Gone Digital: Spike Jones, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, David Frye, and The Credibility Gap
If it’s Tuesday, then it must be time for Gone Digital, our weekly look at five albums which may not even realize are part of Rhino’s digital catalog. This week, we’re doing something a little bit different by focusing solely on one genre – comedy – but don’t worry, nothing’s changed: when it comes down to it, we’re still all about variety!
• Spike Jones, SPIKE JONES IN STEREO (1959): This album stands out in the Jones catalog for featuring songs which are all horror-related. Appropriately, Jones brought in some notable names to provide vocal assistance, including Paul Frees, Loulie Jean Norman, and Thurl Ravenscroft, all three of whom you can still hear on Disney’s The Haunted Mansion ride to this day.
• Flip Wilson, COWBOYS & COLORED PEOPLE (1967): Although he’s come to be known more for his variety show than his stand-up, this LP shows how great Wilson’s chops were, and while it may be a bit dated, it’s still pretty darned funny.
• Redd Foxx, FOXX-A-DELIC (1968): Known far and wide as “the King of the Party Records,” Foxx was still several years away from getting his big mainstream breakthrough with Sanford and Son when he released this LP, which is decidedly cleaner in both sound and material than most of the stuff that made him a stand-up legend. It doesn’t matter, though: his distinctive voice and great delivery will make you laugh loud and long even without as many obscenities.
• David Frye, I AM THE PRESIDENT / RADIO FREE NIXON (1969 / 1971): Much like Vaughn Meader’s career revolved almost entirety around his impression of JFK, Frye’s biggest success involved his ability to mimic the voice of Richard Nixon. This pairing of his two best-known Nixon-centric LPs is funny, but we’re most partial to the version of “My Way” that wraps up the proceedings.
• The Credibility Gap, A GREAT GIFT IDEA (1973): Even if you don’t know this sketch comedy group, you’ll almost certainly recognize the voices of several of its members, including Harry Shearer (The Simpsons) and Michael McKean and David L. Lander, otherwise known once upon a time as Lenny and Squiggy. Additional trivia that Rhino readers will appreciate: Lowell George and Richie Hayward both play on the album. Nice coup!