Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy Stories for Gloomy Days - Frank Luther

I'm not familiar with Frank Luther, but he does quite a nice job on telling these stories and singing the songs in them. As you can tell, these stories are your usual suspects, with one big exception. "Happy the Harmonica" is one of the craziest kids' stories I've ever heard! I hate to give too much away, but it involves an old woman with a pain who plays "Home Sweet Home" on her harmonica to make "Happy the Harmonica" happy, and that's just how the story starts. You just need to hear this one for yourself. Trust me! (The rest of it is quite good too!)

Here's the track list:
  1. The Shoemaker and the Elves
  2. The Gingerbread Boy
  3. The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  4. The Little Red Hen
  5. Happy the Harmonica
  6. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Click here or here to download!


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for sharing this - the organ on this is particularly fresh.

The only other Frank Luther release that I know is worth hunting down (and on the same Vocalion label) is his "Songs of Safety / Manners Can Be Fun / Health Can Be Fun" LP. Those three had been released as individual 78" LPs, but compiled in their entirety on one 33" LP.

Here is the Wiki entry on Frank Luther:

Anyway, thanks for again for sharing this. If you ever chance on any more Frank Luther, please share it here! I would imagine that the "Alice in Wonderland" would be particularly interesting, also the "Fear of the dark" material described in the Wiki article.

Anonymous said...

Following up on my previous comment, here is a link to Luther's "Songs of Safety / Manners Can Be Fun / Health Can Be Fun" LP - a real classic IMHO:

mel said...

Oh my word...I have been hunting for Frank Luther's The Little Red Hen for donkey's years - and suddenly it shows up here on your blog!!! And you weren't even familiar with this great artist of the past....

Thank you so much.

Katya said...

Thanks, Tony! My copy is trashed. Longtime collector of Frank Luther. His voice was one of the first I heard as a child, as my mother played his 1940s WINNIE THE POOH record to mellow me out in my crib. Everything I have ever read about him paints Frank Luther as a genuinely nice guy. His voice still has an effect on me, except for the hillbilly band stuff. has also shared some of his records over the years.

Anonymous said...

Growing up, I heard several records of Frank Luther reading (and singing) the Babar the Elephant stories. He also wrote a musical stage version of Tom Sawyer.

pete said...

Love it. My sister and i had a copy of this and listned to it , endlessly

pete said...

what year was this recorded?

raccoonradio said...

Looking forward to hearing this;
Negativland covered "Happy the Harmonica" (video on youtube)

Anonymous said...

I used to have an LP from the Simon Says label. It included "The shoemaker and the elves" and "the gingerbread boy", but also had "the emperor's new clothes" and "The lion and the donkey" and a few more. I've been looking for a copy of this album. If anyone has access to it and can upload it here (or anywhere), I'd be so greatful. Thanks. -Bob K.