Homer & Jethro

Songs to Tickle Your Funny Bone

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Camden was RCA Victor's $1.98 budget label, glutting the bins in grocery and drug stores nationwide in the late '50s and early '60s. Cobbling together long-playing albums from sides kicking around the vaults -- usually issued as singles or in RCA's extended-play 45 format -- the country market and the artists the label had in its masters catalog made for some budget albums that were every bit as fine as their upscale product on the parent label. This 1966 collection of tracks cut for RCA Victor back in the early to mid-'50s (1959's "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is about the latest entry on here) nonetheless does right by Homer & Jethro with a nice cross section of the hillbilly song parodies that were the duo's stock-in-trade. Highlights include the waltz-tempoed "Malady of Love," featuring a warped "romantic" recitation from Jethro Burns ("You said your heart belonged to me, but the rest of ya kept goin' out with other guys!"), the now politically incorrect "You Tell Her, I Stutter," "The Nutty Lady of Shady Lane," "Listen to the Goony Bird," "Throw Mama from the Train," a Mitch Miller parody ("Don't Sing Along (On Top of Old Smoky)"), and takeoffs of Carl Smith ("Hay Shmo!") and Elvis ("Houn' Dawg"). Although there are only ten cuts aboard this budget entry (and no chart hits), it's all top-flight material and as good an introduction to the duo as any.

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