The Talented Spike Jones Part Three
The rise of rock and roll and the decline of big bands hurt Spike Jones’ repertoire. The new rock songs were already novelties, and Jones could not satirise them the way he had lampooned “Cocktails for Two” or “Laura.” He played rock music for laughs when he presented “for the first time on television, the bottom half of Elvis Presley!” This was the cue for a pair of pants—inhabited by dwarf actor Billy Barty—to scamper across the stage.
Jones was always prepared to adapt to changing tastes. In 1950, when America was nostalgically looking back at the 1920s, Jones recorded an album of Charleston arrangements...