Tuesday, January 15, 2013
TRACK LISTING: Take Me Out To the Ballgame (excerpt) - Doc & Merle Watson, Who's On First? - Abbott & Costello, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - Les Brown & His Orchestra, Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song) - The Treniers, I Love Mickey - Mickey Mantle & Teresa Brewer, Van Lingle Mungo - Dave Frishberg, D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh, Really? No, O'Malley) - Danny Kaye, Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? - Count Basie & His Orchestra, Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech July 4, 1939 - Lou Gehrig, Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry) - Bill Slayback, Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Bruce Springstone, (Love Is Like A) Baseball Game - The Intruders, Willie, Mickey & the Duke (Talkin' Baseball) - Terry Cashman, The Land of Wrigley - Stormy Weather, A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request - Steve Goodman, The Ball Game - Sister Wynona Carr, Baseball Dreams - The Naturals with Mel Allen, Baseball Card Lover - Rockin' Ritchie Ray, Tommy Lasorda Talkin' About Dave Kingman - Tommy Lasorda, We Are the Champions - Big Blue Wrecking Crew, Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World October 3, 1951, Casey at the Bat - DeWolf Hopper
IMPRESSIONS: I hate baseball. As someone once said, it's like watching farming. Only less exciting. So why on earth would I have not one but TWO volumes of BASEBALL'S GREATEST HITS. Well, because I like music. And BASEBALL'S GREATEST HITS contains music. And some really fun songs too. One day I may get around to posting about Volume Two but Volume One here has some major musical stars (and some really minor ones, too) as well as some historic radio broadcasts. I don't care if you are apathetic about baseball (as am I); no one can listen to Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" broadcast without getting a thrill! Some great novelty songs by major acts are here like Les Brown's catchy "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" or Teresa Brewer's duet (?!) with Mickey Mantle himself. Or how about Danny Kaye doing what he does best twisting his tongue into pretzels; my late friend Peg liked that song. And this cd contains one of the greatest songs ever in Dave Frishberg's "Van Lingle Mungo" which has one of the best stories behind it: jazz pianist Frishberg was going to make his first ever vocal album in 1970 and he wrote two different lyrics to some music which both were rejected by the record label. At a loss, Frishberg spied a copy of "THE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA" lying nearby and he decided to use as lyrics some of the goofiest names of real ball players; only two words in the song are not baseball players' names! Magic! Steve Goodman was actually dying of cancer when he made his both funny and poignant "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" for his perpetually losing team. So there's no need to have even the slightest interest in baseball to enjoy this terrifically entertaining album.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Who's On First? - Abbott & Costello, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - Les Brown & His Orchestra, Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song) - The Treniers, I Love Mickey - Mickey Mantle & Teresa Brewer, Van Lingle Mungo - Dave Frishberg, D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh, Really? No, O'Malley) - Danny Kaye, Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? - Count Basie & His Orchestra, Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech, A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request - Steve Goodman, Tommy Lasorda Talkin' About Dave Kingman, Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round the World
FACT SHEET: BASEBALL'S GREATEST HITS is the first of two cd collections put out by Rhino Records featuring songs and audio clips about baseball.