Wednesday, November 7, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Al 'Jazzbo' Collins' Grimm Fairy Tales For Hip Kids - Little Red Riding Hood & Three Little Pigs (1953)

Over the course of more than fifty-or-so odd years,
Al "Jazzbo" Collins (1919 - 1997) was by definition one of the coolest voices in radio.
A professional hipster.

This platter was the first of his hip fairy tale recordings, reciting adaptations that Steve Allen had been presenting in the pages of Downbeat magazine.

The two would collaborate and revisit the concept many times over the course of many years. (With and without pianist Lou Stein.)

Listen to:
Al 'Jazzbo' Collins, with Lou Stein at the piano -
Little Red Riding Hood - A Grimm Fairy Tale For Hip Kids (Adaptation by Steve Allen)

(Brunswick Records 78, 1953) (click for audio)

Listen to:
Al 'Jazzbo' Collins, with Lou Stein at the piano -
Three Little Pigs - A Grimm Fairy Tale For Hip Kids (Adaptation by Steve Allen)

(Brunswick Records 78, 1953) (click for audio)

Another example of Steve Allen's 'fractured' fairy tales, from the September 23rd, 1953 issue of Downbeat.

(click to ENLARGE)

⬇ ⬇
From the same issue of Downbeat, a full-page mail-order ad for the sheet music to this record.

Yes, that's right, the
*sheet music*.
⬇ ⬇

(click on image to ENLARGE on a new page!)

⬅ Wally Wood's illustration of Jazzbo broadcasting from his mythical Purple Grotto, from 'What's All This Jazz About Jazz?', a story appearing in MAD magazine #31 in 1957.

(Via Bhob Stewart's Potrzebie)

Factoid: It was also in 1957 that Jazzbo was briefly the host of NBC-TV's 'Tonight Show', during a five-week interval in between hosts Steve Allen and Jack Paar.

Follow these links for further info on Al 'Jazzbeaux' Collins (the spelling officially changed in 1969):

- His entry at allmusic.Com

- The Purple Grotto.Com - - A tribute site with background, interview excerpts, and audio airchecks.

- A Jazzbo page at the Stinking Badges Homepage


Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I have HOURS of Jazzbeaux on cassette from the early 80's on WNEW with the Milkman's Matinee. Can't wait to explore the sites listed.

Unknown said...


My dad had the original 45's and we used to love them when we were kids. My brother and I could almost recite them entirely by heart. this post totally made my day.

Unknown said...

I meant 78's....

leesa said...

So Cool!!! Jazzbo and Woody on the same blog!!!

Thanx so much!

Anonymous said...

It's cool to find this site! I have the 45 rpm of Red Riding Hood & 3 Little Pigs, done by "Uncle Huggie Boy" on Intro Records Beverly Hills copyright 1953 by Downbeat and Steve Alen. I played it and played it when I was a kid, and upon clicking on the downloads, could recite along with it. Still love it!

Emma Gray said...

I worked with Jazzbeaux at KSFO in the early 80s. I was an engineer there and well remember coming into his studio to help with whatever he needed. He was such a character! I used to have one of his "round tu-it" wooden disks but unfortunately I've lost it. I'm grateful for having known him; he was very nice and cordial to me as he was with his listeners.

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