Just woke up from a nap & a dream where I was watching a documentary about Jerry Lewis. It was narrated by a guy who had amassed a complete collection of Lewis’s LP releases, remastered them, and then re-released them in collected box-set collector’s editions on heavy virgin vinyl. The documentary was a retrospective of Lewis’s career using this remastered release as the structure to hang the items of the story on.

Just woke up from a nap & a dream where I was watching a documentary about Jerry Lewis. It was narrated by a guy who had amassed a complete collection of Lewis’s LP releases, remastered them, and then re-released them in collected box-set collector’s editions on heavy virgin vinyl. The documentary was a retrospective of Lewis’s career using this remastered release as the structure to hang the items of the story on. At one point, Lewis had done a concert tour to support an international tour of bicycle races. Like, the race tour was happening in about 12 towns the size of Grand Rapids, MI (in the 1950’s-1960’s), and as part of the promotional campaign for the races Jerry Lewis was doing a concert tours. Songs like Big Spender, so late 60’s, I suppose. Anyway, the narrator of this documentary says, “people were really excited to listen to the comedy albums when I released that collection. But when I released the singing, they felt different. Nobody really remembered what the dinging was like…” and at this moment a clip of Lewis & Martin came up, which really was’t related to the LP of the Grand Rapids leg of the racing tour. Apparently they released an LP for each stop on the tour. In this Lewis & Martin black and white TV clip they were singing a duet, but each time it was Jerry Lewis’s turn to sing, Dean Martin just kept going. It was obviously staged that way, but in the context of the documentary, it was also implied that this is the way everyone actually kind of felt about Jerry Lewis—let him be funny if you have to have him around, but don’t let him sing. In the clip, the TV audience loved it. In the documentary it was implied that a second-rate sports tour looking to profit from the Babbitt-like boosterism of mid-sized towns hired Jerry Lewis to tour those towns to work up enthusiasm for the races, and then recouped the costs of the Lewis tour by selling LP records in those towns’ markets. Nobody appreciated the narrator of the documentary for bringing out an archival quality boxed set of that tour.

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