Riffs 2005


Dead Funny
Dead Funny

HRH Oliver Trager, the Scribester of All Things Buckley, has hipped LBC to a sweet stash of semantic units residing in the February/March 2005 issue of Cannabis Culture magazine.

In an article titled "Dead Funny" Cherryland comedians Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce and Our Lord Richard Buckley are connected to the main beam of the theme by their dedicated, reverent and sacramental inhalative devotion to the Sacred Green Vine (quoth The Whale, "Jonah, what are you smokin' in there?")


Sneak preview of "Dead Funny"



January 29, 2005
Fega Signs Off

You cats and kitties without a little grey in the beard or silver streaks on the roof may not be hip to the name Mort Fega. But sweet voiced Mort, at one time, was one of the two lions of the New York radio jazz scene. He shared pride of place with legendary jazz dj Symphony Sid during the golden age of New York jazz. He spun records and talked a wonderful jazz argot, introducing Miles, Dizzy and John Coltrane to an increasingly hip Gotham populance. He also hosted shows at a variety of venues including the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, Newport Jazz Festival and Carnegie Hall.

Today the story of jazz in New York City cannot be told without the name Mort Fega being mentioned. And today, sadly, we bring you the news that Mort has signed off on his last show. Fega and Lord Buckley became buddy cats when Buckley showed up at Mort's show one night and laid Mort out with The Hipsemantic. There is even a photo of Mort with Lord Buckley in front of the Jazz Gallery shortly before His Lordship's Cabaret Card was lifted.Mort gave the moving eulogy at His Lordship's funeral. Mort died on January 21, 2005 at home in Delray Beach, Florida. At the time he was in recovery from a back operation.

Mort is survived by his wife of sixty years Muriel, four sons and eight grandchildren.



February 15, 2005
HM Skeleton Bones

You wild studs and stallions need to tune your antennae to a sweet web frequency (accent on the freq.) because the mysterious and imaginative Prince John Douglas has a laid a hip little animation on the populance.

Put in your mind's eye a swingin' calcium type cat with a penchant for Lord Buckley type Karaoke. It's sort of a main day frame thing.

Here's the URL:

(scroll down the page and click on the "Click here" button)

----- Special thanks to Oliver Trager for hipping us to dem bones.



March 10, 2005
The Final Chorus of Lady Dorris
Dorris Henderson 1933 - 2005

Dorris Henderson, the legendary singer with the ebony pipes, has finished her last bridge and chorus. To Buckleyphiles she was known as the voice behind The Voice on the Ivar Concert versions of Black Cross and The Nazz.

Born in Florida and raised in Los Angeles, Dorris first met Lord Buckley at the Topanga Canyon restaurant of Bob and Doe Dewitt. His Lordship knew talent when he said it and soon Lady Dorris found herself in the orchestra pit of the Ivar Theatre for the three nights of Lord Buckley's gig. Dorris said, "He never told me what to sing. 'Kumbaya' [from Black Cross] and 'Rock of Ages' [from The Nazz] just seemed to fit. Lord Buckley had a wonderful trust in people."

Lady Dorris had a great career as a folk singer. She moved to the England in 1965 with only her autoharp and her beautiful voice. Soon she found herself the toast of the folk scene. She teamed with John Renbourne and others performing live and on record. She settled in London and, along with her husband Mac McGann, raised three children. Her last album, "Here I Go Again, was issued in 2003. Lady Dorris died on March 3, 2005.


Click here for a newspaper obituary [not an active link]

Click here for a movie clip of Dorris singing "Kumbaya" [not an active link]



March 11, 2005
Scalawags In Rags

HRH Oliver Trager, author of Dig Infinity!, checked in today with a tip on a new magazine article about His Lordship. Under the heading of "Scalawags", the spring issue of the Canadian fashion magazine Nuvo presents an article titled "One Groovy Flower - Lord Buckley takes the stage" by Jim Christy. Though somewhat lacking in veracity and scholarship it is, nonetheless, always a joy to celebrate The Lord.

Those of you who wish to find the magazine should look for Nuvo Magazine, Spring 2005, Vol. 8. #1.


