Oh man, Lord Buckley ain’t yet made the scene
that’s happenin’ in your
The cat was the first. The hippest. The Coolest Comic to take the rhythm of jazz, the fruit of the vine of love, baby, and throw it out for them that could hear it from the same stages as Lenny Bruce and those cats that wailed the most back in the DAY, baby!
The Big Man set the little cat down April 5, 1906. Richard Myrle Buckley. Like a Rock, he weighed in at fourteen pounds. Grew up in Tuolumne, California, which may have been the reason for his hipness, cause two weeks later, on the 18th, the Big Frisco Shake came down. Hipsters say the Earth itself weighed in with applause for the Littlest Hipster.
Lil Richard Myrle played lumberjack in the 20’s; tall trees and taller tales. Started working them tent shows and medicine shows, speakeasies in Chicago, baby. Called himself Dick Buckley then.
In the 30’s, baby, during the Depression, man, you could dig Dick Buckley and his main man Red Skelton MCing those Dance Marathons. Anything to turn a buck, baby, cause times was tough. The jazz got you through. By 1940 he crashed the Club DeLisa in Chi-town, baby. Mostly brothers gigging there, and they tuned his ear for him.
The Man came down on m’man in 41. Opening for Gene Krupa, the drummer, baby, the coppers busted him for public in-ee-bree-ation (you know what I’m talkin’?). Cat liked to Party, and who doesn’t?!
During the Big One—WW II I’m talkin’, m’Lord toured with Ed Sullivan, who was a stand-up man for poor Richard the time he got busted again—in Chi-Town—for reefer, baby. Mr. Ed steps in and he say "Hey! Whatchu wanna do that kinda shit my man here? Let the kittie go!" And they let the kittie go, cause Big Ed, Big Ed was the Man too!
’45 or so, m’man makes the scene to the only city big enough to wrap itself around him and that’d be the Big Apple. N. Y. C. Baby! Cat was married for the sixth time (rightous!) to Lady Elizabeth Hanson, who rocked his world till it TOOK baby. She laid a pair a little hipsters, Richy and Lori, on m' man.
Made the TV scene early, 1949, and where else but Ed Sullivan’s gig, the Toast of the Town.
And the Lord said RECORD! In 1951 and he did—on Vaya Records.
And in 52, he first recorded The Nazz, baby. And the man didn’t have to do NOTHIN’ after The Nazz, cause The NAZZ was the greatest. The personification and humanification of the Living Son of the Lord Most High laid down in the VERNACULAR, baby, so’s a man could DIG IT! And Dig it they did!
In 1954, the cat moves to Topanga Canyon out in L.A. and founds the "Church of the Living Swing," baby, so’s ALL could take a toke a that goodness that was bein’ laid down.
In ’55 RCA, those Big Time Cats with Scratch to Spare, laid his raps to wax. For they WERE raps, y’know. First time White Folks even HEARD that kinda thing.
August 8, 1955 even Steve Allen, that ivory-ticklin hip-but-safe-kinda TV cat put the Lord on the air.
And, fame of any sort, it gives a man time to reflect; so the Lord did Acid in the late 50’s, baby. So maybe THAT’s why he could groove with the hippies, son, who came later but dug him to the max.
He laid down some live sounds in L.A. and moved back to Frisco in 1960. Late in the year, booked to play the Big Apple again, the New York City Man REVOKED the cat’s Cabaret Card, man! The dude couldn’t work! They laid it off on that bust in 41, but we all knew—the Lord was blowing too Cool, baby! People were diggin’ it! Young cats and kitties I’m talking.
Lord Buckley was a Threat to the System Big Time.
His supreme stupification, his most high hippification, the happenest Cat to hit the scene in a long long time, shuffled off His Mortal Coil on a Saturday, baby. November 12, 1960, in New York. Man had a stroke, brought on by malnutrition and kidney problems.
The cats who dug him and were high, cats like George Plimpton, Dizzy Gillespie and Ornette Coleman, the very next day—on a Sunday!--took the fight to City Hall, baby. They wanted posthumous reinstatement of the Lord’s Cabaret Card. The Poo-leece commissioner, they called him Kennedy, lost his job, baby, and the Cabaret Card deal was canceled in Manhattan. Big time.
You could say, in a big way, that the times they were a-changin' because of My Man. Lord Buckley.
M’lady Ms. knifegirl has laid the excellence of The Nazz elsewhere on this hallowed website, but dig what Lord Buckley had to say about another Cool Cat, the Hip Ghan.
I memorized this off my black stack a cool a long time ago, so if The Man say it don’t belong here, it don’t matter. The words are LAID, baby. And they’ll STAY that way.
My Lords, my ladies of the royal court,
an incident from the life of the precious Mahatma Gandhi.
Now, you see, like I 'splained to ya, they called this here cat "The Hip Ghan,"
that's what they call him. Everybody call him The Hip Ghan.
The sweet, precious Hip Ghan.
'Cause India was swung India. He wailed India. He gassed India.
He grooved India. Now I'm gonna tell you why.
Ya see India was bugged wid da lion.
Every time India gets a little extra scoff in the cupboard, wham! here come the lion.
