:: Foster Brooks - My Family ::
Foster Brooks was a stand-up comedian who got laughs not necessarily because his joke were funny. Frequently they weren't. What was funny was his delivery. A former drinker, he would stagger out on stage, stammer, slur and belch his way through his set, then stagger back off stage. The best part about Foster Brooks was that he never broke chraracter when it came to playing the "drunk guy", until he made this record.
Foster made another record called "The Lovable Lush" on a major label sometime in the mid-70s. This one appears to be self-distributed on the Lush Records label. You might notice on the album cover, the marquee was altered so that the headline act's name is partially and rather unartfully covered by a "Live From Las Vegas" banner, otherwise you might think it's a Juliet Prowse record. You might wind up wishing it was a Juliet Prowse record too.
Side one is Foster's drunk guy comedy set, but side two is something different. It's a side of Foster you wouldn't expect, unless you watched the Merv Griffin show a lot. Seems he fancied himself a bit of a singer. He warbles out "Please Release Me" and "My Way" and basically makes you want to die. And then there are the poems. His poems.
Foster Brooks was born in 1912 and began work in radio in the early 1930s. Eventually (once it had been invented) he moved to TV as a newscaster. In the '60s he did some bit part acting on TV and started to get to know some of the Hollywood elite of the day, like Dean Martin and Perry Como who found his drunk act to be quite hilarious. By the time he became a household name, he was almost 60 years old.
With this poem, "My Family", we get to know the real Foster Brooks, a big nice guy with a crazy beard and a liesure suit who loved being loved by a lot of people. This kind of sincere, irony-free material doesn't exactly play well these days, or did it ever? Anyway, he had fond memories of being naked in a tub with a bunch of dudes, so that's cool.