. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Allen Sherman – live at The Hollywood Bowl – July 24, 1963 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
In the early 1960s, one of the more popular phenomena of Mainstream Culture was Parody Comedy; the gentle poking fun at institutions or those people closely associated with those institutions. One of the biggest names, riding the crest of Parody Comedy during that time was Vaughan Meader, whose note-perfect impression of President Kennedy made him an instant sensation. The other was Allen Sherman, who took familiar songs and rewrote lyrics as a parody of the times.
When he recorded Hello Muddah – Hello Faddah, to the tune of Dance Of The Hours, it became a huge hit and Allen Sherman became a household name. Subsequent other parody songs and a debut album made him one of the most popular and successful comedians of the first years of the 1960s. He was much in demand as a performer and his records were played on just about every radio station in America.
So of course, Allen Sherman playing The Hollywood Bowl made perfect sense. With walk-on help from other popular entertainers of the time; Rosemary Clooney and The New Christy Minstrels, Sherman delivered his trademark turn-of-phrase and his biting wit which made him such a hit with audiences in 1963.
This concert,from July 24th 1963 has never been broadcast, or even played – like so much that’s on Past Daily, it was never thought to have existed. But its a sterling example of humor in America during a certain time – a humor that was short-lived, because only a few months after this concert, President Kennedy was assassinated, terminating Vaughan Meader’s career and Parody Comedy experienced a nose-dive. People just didn’t want to poke fun at the things they once did.
Sherman would continue his career as a writer and producer of Comedy TV shows, but his initial success as the brains behind My Son The Folksinger, was never repeated.
So as a reminder of what American humor was all about, or at least to a segment of America, in 1963, here is Allen Sherman with guests Rosemary Clooney and members of The New Christy Minstrels in concert at The Hollywood Bowl from July 24, 1963.
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