R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders
R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders
Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 2 (1976), and R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 3 (1978); the latter two have been reissued on the Shanachie label as Chasin' Rainbows and Singing In the Bathtub respectively. As a novelty, they issued a number of 78 rpm 10-inch singles for Blue Goose, long after the format was obsolete.
The most familiar is probably R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders' Party Record (1980), with the double-entendre "My Girl's Pussy" on the "A" side and "Christopher Columbus" on the "B" side. Robert Crumb (born on August 30, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was the band's frontman and album cover artist. As of 2006 he was no longer much involved with the group; the band at that time included Robert Armstrong (vocals, musical saw, guitar), Bob Brozman (vocals, various resonator instruments, guitar, ukulele), Al (Allan) Dodge (vocals, mandolin), Terry Zwigoff (saw, cello, Stroh violin, and mandolin), and Tony Marcus (vocals, guitar, and fiddle). Robert Dennis Crumb known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb, is an American cartoonist and musician.
His work displays a nostalgia for American folk culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and sharp satire of contemporary American culture. His work has attracted controversy, especially for his depiction of women and racial minorities. Crumb first rose to prominence after the 1968 debut of Zap Comix, which was the first successful publication of the underground comix era. Countercultural characters such as Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, and the images from his "Keep on Truckin'" strip, were among his popular creations.
Following the decline of the underground, he moved towards biographical and autobiographical subjects, while refining his drawing style, a heavily crosshatched pen-and-ink style inspired by late 19th- and early 20th-century cartooning. Much of his work appeared in a magazine he founded, Weirdo (1981–1993), which was one of the most prominent publications of the alternative comics era. He is married to cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, with whom he has frequently collaborated. In 1991, Crumb was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. Crumb has frequently drawn comics about his musical interests in blues, country, bluegrass, cajun, French Bal-musette, jazz, big band and swing music from the 1920s and 30's, and they also heavily influenced the soundtrack choices for his band mate Zwigoff's 1994 Crumb documentary. Crumb was the leader of the band R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders, for which he sang lead vocals, wrote several songs and played banjo and other instruments.
Crumb often plays mandolin with Eden and John's East River String Band and has drawn three covers for them: 2009's Drunken Barrel House Blues, 2008's Some Cold Rainy Day, and 2011's Be Kind To A Man When He's Down on which he plays mandolin. He was - together with Dominique Cravic - the founder of "Les Primitifs du Futur", a French music band, based on French musette/folk, jazz and blues, and played on that band's 2000 album World Musette. He as well drew the cover art of this, and some more albums. Crumb has also released CDs anthologizing old original performances gleaned from collectible 78 RPM phonograph records. His That's What I Call Sweet Music was released in 1999, and Hot Women: Women Singers from the Torrid Regions was released in 2009.
Naturally, Crumb drew the cover art for these CDs as well. Crumb made a music video with Eden and John's East River String Band in 2013 for their album "Take A Look At That Baby" which Crumb plays mandolin on. Crumb cover artwork for Big Brother and the Holding Company 1968 album Cheap ThrillsCrumb has illustrated many album covers, including most prominently Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company and the compilation album The Music Never Stopped: Roots of the Grateful Dead. Between 1974 and 1984, Crumb drew at least 17 album covers for Yazoo Records/Blue Goose Records, including those of the Cheap Suit Serenaders. He also created the revised logo and record label designs of Blue Goose Records that were used from 1974 onward. In 1992 and 1993, Robert Crumb was involved in a project by a Dutch formation, The Beau Hunks, and for both their albums The Beau Hunks play the original Laurel & Hardy music (1 & 2), he was the album cover illustrator, as well as for the albums' booklets. Also in 2009, he drew the artwork for a 10-CD anthology of French traditional music (compiled by Guillaume Veillet for Frémeaux & Associés). In 2010 he drew three artworks for Christopher King's Aimer Et Perdre: To Love And To Lose Songs, 1917-1934 released on CD on Tompkins Square in 2012. In 2011 he drew his third album cover for Eden and John's East River String Band Be Kind To A Man When He's Down, on which he also plays mandolin. Inspired by the works of Walt Kelly, Fleischer Brothers animation, and others, Crumb and his brothersdrew their own comics and sold them door to door. At fifteen, Crumb became obsessed with collecting jazz and blues records from the 1920s to the 1940s. Crumb has created several sets of trading cards. His full-color, pen & ink portraits of 36 early great blues singers and musicians is entitled "Heroes of the Blues Trading Cards".
In the fashion of baseball cards, the back of each card contains a short bio written by Stephen Calt. Crumb's portraits capture the humanity and individuality of each performer. This set of 36 3"x4" cards was originally published by Eclipse Books in 1995. Other similar sets of cards published since that time are entitled, "Early Jazz Greats" and "Pioneers of Country Music".
In 2006, all 3 sets of cards were collected together in a 240 page book entitled, "R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country", which included a 21-song CD of songs by many of those depicted in the trading cards. Terry Zwigoff, the film maker, and Dave Jasen, the ragtime pianist and pop archivist, contributed to the written text. Another set of 36 cards published in 2010 is entitled "R.
