Wednesday, December 26, 2012

YEAR:  1966
LABEL:  Piper
TRACK LISTING:  Dickory Doc Theme - Introduction with Doc,  Choo-Choo sings "Playmate",  Doc & Jingle Jim sing "A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go",  Mr. Bigsby sings "ABC Song",  Doc & Little Jock sing "Frere Jacques",  Doc & Professor Schnitzel sing "Schnitzelbank",  Doc sings "The Fox",  Doc Is Visited by Supermailman - Supermailman Does "Tap Dance",  Doc Visits Abby - Doc & Abby sing "On Top of Old Smokey",  Doc Visits Puffy - Puffy sings "Puff the Flameless Dragon",  Doc & All His Friends sing "Happy Birthday",  Doc Bids Farewell and sings "Closing Theme"
IMPRESSIONS:  I was too young when I got this record to remember when it was but all accounts point to it being when it came out in 1966 so this must be my candidate for the first album I ever owned.  In fact, though I must've been plopped down in front of the TV to watch the show during it's run on local Philadelphia station Channel 48 from 1966-1969, I don't really remember the show other than from this record.  But naturally, this album is something of a treasured relic from my childhood.  So imagine my chagrin when my mother accidentally stepped on it and broke the record off at the first two tracks!  I was understandably heart-broken since this is not the kind of album one could find again; there was never going to be a re-issue of it on vinyl, cassette or cd owing to its extreme obscurity as a children's TV show long-forgotten.  It was only about 10-15 years ago due to the intraweb and Ye Olde Ebaye that I finally managed to track down a copy once again and now I can hear once again the entire nostalgic album - particularly the first song duet by Dickory Doc & Choo-Choo called "Playmate".  I absolutely love this song - in fact, my fondness is so great that I am sometimes moved to tears when I hear it.  This no doubt stems from my always having known this song as from the earliest age and that it was probably the very first "favourite song" I ever had in my lifetime.  There is just something so melancholy about the song; I've heard it in several other versions (the song originates from the 1940's, I believe) but this wonderful rendition by Dickory Doc and his puppet Choo-Choo remains definitive to me.  So once again, I draw your attention to the distress I felt when this was one of the songs that was broken off the outer rim of the record album and I could no longer hear it for decades.  Then imagine my joy upon finding another copy of the record and hearing it again after all those years!  
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Oh, come on!  Could it be anything else but all of 'em?!?!?!  With "Playmate" leading the way?
FACT SHEET:  DICKORY DOC & ALL HIS FRIENDS is a  record deriving from the children's programme produced by Kaiser Broadcasting on Philadelphia's UHF WKBS Channel 48 from 1966 to 1969.  Aldo Farnese played Dickory Doc who ran a toy shop at the North Pole making toys for Santa Claus with his puppet assistants Choo-Choo, Professor Schnitzel, Jingle Jim, Little Jock and Mr. Bigsby the Buka Bird.  Supermailman (Chic Laganella) would fly in every day delivering the mail and occasionally Doc would visit Abby the Adorable Snowman and Puffy the Flameless Dragon.  After the series ended, Farnese and Laganella continued with a children's programme featuring Adam Android which took place on a spaceship and used some of the Dickory Doc puppets.

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