Musical Comedy: Sir Henry at Rawlinson End and more

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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