Click here for the Nuvo website [not an active link]



Power To The Populance

You fine studs and stallions that dig lighting the fuse in your own wig will want to take the A train to Wikipedia, a free and far out source of knowledge on the web. Click below to take yourself to The Lord in all his pediac glory in a swingin' citation penned by a fine prince named Aaron Brick, who points out that his source is the great gasser of all Buckley book kicks, Oliver Trager.

LBC tips it's own wig to Prince Doug Cruickshank who hipped us to this fine bit of scrit.


Click here to see the Lord Buckley knowledge stash at Wikipedia.



Hip Obits At LBC

You sweet and swingin' hipsters that dig the Swoop Notices in your local news rag will want to tune in to the new feature in the Riffs Section at LordBuckley.com. Click on "OBITS" in the Old Riffs frame. Here you will find a collection of the news items we have presented concerning the passing of a Buckley related cat or kitty. And if we ever get definitive confirmation of the death of His Lordship's imaginary dog we will include that as well.


Click here for OBITS



Short Is Life
Bobby Short 1924 - 2005

Bobby Short, singer and pianist, the very definition of tuxedo elegance and velvet sophistication, and a perennial icon of the Big Apple cabaret scene, is dead at age 80.

Born in 1924 in Danvillie, Ohio Short taught himself to play piano while still a young child. By the age of twelve he was headlining in Vaudeville shows as "The Minature King of Swing."

He toured all over the United States and Europe and finally settled into a regular gig at the Cafe Carlyle in New York City in 1968 playing six nights a week for eight months of the year.

It was at the Blue Angel club in NYC sometime in the 1940s that Short was treated to the regal attention of Lord and Lady Buckley.

Here's a quote from Oliver Trager's interview of Bobby for the book Dig Infinity!:

"I will always be thankful for the generosity he showed that night for a young kid up there trying to make it. And he brought up the audience's applause, which was wonderful for me."


click here for a New Times Arts Section obituary



99 And Counting!

Noble Cats and Kitties, Regal Finger Poppers, M'Lords and M'Ladies, the Swingin' Stud that hips us to the All and the Everything, that Majestic and singular Peer of the Realm of Hipdom, the Jumpin', Ever Stompin' Lord of Flip Manor Lord Buckley celebrates his 99th birthday today and we start the countdown to 100. From the dust and mine tailings of backwoods Tuolumne to the glittering lights and golden prosceniums of Broadway and Las Vegas, His Lordship lit the way for many of us poor pilgrims. Let us rejoice in the time he spent on this sphere and let us dig that, though infinity has caught up with The Lord, he is with it and with us all the way. Happy Birthday, to the most swingin' cat since The Nazz ! ! !

Noble Cats and Kitties, Regal Finger Poppers, M'Lords and M'Ladies, the Swingin' Stud that hips us to the All and the Everything, that Majestic and singular Peer of the Realm of Hipdom, the Jumpin', Ever Stompin' Lord of Flip Manor Lord Buckley celebrates his 99th birthday today and we start the countdown to 100.

From the dust and mine tailings of backwoods Tuolumne to the glittering lights and golden prosceniums of Broadway and Las Vegas, His Lordship lit the way for many of us poor pilgrims.

Let us rejoice in the time he spent on this sphere and let us dig that, though infinity has caught up with The Lord, he is with it and with us all the way.

Happy Birthday, to the most swingin' cat since The Nazz ! ! !



Hipsters, Twisters And Foot Stompin' Daddies

All you kitties and cats, stallions and studs that dig those that stomp across the floor artisticwise will want to get with the latest riff in the Grand Swingin' Cosmos that is the legacy of The Lord. Bill T. Jones, a magnificent choreographer and dancer has created a work called (drumroll please !) "Lord Buckley" for the inauguration of the William and Nadine McGuire Theater at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 2,4 and 5th, 2005.

Dig this description of Prince Jones work:

The third work, titled Lord Buckley after the legendary 1950s performance/jazz artist, was commissioned by the Walker to inaugurate the new McGuire Theater and celebrate its decades-long relationship with Jones. A response to Buckley's be-bop monologue/rap The Nazz, Jones' movement reflects Beat-era jargon, the extravagant twists and hyper-hip rhythms that popularized Buckley's signature sound. The evening also includes a mix of transitional musical, text, and media elements, sure to combine for an unforgettable performance experience.

