Two for Tuesday: Allan Sherman

When I was a kid of about eight or nine, my two favorite musical acts were The Beatles and Allan Sherman. I thought Allan was hilarious. I had two of his albums, My Son, The Celebrity and Allan In Wonderland, and played them pretty much non-stop, or at least until Mom stopped me.

Allan wrote and performed parodies of popular songs. The song “Alouette” became “Al ‘n Yetta”: “Al n’ Yetta/always sit togedda/watching TV/every single night.” He parodied everything: show tunes, popular tunes, folk tunes, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, even setting words to classical themes. His one big hit, 1963’s “Camp Granada (Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh)”, was set to Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours,” a theme heard in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. After that, his career faltered, and by 1965 he slipped into obscurity again.

Allan made eight albums altogether. Here are a couple of samples of his artistry. Our first tune today comes from his 1965 album My Name Is Allan, a parody of “Chim Chim Cheree” from the movie and stage show Mary Poppins. The video has some amazing animation, by the way.

Our second tune is from 1964’s Allan in Wonderland, “Green Stamps,” a parody of the 1929 song “Aquellos Ojos Verdes” by Adolfo Utrera and Nilo Menendez (translated to “(Those) Green Eyes” by Eddie Rivera and Eddie Woods in 1931).

I checked on YouTube and nearly all of Allan’s albums are available there, so stop by there and hear more of him (the two albums linked above take you to those albums).

Allan Sherman, your Two for Tuesday, April 8, 2014.