The Cartoon Cowboys with Jimmy Carroll Orchestra
(aka Quick Draw McGraw)
El Kabong! b/w Ooch, Ooch, Ooch! 45 (Golden Record, 196?)
As far as I am concerned the Golden Age of children's records was the early 1960s until the mid 1970s. While there is great stuff prior to the 1960s and a scattering of good tunes later than the 1970s, the Golden Age had a few things going for it. First, kids were not seen as fragile little creatures that imitated everything they saw or heard. No one thought that watching Punch & Judy was going to turn out an army of wife beaters. Nor did anyone thing twice about airing the Three Stooges on after school television. Second, the music (with the exception of Disney) and TV was not created in order to sell a product other than that record or that show. Nor were cereal lines or action figures created to capitalize on the music (with some exceptions, again see Disney). Third, the music did not assume the listener to be subliterate (even though many kids were) or unable to comprehend things. And, lastly, there was a huge premium placed on not only imagination but stimulating imagination. Because of these things there is a wealth of great kid's records out there (though finding them in good condition is a real challenge).
This is all stuff I know now. Even though I grew up during that Golden Age, as a kid I only few a couple kid's records. There was a Sesame Street ABC record and the Winnie the Pooh series narrated by Maurice Evans (which are wonderful records and put the Disney versions to shame). What entertained me as a kid were my mom's 45 collection. Early on I was spinning Elvis's Teddy Bear and Crawfish. I loved Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. But my favorites were Black Leather Jacket & Motorcycle Boots by the Cheers and Girl after Girl by Troy Shondell (who I will feature in a future Crud Crud). I am not claiming I was too cool for school, because I did go to school and I certainly was more of a geeky troublemaker than part of the cool club. Nah, my parents were just too cheap to buy kid's records so we were left with their stash. This being the case I didn't discover this gem of a 45 until way into my adulthood.
These two originated with the cartoon Quick Draw McGraw. El Kabong! is the story of a Hero of the People who rides around the Old West whacking bad guys on the head with his "trusty guitar." Here is that acceptance of violence that you don't see nowadays. For a bit more violence we have Ooch, Ooch, Ooch! We also have something that makes pretty much no sense at all. Is there a lesson here? A moral? That you can say "ooch" if some one hits you on the head with a skillet?
The Jimmy Carroll Orchestra was a popular band of the 1950s & 1960s. The backed many a singer from Marlene Dietrich to Diane Washington to Johnny Griffin. They were regulars on TV and movie sets. And they did this record. Gil Mack was a voice actor who played Bob Brilliant on Gigantor and Pauley Cracker on Kimba the White Lion, both short lived TV cartoon shows. Don Elliott has done a lot of voice work and some pretty great jazz vocal albums, The Voices of Don Elliott being very cool.
There were MANY great children records recorded in the 40's and 50's. Because many were released first on fragile 78 RPM records they just didnt survive long in the hands of little kids and thier cheap phonographs.