As the practice of ushering in an audience of 100 industry people had proven so successful with his previous two LPs, Allan Sherman repeated it again with his third LP, *My Son, the Nut*, with producer Lou Busch bringing in strings and brass because Sherman felt it would work beautifully with this set of tunes. He was right, though Busch thought he was…nuts. The album featured the song, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, that made the writer-singer pretty much immortal—not something I can guarantee as a critic, since, like Sherman and all humans, I'm destined to be only of passing duration, but it's been over 40 years now, and the guy has directly influenced musicians like Weird Al Yankovic, so…
Sherman was always fascinated with words, turning clichés and phrases on their noggins, as in Headaches, where he laments "Headaches, headaches, aspirin commercials give me headaches / Just when I'm feeling chipper as you please, that's when they show me all my sinus cavities!", and his paean to the era's escape to suburbia, Here's to Crabgrass, as being just a substitute for the American culture's restlessness and inability to know what it really wants, not to mention the grass-greener complex, is rather hilarious. It captures the problems of materialism with decorous sonority while cataloguing catastrophe after disappointment after frustration.
Though Sherman had a ribald side, his true calling was in a very accurate but gentle and chortling targeting of factors of the American Dream that no one else quite hit in the fashion he crafted. No slice of history is too distant, no subject too trivial, and he more than once comes off as the royal fool in motley, the sharp-witted guy who very often appeared to be a good deal more perceptive than king or court. Yep, in a fertile era where comedy was a good deal more valued than it is now, Allan Sherman was well situated, and nothing shows it more than re-releases like this one. Now, if Collectors' Choice would also turn its eye on some of the more obscure rib-ticklers as well—Brother Dave Gardner, the Conception Corporation, Nichols & May, and one of the most unique comics of all time: Lord Buckley, among a garden of others—well, perhaps quite a few more would see wherefrom their present crop of antic commentators arose.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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