Getting Bob & Ray out of my system for the week…

Well. Never let me hear a word against Amazon’s shipping policies. I ordered the Bob & Ray CDs, they told me they’d arrive around the 17th, and lo and behold, here they were at my door yesterday, a full week ahead of schedule. I am chuffed.

Haven’t had time to actually listen to most of the stuff – 4 discs’ worth! – as yet, but am already enjoying the brief glimpses. The one difficulty with the bootlegs is that they by and large jump straight from crazy-wacky-cool young dudes in 1950 to older-and-wiser pros in 1960. It’s nice to hear the transitional bits.
Also kind of interesting, as when former Boston ‘newscaster’ Peter Gorre (Bob, eerily authentic) shows up on their national broadcast merely to say hi, presumably because their new corporate masters would blink at his delivering such trademark headlines as “Eeeeeen happier news, only vone man vas keelled attempting suicide today…”

I can report that Ray’s Joseph McCarthy imitation likewise really is that good. As Bob points out in his short intro to these skits, it was actually the authenticity of the accent that inspired the parody. Which probably explains why, as one rather excitable article points out, they never do get around – at least, not onstage – to condemning the man, exactly. Instead they pinned him to the wall just by showing him to the world as he was, not as he liked to think of himself. A far crueler fate, for Sen. McCarthy, than any direct assault.

On a cuddlier note, there is Ray Jr.’s visit to the Boston studio in December 1948. “Goin’ inno town ‘n’ see Sanna Claus,” as he explains to his loving but slightly flustered dad, whose scion has just toddled within mic range during a live broadcast. (The liner notes insist he’s four, but given his parents weren’t even married until mid-1945…let’s go with about two-and-a-bit.)

He- er, Junior, that is – really has the most adorable voice, that kind of uber-innocent clarity that I did not think existed outside of Andy Hardy movies. The whole thing has kind of a family-movie vibe, which of course he and Bob – himself very obviously childless at this point – do not fail to mock.
Junior does a pretty good job of mocking his own cute, actually, refusing to sing, or say anything else beyond ‘Gonna see my daddy! Hi, my daddy!”. Then he almost knocks over a microphone and objects loudly when ‘Mama’ hurries to collect him (“He’s mistaken his mother for a microphone…Ray is setting him straight…now he leads with a left…she counters with…” At this point Ray hurriedly suggests they just get on with it.)

…All right, all right, I have to get to bed now anyway. But it was really cute.


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