Allan Sherman

Allan Sherman: Live!!! (Hoping You Are the Same)

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Released in 1966, Allan Sherman -- Live!!! (Hoping You Are the Same) turned out to be the comedian and musical satirist's penultimate project during a five-year (1962-1967) run on Warner Bros. Records. We find our hero on-stage at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, NV, in the spring of 1966. The platter is configured to represent a typical Sherman nightclub set, kicking off with a medley that contains a brief updated verse of his classic "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter from Camp)" done "Nevada style" -- even going so far as to mention casino owner John Ascuaga by name. He then introduces "A Song Written by Elizabeth Taylor" -- a variation on "The Second Time Around" -- made famous by Bing Crosby from the movie High Time. The simple ditty adapts the lyrics as "Love is lovelier/The seventh time around," quickly quipping "It's just a short song. She doesn't have time to sit and write long songs." Sherman then goes on to parody the Great American Songbook entry "Makin' Whoopee" with the keen reflection "The modern family/Has time to burn/We all take lessons/We try to learn/The latest new things/We never do things/We just take lessons." Another equally insightful observation is "A Waste of Money," adapting Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' upbeat rendition of "A Taste of Honey." The witty "How Van Nuys Got Its Name" -- replete with a Jewish wordplay punch line -- prefaces a spoof about a SoCal air quality phenom titled "Smog Gets in Your Eyes."

The slightly acerbic "Sorry 'Bout That" is preceded by "Scotch and/or Water." In this brief bit of stage banter, Sherman slyly asks to "borrow some water," before noticing that it is "almost water," aka Scotch. "The Learner's Brassiere" and "Mononucleosis" -- the latter having debuted on the April 24, 1966, installment of The Ed Sullivan Show -- were inspired by his daughter. The kicker is the line "Mononucleosis, will make you very sick/So baby, get your Blue Cross card/And kiss me quick." Not that it was receiving very much airplay to begin with, but the song "Dodgin' the Draft" -- composed around the melody for "Ballin' the Jack" -- was quickly yanked by most radio stations. Oddly, its relevance in the 21st century may be even greater, especially in the pre-"don't ask/don't tell" lines "Walk around the floor kinda nice and loose/Tell 'em your fiancée's name is Bruce." "The Rebel" is a takeoff on the burgeoning beatnik and hippie scene, while Sherman returns to more familiar fare with "When I'm in the Mood for Love (You're in the Mood for Herring)" as he takes on the ballad "I'm in the Mood for Love." The sendup "Second Hand Nose" pokes fun at Barbra Streisand's schnozzle, and the tailor's nightmare "Sam You Made the Pants Too Long" stands on its own, even though it is based on "Lord, You Made the Night Too Long." He concludes with "Son of Peyton Place" -- which began as "Peyton Place, U.S.A." from Sherman's previous platter, 1965's My Name Is Allan. In 2005, My Son, the Box brought all six of Sherman's long out of print Warner Bros. albums into the digital domain for the first time -- including Allan Sherman -- Live!!! (Hoping You Are the Same).

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