Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Wild and Dirty World Of Mel Henke

"The Mad Musical World Of Mel Henke" reads the cover of this classic bit of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music. 'Mad' is putting it politely - the blaring jazz, leering lyrics, rude sound effects, and general 'Playboy' Party Jokes feel to the whole thing makes it as far out as you could get for 1962 without crossing over into Lenny Bruce territory.

Needless to say, it's a wildly entertaining album, with futuristic hi-fi sounds bouncing all over your stereo system. Henke knew how to get your attention - he made his name in advertising, composing snappy jingles like "See The USA In Your Chevrolet." You may now be saying, "Yo Fab, if this album's so great, why haven't other blogs posted it?"  They have, my cyber-chums, they have!  But not with the bonus tracks from the Scamp Records 1997 re-issue. See, that's why I rule and they drool I felt that it was okay to post my copy here.

Weirdly enough, that's not Henke pictured on the album cover -  it's actually San Francisco radio dj Tom Donahue. According to the liner notes by Brother Cleve of Combustible Edison (hey, remember them?), it was a "bizarre marketing move...undoubtedly hoping for airplay in return."

Mel Henke - " La Dolce Henke"
After clicking the above link, scroll down for a choice of downloading options. You may have to wait a few secs.]
1. The Lively Ones
2. Walkin' My Baby Back Home
3. The Twisters
4. Let's Put Out The Lights
5. Open The Door, Richard
6. Farmer John
7. Last Night On The Back Porch
8. It's So Nice To Have A Man Around The House
9. All That Meat
10. You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do?)
11. Baby, It's Cold Outside
12. Woman In Space [dig the "ethereal sound of Elliot Fischer's electric violin"]
13. William Tell On The Hoof
14. Old McDonald Had A Girl
15. Exotic Adventure
16. See The USA In Your Chevrolet [instrumental version; check Dinah Shore singing in the vid below]


DonHo57 said...

How could anything by Henke not include a little hanky -panky? BIG thanks for giving us these bonus tracks. I'll bet Mel himself would be proud.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think Dinah Shore thought "See the USA in Your Chevrolet" was supposed to be a hit single, not an advertising jingle, or so I recall from somewhere.

Like the wench with the lyre in the forefront of the cover shot. Nice leggy wench.