Riffs 2008


Hy Lit Splits
Hy Lit 1934 - 2007

His formal name in the informal world of the 1950's Philly airwaves was Hyski O'Rooney McVoughtie O'Zoot. His friends and his fans (he didn't seem to have any enemies) called him Hyski. Hy Lit was as handsome as Rock Hudson, as energetic as a freshly cleaved atom, and as mellifluous as the best of the silver tongued devils of the time. He wowed the populance in a long radio career that spanned the 50's through the '90s (and beyondski.) He introduced the Elvis Preseley, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones when they made their debuts in Philiadelphia.

He was greatly fond of the twists, turns and hip flips of the English language and put it to good use in his radio shows and the various dance hops he emcee'd. He even compiled his use of hip lanaguage calling it "Hy Lit's Dictionary of Hip Words."

Time Magazine movie reviewer Richard Corliss perhaps sums ups Hy Lit best in this quote:

"Hy Lit, I first heard him on WHAT (a white man on a black station; it happened then) in the winter of 1956-57. So Hy is the insinuating commentary running under my memories of certain prime cuts: Shirley and Lee's "Let the Good Times Roll," Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange," Fats Domino's "I'm in Love Again," Lee Andrews and the Hearts' "Long Lonely Nights" (co-written, according to the label, by Douglas Henderson). If Jocko was baritone, Hy Lit was a nervous tenor. A would-be-pro baseball player from the University of Miami, he called his listeners "babycakes" and himself "Hyski O'Rooney McVoughtie O'Zoot." (Why oh why is Lit's peripatetic paradiddle patter embedded in my pre-teen muscle memory, especially considering that the rest of my musculature has amnesia?) Hy moved down the dial from WHAT 1340 to WIBG 990, when that station acquired a 50,000-watt transmitter and a new pop-rock sound in 1957."


Hy Lit Dictionary image [not an active link]

Wikipedia entry for Hy Lit



Brother Chaz and The Nazz

Playwright and performer Charles Pike has shared with LBC the sweetest and jumpin'est bit of Yuletide, an email that lays out the Spirit of the Spirit of the Spirit of the Spirit. Lay your gentle peepers on this, sweet diggers of the right and tight cat that got the ball rollin' ever so long ago:

i got to perform the naz at church for the christmas service.
i had been told a few years ago that i would never be permitted
to do that in church, that the square johns would snap their corners,
but you know what? they dug it! it was a really cool thing.
buckley opened up the scriptures for me, and made them
revelatory for me for the first time.

i have been performing the gospel of mark for them for a few weeks,
then i laid the buckley on them and they will never be the same.




The Virtual Hip Parade

You cats and kitties that have been with it all the way can dig that the Lord Buckley Recitation Scene has, in the past, resembled a scrawny little cat on a quince diet. But LBC is happy to report that there is a virtual Hip Parade of Lord Buckley invocations in these latter days of the Royal Court of His Swingin' Lord Buckley.

One can make the scene on YouTube.com, type in "Lord Buckley" and get tightened up real cool wise with a variety of cats laying a little of The Lord on you. Tom Calagna, Jim Dvorak, Bob Sinfield, Richard Henzel and others get you heading up that ladder in a series of flip performances. There are also a couple of inside veterans hitting the boards on a site called revver.com. Oliver Trager and Jason Eisenberg are flying high performing "Murder" and "The Hip Gahn." The performances, taken from Trager's 101st Buckley Birthday Bash celebration at the Poetry Club in April of 2007, will please, flip and groove Thee.

And while you are digging The Word at YouTube you might pick up on Lord Buckley himself as he is represented in a series of historic clips that will take you way on out there. Dig The Lord, Beloveds for he is with us all the way.


YouTube Buckley clips

Oliver Trager "Murder"

Jason Eisenberg "The Hip Gahn"



Much Oblige'd, Noblesse Style

Beloveds, knock me Thine eager lobes, for The Lord is with Thee if you get with it like no tomorrow style. Pacifica Radio is offering "Noblesse Obliging" a CD manifestation of His Lordship's 1959 interview with host Bill Butler recorded at Paciica's studios in Berkeley, California in 1959.

Buckely' peppers the interview with lively comments on his own life and work plus he lets loose with a couple of wonderful renditions of classic Buckley routines: "The Gasser", Hipsters, Flipsters" and "The Pied Piper" to name just a few. Host Bill Butler, stumbling out of the gate like a first time clueless pony at Pimlico, soon catches on to the spirit of his guest and by the end of the 27 minutes is a downright convert to the Church of the Living Swing. Below is a link to Pacifica where you can take home a sweet little piece of The Lord.


Click here for Pacifica info on "Noblesse Obliging" [not an active link]



Jazz Wax Sneak Peek

You cats and kitties that dig Jazz know that The Lord was deeply into the groove in that regard. He wailed Jazz, He flipped Jazz and He went way on out there, all in the name of Jazz.

