Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas vacation, will you ever come Backus?

Here's a little something that was also part of my childhood collection of 45's. It comes from the talented voice of Jim Backus who was the best known voice for Mr. Magoo, a character that is indelible in my TV heritage, product of the 50's/60's that I am. Here again, the quality is poor as I never handled these little records thinking I might one day care about recording them into digital format to share on a blog out in "inter-space". But the primary purpose for posting this now is because of the connection kids typically have between the Christmas season and a break from school...a vacation. So here I present "I Need A Vacation" by Mr. Backus, also known as Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island among many other memorable and well loved characters (Jim died in 1989). I remember bringing this 45 to college one year so we could play it over the cafeteria PA system. It got a good laugh that time and has always been fun to give a listen. I have included the better known flip side of the single, "Delicious!" which is included on the 1974 CD called "Jim Backus The Comedy Classics" (ITP Records). So if you like this stuff, buy the CD, but "I Need A Vacation" is not on that CD or available anywhere else that I know of. The quality of my recording of "Delicious" is really poor, especially over the first half for some reason, but you've got to admit, you just can't listen to it without laughing out loud at some point, even with all the scratchy background. I just listened to it twice and was crying both times (as in laughing). The female part in "Delicious!" is not identified on the record label and from what I have read it sounds like it was rumored to be Phyllis Diller, and it does sound quite a bit like her. However, the sources I've read now declare the sexy lush to be none other than the great Hermione Gingold (not so great to you if your not at least my age). She and Jim are something special on this outrageous recording. But the vacation song is a lot of fun too and this may be one of the only places you'll find a recording of it, so enjoy it, send it to college with your kid and enjoy the short vacation this Christmas. This music reminds us all that you've got to have fun, be a little crazy, remember to laugh and smile...


Jim Backus (with Mort Garson and his Group) -
"I Need A Vacation" -
1958 - 45 rpm - Jubilee #45-5330 (45-JB-11322)

Jim Backus and Friend (Hermione Gingold)
with Appleknocker and his Group - "Delicious!"
1958 - 45 rpm - Jubilee #45-5330 (45-JB-11321)

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