Saturday, October 22, 2011

Record #604 - The Bob Crane/Pat Buttram Record

Today we've got a promotional compilation album of classic radio personalities Bob Crane and Pat Buttram entitled "Laffter Sweet and Profane". Alrighty then. As you most assuredly know, both of these guys went on to bigger careers, and I shall fill you in with all the Trivial Pursuit-ish information that you will never find any use for. After all, that's what this blog is all about. Duh.

Side one of this record is entitled "Extricated from a 5-Year Shambles Caused by Bob Crane". Now, this side is actually pretty entertaining. It's basically (well, exactly) a compilation of the best of Bob Crane's morning radio show. You get cigarette commercials, banter with the crazy co-hosts and producers, and the best part of the whole thing -- an improv scene with Jonathan Winters.

Bob Crane was, as you'll hear, a really superly duperly awesome radio show host. The format they used for the show was insanely ahead of its time, and that's probably why he was so popular. In fact, it was the number one rated morning show in Los Angeles and he was known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves". Take THAT, whoever-the-heck-is-number-one-on-the-radio-now!

He was also an accomplished drummer, and sat in with many great jazz musicians on his show, as well as playing with them as the special guest drummer in club shows. Check out this video of him drumming along to "These Boots are Made for Walking" while some crazy dancers attempt to dance!!

Eventually he moved on from radio and into TV with spots on The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and the Dick Van Dyke Show. This led to him starring as Col. Hogan on Hogan's Heroes, which was extremely popular and ran for 6 years.

Unfortunately, after Hogan's Heroes, he couldn't find too many jobs. He did become the star of a TV series called The Bob Crane Show (how the heck they came up with that brilliant title, I'll never know), but that only lasted one season. He did get some parts in a couple of the most obscure Disney movies, starring in "Superdad" and a cameo in "Gus" - a Don Knotts movie about a football-kicking mule. Yep, you read that right. The 70s weren't really a high point for Disney (minus the awesome Kurt Russell/Cesar Romero movie, "Now You See Him, Now You Don't"). Other than guest-starring bits on TV, he wasn't really able to find too much work, so he resorted to traveling around the country performing in dinner theaters.

On one of his dinner theater stints in Scottsdale, Arizona, he was murdered as he was sleeping in his hotel room - apparently being face-crushed by a camera tripod. The murder, which occurred wayyyyy back in 1978, is still unsolved. He supposedly led an (how do I say this politely…) interesting lifestyle in his later years. Yeah. Uh… just look it up... I won't go any further. This is a family blog, after all! His life is documented in the book and movie "Auto-Focus", and both are really awesome, if I do say so myself (and I do).

Now, away from the creepy, murdery, death stuff, and on to Pat Buttram!!

Side two of this record is entitled "Excerpted from the Triumphant Toastmaster of Pat Buttram". Of course everybody needs a toastmaster. One of the main ingredients of any good party is a toastmaster, and when your party is the Democratic or the Republican party or the Friars Club, you apparently hire puberty-voice himself, the triumphant toastmaster, Pat Buttram.

Now, as we said before, the title of this album is "Laffter Sweet and Profane". Unfortunately for Pat Buttram, there really isn't too much "laffter". It's definitely not sweet. Technically speaking, it's not very profane, either. This is just… odd, and maybe a little politically incorrect. His toasts (if you can even call them that) are sufficiently abundant of really, really, really corny jokes. Some almost as bad as those dreadful "Take my wife, please" jokes. By far the best part of this side of the record is towards the end when Jack Benny shows up for like 30 seconds. Oh wait, um… SPOILER AL… meh, who cares.

Pat Buttram (a man saddled with one of the most unfortunate last names of all time) was originally known as the sidekick to Roy Rogers, then later, Gene Autry. He moved into TV along with Gene Autry, and kept moving forward from there onto Green Acres as Mr. Haney. He was known for his voice that he described as "never quite made it through puberty".

Because of that crackly voice, he was often used in animated films, and especially a lot of Disney movies. He was the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Chief in The Fox and the Hound, one of the bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and my favorite (and his last role), the old Possum Park animatronic show presenter in A Goofy Movie.

Finally, we come to the end of a plentiferous plethora of useless information, and to the part where you can download the record. Have a grand old time!

Download it HERE.

And just because I love you, here's an educational short entitled "Patriotism" featuring America's greatest patriot, Bob Crane. Woo!!

1 comment:

  1. Given what was noted about Crane's proclivities in the last years of his life (which I likewise won't get to), it's somewhat ironic that he's represented on the "Profane" side of this LP, no? Oh, and yes, I actually have this record. Mastered at Columbia Records' Hollywood studios (which was on the same grounds, at 6121 Sunset Blvd., as KNX radio and KNXT [now KCBS-TV] Channel 2), pressed in Hollywood with label fonts from The Bert-Co Enterprises. One side (the "Sweet" side represented by Mr. Buttram) has an old-style concentric "deep groove" indentation in the label area.