Crumb Trading Cards" (Denis Kitchen Publishing Co.) and features short stories on the back of each card about Crumb's familiar comic book characters: Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat, etc. As of 2011, all 4 of these decks of trading cards are still in print. A theatrical production based on his work was produced at Duke University in the early 1990s. Directed by Johnny Simons, and co-starring Avner Eisenberg and Nicholas de Wolff, the development of the play was supervised by Crumb, who also served as set designer, drawing larger-than-life representations of some of his most famous characters all over the floors and walls of the set. At least three television or theatrical documentaries are dedicated to Crumb, not counting numerous reports running 10 minutes and below: Prior to the 1972 release of the film version of Fritz the Cat, Austrian journalist Georg Stefan Troller (see German Wikipedia) interviewed Crumb for a 30-minute documentary entitled Comics und Katerideen on Crumb's life and art, as an episode of Troller's Personenbeschreibung ("Personality account") documentary format broadcast on German ZDF.
The documentary also included a making-of the upcoming Fritz movie with production background interviews of Ralph Bakshi. In this documentary, Troller called Crumb's work "the epitome of contemporary white North America's popular art". As part of Troller's Personenbeschreibung series, it can still be seen on rotation on ZDF-owned digital specialty channel ZDFdokukanal dedicated to highclass documentaries. The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) Crumb (1994) by Terry Zwigoff In the 2003 movie American Splendor Crumb was portrayed by James Urbaniak. In 2006, Crumb brought legal action against Amazon.com after the web site used a version of his widely recognizable "Keep On Truckin'" character. The case is expected to be settled out of court. Underground rap artist Aesop Rock mentions Crumb several times in his lyrics, including in the songs "Catacomb Kids" from the album None Shall Pass and "Nickel Plated Pockets" from his EP Daylight. R.
Crumb's Sex Obsessions, a collection of his most personally revealing sexually-oriented drawings and comic strips, was released from TASCHEN publishing in November 2007. In August 2011 Crumb cancelled plans to visit Graphic 2011 festival in Sydney, Australia due to safety concerns after a tabloid labeled him a "self-confessed sex pervert" in an article headlined "Cult genius or filthy weirdo?". In 2012 Crumb appeared on five episodes of John's Old Time Radio Show where he talks about old music, sex, aliens, big foot and plays 78rpm records from his record room in Southern France. He continues to appear on the show and has now recorded 12 one-hour Podcasts for the show. Crumb got his first job in 1962, drawing novelty greeting cards for American Greetings in Cleveland, Ohio. There he met a group of young bohemians such as Buzzy Linhart, Liz Johnston, and Harvey Pekar.
Johnston introduced him to his future wife, Dana Morgan, whom he married in 1964. Dissatisfied with greeting card work, he tried to sell cartoons to comic book companies, who showed little interest in his work. In 1965, cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman printed some of Crumb's work in the humor magazine he edited, Help!. Crumb moved to New York, intending to work with Kurtzman, but Help! ceased publication shortly after.
Crumb briefly illustrated bubblegum cards for Topps before returning to Cleveland and American Greetings. In 1966, Crumb and Dana took LSD, after which Crumb increasingly found his job at American Greetings difficult to bear. In 1967, encouraged by the reaction to some drawings he had published in underground newspapers, including Philadelphia's Yarrowstalks, he and two friends left for San Francisco, the center of the counterculture movement; he called Dana to follow him in 1968. His Zap Comix #1 appeared early that year, followed by #2 and #0; later issues also featured work by Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Spain Rodriguez, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson.
The countercultural work was filled with gratuitous sex, drugs, and violence; it sold well, and marked the beginning of the underground comix era. Crumb was a prolific cartoonist in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He produced much of his best-known work then, including his Keep on Truckin' strip, and strips featuring characters such as the bohemian Fritz the Cat, spiritual guru Mr. Natural, and oversexed African-American stereotype Angelfood McSpade. In 1978, he divorced Dana and married cartoonist Aline Kominsky, with whom Crumb has frequently collaborated. Crumb and family moved to a small village near Sauve in southern France in 1993. In 2009, after four years of work, Crumb produced The Book of Genesis an unabridged illustrated graphic novel version of the biblical Book of Genesis. In the early 1980s, Crumb collaborated with writer Charles Bukowski on a series of comic books, featuring Crumb's art and Bukowski's writing. Crumb's collaboration with David Zane Mairowitz, the illustrated, part-comic biography and bibliography Introducing Kafka, aka Kafka for beginners, is one of his less sexual- and satire-oriented, comparably highbrow works since the 1990s.
It is well-known and favorably received, and due to its popularity was republished as R. Crumb's Kafka. A friend of Harvey Pekar, Crumb illustrated many of the award winning American Splendor comics by Pekar including the first issues (1976). Crumb collaborates with his wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, on many strips and comics, including Self-Loathing Comics and work published in The New Yorker. Crumb's work also appeared in Nasty Tales, a 1970s British underground comic. The publishers were acquitted in a celebrated 1972 obscenity trial at the Old Bailey in London; the first such case involving a comic. Giving evidence at the trial, one of the defendants said of Crumb: "He is the most outstanding, certainly the most interesting, artist to appear from the underground, and this (Dirty Dog) is Rabelaisian satire of a very high order.
He is using coarseness quite deliberately in order to get across a view of social hypocrisy." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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