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Professor Irwin Corey: Duets II, It's All About You!!

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Professor Irwin Corey: Duets II, It's All About You!!
In one of the more noteworthy album discoveries of recent years Schlossin Records, a division of Moyel Music, has unearthed a series of extremely rare cuts featuring the vocal skills of that instructor to the stars and game show celeb, Professor Irwin Corey. Originally recorded live (and without Corey's permission) at multiple locations, the prof sheds academic robe for a beret and zoot suit and sends up a dozen killer tracks with celebs who begged to sit in with Corey and his ace rhythm section of Johnny Puleo on glass harmonica, percussionist Chun King, and Wilt Chamberlain on finger cymbals.

"I Scream, You Scream (We All Scream for Ice Cream)" opens with an exciting duet featuring Corey with actress Fay Wray (a little gamey here right from the Skull Island set at RKO). The tension builds to fever pitch at which point Wray and Corey wax falsetto over drummer King's conga. Bringing things down to a balladic base, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (old friends of Corey who stopped in between sets at the Coconut Grove) soothes with a lush take of "Deep River," complete with Corey's evocative moans. Uber-celebrity, Monti Rock III and Corey go all out dealing under the strobe lights at the Whiskey Au Go-Go on a burner remake of "Disco Duck." Catch Pete Barbutti joining in here on 4th trumpet and (between sips) doubling on squeeze box.

While Corey made his bones and earned his musical Doctorate in smoky clubs, he was rarely given the opportunity to demonstrate his resonant pipes on Hollywood Squares or Video Village. Brilliantly dove-tailing with an obviously acid-tripping Topo Gigio, he dives into the operatic canon pulling out all stops on "Nessun Dorma." Spike Jones' gusty banjo star, Freddy Morgan, lays down a neat Deliverance riff and, before long mouse and man dream on. "El Funko Grande," from the pen of Cantinflas (who shaved for the date), has Corey rapping about the wonders of peyote pasta. Pinup starlet Betty Paige (who didn't) stops in to duo with Corey on the excruciatingly seductive "My Boy Lollipop," here taken as a rhumba. Keeping with the professorial tone, "Fine and Dandy" has Corey swinging hard while Art Metrano hand jives the entire Periodic Table of the Elements. Stephen Hawking sits in on tabla but, oddly, seems to have a problem with relative time.

Big Kudos and Mentos to the extended rhythm section of zither (Zsa Zsu Pitts), bassoon (Pia Zadora), and bongos (Zippy the Chimp). They pop with an uninvited Yosemite Sam on Cher's big hit "(S)he Shot Me Down" (Pronouns Optional).

Two bonus tracks are included in the collection. One with Cory's Bopster pals, Pee Wee Marquette and Elisha Cook, Jr., on "Gimme That Wine," and the other with multi-octave sword-swallower, Yma Sumac killing it on her cult hit, "That's Not ME in the Next Room in the Motel."

All in all. Corey surprises and educates us all summa cum louda. Fans might wonder why Duets I was never released. After hearing Duets II, they'll know. Class dismissed.

Track Listing

I Scream, You Scream (We All Scream for Ice Cream, Deep River, Disco Duck, Nessun Dorma, El Funko Grande, My Boy Lollipop, Fine and Dandy, (S)he Shot Me Down.Gimme That Wine, That's Not ME in the Next Room in the Motel

Personnel

Johnny Puleo
harmonica
Wilt Chamberlain
percussion
Chun King
percussion
Additional Instrumentation

Fay Wray, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Monti Rock III, Pete Barbutti, Topo Gigio, Freddy Morgan, Cantinflas, Betty Paige, Art Metrano, Stephen Hawking, Yosemite Sam, Pee Wee Marquette, Elisha Cook, Jr. Yma Sumac, Zsa Zsu Pitts, Pia Zadora, Zippy the Chimp.

Album information

Title: Duets II, It's All About You!! | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Schlossin Records

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