Acrobat Music

Spike Jones, renowned musical satirist, died on 1st May 1965

Spike Jones, renowned musical satirist, died on 1st May 1965

Spike Jones was born in December 1911, and from an early age learnt drums and percussion, and got his first jobs in the 30s playing pit orchestras, joining the Victor Young Orchestra, which got him radio work. He formed the City Slickers in the early 40s, and scored a hit in 1942 with "Der Fuehrer's Face", poking fun at Hitler. Despite his talent and desire to be recognised as a serious bandleader, it was his comedy work that people wanted to hear, and he made a string of brilliant send-ups of current popular hits, which would get the merciless Jones treatment, with crazy percussion, extraneous noises, and satirical re-workings of lyrics. He did the same for many classical pieces as well. He got his own radio show with major stars queueing up to appear. In the '50s, his star waned as rock 'n' roll took over, and he turned to playing straight music while always looking for the novelty angle. He was a lifelong smoker and developed crippling emphysema, and he died in 1965 at the age of 53. Acrobat has a collection of his classic recordings from the 40s - for details click here.

 

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