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Songs of the Pogo Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 8, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

SONGS OF THE POGO
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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1:55
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1:06
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1:14
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4
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0:49
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5
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1:54
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6
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1:34
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7
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1:01
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8
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1:23
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9
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1:48
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10
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2:17
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11
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1:18
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12
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2:25
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13
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2:11
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14
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1:04
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15
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0:57
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16
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1:23
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17
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1:13
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18
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1:47
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19
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20
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8:09
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21
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4:05
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1956
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Reaction Records
  • ASIN: B00008OM8O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,931 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Walt Kelly Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This 1956 album took several doggerel poems that cartoonist Walt Kelly had used in the "Pogo" comic strip or books of collected strips, and set them to music by Norman Monath. It's pretty amazing to find this on CD. The source tapes are long gone, so the CD had to be mastered off vinyl records. As a result, there is plenty of audible surface noise and distortion. The CD also includes a couple of 45s from 1969, with Kelly reading Pogo-based children's stories in a strange affected voice, some rehearsal material, and Kelly reading aloud the preface to the collection "The Pogo Papers". The CD booklet includes six articles, ranging from biographies of Kelly and Monath to an academic treatise on nonsense verse.
People like me who collect old Pogo books will have to have this CD whatever its merits, and we will get some enjoyment out of it. Others will probably be disappointed. The album is musically weak, despite Mr. Monath's glowing review of his own work. There are only a couple of memorable melodies (such as "Go-Go Pogo"). Too many of the songs are slow, which doesn't work well for nonsense lyrics. These work better when the words fly by at a snappy pace, as on "Parsnoops" and "Potlucky", which have a fun feel comparable to the songs from Disney's "Alice in Wonderland". One problem is that many of the Kelly poems were only a few lines long; many of the tracks barely last a minute even when they're sung slowly and the lyrics are repeated. The lyrics don't sound as good slowed down, but if they weren't slowed down, the album might be 15 minutes long. This is a dilemma the album never solves. Kelly sings two songs himself, and recites the inevitable tribute to Old Dog Tray on "Man's Best Friend".
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Format: Audio CD
Fans of Walt Kelly's comic strip have heard about this album for years, but unless you were fortunate enough to buy one in the late '50s/early '60s, that's all a fan was able to do. Now it's on CD, with some other goodies as well.
I see another review has listed the tracks, so I won't repeat that. I'll note that Kelly himself sings/speaks on "Go-Go Pogo" (the Pogo for President campaign song, which he also composed), "Man's Best Friend" (the "Old Dog Trey" song), and "Lines upon a Tranquil Brow". The CD also includes the two Kelly-read children's stories from their 78 RPM origins, "No!" and "Can't!" (but, sadly, not the accompanying books), and Kelly reading the famous "he may also be us" comment from POTLUCK POGO (which included the Simple J. Malarkey strips). The other songs are mostly composed by Norman Monath, based on either Kelly's suggestions or just inspired by his lyrics, and are sung by chorists or soloists unknown to me.
If you're not into Pogo, you probably won't enjoy this album. If you are, or if you've encountered some of Kelly's nonsense verse somewhere and are interested in more, this is a very worthwhile purchase. I only gave it 4 stars because, sadly, most of the Monath tunes aren't anything special. But the lyrics rescue them, and "Go-Go Pogo" is a rousing, vaudevillian march, easily the best thing on the album and possibly worth it all by itself.
And if you've never heard of Pogo before, go look for some of the strip collections in the Books section of Amazon. Chances are, you'll like what you see and will come back to this album.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the last thing I ever expected to see relased on CD. Orignally relased in 1956 on record by Simon and Schuster and then re-relased in the mid-60's by AA Reords (distributed by Affiliated Publishers) this 18 track masterpiece still stands up. Pogo creator Walt Kelly (whose earlier credits include working on the "alligator scenes" in Disney's Fantasia) sings on three of the tracks. 17 of them are orignal and "Evidence" is the same poem from Alice in Wonderland set to music.
Kelly is also known for "We have met the enemy and he is us" as well as "The best way to start a fire is to rub two people the wrong way". This should give you an idea of what the songs are like, hardly serious.
(From "Lines Upon a Tranquil Brow")
"Break out the cigars, this life is for squirr'ls
...
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Format: Audio CD
My dad introduced me to Pogo, and at first I found it hard to read. The phonetics and gramatical "modifications" that Kelly used to get across the Southern accents of the characters were strange to a five year old yankee. Later I realized Kelly isn't lampooning Southern accents, he's actually paying homage to them in a humorous way.
This recording has two levels also. You can listen to it as a collection of nonsensical lyrics set to some nicely composed musical backdrops, or you can appreciate all the archaic words and double meanings in the songs. The more familiar you are with old literature, the more likely you are to know words like "quoits" and "swain" and "twixt".
Young listeners will love this recording for the happy driving melodies with the funny words. Older ones will appreciate the double meanings and clever use of archaic language on top of the inherently ridiculous lyrics.
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