Thanks to Their Graces Roger Mexico and Oliver Trager for hipping us to this action movement.


Click here to dig the scene at the Walker Arts




You texthead cats and kitties that scour the printed page for references to The Lord, may want to get hip to a little hats off from author James Wolcott as he holds forth on the abysmal state of standup comedy this month in his column Wit's End in the May 2005 issue of Vanity Fair.

Written with a liberal sprinkling of history, word play and insight, Wolcott surveys the current State of Guffaw. And it just don't look all that groovey from Prince Wocott's perspective. But, freak not, Beloveds for comedy comes and goes and when it's gone it's really Gone !

His Lordship is referenced in column one of page 122.

Thanks to Prince's Roger Mexico and Doug Cruickshank for the note under the door hipping us to this flip.



Al Young Crowned !

Stanza by your man, cats and kitties ! Al Young, poet, novelist, university lecturer, and a stud well hipped to the semantic flip of The Lord, has been crowned Poet Laureate of the State of California by none other than the Arnold, the Austrian Governor Slugwell.

Appointed for a two year term, Young will be moving through the west coast of the Cherryland laying poetry on the citizens. For his efforts he gets the thanks of a grateful populance and 10 cool big ones.

On June 1, 2000, filmmakers Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone interviewed Al on his thoughts on the Lord of Flip Manor. Click below to te left view that interview.


Click here for Al Young's interview at LBC

Click here for State of California Press Release [not an active link]



A Redwood On A Bender *

Sweet, groovy angels, we are blessed today by news coming down the pike that the June issue of Los Angeles Magazine has one swingin', rippin' and flippin' text frame dedicated to The Lord. Senior Editor RJ Smith has directed his subconcious mind to the third level of The Way On Out There Department and proceded to lay back into a long goof of grand design. His article "King of the Cats" lays it all out there for you Royals in a very hip, deep and joyous way.

The June issue (The Comedy Issue) is on the stands now. Dig it deeply, Beloveds !

Special thanks to Roger "The Marquis De" Mexico for hipping us and providing the goods for this riff!

* Page 202 of June issue of Los Angeles Magazine


Click here for Los Angeles Magazine website



BTJ Stomps For The Lord

Gentle Regals, we hipped Thee to Bill T. Jones' swingin' dance tribute to His Lordship in a previous communique (see Hip & Twist in the 2005 Riffs section.)

Now that the gig is in the history, we'd like to hipped Thee further with a taste of an interview Bill T. Jones did with Tom Crann on Minnesota Public Radio on June 3, 2005.

Thanks to Oliver Trager for directing the beam to the scene.


Click here to listen to Bill T. Jones on Minnesota Public Radio



Brothers And Sisters Rejoice !

Royal swingers everywhere on this groovey, angel sounding sphere will dig that the BBC has got it down right and tight as far as The Lord is concerned.

HRH CP Lee, a magnificent alabaster Duke, British rock 'n' roll icon and UK Buckley intepreter without peer has sculpted a jumpin' radio documentary about Lord Buckley and the BBC has picked up on the lick. Featuring the grand pipes and equally grand semantic units of CP his royal self and featuring The King of the Buckleyheads Oliver Trager, it is a gone and jumpin' look at The Lord.

Dig this from the BBC Radio Four website:


Stand up comic, jazz personality, vaudeville entertainer, impersonator and guru, Lord Buckley influenced a generation of Americans, from Frank Sinatra and Lennie Bruce to Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.
Buckley aficionado C P Lee unravels the complex story of the man whose bohemian lifestyle and "hipsemantic" routines, based on jive vernacular, provoked the authorities but delighted audiences.
The programme features clips from some of Buckley's finest recordings, including his version of Marc Antony's Funeral Oration to Caesar, which begins: "Hipsters, flipsters, and finger-popping daddies, knock me your lobes!".

Tune in on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 as BBC Four will make all that jazz with the Rad-ee-o. Tune your virtual rabbits to BBC Radio Four at 11:30 UK time and rejoice with CP Lee and The Lord.


