Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 8-14-23

The Toot Uncommons, Steve Martin’s backing band on “this song”King Tut,” usually performed under the name The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. That group’s John McEuen taught Martin how to play the banjo. “King Tut” is included on Martin’s album A Wild and Crazy Guy, which won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album of 1979. In 2010 Martin won another Grammy Award, this one in the category Best Bluegrass Album for his album The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, which showcased his banjo-playing skills. The album was produced by John McEuen.

Steve Martin was born on this date in 1945. He inspired today’s playlist.

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Der Fuehrer’s Face

“Der Fuehrer’s Face” was the first hit song for Spike Jones and His City Slickers, a pre-rock & roll Ylvis. The wacky recording, on which Hitler gets razzed, was written for an Academy Award-winning Walt Disney cartoon originally entitled Donald Duck in Nutzi Land. The song hit #3 on the pop charts in 1942.

I was introduced to the song by Dr. Demento, whose radio show initially existed to present rare old recordings, but morphed into a showcase for novelty records after listeners requested such tunes repeatedly.

Jones’ orchestra is best-remembered for their Christmas evergreen “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” written by an elementary school teacher named Donald Gardner, who upon asking his students what they want for Christmas noticed that most of them were missing teeth.

Jones, who passed away in 1965, was born on this day in 1911.Today’s playlist is inspired by him and includes other songs that were popular on The Dr. Demento Show with some stand-up comedy thrown in.