Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chopped Garlic - An Obit Of Note - Georgia Gibbs

We have, from time-to-time, taken note of obituaries discovered. A few in the short past history of The Garlic include John DeLorean and former Stockholm Opera conductor, Sixten Ehrling.

Today, we descried another, and it brought out a grin and a laugh. It was the obit for the former pop singer, Her Nibs, Georgia Gibbs.

The humor found with the obit was not based in the death of Ms. Gibbs, but with instantly, upon seeing the headline, being taken back to the late, legendary satirist and comic, Lenny Bruce, and his routine ‘The Palladium’ (also presented in some instances as “Comic At The Palladium”)

This is one of Bruce’s enduring classic treasures, of a low-level comic badgering his agent (“The pool isn’t in yet, but the patio is dry”) to play the “big rooms” (“I want a class date ... I can’t keep going back to Montreal ...”), who, after trying to talk him down, gives into the comic’s demand and books him at the Palladium in London (“You open on the 19th with Georgia Gibbs ... Bobby Breen ... Helen Noga, .. And Bruno Hauptmann’s son ... For some insurance there...”)

The scatological references (and there’s a ton more in the routine) have Noga, who was a club owner and artist agent, handing Johnny Mathis at one point and Bobby Breen was a former child singing star. The point, lost on the comic, was he was being booked with a bunch of Has-Beens.

Now this was a rather extraordinary obituary, for someone who was a B-List entertainer, at best. Much of Ms. Gibbs success came via the policy of discrimination, with the major record labels pushing white people like Ms. Gibbs, Pat Boone and others, on records and into television, singing the hits of black artists.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, so read the obit, Singer Georgia Gibbs, 87; Performed With Big Bands and on Radio Shows, for the devastating, hysterically-funny jab LaVern Baker throws at Gibbs.


Lenny Bruce

Georgia Gibbs

Listen To The Palladium (On Rhapsody)

In the liner notes for Bruce’s recording, ‘The Berkeley Concert’, writer Ralph Gleason (no slouch in the Legend Dept. himself) says;

“Lenny didn't have to say the controversial words to be funny. Religions, Inc. and Comic at the Palladium will rank as classic American satires as long as we exist.”

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