Those of you on the Yankee side of the pond click here for BBC Radio Four - Look for Lord Buckley under the "L" section.



Do You Know This Swingin' Cat?

LordBuckley.com is putting out the appeal to find the identity of this swingin' cat. We know his first name was Bob. We know his wife's name was Betty. We know he tickled the 88s. And we know he knew The Lord but his surname is lost in the history right now.

If you know who this swingin' cat is, would Your Grace kindly contact curator Michael Monteleone at: msquared@lordbuckley.com

And may The Good Lord bless thy every riff !





King Farouk Cuts Out
Mel Welles 1924 - 2005

Hang low thy wigs, my dear cats and kitties, the Mighty King Farouk has cut out. Movie actor, lip sync expert, psychologist and Lord Buckley collaborator Mel Welles has died.

Perhaps best known for his cult status role as Gravis Mushnik in the original Roger Corman film "Little Shop of Horrors", Mel had a long and colorful career in Hollywood that included a number of Corman films as well as many others.

Not content to just be in front of the camera he also worked behind the scenes in both television and film. He was an acknowledged expert in the lipsynching of foreign films. In addition, he had a Ph.d in Psychology from Columbia University and consulted in that capacity with Fortune 500 companies.

Mel was proud of his role in creating the hip version of The Gettysburg Address for Lord Buckley. He recalled that he wrote it in seven or eight minutes. His friendship with Lord Buckley was a strong one. On occasion he acted as Buckley's confessor although he never revealed what Buckley confessed.

He also mused on the fact that, "I'm really the only person to ever play Lord Buckley on the screen. He was supposed to play the part of Sir Bop in the film 'Rock All Night'. Charles [Griffith] wrote the part especially for him. But he disappeared two weeks before shooting was to start. And I replaced him. I did what I could with the part but it was really his part."

"Little Shop of Horrors" screenwriter Charles B. Griffith remembers Mel, "He was ten times bigger than life. It’s hard to say anything else because he was quite grand and made "Little Shop" into a cult film. I knew him fifty-three years, he was very kind to me and he bailed me out of a lot of situations. And he was very funny in his own way. He will be very heavily missed. He was my best friend for 30 or 40 years. We started all kinds of businesses, film companies mostly, but none of it panned out. But our friendship survived all the way.”

Mel died in Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday August 19, 2005. He will indeed be heavily missed.



A Very Royal Cat Splits
Richard Clayton 1916 - 2005

The black wreaths are hung and the wail of the funeral dirge in the key D (as in drag) is heard wafting over the whole planet this day, Beloveds. Dick Clayton, His Lordship's long lived and swingin' nephew has moved on ahead to the No. 17 wing-fitting station where he will, no doubt, be treated as regally as he treated everyone on the sphere while he was in residence. He died September 25, 2005, age 88.

On October 11, 1916, ten years after the birth of Lord Buckley, Richard Nevilles Clayton made his debut in Portland, Oregon. He spent many summers in Lord Buckley's home town of Tuolumne, California. He was in the Coast Guard in World War II and was a master at the real estate game.

Dick Clayton told many stories of his Uncle Dick Buckley. He remembers a young and successful Dick Buckley, dressed to the nines, arriving for a family visit in a long, black chauffered car claiming he was making one thousand dollars a week on the Vaudeville circuit. "I think he might have been making that much too but you could never tell with my uncle." said Clayton in a 2004 interview. He also had the "honor" of being one of the stooges in Lord Buckley's "Four Chairs" routine in a show in San Francisco right after the war.

Easy going and quick to smile Dick Clayton is survived by his equally royal wife Cindy, two sons and four grandchildren.


The Sonoma Index-Tribune Obit from October 7, 2005 [not an active link]



Harvey Muses On The Lord

American Splendor author Harvey Peckar, the focus of a 2003 Hollywood film of the same name, has put quill to white sheet and mused on The Lord in the online magazine Ruminator.

Peckar starts with a narrative of Buckley's life based on Oliver Trager's book "Dig Infinity" but also adds his own wig bubbles on the nature of 20th century comedy and where Buckley fits in. The writing is refreshingly straight forward and a welcome respite from the flowering bouquets of . . .well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Oliver Trager for hipping us to this Peckar Flip.


