Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Merv Griffin & Arthur Treacher In London: 'Alf & 'Alf, Songs of the British Music Hall

MGM Records SE 4381

I picked this up on a whim at the thrift shop (99¢), based mostly on the cover photo (and its great condition). I don't think of Merv Griffin as especially knowledgeable about the British Music Hall, and I picture him meeting Arthur Treacher at a party, and the two of them deciding to make this LP on a lark. During my formative years, there were apparently 800 Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips franchises in the US, though I just heard about it today.

From the album: "Music Hall is irreverent but basically good-natured, brassy, raucous, obvious, sentimental and fun." Merv Griffin only sings on five tracks, which is fine, as Treacher's performance seems more in the spirit of the Music Hall. Maybe it's the English accent?

A couple of tracks use rock-and-roll instrumentation, to disappointing effect.

I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy

Wot Cher! (Knock'd Em In The Old Kent Road)

Who's Got The Suitcase

My Old Dutch

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