M’lords, m’ladies of the Royal Court” – Fifty-five years since the passing of the great Lord Buckley. Just re-released by City Lights this year – what Buckley scholar, Oliver Trager has called, “this sacred artifact, this holy talisman” – Hiporama of the Classics – “First published in 1960, this new expanded edition contains, in addition to Buckley’s hip-semantic raps, a new foreward by Al Young and photographs by legendary music photographers, Jim Marshall, Jerry Stoll, and others”
Lord Buckley.com is a pretty good place to go for more. Not the least, for its transcriptions of the routines –
Not the least for the immortal “Nazz” (Buckley’s routine on Jesus of Nazareth)
– Ah! but there are so many!
[“…And a great love came on his face and he noticed the power and beauty all of a sudden -“Oh great swingin’ flowers of the fields!” – And they said “Oh great natural song of the stomp of beauty!”. And he said, “Stomp upon the terra!” – They hit it. He said “Lift your hands from the body” – The body went up – He said, “Straighten your arms!” – The arms went up. He said “Higher! – They went higher. He said “Dig Infinity” – And they dug it!”]
Here are a few of our favorites:
– The Nazz (complete)
Hipsters Flipsters And Finger-Poppin’ Daddies (Mark Anthony’s oration in hip-semantic)
The Gettysburg Address (likewise rendered in hip-semantic)
Cabenza De Gasca, The Gasser
His version of Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven
“And now because I think rhythm is the key to everything, rhythm in attitude, rhythm in attention, rhythm in execution, rhythm in consummation, rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. Rhythm runs the whole swinging gate..”
Not so much extant footage of Buckley but here’s two rare early treats.
First, from, circa 1949, an appearance on the tv show “Club 7” (he’s seen doing an impression of “a great American and great artist, Mr Louis Armstrong“, performing “When The Saints Go Marching In”, followed by a Lord Buckley parable – “The Lord and the Sinner” (“The great master was sitting in his rosy rockin’ chair one Hallelujah morning…”)
– “Take a little and leave a little”, that’s what the Lord said”
The second clip is an historic combination. “Mr R.M.Buckley” appears on Groucho Marx‘s tv show, You Bet Your Life (Buckley comes on about two minutes in)
Here‘s the legendary interview with Studs Terkel
Here‘s an interview with Allen’s cousin Oscar Janiger (remembering him and pioneering research)
Here’s the notorious police transcript
(censored, like Lenny Bruce, on account of draconian cabaret laws)
Oliver Trager‘s Dig Infinity is an essential book (if you can find it). Here’s him talking about the book and about Buckley – here and here
He recently just brought it to the stage, performing this year at the New York International Fringe Festival. Here’s Hilton Als preview of that.