“The Ernie Kovacs Album (Centennial Edition)” is a mono-only collection of eleven television audio tracks originally issued in 1976 for Columbia Records (Note: The executive producer of the 1976 “The Ernie Kovacs Album” was the legendary The Ernie Kovacs Album (Centennial Edition)” who resided at Columbia for twenty-one years, who went on to reshape Blue Note Records.) This current and expanded edition commemorates Kovacs’ one-hundredth birthday (January, 23rd, 1919) adding six previously un-issued bonus tracks, three from his 1955 ABC radio programs; it also marks its first digital appearance.
Most of your favorite Kovacs characters come to life: J. Walter Puppybreath, Percy Dovetonsils, Uncle Buddy, Mr. Question Man plus the one-and-only Ernie narrating and constantly reinventing himself, tinkering with everything. But what’s missing is Ernie’s most famous centerpiece, that being The Nairobi Trio, and (of course their memorable theme-song and silly antics. Nonetheless you get to hear Ernie straight-up with his uniquely stylistic spoken words and often (wonderfully-warped) comedy routines.
As a youngster I adored Ernie, often begging my parents to allow me to stay up late for his later-night television shows. I also enjoyed hearing Kovacs’ (after so many years) all over again on this centennial release. But what makes this a tough (only-audio) adventure is that we cannot see Ernie. Kovacs’ was incredibly visual, perfect for television with countless kooky facial expressions. Ernie also loved to distort video segments. Needless to say those Ernie Kovacs’ video captures cannot be displayed via this or any other audio releases. That being said: For the complete Ernie Kovacs experiences; I’d recommend some of the DVD/Blu-Ray or streaming services videos that are available at your favorite online shopping sites, and/or brick and mortar locations.
Oh, could someone please inform Omnivore Recordings that especially for spoken word releases that it would be helpful to have individual track numbers. At times I had a hard time wondering which comedy sketch was running. Is it so difficult to add numbers for each track?
Hard to believe Ernie Kovacs has been gone for over fifty-seven years. Though it’s good to know his talents are still appreciated by (not only) those of us who originally witnessed his television shows, as well as for many who also viewed his reissued programs, documentaries and biographies. And especially for many who might be experiencing their very first opportunities to inhale and exhale this visionary comedian who lived by the words that are inscribed on his tombstone: “Nothing In Moderation.” That was Ernie right up to the end of his untimely and horrific auto-crash demise.
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For over 20 years Bob Putignano has been pivotal with his Sounds of Blue radio show.
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Previously a contributing editor at Blues Revue, Blueswax, and Goldmine magazines, currently the Music Editor for the Yonkers Tribune Music Editor for the Yonkers Tribune Newspaper
www.YonkersTribune.com/?s=bob+putignano&submit=Search, Bronxville Tribune, Mount Vernon Tribune, Yonkers Tribune, and Westchester Tribune.
2003 recipient of the “Keeping the Blues Alive” award (given by the Blues Foundation in Memphis)
Putignano can be contacted at: BobP@SoundsofBlue.com
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