Unlike many of the other relatively brief discs in Music Mill's Louisiana Hayride series, Classic Comedy Radio offers over 50 minutes of material -- mostly standup comedy, but a few songs as well. The disc gives listeners an opportunity to hear such nearly forgotten stars of '50s country comedy as Archie Campbell, Rod Brassfield, the Duke of Paducah, and, of course, Minnie Pearl. The sound quality varies considerably because of the limitations of the source tapes, and the unfunny Justin Wilson gets a lengthy segment presumably because his routine is captured in better-than-average fidelity. Ferlin Husky's comedy persona Simon Crum performs a hilarious song, "Country Music Is Here to Stay," in which he impersonates a number of other country stars. Unfortunately, the sound quality on this track is terrible, but it illustrates the conflict presented by, on one hand, these recordings' historical importance and, on the other, their sometimes poor fidelity. As a collector and fan, I'd rather have the opportunity to hear this crummy recording of the Simon Crum routine than not at all, but others may feel differently. Also notable is Roy Clark's imitation of the Platters' "The Great Pretender" and his lighting-fingered performance of the guitar instrumental "Under the Double Eagle." Ultimately, the value of these recordings lies in their historical importance; if you're looking only to tickle your funny bone, Classic Comedy Radio probably won't do the trick.
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