2003   MAY 5   #125

The Central High School Cafeteria Band - First Rhapsody For Knives, Forks & Spoons parts 1 & 2

Don't know the year on this but I reckon 60's by the sound quality. I found this in Vortex on Queen St. in Toronto, bought in the same crop that yielded the Utica club beer drinking song featured on January 23rd. A high school band clunks and clanks it's way through 2 (original?) compositions by Charles Crean accompanying the band with Knives, Forks & Spoons - very noisy, disjointed and hilarious in that quaint way all high school bands are. The first movement (Allegro Conbeat) is my favorite, 'Wipeout' guitars, a kazoo, oompah style kickdrum and the trade offs between the cutlery and piano make this a treat. The second movement (Andante Con Cha Cha) is a bit more sedate as an organ joins them with overtones of 'The Monster Mash' in places and the whole thing clunks to a halt after just over two minutes. Suitably apt as I spin and produce music under the title of DJ Food.

- Strictly Kev (DJ, producer, graphic designer and rabid collector of all forms of 'music')

TT-4:03 / 4.6MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
from Reo 7"

(Image courtesy of Strictly Kev)

Christopher Cuomo in Birmingham, Alabama writes:
I once had a copy of that record! I found it in a thrift shop amongst a stack of obscure early-'60s novelty records. The copy I had was on the Amy label, which was a subsidiary of Bell Records. Bell (home to the Partridge Family and Gary Glitter) would later become Arista Records, which is still with us today. Apparently Reo (a Canadian imprint that released many US indie recordings North of the Border) released the record in Canada. Note the blurb about by arrangement with Bell Records. I always seriously doubted that that this was a real HS band, probably just some tomfoolery by Bell studio musicians. The school name is so common, and what high school band gets released on a major label? It is quite a unique record though.

Scott S. writes:
I guess we think alike, as this single was played a few times as fill on cheese (www.cheezepleeze.com)...well part 1 anyways, first i've heard of pt 2. Just as a follow up to some of the notes on the page, yes indeed, there were canadian labels that actually released independent hits from the US on a regular basis. There were three companies to my knowledge, Quality records had REO, as well as QUALITY as it's labels, Phonodisc had DELTA and REGENCY, as well as anything Motown using it's originating labels(one of the only ones to do that in the early 60's) and Compo had APEX. everything from Roulette, Sun, Big Top, Vee Jay, A&M, and many other US labels was released by these companies in canada. As a footnote, I remember talking to a veteran Canadian DJ from the 50's who used to get calls from american DJ's who preferred canadian copies of what they are playing on air. Seems the canadian 45's held up better at cueing up the record on the turntable then the american copies. They even went so far as to pay for them!