Musical Comedy: Sir Henry at Rawlinson End and more

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 6 February, 2013

Join us today for a programme of the hilarious, the ingenious and the just plain daft as we present a programme of musical comedy and novelty records.

Today you’ll hear a broad mix of pieces mostly written with their tongues firmly in their cheeks, or at least with some kind of sense of humour. You’ll hear Spike Jones and other ‘novelty records’ of the 30s and 40s, a musical joke from Mozart, Le Carnaval des Animaux from Saint‐Saëns, the hilarious compositions of PDQ Bach (aka Peter Schickele) and his approximate British equivalent Gerard Hoffnung, the marvellous songs of Flanders and Swann, off‐the‐wall renditions of familiar songs via early electronic instruments by Perrey & Kingsley, a touch of Victor Borge, and much more including The Muffin Men, Rondellus and… well, you’ll just have to find out, won’t you.

As a special treat, we are presenting two quite marvellous extended pieces in the form of the two Vivian Stanshall monologues, Sir Henry At Rawlinson End from 1978 and the almost unknown semi‐sequel Sir Henry at Ndidi’s Kraal. The inhabitants of Rawlinson End first appeared on the 1972 Bonzo Dog Band’s contractual obligation album Let’s Make Up And Be Friendly, and were created by Bonzos front man Vivian Stanshall. They then emerged through the 1970s as a series of radio segments on DJ John Peel’s radio show. The pieces took the form of an apparent Rawlinson End saga, with content ranging from dirty jokes to exquisite alliteration, quite remarkable imagery particularly of people, and an almost Joycean surrealism. An album was released in 1978.

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End goes out at 9am Pacific / 17:00 GMT and Sir Henry at Ndidi’s Kraal will be broadcast at 5pm Pacific / 01:00 GMT. Enjoy!

Then at 11 am and 7pm Pacific (19:00 and 030:00 GMT) join us for this week’s classic Zeeber Gold interview, this week with Frank Zappa.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. You can listen to the programme in‐world now at, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link:


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