Present a Tribute to Spike Jones", with a band that attempted to re-create the style and humor of Jones' music.


Discography

Popular recordings


Sources

Notes by Peter Gamble from Clink Clink Another Drink CD by Audio Book & Music Company, ABMMCD 1158.

Further reading

  • Corbett, Scott C. (1989) An Illustrated Guide to the Recordings of Spike Jones. Monrovia: Corbett. No ISBN.
  • Mirtle, Jack. (1986) Thank You Music Lovers: A Bio-discography of Spike Jones. Westport; Greenwood Press ISBN 0-313-24814-1





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spike Jones" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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