Friday, September 30, 2005

Jim Backus: Cave Man (Jubilee 45-5351)

Everybody knows Jim Backus as the millionaire on "Gilligan's Island" and as the voice of the cantankerous cartoon character Mr. Magoo, right? Well, Backus had actually been around for years starring in films ("Rebel Without A Cause," "Myra Breckinridge" among many others), television, radio and even Broadway. He also made a handful of novelty records, of which this was one.

This came out the same year (1958) that Backus scored his only Top 40 hit ("Delicious"). As can be expected, it's a novelty record that finds Backus as a cave man looking to score him a cave woman. Lots of verbal puns abound: "Me use stone club, me belong to Diner's Club") all of them delivered with that distinctive Backus voice. Imagine Mr. Magoo in prehistoric times and you get a better idea of what this sounds like.

Backus is backed here by standard 50s band and chorus accompaniment. Needless to say, though, he's clearly the whole show here and he sounds like he's having a jolly old time. If you can appreciate Jim Backus in any way, shape or form, you just might, too.

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