Thursday, May 1, 2014

Musician Spike Jones 1965 Holy Cross Cemetery

Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was an American musician and bandleader specializing in performing satirical arrangements of popular songs. Ballads and classical works receiving the Jones treatment would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and outlandish vocals. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, the band recorded under the title Spike Jones and his City Slickers and toured the United States and Canada under the title The Musical Depreciation Revue.

Jones' father was a Southern Pacific railroad agent. Young Lindley Jones got his nickname by being so thin that he was compared to a railroad spike. Spike Jones's second wife, singer Helen Grayco, performed in his stage and television shows.

Jones scored a huge broadcast hit late in 1942 with "Der Fuehrer's Face," a song ridiculing Adolf Hitler that followed every use of the word "Heil" with a derisive razzberry sound, as in the repeated phrase "Heil, (razzberry), Heil (razzberry), right in Der Fuehrer's face!"
The song was originally written for Walt Disney's 1943 Oscar-winning propaganda cartoon, first titled Donald Duck in Nutzi Land according to the Disney Archives. The success of the record prompted Disney to re-title the animated cartoon after the song.

Spike Jones was a lifelong heavy smoker, and he eventually developed emphysema. His already thin frame deteriorated, to the point where he used an oxygen tank offstage and onstage was confined to a seat behind his drum set. He died at the age of 53, and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.

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