Monday, 11 June 2018

ONE TOGETHER IS TWO...



Ah, the sweet smell of success - or a hint of it at least.  Sometime back in the '60s, the above single was part of my family's record collection.  I guess my brother acquired it from somewhere - a friend perhaps, or a jumble sale - or even a gift from a young aunt.  It was an orange plastic disc, and I remember playing it to one of my pals and the two of us then singing it non-stop as we paraded around the neighbourhood, doubtless inflicting untold aural agonies on the ears of anyone unfortunate enough to hear us.

I've been trying to track this one down for a while, but still haven't managed to locate a physical copy.  However, I have managed to find it on YouTube, as well as images of it on the Internet, which is the next best thing until I finally find an actual replacement for it.  I no longer recall what happened to the original we had, or at what point it vanished, like so many of our childhood possessions, into the ether, but at least I can return again in memory to those halcyon days, reinforced by being able to again see the cover and listen once more to this zany tune from my early years.

(The cover at the top of this post is the US version, but I've included the UK version after the YouTube clip.  Interestingly, the American record was 45rpm, whereas the British one was 78rpm.  Why?  Dunno.) 

Incidentally, don't be fooled - it isn't 'Dance of the Cuckoos' (LAUREL & HARDY's theme tune) you can hear on this single, but rather a very similar theme entitled 'One Together is Two', which was pressed into service for the LARRY HARMON TV cartoon show as a stand-in.  Harmon had acquired the rights to use the duo's names and likenesses from their widows, but he didn't own the copyright on the original tune used in the HAL ROACH movies and shorts, hence the need for a 'ringer'.  And I bet that most of you wouldn't have spotted the difference if I hadn't just told you.  Side A is an instrumental, and Side B contains the vocals - give them a listen.




10 comments:

Warren JB said...

"And I bet that most of you wouldn't have spotted the difference if I hadn't just told you."

Some of the rest of us have played our L&H dvds so often, we can spot it right off. ;)

I have faint but fond memories of watching the cartoon from my own childhood, and the 'not-cuckoos' Bozo's Song tune comes right back to me after listening to that youtube vid. It's not that switch-around that bothers me the most, but the voice actors. Not that that's a grievous affront either - they're passable impressions - but something about the vague american accent slipping through with 'Stan', just sounds wrong!

Kid said...

I only just found about the ol' switcheroo myself relatively recently, WJB, and I've had that record in my head (and a slice of the lyrics) since the '60s. I can't remember if I ever saw the cartoon now, but there used to be a comic strip version of it in TV Comic for quite a while, which was reprinted for years. (As were a lot of strips in TV Comic it has to be said.) The voices never bothered me, being, as you said, passable impressions.

TC said...

Never saw the record, or the TV series with which it was a tie-in. I do vaguely remember a later TV cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera, with Harmon as the voice of Laurel, and Jim MacGeorge as Hardy. There were also a couple of comic book tie-ins, one in the late 1960s by Gold Key, another in the early 1970s by DC.

Kid said...

In the TV Comic strips, L&H looked as they did in the Gold Key comics and the TV cartoon, TC, but they were complete one-page strips in the UK format. Perhaps some Gold Key strips were used on occasion, but I'm not sure. Don't ever remember seeing the TV show - I'd have to watch an episode to see if it rang any forgotten bells.

Kid said...

WJB, the source of my information is clumsily worded, and I think 'Bozo's Song' (or 'Bozo's Walk') is the title of another theme. I've therefore amended the name to 'One Together is Two' (which seems like its obvious title) to avoid confusion. I think the source of the info, when obliquely referring to a Larry Harmon character called Bozo, assumed that everyone would know who he was talking about, but it seems as if he's ascribing the name of the Bozo theme to the L&H one. He could have been clearer.

Terranova47 said...

The record would have been a 45 in the US so it could be played in a Juke Box.

Kid said...

Possibly, T47, but we had Juke Boxes in the UK too. And can you see 'hip' American teenagers in the '60s wanting to play this sort of record in public? And remember, it probably never made the 'hit parade' so there's doubt as to whether it would ever have seen the inside of a Juke Box. I suspect that Americans just viewed 78rpm as old-fashioned (as in just for old LPs), hence the 45rpm.

TC said...

"Bozo the Clown" was the host of children's TV shows in the 1950s. IIUC, Larry Harmon was not the first actor to play the character, but he later bought the trademark and copyright from the original owner.

For some time, the franchise was licensed, and local TV stations produced their own versions, with their own actors playing Bozo and his sidekicks. Later, Harmon starred in a nationally syndicated series.

Dunno about the UK, but in American slang, "bozo" is still used as a metaphor to mean a klutz or a buffoon.

TC said...

The only 78 rpm I remember having was the theme song from "Mister Ed." The flip side was "Pretty Little Filly With a Pony Tail," from the same TV show. Other than that, all of the singles I saw were 45s, and LPs were 33s.

None of which will make any sense to younger readers, who probably don't even remember recording tapes, much less vinyl records.

Kid said...

Apparently, TC, in the '60s, Jim Reeves was so popular with black South Africans (as he still is today) that RCA had to produce a number of his records on 78 discs because that's the type of player that most of them used. Even in the '60s, 78rpm was regarded as old-fashioned.

Regarding Bozo the Clown, I first learned about him when I looked up info on Larry Harmon prior to writing this post, but the source I used referred to the Bozo theme in such a way as, unless one was familiar with the character and his theme, made it seem as if he was alluding to the L&H cartoon song. (Whereas, in fact, he was just saying that the copyright of Bozo's theme tune was owned by Larry Harmon, whereas Dance of the Cuckoos wasn't, hence the need for a replacement.)

As for the term 'bozo', most older people in the UK will know what the word means from old TV shows, movies and comicbooks, though I doubt anyone actually uses the word. I'd imagine younger people wouldn't have a clue.

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