Wednesday, January 13, 2021

WACKY WEDNESDAY: The Funny Side of Foster


Today, January 13, 2021, is National Stephen Foster Memorial Day, honoring the great American songwriter of the mid 1800s, who died on this day by his own hand in 1864 at the age of 37.

It's also Wacky Wednesday here on Stephen W. Terrell's (Music) Web Log, so let's look at the funny side of Foster.

Foster himself indeed had his funny side. After all, he's the guy who penned lyrics like, "It rained all night the day I left / The weather it was dry." But even his most beautiful and dreamy songs have been parodied, mutated and dementized through the years. In fact, folks of My Generation -- and generations before --  probably were introduced to Foster's music via short performances of parts of his famous tunes in comedies and cartoons.

Way back in 1930, in their movie Animal Crackers, The Marx Brothers did a quick a capela performance of "My Old Kentucky Home."

None other than Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny did a version of "Oh! Susana," adapting the lyrics to fit the plot of Mr. Fudd searching for gold to help the U.S. war effort in 1942. (Check out how different Elmer looks!)

Spike Jones & His City Slickers did a full-blown version of  Foster's "Camptown Races."

And Stan Freberg rocked Foster up. My favorite part is about the "one-eyed cat peepin' at Old Dog Tray."

For an earlier tribute to Stephen Foster CLICK HERE.

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