From the Vault...


Phil Harris
"That's What I Like About Phil Harris"

© RCA Records

Year of Release: 1988

track listing
  • That's What I Like
    About The South
  • Ding Dong Daddy
    From Dumas
  • When It's Sleepy Time
    Down South
  • Crawdad Song
  • He's His Own Grandpa
  • Deck Of Cards
  • The Thing
  • The Dark Town Poker Club
  • Chattanoogie
    Shoe Shine Boy
  • Minne The Mermaid
  • The Old Master Painter
  • Woodman Spare That Tree
  • Is It True What They Say
    About Dixie
  • Lazy River
  • Ain't Nobody Here
    But Us Chickens
  • Goofus
  • Shadrach
  • The Preacher And
    The Bear
  • Old Time Religion
  • Muskat Ramble
  • Row Row Row
  • St. James Infirmary
  • Smoke Smoke Smoke
    (That Cigarette)

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Phil Harris related sites:
    Phil Harris Website
    Previous Review: #1262
    Jack Johnson--To The Sea
    Next Review: #1264
    Kenny Chesney--Lucky Old Sun
    Phil Harris
    "That's What I Like About Phil Harris"

    Phil Harris was a bandleader, singer, and actor from the big band / old time radio years. My fondest memories of him was when he was on the old time radio shows The Jack Benny Show and with his wife Alice Faye on The Phil Harris Alice Faye Show. A comedian in his own right, Phil Harris was truly an entertainer, as I remembered him best more of a comedian, than that of a bandleader. (Pretty much the same as Jackie Gleason.) Another fond memory of him, is he was the voice of Baloo the Sloth Bear, in the Walt Disney animated movie, Jungle Book. Having a great distinctive speaking (radio) voice, his singing on "Bare Necessities" from the movie was just as exceptional.

    From his musical career, he achieved a #1 hit song, "The Thing" in 1950. The song stayed at #1 for four weeks. If you're familiar with this song, with his "talking lyrics" as well as singing, most of the tracks on That's What I Like About Phil Harris is just that -- Songs with a story, and most in a funny way. (The title of this album was taken from one of his hits, "That's What I Like About The South.")

    Of these, songs such as "He's His Own Grandpa" is a funny tune about how a family gets wrapped up, and how one becomes his "own Grandpa." The same can be said for other tracks -- "The Dark Town Poker Club," "Minnie The Mermaid," "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens." The big band sound is heard here also, as tracks such as "Old Time Religion," "Row, Row, Row" can't help yourself but just getting into the "jump jive 'n wail" of it all. Harris also has his own versions of popular songs -- Red Foley's "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy" and Tex Williams' "Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)" are good numbers, yet the originals would be considered better.

    But then there's the serious side of Phil Harris -- the very touching look at religion on "Deck Of Cards" is one of my favorite tracks (most preferably by Tex Ritter). "Lazy River," "Stars Fell On Alabama" and "St. James Infirmary" not only shows how he had a great voice for radio, his singing proved good as well.

    The funny talking songs (and talking + singing ones too) will definitely give anyone a good chuckle or two. The big band sound will also show how music sounded back then, and how great it was.

    Phil Harris passed away at age 91 of a heart attack in 1991. His wife Alice Faye died 3 years later. Old time radio collections of The Phil Harris Alice Faye Show are available, and worth listening to. Almost as great as Jack Benny, their shows have always been exceptionally written. As quick-witted as Harris was on radio, in real life, he was mostly a quiet man. He said it was just a "Phil Harris character."

    The humor, seriousness and big band/jazz are all in great taste on That's What I Like About Phil Harris. For this kind of musical style and for the fans of Old Time Radio, this one is worth picking up.

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    Previous Review: #1262
    Jack Johnson--To The Sea
    Next Review: #1264
    Kenny Chesney--Lucky Old Sun