Friday, January 9, 2009

Don Bowman: From Mexico with Laughs Featuring The Tijuana Drum and Bugle Corps (1967)



Don Bowman was an obscure "country comedian" and also a musician who gained some moderate fame thanks to a boost from RCA Vice President Chet Atkins. Bowman had already released four previous LPs of novelty country music, sorta in the tradition of Homer and Jethro. This was his stab at a concept album and, for the first time on a Bowman album, contains a great deal of spoken word, recorded in front of a small live audience featuring members of Nashville's showbiz elite (and a glimpse into the prevalent marijuana use in late sixties Nashville). Bowman was well respected as a straight songwriter around Nashville (and contributed some stuff later for the Waylon & Willie album) and appeared in country music drive-in pictures like Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967). Bowman is still alive and has a myspace page and is currently convalescing from a stroke he suffered last year.

This 1967 comedy record was a take-off on Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, although a lot of the satire doesn't make a lot of sense since that group consisted of white guys doing what was Mexican flavored music as opposed to an actual Mexican band. But this was the old days and making fun of those south of the border was always good for some cheap larfs. The best moments on this record are the songs and the spoofs of the music itself - the rest is what it is. Mildly offensive and not particularly hilarious, but still an interesting and - for nerds like me - often fascinating little obscurity - with a surprising amount of pot humour. 

2 comments:

Geoff said...

Would this be the same Don Bowman who was the original host of the long-running American Country Countdown?

Kliph Nesteroff said...

Yeah, same guy.