Saturday, April 28, 2012

You Went The Wrong Way, Old King Louie

Allan Sherman

My Son, The Nut



by Mark Deming

Allan Sherman began moving cautiously away from the explicitly Jewish humor of his debut album on its follow-up, My Son, the Celebrity, and he all but abandoned it for his third long-player, 1963's My Son, the Nut. However, if Sherman was less eager to poke fun at Jewish-American culture as he grew more popular, his need to kvetch about the absurdities of modern life was stronger than ever, and My Son, the Nut unexpectedly proved to be Sherman's masterpiece, featuring 12 superb song parodies that take aim at the perils of suburbia ("Here's to the Crabgrass"), advancing technology ("Automation"), advertising ("Headaches"), and lots more. Sherman also indulges his passion for the quirks of the English language on "One Hippopotami," vents his spleen on "Rat Fink," and encounters a fanciful half-woman half-bunny on "You're Getting to Be a Rabbit with Me." But the album's two biggest laughs come from Sherman's biggest hit, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)," based in part on his own son's unpleasant experiences at summer camp, and the side-splitting closer, "Hail to Thee, Fat Person," in which Sherman explains to people who are "skinny or in some other way normal" how he gained weight "as a public service." Lou Busch's witty and full-bodied orchestrations are the icing on the cake for what would prove to be the best and most popular album of Sherman's career.


  1. You Went the Wrong Way, Old King Louie
  2. Automation
  3. I See Bones
  4. Hungarian Goulash No. 5
  5. Headaches
  6. Here's to the Crabgrass
  7. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp)
  8. One Hippopotami
  9. Rat Fink
  10. You're Getting to be a Rabbit with Me
  11. Eight Foot Two, Solid Blue
  12. Hail to Thee, Fat Person

Get it HERE