Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Children's Records

As a followup to my recent post at WFMU's Blog about "The Three Little Pigs", I thought I'd post more of the obscure (and, to varying degrees, wonderful) 78's and 45's that my mother recorded on a reel to reel tape back in 1964, for posterity.

First up, two absolutely wonderful songs from Al Goodman and his Orchestra, in both cases, these are hi-fi era remakes (although these records are admittedly no longer "hi-fi") of orchestral favorites from the dawn of recording, songs originally recorded for Victor in the first decade of the 20th Century.

First up is "A Hunt in the Black Forest":

And the flip side is "In a Clock Store":

From the opposite end of the 'Wonderful' spectrum, come two sides of a children's 45, which apparently were excerpted from an album titled "songs about words". These are genuinely weird, especially the first one, which is titled "Rattlesnake":

The flip side is "Alphabeetle":

Next up are two songs that were favorites of mine in 1964 (when I was four), and which appeared on either the Cricket or Peter Pan labels. First up is a song that I actually used to sing at that age - I have a tape on which I'm singing it, none of which is odd, except that the song is "The Pretty Little Dutch Girl". Here's the record:

And here is a series of little poems, some of them quite odd, and another favorite from my childhood, titled "More Pussy Cat Rhymes":

Here's a wonderul little record from the early 1950's, if not earlier. It's the old song "Polly Wolly Doodle", but I've always been quite taken with just how much is going on during this performance, especially near the end:

Finally, an actually hit group, The Ames Brothers, with a song from the mid 1950's, featuring an extremely clever lyric and great harmony singing, "I Saw Esau":

Special thanks to mom for preserving all of these records while they were still in half-decent condition!


Ted Hering said...

Wow! I heard "I Saw Esau Sittin' On a Seesaw" when it came out -- about 50 years ago -- and haven't heard it since! Funny the tune has stuck in my head all this time.

Matt said...

Hi Bob,

Great blog! I love hearing the obscure and odd tunes. I am looking for an old and odd record for children about health and hope you might be able to help out. It was probably from the 50's, and she recalls that it was a DECA recording of some sort. She sings the songs as she recalls them, typically to much laughter and applause, but would love to uncover the original somewhere. The songs cover topics like going to the doctor, the dentist, washing your hands, general cleanliness, and the like.

Any help or resources you could share are greatly appreciated!!



Bob Purse said...

Hey there, Matt,

I don't know how to reach you but by responding to your post here - the link on your name didn't take me to any way to contact you.

Those records don't sound familiar. I do know some fairly insane records about hygiene, which I've posted elsewhere, but they don't have anything to do with the doctor or the dentist, and they were on a small children's label.

Try writing to the Kiddie Record King at


Anonymous said...

I remember learning the "Alphabeetle" song in kindergarten and, when I went to the first grade (different school district), I was shocked that all the other kids were singing some lame "twinkle-twinkle-little-star-rip-off" melody that only mentioned the letters and a half-assed invitation for me to join them the next time they decided to sing the crappy song. My version rocked.
It had soul.
It had syncopation.
That other song lacked all of the qualities of a good lyricist and took on the dull flair of a overstressed librarian on Prozac trying to teach a bunch of brain frozen rejects down at the Kwikie-Mart.
Thank you for bringing a missing piece of my childhood back to my soul.
You made my day.

Bob Purse said...

What a great story!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for alphabeetle. I have been wanting to hear it since my brother broke a 45 with it when i was five, forty-five years ago! it was yellow vinyl by the way


Anonymous said...

I remember learning Alphabeetle when I was in first grade. My teacher did one thing different though. When we sang the alphabet the second time we did it backwards.....z, y, x, w, etc! I still remember it to this day. Thanks for posting this song so I could share it with my children.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm the first grade teacher who taught the alphabet backwards as part of Alphabeetle to first graders for 39 years. I'd found the little 45 record in a drugstore in Monterey, California.
What fun to find this message. Wish I knew who anonymous was!

Mrs. Gregory said...

I'm Mrs. Gregory. Who are you, anonymous?

Bob Atwell said...

A Hunt In The Black Forest A treat for every Bob Steele Fan WTIC Radio 1080. Listened to this every morning for over 30 years. THANK YOU

Bob Purse said...

You're very welcome - glad you stopped by!

missfiggy said...

Bip, Bop and Bim, three happy little elves who worked and played each night and day, dusting and blowing dirty away from flowers. An oh so ancient 45 which my dad found at auction about 50 years ago. Haven't heard it since and can't find any references to it anywhere. Maybe you've heard of it???

Doubledeckergirl Parker said...

Hi my name is Jennifer and my father was an advent childrens record collector and he had a copy for every copy just in case one broke his records where like his baby and he died a few years ago and I am trying to downsize his collection he has well over 2000 childrens records and alot of them are very hard to find i was wondering if you were interested in purchasing some or knew if you knew anybody who would be you can email me at and I have childrens records about health