Friday, January 28, 2011

Stan Freberg's United States of America : a Tribute!

Stan Freberg was/is a genius who in the 50's and 60's and 70's brought a visionary, creative, satirical sensibility to radio, TV and print ads  (like "Who puts 8 great tomatoes in that little bitty can?") and "novelty" records like "St.George and the Dragonet" and wrote the best unproduced Broadway musical ever: "Stan Freberg's United States of America" a satire of the founding of America. Back in the 60's the LP of this musical was released and became a huge favorite of anyone who ever heard it. It was brilliant, and way ahead of its time. It  had an amazing cast besides Mr. Freberg and included Paul Frees, Jesse White and June Foray. The songs were catchy and witty and lines from it have been adapted in homage by groups like Firesign Theater (What's that? French horns). Evil Broadway impresario David Merrick wanted to produce it for the stage but instead tied up the rights for years!!! We're lucky we have the album and a few years back a second volume was released. Also good, but Volume l is one of my all time favorites. If you haven't heard this album before, here are some things I found on Youtube to give you a taste of what you are in for when you buy the CD or download the mp3. One of them was an animated version of the Sale of Manhatten by revolutionary graphic designer Saul Bass, famous for iconic movie posters like "Vertigo". I never saw this before:

Then, someone filmed the record player playing the beginning of the LP, with the wonderfully clever and catchy "It's a Round, Round World"

I never get tired of hearing that. Be sure to check out the whole thing!


  1. I LOVED Stan's 1960s commercials!! I'd not heard of the musical or LP, though. I'll have to check it out!! Thanks, Steph!

  2. You will love this musical, Becky!
    Looks like the Cd may be harder to get than the downloaded version.