Chomp! Swoop the scene and there stand the poor Indians, scoffless.
Bugged them to death.
That was before the Hip Ghan blew in on the scene, you see.
And the day that The Hip Ghan blew in on the scene seem
to be the lion's big swingin' day,
'cause he was into that scoff patch up to his shoulders,
scoffin' up an insane breeze.
So The Hip Ghan back away about thirty or forty feet,
and he holds out his arms cool wise,
and he do a running bop jumpin' whap,
whapped on that lion's tail so hard that the lion swooped the scene
and that gassed India. It gassed 'em.
So naturally in return they want to gas him back.
So Mr. Ribadee, the Indian Patrillo,
he sent out the notes to all the Indian musicians,
to the ribadee players, the dong-dong players,
the dang-dang players, the ming-long players,
and all the reed-heads, the lute heads, and the blute heads,
and all the blowin' heads there was to come on in,
that they was gonna gas a big jam session for the Ghan.
And whew, here dey come, here dey come!
They come groovin' into this big place to send and swing The Ghan.
And when they all get in there together Mr. Rabadee, the Indian park triller,
he stand up, he say, "Boys, you know what to blow.
'When the Saint Comes Marchin' In.'"
They say, "Groovy."
So here come The Ghan,
with them twenty-six chicks with the horn rim glasses,
nineteen nanny goats, and two spinnin' wheels.
And he look so sharp and so fine and so groovy,
cause he got a nice clean white dau-dau on,
and the love light is beamin' through his glasses and gassin' the whole scene.
And they swing him in and they sit him down on some nice groovy sofa pillows,
silkin', that is, and they cool the nanny goats, and the chicks all cuddle,
and they start to blow.
And my lords and my ladies, I'm goin' to hip you.
You may have heard a lot of jam sessions blowin' off.
You may have heard of New Orleans flips.
You may have heard of Chicago style.
You may have heard of all kinds of jazz jumpin', the wildest,
and the most insane, you may have heard of many musical insane flips,
but you studs and stallions and cats and kitties
never dug any session like these cats blew.
They wailed so hard that the snakes in the jungle
picked up on the lick and come stompin' in for the session,
had to send out the snake guards say, "No dancin' tonight,boys.
We just hippin' The Ghan, that's all. Playin' a little jam session."
Brought the poor snakes clean down.
And they had to send around the wig tappers, you see what I mean.
Sayin', "Jack, I can't put that wig back on you, man. It's goin' in the same hole.
You blowin' too hard. You gotta cool youself for a little while."
And they blowin' up such a crazy, groovy scene that it was double euphoria head.
And when the scene was all over, Mr. Rabadee, the Indian park triller,
he swing over to The Hip Ghan and he do a nice swingin' bow,
and he say, "Oh, great, sweet, swingin', groovey, double-clutchin',
high, non-stop, pine top goal of all double swings in beauty."
And The Hip Ghan say, "Well, if I ain't,
I'm a big, fat, groovy pole on a rough hill on the way there."
He said, "Tell me something."
Say, he's a very hip cat, The Hip Ghan was.
He said, "Tell me somethin'. Did you dig the scene?"
And The Hip Ghan say, "Baby, when I hear them rabadee players,
and the dong-dong players, and them blute blute players,
and the flip heads, and the wood heads, and the reed heads,
and all these boys wailin' up such an insane love breeze
it brought to me the beauty, and the mysticism, and the wonder,
and the gorgeous theme, and the gorgeous wing,
and all the great wild non-stop etherea that is Mother India."
So Mr. Rabadee say, "Well, your sweet hipness,
I like to twisted my wig gettin' this session together for you,
but I sho' did enjoy it, cause I see the beauty in your face.
But would you do me a little favor?"
"Of course, baby."
He said, "Tell me, which one of the instruments did you dig the most?"
So The Hip Ghan look at him and the love look came on his face
and he say, "Well, baby, the music of all India which I dig the most,
the instrument, you ain't got here."
Mister Rabadee said, "Man, what are you sayin'?
I got the doong-doong players, and the bang-bang players,
and the lebedee players, and the reed heads,
and the lute heads, and every head that I could dig up
that swing out of the jungle here
and you tell me that the one you dig the most I ain't got here."
Said, "Dat's right."
He said, "Well, sweet double hipness, great beloved non-stop beauty,
straighten me. Cause I'm ready."
And The Hip Ghan say, "That's right, that's right. Well, here's the lick."
He said, "Baby, the instrument of all India which I dig the music the most of,
that swings my soul up in that great cathedral head of beauty is the music of the ..."
(scat song interval)
He said, "...the spinnin' wheel, baby."
(scat song) ...knock a little patch on the cat's pants...
(scat song) ...swing a coat on grandma...
(scat song) ...get a little juice on the table...
(scat song) ...swang up get a little circus money...
(scat song) ...He said, "The spinnin' wheel, baby."
"I hope I didn't bring you down."
The Best of Lord Buckley
, Elektra EKS-74047
This is a reissued compilation of Lord Buckley's Vaya Records sessions recorded in 1951 in Los Angeles.
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