R. CRUMB & HIS CHEAP SUIT SERENADERS Chasin’ Rainbows (1976/1993) & Singing In The Bathtub (1978/1993)


Chasin’ Rainbows (1976/1993)
Singing In The Bathtub (1978/1993)
Kinda Makes You Wanna Hit A Back Alley Speakeasy

There’s something sacrilegious about hearing the 1920s music of R. Crumb (famed comic artist) And His Cheap Suit Serenaders on compact disc. After all, when this group of geek misfits first surfaced in the early 70s, their style of loose, Prohibition-era music was actually first pressed on 78rpm records, as a novelty, perhaps, but still befitting the atmosphere of the times. A true connoisseur of this era would likely judge our modern plastic equivalents – and their pristine sound – antithetical to the spirit of the music. And, they’d probably be right. Chasin’ Rainbows and Singing In The Bathtub are R. Crumb’s second and third albums, not-so-originally titled #2 & #3 when first issued on 33rpm vinyl in the mid-70s. These MP3 downloads, however, are from the 1993 CDs reissued by Shanachie Records. 78s, 33-1/3rds, CDs, MP3s… step by step we get further and further from the essence. As a dumb young rocker in the 70s, this all seemed like little more than cornball novelty music, with tap-happy banjos, wheezing rhythms and singing saw solos. In reality, this is an amalgamation of blues, dixieland and immigrant-inspired Americana, a music – and a time – that is lost (along with 78s themselves) to all but directors of period cinema and the true enthusiasts. There are surely finer practitioners of this lost art, but Robert Crumb and the boys do an admirable job. Hear some examples below. Zoot suits and reefer not included. You can find both Chasin’ Rainbows and Singing In The Bathtub at Amazon.


Chasin Rainbows
Alabama Jubilee (2:42)
Chasin’ Rainbows (3:19)
Fine Artiste Blues (3:07)
Hula Medley (4:06)
I Want A Little Girl (3:25)
Persian Rug (4:00)
Mysterious Mose (3:18)
Crying My Blues Away (3:32)
She Lived Down By The Firehouse (3:17)
Diane (3:03)
Make My Cot Where The Cot-Cot-Cotton Grows (3:34)
Moana March (3:07)

Singing In The Bathtub
Singing In The Bathtub (3:12)
Chile Blues (2:19)
Dream Of Heaven (2:57)
Suits Crybaby Blues (3:06)
Collier Medley: Ben Hur March & Napoleon March (3:18)
Shopping Mall (2:17)
Yearning And Blue (3:24)
Hula Girl (2:20)
Pedal Your Blues Away (2:47)
La Gima Polka (2:00)
Sing Song Girl (3:48)
Home (4:07)
My Gal Sal (2:59)
Hano Hano Hawaii (3:34)

5 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    June 20, 2011 - 14:34 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    October 14, 2011 - 18:22 | Permalink

    This is great stuff. Amazing that I am the frist to say so here….
    Thanx, Willardo.

    • 3
      Willard
      October 14, 2011 - 19:43 | Permalink

      Actually, we’ve had comments issues with every rebirth we’ve had. There always seems to be clumps of them that just go away. Which is a bummer because some of the conversations were fun. Thanks for adding to the new batch.

  • 4
    Dave
    September 30, 2013 - 20:39 | Permalink

    Love the Serenaders! thanks,

  • 5
    Richard
    October 13, 2013 - 22:33 | Permalink

    Thank you kindly sir for all these treats!

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