Who is Stan Freberg?
Stan Freberg wrote and recorded many songs in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of his songs were parodies of popular songs at the time. Currently, he does a radio show called "When Radio Was". He celebrated his 72nd birthday on August 7th, 1998.
Regarding Elderly Man River
This is one of the first recorded examples of Political Correctness, even before Politcal Correctness had been brought to the public's attention (late 1980s).
I hope to have a transcript of the entire recording not long from now. (Need to find which cassette tape it's on.) For now, here is most of it:
The setting is as follows: A musical radio program is going on and Stan is
the host. Just before he introduces the next song, a man walks up and announces
Man: My name is Tweedly. [he places emphasis on, and draws out, "Tweedly".]
Stan: Well, we all have our problems.
Tweedly states that he is there to ensure that Stan does play anything that he finds offensive. Tweedly will activate his horn every time Stan does something offensive. Stan is hesitant, but decides to go on and starts his introduction.
Bzzzzzt! Stan forgot to be polite and thank Mr. Tweedly.
Stan: Why, that's a darling little horn you have there, Mr. Tweedly.
Stan introduces the next song, "Old Man River", and begins to sing.
"Old man river, that old man..." Bzzzzzt!
Stan: Okay Tweedly, politeness I dig, but what is wrong with "old man river"?
Tweedly: The word "old" has a connotation that some of the more elderly people find offensive. I suggest you make the substitution.
Stan: I suppose you insist.
Stan begins again.
"Elderly man river, that elderly man river. He must know somethin', but he don't say nothin'." Bzzzzzt!
Tweedly chides Stan for improper grammar.
Stan: "Somethin'," "somethin'," it's authentic.
Tweedly says that proper grammar should be used at all times, since "we must be a good influence on... children." [There's a pause and then 'children' is drawn out.]
By now, Stan is starting to get the hang of this, and begins again.
"Elderly man river, that elderly man river. He must know something, but he doesn't say anything. He just keeps rollin' [catches himself] rolling, he just keeps rolling along."
"He don't [Bzzt] doesn't plant taters [catches himself] potatoes, he doesn't plant cotton [catches himself] cotting, because these/them/those that plants them are soon forgotting. Elderly man river, he just keeps rolling along."
The song continues...
"...Body's all aching and wracked with pain." Well, we got by with that one.
"Tote that barge, lift that bail. You get a little..." [Stan slows down and stops here, since the rest of it is "drunk and land in jail".]
Stan: Okay, Tweedly, you can take your finger off the buzzer.
Stan gives up at this point, and wraps up the show.
Stan: Oh, yes, and thank you, Mr. Tweedly.
Tweedly: You're quite welcome, I'm sure.
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