I was just listening to a collection of Stan Freberg singles. Satirical musical comedy from the 1950’s; pretty good stuff, though it is, of course, somewhat dated.

Reading through the booklet that came with the CD, though, it’s amazing how much pop culture we’ve lost from only a half-century ago. A few of us have heard of Stan Freberg and like him; these records were real hits at the time, however, with (for example) St. George And The Dragonet / Little Blue Riding Hood being apparently the fastest-rising single in the history of the record business up to that time. (That time being 1953; on the other hand, it only spent 4 weeks at #1, so it was perhaps a bit of a flash in the pan even at the time.)

But he did more than put out a few comedy singles. (Apparently quite a lot, actually: there are 21 on the CD, but it claims that there are many more where they came from.) For example, it says that “He and Daws [Butler] wrote and performed as principal actor-puppeteers for a live half-hour show [“Time for Beany”] every weekday for the next five years. … The show was popular with all age groups, went on to win three Emmys and a Peabody”. This is a show that apparently produced hundreds (over a thousand?) episodes, and was well received, but I’ve never heard of it, and there’s almost no media available for it. (Are most of the shows still in existence, or have the tapes been lost?) I doubt the show has aged very well, but that’s still a real shame.

At least modern media is digital, so it’s much more likely that there are copies squirreled around somewhere. If only copyright law could get changed so that people could, say, legally get their hands on old video games that are no longer for sale. One of these decades…

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