Friday, January 30, 2009

New Squidoo Lens for Stan Freberg

While reading posts in the SquidU forum this morning, I saw that a Squidooer going by Not-Pop mentioned a lens he did about the old Harry Belafonte hit "The Banana Boat Song." I was immediately reminded of Stan Freberg's parody of it and went to Not-Pop's lens to see if he'd included it. He hadn't, so I went to YouTube to see if there was a video.

There were two. One was just the audio with a photo of a banana-shaped boat. The other was considerably more creative. Someone who likes Japanese anime had taken clips and matched the characters' mouths and mostly their actions to the straight audio of Freberg's song. It was very well done, even adding to the humor in spots.

So I went back to the post and started a reply, linking to the anime version. I was almost ready to post it when it struck me that while I'd done several lenses a few months ago on novelty songs, I hadn't done one for Stan Freberg. I don't know why, since there appeared to be plenty of videos featuring his parodies on YouTube. So I started a Stan Freberg Video Showcase lens, then added a note to the post with a link to the lens and let folks know it would be "coming soon to a computer screen near you."

I checked a few places on the web to get some background on Freberg. One thing I never knew was he's the son of a minister. For some reason I'd always thought he was Jewish, probably because of the "berg" ending to his surname and his association with Hollywood.

I also learned he'd been one of the puppeteers, along with Daws Butler, on the very old children's TV show Time for Beany. I remember watching that and remembered Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent. Daws Butler I remembered from watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. I also remember Daws Butler because I'd read he'd used humor to get over a fear of speaking in public, and I'd just signed up for a public speaking course in high school. I took his advice, and it worked.

I had fun choosing ten videos to use in the lens. Since Freberg's hit song parodies and commercials largely came before video was easy to record and keep, some of the videos just feature the audio with a shot of a record player playing a record. The anime one was probably the most creative. But I had fun with writing little blurbs for the record player videos explaining how this was how we listened to our personal music collections in the days before iPods. I also added some info about the recordings. Of course, I added some CDs from Amazon.

It's published now, so if you click on Stan Freberg Video Showcase, you should see it.

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