Obtuse Ingle

:: 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.


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Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:37:00 PM

Red Ingle rules! Tony found a copy of his Bear Family comp at Amoeba for me which has the GREAT "Moe Zart's Turkey Trot" on it.

I am ashamed that I didn't know he was from my hometown of Toledo until I read the liner notes.


Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:11:00 PM

Dude, if I may call you, "dude", you make my day with your posts. Virtually everything you post, I play on the radio the following day and this little ditty is no exception.

And I always give shot outs to the the record robot. Thanks yet again....    

Friday, April 21, 2006 8:34:00 AM

You can call us "dudes." Thanks for reading, and the kind words, We do try to listen to the webcast of your show when we can. Your enthusiasm is awesome. Rock on!    

Sunday, April 23, 2006 12:24:00 PM


I LOVE the Red Ingle! My girlfriend has heard his take on "Temptation" before, though she never dreamed that it was Jo Stafford singing. Funny, she says she always thought Stafford sang flat, and here you're saying she would sing sharp on purpose! Hmmm... Could you please post "Tim-Tayshun" if you have it?? And, yes, please, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, pant, drool.

John Tenney    

Saturday, April 29, 2006 4:05:00 PM

WAHOO! I thought I would never hear this song again! I, like you, had a father that played me Red Ingle and Spike Jones. I found an .mp3 of Serutan Yob last summer, and it was the creepiest thing, as I didn't remember the song, but I knew how it went...

What an interesting blog you have. You make a great contribution.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006 12:34:00 PM


I have just heard Serutan Yob on BBC radio 2 in England. I had never heard of Red Ingle before. Marvellous stuff!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007 3:50:00 PM

Oh my word, the memories of my Dads' old 78 records. I learnt Serutan Yob off by heart. Unfortunately the recors was broken. Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of this recording, mp3 or whatever. I must have it soon    

Monday, November 19, 2007 1:41:00 PM

Can anyone tell me the entie lyric of Serutan Yob? All I can remember is "he was kinda shy with one bad eye, but a real wise guy was he."
What fun!    

Saturday, May 03, 2008 8:30:00 PM

enrohtwah on "Serutan Yob" was Hawthorne, a zany DJ who passed away a few months ago. His narrative:"This boy I mean was oh, so peachy keen, a real gone guy from gonesville. He was scatty boo and ooglety, too, and he lived in Pasahogan. He built his nest in a big oak tree and -- I gotta skip down there -- " and I've lost the rest of the narrative, sorry.

Karen Tedder (not Jo Stafford as Cinderella G. Stump; Stafford encored on Ingle's "Prisoner of Love Song") sang "Serutan Yob."

Thar was a boy, a plumb enchanted boy, they say he wandered fur, yes he wandered fur, over land and see. He was kind of shy with one bad eye, but a real wise guy was he. Theeeeyen one day, this jasper passed my way, and man, he through some guff about things and stuff, and he done said to me. He said the greatest thing you'll ever learn is how to love and then return and love some more and get a little lovin' right back."

The irony of "Serutan Yob," though, was that Red Ingle himself, not his musicians, appeared on the record. It was recorded during a musician's union strike, and there were no union musicians on that side of the record. Tedder, Hawthorne and his crazy instruments (the Hogantwanger, for example, was made of tuned hacksaw blades), and the Pasadena Community College ukelele band provided the music. Carling Washburn, a writer/producer of comedy material, shepherded the project through, and you'll note on the label it's billed as Red Ingle and the Unnatural Seven, whereas all of Ingle's remaining work was done with the Natural Seven. The flipside, "Oh, Nicodemo," had been recorded prior to the strike.

I struck gold when I found a the Bear Family CD from CollectorsChoice music ... should be available at the Collectors Choice website. Great stuff from 60 years ago ...    

Saturday, May 03, 2008 8:32:00 PM

Oops ... "he threw some guff"    

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