A King in The Land of Thrift Store Vinyl
January 31, 2011
There is, I admit, a certain level of frivolity associated with TSV; after all, much of the music associated with these LPs IS frivolous, existing in the throw-away world of temporarily popular music; that’s why it (thankfully) ends up in thrift stores.
But every once and a while a band and its creator represent an interesting intersection in popular music that is worth a little more digging. And with the Intar-Webs, the digging usually provides some good context for a band that seems, at first, utterly ridiculous. I present here a group from a recently purchased thrift store LP: King Richard’s Fluegel Knights:
The “King Richard” of this Tijuana Brass-with-a-twist band was Dick Behrke. His name won’t ring any chord unless you are really into Bobby Darin, for it was Dick Behrke, Darrin’s high school buddy, bandmate, and eventual arranger, that helped to launch the latter to astounding and rapid success.
As the name and “family” crest of the Fluegel Knights suggest, this is a band with a slightly medieval shtick, with Baroque-like trumpet intros and bridges throughout, and some medieval-related song titles like “Camelot” and “Castle Holiday.” But most of the music is that happy, bouncy “now sound” that evokes the world of TV game shows Like Celebrity Bowling. Try out this YouTube of the Fluegel Knights instrumental rendition of the well-worn tune “Everybody Loves My Baby:”
Gotta love an instrumental tune that clocks in at 1:54. For a lot of people, that is probably all they could take; for me, however, I could listen to this stuff all day. Evidently, a lot of people did listen to the tune as it reached #11 in 1967 on the easy listening charts.
But “King” Richard Behrke was no fly-by-knight (sorry) slacker trying to ride the coattails of the Great Herb Alpert and his TJB. Berhke was active in many areas of music, including composition, arranging, and teaching, not to mention being a competent horn player and pianist. And his work with Darin was pivotal for both artists. You can go here to read more about the partnership of Darin and Behrke.
There is also that movie with Kevin Spacey playing Darin that elicited a pretty divided criticism. I think I’ll watch it just for heck of it, and because maybe the Dick Behrke character may show up. Have any of you folks out there seen it yet?
There are plenty of free download sites with Fluegel Knights LPs out there, but there is nothing like holding that nice, Thrift Store Vinyl. Mmmmmm. Smells so good.