With this notion tucked gently into Thy sweet wig, LBC is happy to hip you to a site on the web where you can not just get a taste of Jazz, not just a swig of Jazz but you can lay your hands on such a groovy magnum of the stuff that it makes your lobes think they won that great big giant king-size prize bird down in Doodley's window.

Jazzwax, the brainchild of writer and entrepreneur Marc Myers, is a beautiful Jazz blog that will hip you to the best in Jazz music and personalities from the 1940's and '50s. And dig this beloveds, this week Jazzwax revealed a swingin' bit of Buckley related sweetness when it announced a sneak peek of the teaser for the upcoming documentary "Too Hip For the Room: The Righteous Reign of Lord Buckley."

Click on the link to the left to visit Jazzwax. Scroll down to Sunday Wax Bits (March 9, 2008) and dig what Prince Myers has laid out. You'll find the link to the "Too Hip" teaser embedded in the article.





Triple Hip

The Tuolumne City Memorial Museum presents “Triple Hip My Soul,” an afternoon of commemorating the birthday of Humorist Lord Richard Myrle Buckley on Saturday April 5th, 2008 from one to four pm at 18663 on Carter Street and Bay Avenue, in Tuolumne. Refreshments will be served.

The afternoon will include live music and performances of Buckley’s work, an exhibit about his life and showings of rare documentary footage projected on a large screen.

Buckley, who was born in Tuolumne CA at the Tuolumne Rancheria on April 5, 1906, went from working as a lumberman to become what Los Angeles Magazine called “a cult hero, atomic-age high priest and founding father of the modern comedy scene.”

The exhibit features the original album cover of Buckley’s landmark 10” LP, Euphoria, released in 1954 on the Vaya label.

Vaya founder Jim Dickson (whom later became the manager of the folk rock band The Byrd’s) said that “retailers didn’t know where to put it in the store because there were no comedy records back then.”

Buckley’s approach to humor influenced the whole generation of comedians who came after him; people like George Carlin and Robin Williams. Ed Sullivan called Buckley “a significant figure in American entertainment.”

“It was his hipness, it was his style, his timing,” said radio personality Wolfman Jack. “You know, man. I think Lord Buckley came from the future.”

Designed by famed illustrator Jim Flora, the cover for the RCA Victor album, “Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger popping Daddies,” will be included in the collection on display as well as Buckley’s City Lights Chapbook, “Hiporama of the Classics.”

1954 also marked the formation of Buckley’s "The Church of the Living Swing,” which became the template for The Merry Prankster’s “Acid Tests” a decade later, which makes Buckley, as actor Stuart Whitman described him, “the first Flower Child.”

“Services” were held in a Topanga canyon health food restaurant owned by Bob and Doi DeWitt, complete with live music, belly dancers, light shows and crates of a hallucinogenic cactus called Peyote.

The Dewitt’s created the first psychedelic light shows using overhead projectors and colored inks between sheets of glass. Woody Guthrie lived on the DeWitt Topanga CA ranch and was part of this scene.

Buckley’s “Rebellious Duke of Topanga,” Bob DeWitt, died last fall in neighboring Mariposa County where he had lived for many years. The DeWitt family has played the Patron of the Arts in Mariposa for a long time and was instrumental in forming the Mariposa Arts Council.

For further information, view the Tuolumne City Memorial Museum Website at www.TuolumneMuseum.org


Tuolumne City Memorial Museum



The Good Lord Calleth

Gentle hipsters, the Good Lord calleth Thee to worship. The mad calendar has flipped over once again and it's time to do the ceremonial Natal Day swing in honor of the cat with the most jump in his Now. Richard "Lord" Buckley first made the scene April 5, 1906 and every year since has been a legitimate holiday in the eyes of all the cats and kitties in the know. This year we are happily to report that the riff goes on.

Oliver Trager is presenting "Sir Oliver Trager's Lord Buckley Birthday Bash!!!" It is surely the place to be on Monday April 7, at 7:00 PM at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, NY.

Featuring the Church of the Living Swing Ensemble: David Amram, Steve Ben Israel, Professor Irwin Corey, Tom Calagna, Oliver Trager, and many more , the 102nd birth anniversary of the greatest hipster ever is slated to be a gasser.

For more info click on the link to the left.

Sir Oliver Trager's Lord Buckley Birthday Bash

Monday April 7, 2008, 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM - $15

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery @ Bleecker, right across from CBGB's
F train to Second Ave | 6 train to Bleecker



Bowery Poetry Club



Seven Swingin' Words
George Denis Patrick Carlin 1937 - 2008

Beloveds, the ever loving, every rotating sphere that most of us claim as our main pad can be the most far out, wiggy gift of wonder any cat or kittie could ever hope for. And then again, it can be the biggest downer any cat or kittie ever dug in all their born days. If we are lucky we each get two scoops of the former and only a tiny sample spoon of the latter. Alas, today, we are handed a big scoop of triple drag. George Carlin, like His Lordship, a genius with the English language, has taken his leave of us. He died of heart failure in Los Angeles on June 22, 2008.

