Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Harry Stewart/ Stan Freeberg

No boot sales at the moment until the Spring (around here at least ) so delving in the archive found this compilation LP of some novelty songs by various people including Yogi Yorgesson and Harry Kari and the Saki Sippers, both the creation of Harry Stewart.
He was born to Norwegian parentage in Washington state in 1908. His excellent website informs us -

"Harry was raised in the Proctor District, attended Washington Grade School then Stadium High School in Tacoma. When Harry was age 15 or 16, he acquired tuberculosis, which resulted in one lung removal. He was a bellhop at the Carlton Hotel also worked graveyard shift from midnight to seven A.M. at the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. Harry just "hung around" the then new radio station "KVI" and was eventually given a job as an announcer, weather reporter, news man and banjo player in 1927. In 1931 he moved to Los Angeles, California, with the hope of getting an announcing and banjo playing job with one of the larger stations. In those days, both announcers and banjo players were too plentiful. If he wanted to continue in the radio field, he had to think up a new act or forget about eating. He had not written or acted any comedy, but the character named Yogi Yorgesson, Swede-Hindu mystic, born of the need for survival, CAME TO HIM after starving in the area for a while. "Yogi" was a cross between Ivar Haglund, (locally famous as owner of Ivar's Acres of Clams, Seattle) and Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu Spiritualist. He tried out his routine on the nationally broadcast show "Merrymakers". It was six months before he got a job with Al Pearce and his gang, whom he was with for about three and one half years (1934-1937). His character for the show was "Yogi Yorgesson," (the Hindu mystic from Stockholm, Sweden) with a Swedish comedy touch. Yogi: "mystical" and Yorgesson: "comedic Swedish name." He gazed into a small fish bowl turned upside down as his "crystal ball" and would make statements such as, "I can see my face on da udder side." That was his line, but his skit also answered questions that were posed to him by listeners. Actually, the listeners’ questions were simply part of the script that he wrote. He used an exaggerated Swedish dialect to add to the humor. One routine done on that show is remembered by his son Steve which went like this: A lady called in and asked, "My baby just swallowed some bullets, what should I do?" Yogi answered, "Give him some caster oil and don't point him at anybody!" His costume consisted of Swede boots, Hindu loincloth, lumberjack shirt and a Hindu turban."

Harry went on to create other characters including Harry Kari,Claude Hopper, and Klaus Hammershmidt.
He died in 1956 in a car wreck whilst driving back from a fishing trip.

Also on the LP is Stan Freeberg-

"Stanley Victor Freberg (born August 7, 1926 in Los Angeles) is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, puppeteer, and advertising creative director.

The son of a Baptist minister, Stan Freberg grew up in Pasadena, California. His traditional upbringing is reflected both in the gentle sensitivity which underpins his work, despite his liberal use of biting satire and parody, and in his refusal to accept alcohol and tobacco manufacturers as sponsors (an impediment to his radio career when he took over for Jack Benny on CBS radio), as Freberg explained to Rusty Pipes:

"After I replaced Jack Benny in 1957, they were unable to sell me with spot announcements in the show. That would mean that every three minutes I'd have to drop a commercial in. So I said, 'Forget it, I want to be sponsored by one person like Benny was, by American Tobacco or State Farm Insurance,' except that I wouldn't let them sell me to American Tobacco. I refused to let them sell me to any cigarette company."

Discover more about Stan Freeberg HERE.

Stan Freeberg - John & Marsha

Yogi Yorgesson - The Bees & The Birds

Stan Freeberg - St. George & The Dragonet

Harry Kari - Yokohama Mama

Yogi Yorgesson - The Object Of My Affections

Stan Freeberg - Little Blue Riding Hood

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

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