Lyft Industrial Deals HPC Oprah's Book Club Red Shoes We Love nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Stream your favorites. Amazon music Unlimited. Learn more. All-New Fire 7, starting at $49.99 Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Gift Shop Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon victoriaS2 victoriaS2 victoriaS2  Three new members of the Echo family Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, starting at $129.99 Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now TG18_gno

on August 15, 2010
There are two delightful pieces on this CD. One is "Archie and Mehitabel" narrated wonderfully well. Based on the book written and published in the early 1900's by Dan Marquis, it is about Archie, a poet and philosopher in a former life, transmigrated into the body of a cockroach. At night he takes over the typewriter of a human writer who is kind enough to always leave an empty sheet of paper in it before retiring. Archie pounds out stories about himself, his views and feelings, working with all his might. The other character is Mehitibel, a very precocious alley cat, transmigrated into her current form but having once been Cleopatra. It is about their adventures, and is a delight for those who enjoy the whimsical, have a vivid imagination, and are fun-loving in spirit.
The second part of the CD is the equally delightful and fun-loving "Carnival of Animals" by Saint Saens with excellently done narration of the accompanying readings and poems.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 2, 2012
Decades ago, I heard Garrison Keillor do a Marquis monologue about Mehitabel and her kittens on the Prairie Home Companion, and I was intrigued. Then one day, by accident, maybe five years later, I found the vinyl version of Archy & Mehitabel in a freebie bin at a St. Louis used record store, and snatched it up.

The story goes that Don Marquis was a drunken has-been writer who, one evening during one of his drunken stupors, typed some philosophical drivel on his typewriter, and fell asleep. When he awoke in his office in the morning, one of his co-workers saw the typed drivel, and asked 'what's this?' to which Marquis replied in his bleary-eyed morning hangover "Ah, nothing. A cockroach came in last night and wrote that"

And thus, Archy & Mehitabel, and soon Don Marquis, were born, or reborn.

This recording was done for radio with Carol Channing, Eddie Bracken and David Wayne, and was written by Joe Darious (Man of La Mancha) and Mel Brooks, and is really quite delightful. The piece was later turned into a somewhat failed Broadway show called 'Shinbone Alley' and later 'Tales of Shinbone Alley', with Eartha Kitt as Mehitabel, and Eddie Bracken still playing the loveable cockroach Archy. But nothing compares with this original recording.

I still have my freebie vinyl album that I grabbed all those years ago. But in the years that passed I managed to get both Carol Channing and Eddie Bracken to autograph it. I'm glad to find the CD to be able to play for friends, and keep my jewel in safe keeping!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMEon December 26, 2004
ARCHY AND MEHITABEL is the delighful George Kleinsinger-Joe Darion `back-alley opera' based on the stories of Don Marquis. The story concerns a cockroach called archy who writes about his experiences and friends in the big city, on a typewriter in a deserted newspaper office at nighttime. He can't work the shift key so all of his writing is in lower-case, hence the title "archy and mehitabel". archy writes about many things but most of all his friend mehitabel the cat, whom he wishes would stop her heedless homeless lifestyle and get a job as a house-cat.

The 26-minute recording has always been an endless delight, with Eddie Bracken and Carol Channing (in her beatnik phase) perfect for the roles of archy and mehitabel. David Wayne serves as narrator. The musical was later expanded into a full evening of musical theatre - SHINBONE ALLEY - which again starred Eddie Bracken with Eartha Kitt as mehitabel (a double-disc live recording of the show is available on Legend-6009/6010 and is highly-recommended). This CD is filled out by ECHOES OF ARCHY, a sequel again narrated by David Wayne; with the legendary Noel Coward-Andre Kostelanetz recording of CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS thrown in for good measure.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on December 3, 2004
Like "yaakov98," I knew every word of this record as a child. My sister now has the actual LP and plays it for her son, who can also sing the entire thing.

But although kids love it, it is not at all a record for children. As a kid I recognized archy's hopeless crush on mehitabel, but completely missed why he was upset when she returned from her romantic fling with a litter of unwed mother, and clearly not for the first time. "archy and mehitabel" veers from bouncy to melancholy, but "echoes of archy" is downright gloomy (though very enjoyable anyway).

The music owes a lot to "West Side Story" in its jazzy orchestration, but has its own distinct voice -- listen how the cheery waltzy songs like "Cheerio my deario" have moments of minor chording that are ominous in tone.

Highlights for me are: the chorus of alley cats crooning a cockeyed lullaby to the kittens ("Hushabye...go to sleep in the ash can") with mehitabel's counterpoint on the difficulty of her work/life balance. Also, the story of Horace, the theater cat of the "Old School" -- hysterical.

By the way, although the "echoes of archy" segment is entirely done by David Wayne, it's not just spoken word. There are a lot of great songs too.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 6, 2017
Somehow its just not as funny as I remember it being when I was a kid. I'm sadly disappointed that my taste back then was so lacking.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 1, 2013
This is music and drama/comedy in a very unique genre -- kind of like a classic radio program, but not. The production is off-beat and tongue-in-cheek, with the inimitable Carol Channing taking the part of the cat and Eddie Bracken as the writer. With often jazzy music to set the mood this CD relates the nostalgic love affair between Archie the Cockroach and Mehitabel the Cat. I first came to know Archie and Mehitable on a Columbia LP in the late 1950s or early 1960s. As soon as I learned it had been released on CD, I knew that I had to have a copy -- right away. I can heartily recommend this unusual, charming, and offbeat musical story.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 17, 2017
I already loved "archy and mehitabel" or would not have ordered it! Toujours gai. Nice to have Saint-Saens as well.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 12, 2008
I have this as an LP, but as I have also not had a turntable for many years, have not been able to play it.
So I have found that this CD is a wonderful nostalgia trip, and find that I remember every single word.
I'm afraid that my cats are house cats (this is said with Mehitabel's unique voice, the only "cat" voice in a human that is perfect.
No-one else could ever play Mehitabel but Carol Channing, and Archie almost - (only almost) makes me like cockroaches.
To those who haven't heard this wonderful small account of life from Archie, you have missed out on something wonderful....
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 3, 2017
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on September 12, 2015
Better than i remembered from when I was growing up. the sax solo at the beginning gave me goose bumps. Don't bother with side (track) 2.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here