Friday, December 11, 2009

El and the unknown recording sessions

When I initially started this blog, I knew during my research into one of the most loathed comedians ever, I would run into a few mysteries along the way. Living a pretty private life, as El and his wife Flo did, after the spotlight faded there is not a lot of information about the man post the early 40's. Many pieces come from brief interviews in newspapers or maybe a mention in a Hollywood veteran's biography, but much information has been lost to time. This post is one of those obscurities that I have almost none of the details on, just the basic facts.

FACT: In 1950 El Brendel released 2 discs for Imperial Records.
This detail of his career is never mentioned and I have been searching for these slabs of vinyl for a long time. Here are the particulars:

Imperial Folk/Hilbilly series (IF - master)

IF-216 Frankie and Johnny Imp. 8086
IF-217 Hulda -

IF-218 Yumpin' Yimminy Imp. 8085
IF-219 A Pinch of Snoose -

I can only speculate that the reason Imperial would call El in to do these discs was the popularity over at Capitol Records of Yogi Yorgesson (alias of Harry Stewart) who made several LP's of HIS version of a Swedish dialect comedian for the company in the early 50's. The track "Hulda" may be a similar version of the song El performed in the 1940 film "Captain Caution", but until it shows up on my doorstep, I can't be sure. The questions I have regarding the selections are the details of these El recordings (dates, location, session players, contact details) and why would he agree to do them in the first place?

The records themselves must have sold poorly as I only know of a single collector who has seen one of them. Alas, it was in pieces (thank you US Postal Service), but a couple of months ago I got an email from another fan who had a MP3 of one of the tunes, "A Pinch of Snoose". It's not a very good song (even for a hard core fan like myself) but I felt I should share it with you:

It is not known by me what the disc labels even looked like but I assume, given the time period they were released, these would have just been issued on 78. Here is a label from the same series as the El records would have been in:

If anyone has any of the records or further information about these records, PLEASE contact me!


Samantha said...

Wow, that's a great find, Louie! I have to admit, I discovered Yogi Yorgesson because I like El Brendel, not the other way around, but it makes sense that if one would sell, the other would too. I wonder why El didn't catch on. He's a novelty for sure, but a fun novelty.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Actually, I quite like that song!

Anonymous said...

Hello from ~Red x Baron~ in Delaware. Contact vinyl records ACE Matthew Glass at
Happy New Year!
PS: You have a grrreat retro site!!