Ernie Kovacs Ernie Kovacs Presents Percy Dovetonsils...
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- Released: June 19, 2012
- Label: Omnivore Recordings
- 2.Ode to Stanley's Pussycat
- 3.Ode To Mona Lisa
- 4.Lament From a Germ's Eye Viewpoint
- 5.Ode To The Happier Days of the Roman Coliseum
- 6.Ode to Whistler's Mother
- 7.Thoughts While Falling Off the Empire State Building
- 8.Side One Closing
- 9.Some Pertinent Thoughts of Julius Caesar While He Was Being Assassinated
- 10.Ode To Sam, The Taller Of The Two Monkeys
- 11.Ode To A House Fly
- 12.Ode To An Emotional Italian Knight
- 13.Happy Birthday To a Bookworm
- 14.The Night Before Christmas on New York's Fashionable East Side
- 16.Side Two Closing
- 17.Roughing It Interview 12/11/52
- 18.A Day At The Races 5/26/54
- 19.Ode From A Worm's Eye View 6/14/54
- 20.Ode To A Hangman's Noose 6/28/54
- 21.At Home With Lorelei Latour 12/24/53
- 22.Poem For Edith Adams 11/18/52
Personnel: Ben Model (piano).
Audio Mixer: Manuel Jimenez.
Liner Note Author: Ben Model.
Out of all the skewed and visionary comedy that Ernie Kovacs created in the '50s and early '60s, his effete poet Percy Dovetonsils is among the most enduring. Percy must have been among Kovacs' favorite characters to perform, since he recorded an entire album of Dovetonsils' whimsical odes, Percy Dovetonsils . Thpeaks, in 1960. However, the album was lost for nearly half a century until it was rediscovered in 2008 when the Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD set was being researched and compiled. Due to label conflicts, the album was shelved and the master tapes were given back to Kovacs, who donated them to a Hollywood hospital. In 1967, his widow, singer Edie Adams, regained the tapes and added them to her comprehensive archive of the comedian's work. Despite its long journey to release, Percy Dovetonsils . Thpeaks retains all of its mid-century wit and boasts smooth audio quality as Kovacs performs some of Percy's best-known poems, including "Ode to Stanley's Pussycat" and "Lament from a Germ's Eye Viewpoint." Combined with the gentle piano accompanying him, Dovetonsils' lisped musings (muthings?) are often more smile-inducing than laugh-out-loud funny, but the subtler side of Kovacs' humor shines through on "Happy Birthday to a Bookworm" and "Ode to Whistler's Mother," while "Some Pertinent Thoughts of Julius Caesar While He Was Being Assassinated" is a winner just for its title. Along with the thorough and fascinating liner notes -- which reveal, among other things, that Percy was born in the early '50s when Kovacs' assistant presented him with a pair of gag eyeglasses -- . Thpeaks also includes bonus tracks taken from audio recordings of Kovacs' CBS television series Kovacs Unlimited. Among the best of these is "At Home with Lorelei Latour," which casts Dovetonsils as a fawning entertainment journalist and serves as a reminder that celebrity excess and the fascination with it is hardly new. Along with The Ernie Kovacs Collection, Percy Dovetonsils . Thpeaks is another welcome step in making Kovacs' humor widely available to new generations. ~ Heather Phares
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