Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus

If you ask people what the most important live musical event of the sixties was, you are likely to get a variety of responses. No doubt the majority of people would say Woodstock. Others would say Monterey Pop, Altamont, The Beatles at Shea Stadium, or Dylan going electric at The Newport Folk Festival in 1965. All of those people are musical ignoramuses who don't know what they're talking about.

The most important musical event of the 1960s was the Carnegie Hall Concert put on by music impresarios Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz featuring 46 bubblegum musicians creating a first-of-its-kind rock and roll orchestra. The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus brought together The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express, The Music Explosion, Lt. Garcia's Magic Music Box, The Teri Nelson Group, J.C.W. Rat Finks, St. Louis Invisible Marching Band, and 1989 Musical Marching Zoo onto a single stage for a never-to-be-repeated performance.

The performance was recorded for a proposed LP, but the resulting tapes were judged to be too mind-blowingly awesome for public release, so the music was re-recorded by studio musicians with fake crowd noise added. The results of that re-creation were released on this LP.

These tracks come to you courtesy of the archives of a radio show that ran on Elon College's WSOE-FM in the late eighties and early nineties called "Bird's Multicolored Bubblegum Implosion." At a time when most college radio D.J.s were spinning the likes of The Cure and The Smiths, and the more adventurous were playing Dinosaur Jr. and Beat Happening, Tim ("The Bird") Hitchcock was playing The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus and Giant Crab. The show acheived such legendary status that it is still a major topic of discussion among students at Elon to this day.


Peter Hennig said...

Incredible line-up - that would have been the show to see back then.

Yes the bird show on WSOE -- I had the honor of co-spinning with the bird once back in those days. i don't think anyone had played that much bubblegum on-air since 1970.

And "Down in Tennessee" is so close to "Windy" by the Association -- I don't know how they managed to avoid a lawsuit!

Anonymous said...

Has a real fun Tin Pan Alley kind of vibe.

Pete Bilderback said...

One of my favorite things about this album is the "photo" of the St. Louis Invisible Marching Band--it's just a blank white frame.

I once co-spun on the Bird's show too. We had dropped a note at Eugene Chadbourne's house inviting him to the station (we got the address from the back of one of his records). But it turned out he had moved, and I imagine someone was very confused by a note that was left at their front door.

meinhartstock said...


Love your stuff on the K-K circus. Would love a full size picture of the individual members you have shown. Any chance I could get a copy of that for my records. I collect OHIO items and most of the members are from Ohio.


Anonymous said...

I had that album. Great cover!