Click here to read "Lord Buckley's Last Laugh" [not an active link]



Radar Blips Trager Style

You cats and kitties that keep up with the keep up will dig this double play. Oliver Trager, intrepid author and King of the Buckleyheads was recently spotted as two blips on the web radar. That's some kind of action!

A profile of Oliver titled "An Unidentified Flying Idea: The Journey of Oliver Trager" appears online in the Summer 2005 Park Slope Reader.

And a WNYC radio interview with Oliver, called "Digging Dylan" on the Brian Lehrer Show from October 20, 2005 can be heard at the stations website. Those of you with fine tuned ears will dig Oliver's deep, resonant pipes as well as what the cat lays down in the wig bubble department.


Dig the PS Reader Article [not an active link]



Skitch Henderson's Final Flip
Skitch Henderson 1918 - 2005

A sad note is sounding today, beloveds, as we hip you to the final flip of one of televisions legends, Skitch Henderson. Henderson, age 87, died at his family home in New Milford, Connecticut on Monday, November 1, 2005.

Henderson will be long remembered for an illustrious career in music, both conducting and arranging.

He was the conductor of The Tonight Show orchestra in 1955 when Lord Buckley was invited to perform by host Steve Allen. Immediately upon obtaining the stage Buckley shanghaied Henderson, a very young Andy Williams and three audience members for five minutes of pure, unrehearsed physical madness echoing Buckley's old Vaudeville days. Buckley, ever the Svengali, commanded his troops to take off their shoes, strip to tee shirts and rolled up pant legs, and follow him in a circular dash around the stage. This was followed by attempts at hand stands and two person somersaults. At the end of this "act" no one was quite sure exactly what had just taken place. Henderson, ever good natured and professional, returned to the bandstand and took up his baton once again.



Zam Zam Stateside

All of you studs and stallions that can make the Big Apple scene need to do so soon. London based American actor Jake Broder is finally bringing his play His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley in The Zam Zam Room to New York City at the 59E59 Theaters' Theater C. Previews are set to begin on Friday, November 25. Wednesday, November 30th is opening night. The play will run through Saturday, December 31st.

Zam Zam Room depicts Broder's interpretation of Lord Buckley in a boozy '50s style nightclub setting. A number of Lord Buckley's juicy routines are presented including The Nazz and Jonah and The Whale.

Broder is known as both a stage and film actor here and in the UK. He appeared recently in Beyond the Sea, the film biography of Bobby Darin and will be featured in Havey Keitel's new film The Shadow Dance. He was also a member of the very successful The Reduced Shakespeare Company. He has worked extensively in London's West End and had the title role in Peter Hall's production of Amadeus at the Old Vic.

His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley in The Zam Zam Room performance schedule is Tuesday - Friday at 8:30 PM, Saturday at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM and Sunday at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM. There are no performances on Saturday, December 24 or Sunday, December 25 due to the Christmas holiday. The show on Saturday, December 31 (New Years Eve) will be at 7:30 PM.

Single tickets are $30 ($21 for 59E59 members) and are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com. For more information visit www.59E59.org.

His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley in The Zam Zam Room' is a fizzy cocktail of style and substance, featuring "the hippest stories in storydom" backed by a live jazz band. The tale of Scrooge becomes a breezy be-bop fable and a jive talking Jesus epitomizes cannabis cool with "The Nazz." Along with "The Gettysburg Address" and Jonah and the Whale and nightly doses of The Hip News and many others, 'His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley in The Zam Zam Room' will "blow your wig away." —
Theater Source


Click here to dig what Broadway.com lays down on the subject

Click here for a review



Amram Jam

David Amram, one of the hippest and swingin'est cats to ever come down the pike is jumping into the Three Quarter Club. Prolific music composer, equally at home in classic, film, jazz and World music environs, Amram is celebrating his 75th birthday with a big bash titled "Amram Jam II" on November 19th. And dig this: his paean to His Lordship, the saxophone concerto "An Ode to Lord Buckley" is on the set list to be performed by famed classical saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky.

