Dang! Too Late to Get Tickets, I Reckon
Portland, Oregon will be the site of a big bash on April 20th celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of Lord Buckley.
My brother hipped me to him when I was about 12 years old. It was love at first listen. He was an odd duck. Not necessarily a comedian in the usual sense, but rather a wordplayer. He loved the black jive lingo and spoke it almost exclusively in his bits. He was big with the beatniks. This trippy old white dude who spoke like a black man, wore tuxes and just generally acted extremely eccentric. What's not to like?
One of his best bits (and one I commited to memory as a teen,) was his take on the Gettysburg Address, to only read it and not hear it takes some of the fun out of it, though:
"Four big hits and seven licks ago,
our before-daddies swung forth upon this sweet groovy land
a jumpin', wailin', stompin', swingin' new nation,
hip to the sweet groove of liberty and solid sent upon the Ace lick
dat all cats and kiddies, red, white, or blue, is created level in front.
We are now hung with a king size main-day Civil Drag,
soundin' whether this nation or any up there nation,
so hip and so solid sent can stay with it all the way.
We have stomped out here to the hassle site
of some of the worst jazz blown in the entire issue.
We are here to turn on a small soil stash of
the before-mentioned hassle site as a final sweet sod pad
for those who laid it down and left it there
so that this jumpin' happy beat might blow forever-more.
And we all dig that this is the straightest lick.
But diggin' it harder from afar we cannot mellow,
we cannot put down the stamp of the lord on this sweet sod
because the strong non-stop studs, both diggin' it and dug under it,
who hassled here have mellowed it with such a wild mad beat
that we can hear it, but we can't touch it.
Now the world cats will short dig nor long stash in their wigs
what we are beatin' our chops around here,
but it never can successively shade what they vonced here.
It is for us the swingin' to pick up the dues
of these fine studs who cut out from here
and fly it through to Endsville.
It is hipper for us to be signifyin' to the glorious gig
that we can't miss with all these bulgin' eyes,
that from all these A-stamp studs we double our love kick, too,
that righteous ride for which these hard cats
sounded the last nth bone of the beat of the bell.
That we here want it struck up straight for all to dig
that these departed studs shall not have split in vain,
and that this nation under the great swingin' Lord shall
swing up a whopper of endless Mardi Gras,
and that the big law by you straights, from you cats, and for you kiddies,
shall not be scratched from the big race."
Richard "Lord" Buckley passed away in 1960. Definately one of a kind.
Some more entertaining personal insights by others about him can be found here as well.