She'll Grow Back: Happy Birthday Thurl Ravenscroft!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Thurl Ravenscroft!

Today is February 6, which would've been Thurl Ravenscroft's 95th birthday. Around here, we call it Saint Thurl's Day. (You'll recall, I'm sure, that Thurl is the patron saint of She'll Grow Back.)

You can find a LOT of Thurl's stuff here and here, thanks to WFMU and Bob Purse, but this post contains a few of the other things in my collection.

In keeping with the theme of covering Etta James and Janis Joplin, Thurl does one of each, sort of. (By the way, I was hoping this story would've been reported earlier, so I could link it from one of those two posts, but sometimes the AP just won't cooperate!)

First, he helps out whitebread pop singer Georgia Gibbs (who was no stranger to "whiting-out" R & B records, then getting big hits with them) cover Etta's "Roll With Me Henry (The Wallflower)". Next, he joins in with the Modern Barbershop Quartet to give us the tale of "Me and Bobby McGee." (I know, it's really a Kris Kristofferson song, and one Monday soon I've got about a dozen versions for you all.)

Finally, I've featured a lot of Thurl from The Haunted Mansion, but here he is, narrating the story of Pirates of the Caribbean, and singing on "Yo Ho A Pirate's Life For Me." He also plays more than half the voices here. (For some reason, the folks at Disneyland Records decided to rerecord almost all the vocal tracks from the ride, rather than just use the ones they already had in the can. Bonus: more Thurl per minute, or TPM as I call it.)

Happy birthday, Thurl!


CD said...

Did you see Ella bitching about Beyonce crapping up her songs?

Love it.

Mark H. Besotted said...

I know there are way too many links up there; the one that says "this story" is to the AP story about what Ms. Etta has to say.

I expected this a little sooner, actually -- when I was writing up the "Ball and Chain" post I did a quick search for exactly that news story (even though it hadn't happened yet), since I've always seen Etta as pretty outspoken, and also as the type of person who wouldn't necessarily be particularly gracious about this type of thing.

I'd even hoped that she'd say something publicly before the inauguration, and get invited by our all-inclusive President, thereby getting her a lot more press, which would of course have been much more positive than this story is. Here she comes off as graceless, mean-spirited, and a little jealous.

Thing is, I love Etta and I don't care for Beyonce, but I'm not in the majority in this country these days. News stories like this, if publicized, don't work in her favor.

Ehhh, I'm tired and rambling. I just hope Etta doesn't see this and complain about the subpar version of "The Wallflower" I posted...