Carlin started working in comedy in the late 1950's as part of the duo of Burns and Carlin. In May of 1960 they issued their only album "Burns and Carlin at the Playboy Club Tonight" recorded at Cosmos Alley in Hollywood (a place that Lord Buckley also played.) Soon Carlin was working solo and eventually found his way to network television shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. Memorable inventions of his were the Al Sleet the Hippy Dippy Weatherman, the ungifted disc jocky, "Wonderful WINO!", and a take off on a well known late night host, Jon Carson. Though his work was funny it did not hint at the transformation to come.

As he gained momentum and fame he honed his humor until it fit him like glove. He disgarded the comedian's obligatory suit and the celebrity impressions and found that his own voice was strong and true. He deftly and hilariously skewered society, spotlighting the folly and fallacies that we are all heir to. Perhaps most famous for his "Filthy Words", sometimes known as the "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television", monologue that ran the US legal gauntlet all the way to the Supreme Court, Carlin continued the censorship fight that had brought down Lenny Bruce. His delivery could be harsh and painfully pointed but underlying all of his criticism was an intelligence and a loving heart and soul. For all the surface crustiness of his performances, he left the world a more humane place.

Carlin was a big fan of Lord Buckley. He even went so far as to name one of his tours after a phrase that he heard Buckley had once uttered: "You Are All Diseased". During an interview with LBC curator Michael Monteleone, Carlin spoke of His Lordship's struggle to bring the Hipsemantic to the populance.

"Well, you have to sing your song. And it's what is most important to you that surfaces, that's my guess. In my own case, I had a fortunate convergence of doing things that I felt deeply about, that I felt were mine, that I owned - thoughts and feelings and attitudes. And having them become acceptable to a wide - you know, it's - to a wide portion of the public. It's like Lily Tomlin said, "It's very embarrassing to be successful in a mediocre society." And, on his part, he had the first part. He had the song he wanted to sing. But, it wasn't a song that was transferable to a larger, broader audience, it was very exclusive and excluded a lot of people. So, he had, therefore, to do that for himself. Because the other, you know, if you say he put aside something that was a little more promising commercially, and went to this, then that was, he was consciously making an artist's choice I guess."

So, LBC says to George Carlin these seven words, "Thanks, George Carlin, it was a gasser!"


The Official George Carlin Website



Dead Cat Running

LordBuckley.com is shocked to bring you this stunning and important news so late. We apologize for completely having dropped the ball and missed the boat. We goofed, I guess that's what you call it. In this age of the immediate instant now we somehow didn't pick up on the lick until that grand swinger and Lord Buckley channeler, Jason Eisenberg, hipped us to the action.

Of some note is the following sobering, if oblique, thought: if the outrageous and almost unthinkable were to somehow miraculously occur, someone would have to gently hip the populance to the small but significant fact that the head of the ticket probably could not make it to the Repeat-after-me riff. The shortlist for this unenviable role will mostly likely be kept a close guarded secret as to not provide influence in any pertinent arena of influence.

So, Beloveds, merely click on the vid to your left and dig what all this fuss is about. And thanks without end to to Jason Eisenberg for his most jumpin' vision of The Cherryland's future.



An Audience With The Lord

Your Graces, stunning news from across the pond: in the guise of His Lordship Richard Myrle Buckley, Roiled Navy Vice-Admiral Bob Sinfield, skipper of the comedic mindsweeper the HRH Drôle, steams ahead into semi-charted waters again with "An Audience with Lord Buckley" at AbbeyFest in London, August 18-20, 2008. Vowing to stay at the helm regardless of the return fire, VA Sinfield promises all that attend will be pleased, flipped and grooved by the semantically volleys issued from his very own pipes. This is an engagement not to be missed!

*If this show is booked together with "Cage Birds" then a special price of £5 per show applies


AbbeyFest 2008 website [not an active link]

"An Audience With Lord Buckley" (scroll to bottom of page) [not an active link]



The Hip Cat In The Hat Snapper Swoops
William Claxton 1927 - 2008

When one hears the name Lord Buckley who among us does not entertain visions of pith helmets dancing through their wig? This, you noble cats and kitties, must surely dig is the work of a very hip and visionary cat named William Claxton. LBC is sad to report this day that William Claxon, Bill to his friends, renown jazz, fashion and celebrity photographer, rewound his last film roll Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Los Angeles a day short of his 81st birthday. The cause of death was complications from congestive heart failure.

