:: Red Ingle And The Unnatural Seven - Serutan Yob (A Song for Backward Boys And Girls Under 40) ::
:: Red Ingle And The Unnatural Seven - Oh! Nick-O-Deemo ::
Growing up, some of my favorite songs from my Dad's record collection were by Spike Jones and Red Ingle. These records were great stuff for a little kid, because they were funny, and funny in a way that a kid could "get" without any sophistication, let alone life experience. Both acts spoofed music, but in Jones' case it was jazz, classical and the pop music of the day, but Ingle went straight for a seemingly easier target: Hillbilly music. The thing I didn't realize at the time was that Red Ingle was in Jones' band before he formed The Natural Seven, and in Spike Jones' band, Red was the star attraction.
The pride of Toledo, Ohio (or at least in the early part of the 20th century), Ernest Ingle was a child prodigy, playing violin at age 5, saxophone at age 13. In the '30s while playing in Ted Weems' band, vocalist Perry Como commented that Ingle was "one of the most talented men I'd ever met." But his talents went beyond playing instruments. He brought a vaudevillian aspect to each band he played in, his sense of humor being irrepressible.
So it was a perfect fit when, after a stint in the service during WWII, he joined Spike Jones & His City Slickers. By that time, Jones and his band were well established, but the addition of Ingle made them more popular then ever. Ingle introduced a new theatricality to the band's stage presentation, and his amazing vocal effects helped push songs like "Chloe" into mega-novelty-song-hit territory.
After about 3 years, Ingle had a pay dispute with Jones, and they parted ways. Ingle drifted about, sitting in with various bands, then he cut a spoof of the chestnut "Temptation", renaming it "Tim-Tayshun", and hit paydirt. The female vocalist on the tune was Jo Stafford, calling herself Cinderella G. Stump. Jo Stafford is a very interesting character to me. A big band singer, she delighted in using a nom de plume like "Cinderella G. Stump" and totally fucking with people's heads. Later on, she'd team with her husband, "easy listening" pioneer Paul Weston as "Jonathan & Darlene Edwards", with Weston screwing up on piano and Stafford amazingly singing just sharp of the note she was supposed to be hitting, which is not an easy thing to do. But anyway, I'll have to post some Jonathan & Darlene sometime. Oh shit, I'm rambling now. Tony's gonna kill me.
Anyway, the thing I like about Red Ingle and The Natural Seven is that they consistently stayed in Hillbilly mode. Ingle began most of the songs with a rhythmic salutation followed by a mouth fart, then the band kicked in. Sure, these are jazz musicians making fun of Hillbilly music, but I sense some love for the genre as well. I couldn't resist buying this 78 when I found it, knowing the only 78 in my Dad's collection was "Tim-Tayshun", so these two songs make a nice addition. And Cinderella sounds great on "Serutan Yob" ("Natures Boy").
Ingle slowly eased himself out of show biz until Spike Jones asked him to redo "Chloe" with him in the mid-60s. Both men died within months of each other in 1965 and the song never saw the light of day. Why do most of my articles end with the subject dying? Maybe I should do more recent material.