Joe Yule Jr.
:: Mickey Rooney - Mr. Wha Da Ya Want ::
I kinda paid too much for this, but when I heard it, I wasn't disappointed. I don't really care that it's autographed, but then again that never hurts. What it comes down to is, this is a very good Christmas record. Full of good humor, subtle arrangements, good song selections and plenty of personality.
Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. in 1920 to showbiz parents. With a name like that, I have no idea why his name was eventually changed to Mickey Rooney, but you know Hollywood. Anyway, he has been in the business since birth, and God love him, he's still at it at 85. I won't bore you too much with the obvious stuff, but I will say that Mickey Mouse was named after him, he was married to Ava Gardner among many others, he's five foot three and he loves ponies.
This album was made in 1979 and was basically self released. There's a letter from Mick inside the sleeve with his home address on the letterhead. Apparently the record was available through mail order only, so I suppose he probably autographed every copy of the album he mailed out. I really am struck by the level of professionalism on each and every track. The album starts out with 3 original Rooney compositions, followed by chestnuts (roasting) like White Christmas and The Christmas Song (written by Mel Torme who also wrote the liner notes), plus a few new songs written by the likes of Jerry Hall (?!) and R. Elsmo. No musician credits are given but we can thank producer J. Michelle Scott for giving this record a timeless quality uncharacteristic of most recordings of that era.
Mr. Wha Da Ya Want is the lead-off track and is by far the silliest song on the album (although not the only silly song). I wonder, is Mickey Rooney a national treasure? He should be. And although he titled the album Merry Merry Micklemas, I think he should have used his real name this time.