Spike Jones developed the art of musical parody to an impossibly high level during the 1940s, combining elements of vaudeville with sight gags, loud suits, unusual props, and top-notch musicians to execute the challenging arrangements. Harlequin, which has been by far the best label to compile rare recordings and transcriptions by Jones and his band, put together 23 performances in this collection, some of which were recorded live before an audience. Among them are two unissued alternate takes of "Popcorn Sack" (plus a false start), featuring voice-over specialist Paul Frees (who was the long time voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy) doing impressions of several movie stars of the 1940s, including Bing Crosby, Edward G. Robinson, and even Katharine Hepburn! The band's star trumpet soloist, George Rock, contributed the swinging "Minka." Doodles Weaver cracks up everyone with his popular Indianapolis 500 announcer bit in a deconstruction of "Dance of the Hours." Favorites like "'Holiday for Strings" and "Glow Worm" (the latter featuring soprano Aileen Carlisle) are also part of the fun. The detailed liner notes and vintage photographs make this an essential CD for fans of Spike Jones & His City Slickers.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden