Get Rhythm

Family Guy's 'Mr. Booze' Number

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 06:17 AM Written by

A popular Family Guy episode from 2011. "Friends of Peter G" featured the hapless Peter Griffin and his literate, alcoholic dog, Brian, sentenced to 30 days of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The pair proceed to undermine the whole premise of the meetings which include many of the regular characters (Tom Tucker, Ollie Williams, Dr. Hartman, etc.) by hauling beer into the meeting and getting everyone drunk and noisy.

When they see a police car pull in front of the place, they immediately and magically transform the AA meeting turned beer party into a revival meeting and go into this production number, which is what Officer Joe Swanson, Peter's wheelchair-bound neighbor, finds when he gets inside.   This is it.

Whoever posted this actually put up ten hours worth of the same performance over and over. Playing it once is enough. The song: "Mister Booze."

Think it was something Seth McFarlane, lover of the Rat Pack created from scratch?

Well, the animation routine for sure was his and his team's. But "Mister Booze," the song Peter, Brian and the others sing, in fact the whole routine, was affectionately appropriated (all legit, with required royalties paid) from a classic Rat Pack movie: 1964's Robin And the Seven Hoods, starring Frank, Dean, Sammy and non-Packer Bing Crosby (whose own wild lifestyle peaked in the early 30's).  Sinatra's now-famous "My Kind of Town" was first heard in the movie.

In this sequence, they aren't transforming the place to avoid the cops, but to avoid a gang of mobsters and a corrupt sheriff. The rival mobster, Guy Gisbourne, is played by Peter Falk.

Seth even re-created the song in the original key of B-flat. Not profound, but interesting.

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Don't read this if you haven't watched last night's episode of Mad Men.

Last night, the series took another sharp turn with the small Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce striking a surprise merger with equally small rival agency Cutler Gleason and Chaough (including Copy Chief Peggy Olson) to land a golden goose: a Chevrolet account for a new, as-yet unnamed model (code name XP-887, actually the real-life Chevy Vega). As the new SCDP-CGC partnership (Roger and Don) with (Jim Cutler and Ted Chaough) stride into General Motors, a super-obscure 60's rocker plays in the background, one totally appropriate to the plot, location, though the tune predated May of 1968.

The song "Baby Jane (Mo-Mo Jane)" by Motor City-based Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels was obscure because it was the B-side of a much bigger hit single: the late 1965 Top 10 "Jenny Take A Ride."

The complete "Baby Jane."

And the hit A-side, "Jenny Take A Ride," a blend of Little Richard's "Jenny Jenny Jenny" and the Chuck Willis hit "See See Rider." I recall it was not just a national hit but super-popular here in the region back in '65 and early '66 when KQV, KDKA and Terry Lee, among others, played the hell out of it. Ryder made some of the least pretentious, hardest rockers of the 60's, records that hold up well today.





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bad sign cover


Albert King was a fairly obscure blues singer and guitarist when he recorded Born Under A Bad Sign for Stax Records in 1966 and 1967. The album, released in '67 and recently reissued by Concord Music, became one of the landmark modern blues records of that period, making King (real name: Albert Nelson) one of the pre-eminent guitar stylists of his time, in that same select group with B.B. King, T. Bone Walker, Freddie King, Buddy Guy and Albert Collins.  

King stood out visually from the others, in part because of his immense physical presence and for playing a Gibson Flying V guitar, then a fairly rare instrument, shaped like an upside down V, also the trademark instrument of rock guitar grea Lonnie Mack.

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Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP File

This week's "Believe Your Ears" music podcast looks at George Jones' Personal Best.

In 2001 I interviewed Jones for the PG. He was to perform at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse out in Burgettstown.  The interview went well as he talked about the near-fatal 1999 car crash that scared him out of a quiet relapse back into alcohol.  He also discussed his recording career.  I asked him for his ten favorite George Jones singles and he obliged.

This is the 2001 interview, if you haven't seen it.

Click Here for the podcast.

Podcast Correction: Jack Clement, who played the song for George, had published "She Thinks I Still Care," but the song was actually written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy.  Clement did alter the melody as he played the song for George.  Connie Francis recorded a pop version as "He Thinks I Still Care."  A dumb oversight on my part.

The Funeral takes place today at 10 AM Central time at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville: the services are full of heavy hitters: Randy Travis, former First Lady Laura Bush, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Kid Rock, Ronnie Milsap, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney.

The eulogies will be delivered by an interesting group: Barbara Mandrell, Bill Haslam, the Governor of Tennessee and Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News' Face The Nation. If Schieffer seems an odd choice, bear in mind he's been a country fan all his life and even made a record with a Washington DC-based band called Honky Tonk Confidential. 

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George Jones Funeral And The Paycheck Connection

Monday, 29 April 2013 06:05 AM Written by

They'll lay George Jones to rest Thursday, after public viewing at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the longtime, pre-Opryland home of the Grand Ole Opry, restored long ago as a concert hall. After a private visitation for friends and family Wednesday evening, the Thursday morning services will be open to the public .

He'll be interred in Nashville's Woodlawn Memorial Park, also the resting place of several other Hall of Famers, among them Johnny and June Carter Cash, Tammy Wynette, record producer Owen Bradley, Eddy Arnold and Marty Robbins as well as Jerry Reed, not yet a Hall of Famer.

Thinking of Woodlawn reminds me of the close friendship between Jones and Johnny Paycheck.  Paycheck, born in Ohio, was one of Jones' most notable vocal disciples. In fact, before he became a star on his own in the late 60's, Paycheck paid dues playing bass and singing harmony in Jones's touring band the Jones Boys.  

They remained close through their respective good and bad times until Paycheck's death from emphysema in February, 2003.  Having endured his own years of hard living (including a prison term for a 1985 shooting), Paycheck, due to his illness, was broke and no longer able to perform when the end came.

Jones, known as much around Nashville for his compassion as much as his talent, intervened. He was one of a number of Paycheck friends who paid for the funeral and Jones himself purchased a cemetery plot adjacent to his own at Woodlawn.

These two performances come from the low-budget 1965 movie Forty Acre Feud. The was moronic; these tunes, both # 6 country singles that same year, are now considered Jones classics.  Paycheck, then a Jones Boy, harmonizes with the boss.

"Things Have Gone To Pieces," considered by many (me included) as one of his best ballads of that decade.

The goofy novelty tune "Love Bug."

They reunited onstage on the short-lived 1998-1999 Nashville Network series The George Jones Show. The song is "Ragged But Right," first recorded by pioneer country singer Riley Puckett in 1934, when George was just three.  It wasn't a hit when he recorded it in the 50's but it remained part of his his repertoire from then on.

On this week's "Believe Your Ears" Music Podcast, I'll be looking at Jones's Personal Best.  When I interviewed him for the PG in 2001, he listed the ten singles he considered his finest.   We'll look at each one.  I'll update when it's completed, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.

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