Monday, April 16, 2012

New Vaudeville Band

         Here's an odd one.  It's also an odd story.  "Winchester Cathedral" was a campy novelty song that became a hit in late 1966.  The song and album that it was on became so popular that a tour of the New Vaudeville Band was requested.  Problem was there was no band.  The record had been recorded in the studio with assembled musicians.

        A band was put together in order to capitalize on the popularity of the record.  They toured for a short while until the novelty wore off.  The New Vaudeville Band faded into musical history and most younger people today have probably never even heard this song relic.

       It's like a dream to me now.  My mother bought the album when it was popular.  The music appealed to her as much as it did to me and my sister.  I had just entered high school at that time.   The record was played often in our household.  I remember seeing the album around the house for several years afterward but eventually it faded away like the band and like a dream is forgotten when we stop thinking about it.

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  1. I remember that song very well. Every time we travel down south and past Winchester I sing it until everyone is so fed up they yell at me to stop... and now I'm singing it again... "a foe dee oh doe..."
    Thanks for giving my blog a shout out today.
    A to Z of Nostalgia

  2. I'm a new follower. I also remember that song. Can't say I was a big fan of it though.

  3. Hi Lee .. I remember the song and rather liked it - I might sing it now when I go past Winchester! Oh well .. cheers Hilary

  4. Love this songs especially as I don't live that far from Winchester,


  5. It was campy then, and it's campy now. :)

  6. Rosalind -- I think I would always think of the song if I were to pass the cathedral.

    Em-- Me being a fan of vaudeville probably contributed to my liking of the song.

    Hilary -- Yeah, I know.

    Yvonne -- I can imagine that you might like this song.

    Bish -- Makes me want to buy a paisley tent and sleeping bag and spend the night my back yard.


  7. I love this song and haven't heard it in years! I instantly thought of the Muppet Show after hitting play, not sure why...maybe they played it during one of the shows I can't remember though, I was pretty young at the time. Also, new follower! (:

  8. I've always enjoyed this song, although I'm not sure I ever heard this (original) version before.

    I know Frank's version very well, of course, and have heard numerous other renditions over my lifetime. But I really, really dug this "Rudy Vallee-ish" take on it, sung through the megaphone (I'm a sucker for that "antique" sound!)

    Already I'm whistling this tune and I know it will be stuck in my mind all day now. [Thanks!]

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. BOIDMAN ~
    Is “T for Tiny Tim”? I don’t think there are too many songs with a more dream-like sound and melody than his ‘Strawberry Tea’ :

    And it looks like you’re using only artist/band names for each letter. If you were willing to also use the titles of songs, you could have “S is for Steven” (since it’s too late to make A and C for Alice and Cooper).

    This is just creepy, creepy “nightmare” stuffs, and it still sends a chill up my spine, just like it used to do when I was a teenager and would listen to it through headphones in my darkened bedroom :

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  10. I really liked that song ( as a wee one)
    too bad that so much gets lost in obscurity

    a new follower 2
    thanks for your previous visits to Lady's Knight

  11. Elise -- I don't know if the song was ever used on "The Muppet Show", but I can certainly picture them doing something with it.

    Lynn --It's kind of an unforgettable tune once you heard it.

    StMc -- NVB's version is the ultimate version. It was all over the place when it first came out, but pretty much disappeared after that. And especially for you, yes, Tiny Tim is my T topic. He doesn't need a song that sounds dreamlike--he was like a character out of a dream. I hope you'll enjoy my Tiny Tim entry though I think I've related the story before.

    Ladysknight --There are many songs and artists that seem to just fade away like that--especially novelty songs.


  12. BOIDMAN ~
    I am in agreement with you: I think THIS version of 'Winchester Cathedral' is the best I've ever heard! (That Rudy Vallee touch cinches it for me.)

    However, really, it is only the way these blokes present it - dressed in goofy outfits and acting like they're on 'Laugh In' - that makes this a "novelty" song.

    Until seeing this video, I never ever thought of it as a "novelty" song - it was just a simple love song with an incredibly addictive melody!

    Oh, I remember the Tiny Tim story you're going to tell, and I LOVE IT! It does very much seem dream-like the way you tell it.

    I'm curious to see which song you post in conjunction with your story though. I mean, for me, it almost certainly would have to be 'Strawberry Tea'. The only other T.T. song I can think of that seems especially "dream-like" is 'The Other Side' :

    Well, maybe 'The Coming Home Party', too :

    Regardless, whatever you post, I know I'll like it.

    Tiny Tim made himself an easy mark, but when I think back on the jokes I made about him out of ignorance, I am truly embarrassed.

    Tiny Tim had so much more talent than most people will ever realize. When I think about how much music I've come to love that I'd have utterly missed in my lifetime had I not ordered that 3-disc Tiny Tim set on a lark, I shudder.

    I always liked Tiny Tim in some weird, incomprehensible way. But I never "DREAMED" that I would eventually know and love so much of his music, too!

    I'm looking forward to "T-Day".

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  13. Hi Arlee,

    I saw your comment on my blog about magic, morris costumes, and all that jazz.

    Drop me an email at

    I'd love to chat some more!

  14. Love it! And I do think I've heard something like it on Sesame STreet!
    Love your other blogs... am following this one now! :)

  15. I've never heard of that band. I think it came out before I was born (all the cool stuff happened before I was born).

  16. StMc - It's been so long since I put together the Tiny Tim video that I forget which video I used, but I'm pretty sure it was "The Other Side".
    Guess we'll have to be surprised on that day.

    Arthur -- Very cool finding your blog and chatting with you. I look forward to some future collaboration.

    Linda -- The song sounds like it would fit on Sesame Street. Thanks for helping to build my network.

    Jessica -- the 60s and 70s were a time when much experimentation happened. It was an eclectic time.


  17. This song is a real trip down Memory Lane! :)


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