The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artists in Action #508


Jerry Lewis Just Sings
(Decca Records; 1956)

12 comments :

estiv said...

In response, shortly thereafter Frank Sinatra released his album of nothing but jokes. It was equally memorable.

Mr DeBakey said...

Jerry Lewis
Singing
That would be Special

Donna Lethal said...

I once cleared a houseful of lingering Thanksgiving guests with this charmer.

Christopher said...

LOL! Donna

VibroCount said...

Never Smile at a Crocodile!

James Walsh said...

This must be out of print. I would love to listen to it although I am not crazy about Jerry Lewis.

Max Allan Collins said...

It's not bad -- Jerry had several hits, doing essentially his take on Jolson. This had to do with establishing himself on his own after Dino left -- Dino was known to do jokes, you know.

Those of us who lived through the '50s and '60s can appreciate Jerry better. We recall that Martin and Lewis were the Beatles of comedy, and that Jerry was a hit-movie-making machine, logging in such genuine masterpieces (THE LADIES MAN, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR). The French were right about his genius.

Tommy O'C said...

Thanks for setting the record (pun intended?) straight, Max.

Within three weeks (according to Shawn Levy's King of Comedy), "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody" reached Number Ten on the Billboard charts. It stayed in the Top 40 for 15 weeks and sold 1.4 million copies. The album itself peaked at Number Three on Billboard and sold a quarter-million copies.

At the time, Dean Martin had not had a hit album (and would not have one crack the Top 40 until 1964) and only "That's Amore" and "Memories Are Made of This" had sold as many copies as "Rock-a-Bye." Industry insiders dubbed the album "Music to Get Even with Dean Martin By."

Richard Gibson said...

I too would like to hear this.

swac said...

This was actually released on CD at one point (I think a smaller label licensed it from the current home of Decca, Universal Music). I have original vinyl of it, along with the follow-up LP, titled More Jerry Lewis.

Maybe I should post the sucker...

swac said...

Also, Jerry recorded a number of novelty records for Capitol in the '50s, but they were mostly comedy/children's recordings. Fun stuff though, and readily available on CD.

Maria Jensen said...

Rock a Bye your baby with a dixie melody ;)

Maria