Jose He Say
Linda Laurie Jose He Say b/w Chico 45 (Keetch, 1964)
When I was a kid I heard more than my fair share of ethnic humor. My dad is Italian and my mom Polish, and one of their favorite activity was attacking the other with their newest ethnic joke. My mom would go out in the middle of the night and slap a "Mafia Staff Car: Keepa You Hands Off" bumper sticker on the back of my dad's car. He would come home with a blank book for my mom, entitled The Polish Way to Knowledge. And because they razzed each other so much - and took it with good humor - they felt free to bust on any ethnic group, as long as it was done for comedic sake. And why not? They were doing it at a time before Black Power and La Raza, before multiculturalism and identity politics, back when it was acceptable for a White comic to joke about whomever regardless of ethinicity. My parents were just going with what was the cultural norm, while accepting that their people would be the butt of many jokes. Don't read this as me stating those were better times. Read it as those were different times, times that interest me. One of the mini-collections within my record collection is ethnic humor novelty songs. I've got a small stack and have posted a few (Cholley Oop, Hari Kari & the Six Saki Sippers, etc.). Linda Laurie's two jabs at Mexicans is a recent pick up.
Linda Laurie had a pretty varied carreer. She did girl group tunes, sung the theme to Land of the Lost, and knocked off a few novelty records (one of the oddest being Ambrose Part 5). Because she was already doing novelty songs (and doing all the voices) it isn't a surprise that she wound up with one ethnic joke song. It also ins't a surprise that her Ambrose voice winds up here, with a bit of an accent. And, like a lot of these songs, you get past the initial "hmmmm...what were they thinking" and you can get a chuckle or two, maybe at the artist if not with the artist (I can't help but laugh when Jose says "Lies"). And what about Chico? Musically it is a great boogaloo! What the hell? Enjoy Linda Laurie.