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This review is from: The Best of Kay Kyser & His Orchestra (Audio CD)
I bought this collection for "Three Little Fishies", which song a friend of mine from college had included on a mix tape he made for me back in the mid-70s (which tape has long since disintegrated), and which had been stuck in a corner of my brain like a wad of gum for over 30 years. I didn't really know much about Kyser; but apparently, he was known for wearing a mortarboard onstage (as the professor of his "Kollege of Musical Knowledge"); for the musical trademark of having one line of the song sung at the beginning of the record, before the band took a verse and chorus; for having a veritable army of band singers all at once (including Ginny Simms, "Handsome" Harry Babbitt, and someone or something called Ish Kabibble); and for launching the career of Mike Douglas. Over the course of the 1930s and 40s, the Kyser outfit went from a "sweet" band (sort of Guy Lombardo-ish) to a "hot" swing band, all the while leaning towards novelty (witness "Who's Yahoodi", "Alexander the Swoose (Half-Swan Half-Goose)", and the aforementioned "Three Little Fishies") . Their music is workmanlike, if wholly unremarkable throughout, which is not to say it isn't fun -- it definitely is. Even swing fans will likely only need one Kay Kyser collection in their lives. I recommend this one.