The brilliant and iconic image of Lord Buckley on a throne, his television face framed by a British pith helmet and cinnamon bark tie and his mock Svengali eyes staring directly at the viewer is the image most often used in the media to reference His Lordship. On assignment to shoot album photos for “Way Out Humor” on World Pacific Records, Claxton put his talent to work to make a series of photographs that capture so much of the mad magnificence of Lord Richard Buckley. Below you will find a story from an interview with record producer Nik Vent about how the pith helmet shoot came about.

The L.A. based Claxton is known in much wider art and commercial circles as a photographer of great creativity and memorable images. Those of you old enough to remember the 1964 scandal that accompanied Rudi Gernreich’s first topless bathing suit surely can recall the photograph of the beautiful, young model with nothing across her chest except two exceptionally thin bands of cloth crossing at her sternum. The photographer was William Claxton and the model was his wife Peggy Moffit.

In the world of jazz Claxton not only excelled at the fine art of the album cover shooting the likes of Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, Ray Charles, Charley Parker, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and many more but he captured musicians at high moments, in off moments and at revelatory and definitive instances. He is one of pioneers of photographing west coast jazz musicians, pulling them away from their dim lit clubs into the bright and cheery California sunshine. Calling photography “jazz for the eyes” he created beautiful moments that no only helped define the scene but live on as markers of an era, testimony to a group of artists that put their own very distinctive stamp on the ever evolving art of jazz.

Claxton was also known as a celebrity photographer who won the confidence of his famous subjects by his easy going manner and collaborative style but never ever betrayed that trust by providing a gossip hungry public with disparaging images.

Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, was quoted as saying that William Claxton “has a niche among the great jazz photographers.”

So, LBC and the whole Buckley community take time to salute Bill Claxton and his swingin’, jumpin’ jazz peepers. Swing in peace.


William Claxton Website

LA Times Obit (PDF) [not an active link]



Buckley Magic In The High Inner Circle

Beloved hipsters, magic comes in all flavors and guises. Willie the Shake’s Prospero commanded the seas and skies. Harry Houdini escaped unlockable straight jackets moments before drowning. And now, Jake Broder, a magician in the key of Flip, with just the snap of his very hip fingers brings back to life that All Time Gasser of Gassers, Lord Buckley. Is this not magic of the highest order?

LBC is pleased, flipped and grooved to hip you to the latest Buckley séance scene. Hollywood’s famed The Magic Castle is hosting two evenings of Jake Broder starring in “His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley" in the Inner Circle Room.

Broder who’s impressive acting resume includes stints as Mozart in Broadway’s Amadeus and films including “Beyond the Sea” with Kevin Spacey has also recently created a stunning new paean to the ‘50s lounge scene called “Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara.”

Lay your peepers on links to the show's PDF, some video of Jake Broder as Lord Buckley and The Magic Castle website in the column to the left.

And scribe an “X” on that calendar, sweet ones, for November 5th and November 12th as these are the magical times that send cats and kitties souls straight to the Faregonesphere.

"His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley" at The Inner Circle Room at The Magic Castle created by and starring Jake Broder and Featuring John Keefe Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 8pm Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 at 8pm The Inner Circle at the Magic Castle® 7001 Franklin Ave. Hollywood, CA 90028 for reservations contact Matt Patton mpatton@magiccastle.com or 323-851-3313 ext 336


"His Royal Hipness" PDF [not an active link]

Jake Broder as Lord Buckley at MBar (QT file 12.9 mbs) [not an active link]

The Magic Castle website



Studs Swoops
Studs Terkel 1912 - 2008

Chicago heaves it’s big shoulders tonight, beloveds, mourning the ultimate flip of it’s grandest cat. Studs Terkel, author, radio and television host, interviewer with no peer, and dyed deep in the wool champion of all the righteous cats and kitties that walk humbly upon this sweet sphere, swooped the scene at his own sweet crib on October 31, 2008.

Now this was a cat with such a ticker and such a wig as you are never like to see again. He talked to the high and mighty as easily as to the low and left out. He could coax secrets from kings and provided a dignified platform for the wisdom of people who roll up their sleeves everyday of the week without complaint. He spoke truth to power and never forgot that there were people in this world without much recourse to anything.

He never tired of listening, and listening and listening some more. Lord Buckley came on his show in 1958. The meeting of such a listener and such a talker was bound to produce the bounty of what Terkel called the “vox humana.” You can read a transcript of this interview here at LordBuckley.com.

In 2000 documentarians Roger Mexico, Mike Brown and Michael Monteleone visited Studs in his Chicago home for an interview about His Lordship. Excerpts from that interview will be available soon here at LBC.

LBC salutes this most swingin’ of cats for his 96 years on the sphere and his untiring work on behalf of all cats and kitties everywhere.


Studs Terkel Interviews Lord Buckley

NYT Obit