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Original Recordings 1933-1952



Crotchet Budget price

  1. Old MacDonald had a farm – Spike Jones and His City Slickers [3:07]
  2. Animal Fair – Tex Ritter with Caliope [2:43]
  3. Daffy Duck’s Rhapsody – Mel Blanc [3:05]
  4. The Little Fiddle – Danny Kaye [6:22]
  5. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man – Billy Costello (Popeye) [2:24]
  6. On the Good Ship Lollipop – Mae Questel (The Betty Boop Girl) [2:35]
  7. Grandfather’s Clock – Harold Williams [3:13]
  8. Little Man You’ve Had A Busy Day – Paul Robeson [3:11]
  9. Christopher Robin (Vespers) – Ann Stephens [2:14]
  10. Buckingham Palace – Ann Stephens [2:23]
  11. The King Who Couldn’t Dance (The Worry Song) – Gene Kelly [6:54]
  12. Bozo’s Laughing Song – Pinto Colvig (Bozo the Clown) [3:01]
  13. Suzy Snowflake - Rosemary Clooney [2:58]
  14. (All I want for Christmas is) My Two Front Teeth – Spike Jones and His City Slickers
  15. The Popcorn Song – The Fontane Sisters & Howdy Doody [1:58]
  16. Tubby the Tuba – Victor Jory [11:46]
  17. Puffin’ Billy – The Melodi Light Orchestra [2:58]


If, like me, you are of ‘a certain age’, you will love these songs, and will quite possibly find yourself dewy-eyed with nostalgia. There are some great classics here, for example Danny Kaye’s wonderful ‘The Little Fiddle’, another of his musical fables, in which said petite violin has a wicked guardian who masquerades as a french horn but turns out to be a glockenspiel in disguise. ‘Tubby the Tuba’ is here too, but alas! not the Danny Kaye version. However, I have to say that Victor Jory does it really well, and aficionados will not be disappointed (not too seriously, anyway!)

Of course, there are some arch numbers – principally ‘The Good Ship Lollipop’ and ‘Little Man You’ve Had a Busy Day’ – which I used to find nauseating as a child, particularly the latter which taught me the meaning of the word ‘patronising’. The sugary flavour continues in the two A.A.Milne songs in Fraser-Simson’s settings. The songs themselves are attractive, but, as delivered in little Ann Stephens’ quavering treble, they are, frankly, quite hard to take! All of these are real ‘period-pieces’, though, and it’s good to have them.

There’s masses of fun here, in numbers like Gene Kelly’s delightful ‘Worry Song’, and appearances by famous cartoon characters like Daffy Duck and Popeye the Sailor Man. Good timing by Naxos means that there is a couple of Christmas favourites, too – Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Suzy Snowflake’, and Spike Jones’ ‘All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth’, which incorporates a splendidly daft version of ‘Jingle Bells’.

The transfers, supervised by David Lennick, are superb – go on, spoil yourself!

Gwyn Parry-Jones

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