Amram, who has counted among his friends and collaborators Dizzy Gillespie, Jack Kerouac and Lord Buckley, shows no signs of backing off on his heavy work load. One day he is composing for film, the next day he is performing for worthy cause and the third day he is conducting an orchestra somewhere on this wide and jumpin' sphere. For David Amram life is the greatest kick bump ever.

Those of you that can make the scene to celebrate this mad dig daddy's big candle riff should make with the reservations pronto.

Tickets for this concert may be obtained by calling JFA Hotline at 914-631-1000 "Tickets" Reserved seats for the concert are $35 (adults), $30 (seniors 65+; student with ID) and $10 (children 12 and under).

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005, 8 PM
Music Hall, 13 Main St.
Tarrytown, NY

thanks to Oliver Trager for the heads up



Eisenhower Theatre Type Cat

A true prince of the living swing, Bill T. Jones is stompin' the boards again with his Lord Buckley inspired solo dance "As I was Saying." His Grace will be knockin' them out starting tomorrow night, November 17th, at the Einsenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

If you can make the scene, make it !

November 17 - 19, 2005
Einsenhower Theater at Kennedy Center
8 PM


Dig the details [not an active link]



Sweet Sir Richard's Ticker Flips
Richard Pryor 1940 - 2005

"And the same thing with Richard [Pryor], you know, it was like preaching. I mean, he would do Mudbone but then he'd do other characters. He did a thing one night that was the closest thing to Buckley I ever saw where he talked about God coming back, looking for his kid. He said,

'I'm here for my boy.'

And they said - he did all the religious leaders of the world going,

'You want to tell him?'

And he go, "What?"

'Tell him. Now, come on tell him. You made a good living off this. Tell him!'

So they finally push the pope out and go,

[in a goofy Pope voice] 'We, ummm, we killed him. But he came back. And then he split.'

And then he did this amazing thing where he became God thinking about destroying the world. And then he went and he said,

'Naw, I'm not coming back. I'm going to give you love. And if you fuck that up you're on your own.'

And the whole place - there wasn't a laugh. He just walked off the stage, but he never did it again. Maybe it was just too heavy or maybe it was one of those things that deserves only to be done that once."

Robin Williams, Interview August 30, 2000 [not an active link]



Thus Spake Jake

You swingin' cats and jumpin' kitties who can tune in on the internet's virtual radio scene will want to swivel your binary lobes in the direction of KNYC, the Big Apples NPR riff for an interview with the Zam Zam flipsmeister, Jake Broder

On December 15, 2005, John Schaefer host of the Sound Check , had Jake Broder into the studios to discuss the Great Lord of Flip Manor and Jake's show "His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley in the Zam Zam Room" currently being performed at the 59E59 Theatre in New York City.

Click on the link on the left to get a lobe full of Jake Broder's interview (when you get to the WNYC page click on "His Royal Hipness")


Jake Broder Interview [not an active link]



Wild Stardust Flips In the Fargonesphere

That perennial grand bandstand duo NASA and JPL are at it once again, this time reaching way on out there for some jumpin' comet kicks. And they are taking The Swingin' Lord with them!

Launched on a Motha Big rocket in Florida on February 7, 1999 the Stardust project first makes three loop-de-loops around the Big Heater before heading towards a celestial street corner meeting with a chilly hunk of interstellar ice called "Comet Wild 2"*. Once there it will collect samples and space type dust. In addition to all it's crazy spacehead apparati, on board are two microchips (plus copies of each chip), one engraved with 136,000 names and the other with 1,000,000 names. Included in those lists of names is the tag of our beloved Flipster Lord Buckley. The two engraved microchips will make the journey back to our sphere via the Sample Return Capsule. The other copies of the microchips will stay with it all the way and drift through the Fargonesphere while they dig infinity.

Inquires at the JPL website yielded no clue as to who submitted Lord Buckley's name for the space ride so there is a hipster mystery way out there amongst God's Sweet Lanterns.

Many thanks to Roger "The Marquis" Mexico for hipping us to this gasser of a news flip.

*Before you cats and kitties think that all them spacehead cats have cooled their angles and lost their octogon postures by calling that comet Wild you should dig that "Wild" is pronounced "Vilt" after it's Swiss discoverer.


Click to dig the Stardust riff

Dig the riff in Stereo