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davidclark
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Posted: 04 May 2012 at 2:57am | IP Logged Quote davidclark

Couldn't' find a single post on this track. Although not a song, it did reach
#19 in 1961 and is still missing from a US CD in its single form. Does
anyone have it on an import? What is considered to be the single length?
Part 1 and/or Part 2?

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Paul C
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Posted: 04 May 2012 at 1:44pm | IP Logged Quote Paul C

I timed Part 1 at (4:32) and Part 2 at (3:39). I don't have any of the CDs containing this comedy piece, but they all obviously are missing significant chunks of it.
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jono
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Posted: 04 May 2012 at 7:57pm | IP Logged Quote jono

Agree with Paul's timings. I downloaded a version of this song (claiming to be Part 1 & Part 2) from iTunes in 2005 that runs 6:22, but the 1st 43 seconds of this version aren't part of the 45 (including an introductory marching song). I assume this is on an album somewhere?

So, yeah, there are indeed "significant chunks" missing.

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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 04 May 2012 at 10:54pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

davidclark wrote:
Couldn't' find a single post on this track. Although not a song, it did reach
#19 in 1961 and is still missing from a US CD in its single form. Does
anyone have it on an import? What is considered to be the single length?
Part 1 and/or Part 2?


Joel Whitburn lists Parts 1 & 2 as being the official commercial single version (not sure if this was also the case in Canada). I'm curious to know if Jose Jimenez's "The Astronaut" got much Top 40 radio airplay in 1961 and, if so, did most stations play both Parts 1 & 2 or just one side?

I too would be interested to know if anyone has seen the complete 45 version anywhere on CD.
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KentT
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Posted: 09 May 2012 at 3:56pm | IP Logged Quote KentT

Doubt there is one on CD. Maybe if a novelty compilation is upcoming soon, there will be.

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Posted: 09 May 2012 at 7:36pm | IP Logged Quote NightAire

I wonder if Bill could provide some direction on where we could find the 7" version on CD:

Bill Dana Homepage

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JL328
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Posted: 10 May 2012 at 7:38am | IP Logged Quote JL328

Is the album version just a combination of the Parts I and II that appear on the 45? I've never heard the 45. Are there any differences between the 45 and LP?

Also, how did this make the Top 40? It's not even a song. Was this track actually getting airplay in 1961 or did it make it all the way up to #19 based strictly on sales of the 45? I can't imagine somebody playing this on the radio. That seems so odd to me.

This "song" has appeared on a number of novelty compilations (including imports) but it is always a chopped up, edited version that doesn't match the original. I think it's likely that any new novelty compilations would likewise use this edited version given that the original is super long. Given representations made on the packaging of certain cds, it also appears that some cd compilers are under the mistaken belief that the chopped up version-- which has been retreaded in some form at least a half dozen times that I have seen-- is the full original. So, it's too bad, but I'm not sure anybody's actually out there looking for the original anymore.

I don't think this will ever be available on cd unless somebody releases the original 1961 Jose Jimenez album in full. I suppose that's possible but given that this recording is also not considered to be very PC in some circles, I can also see that album remaining buried in the vaults. The best chance would have been the "Best of" album that came out in the '90s (and is available on Bill Dana's Home Page), but even that contains a chopped up version.

I doubt that any of the re-issue companies that pride themselves on dusting off original versions (e.g., Eric Records) would ever pick this up for a compilation given that it is not an actual song. Really wouldn't fit on one of those compilation cds.

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jono
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Posted: 10 May 2012 at 8:57am | IP Logged Quote jono

There were a couple of differences I noticed between the 45 and the version I downloaded form iTunes ("Laugh.com Comedy Recording Series: Bill Dana as Jose Jimenez - Greatest Bits", which runs 6:22), besides having the introductory marching song not on the 45.

First, the bit from about 1:35-2:05 on the 45 (beginning with "What are the physical qualities...") is absent on the iTunes version. Also, from 2:18-2:48 on the 45 ("What do you think of Vanguard 1 and Jupiter 2?...") is absent on the iTunes version. I don't have any of the other cds in the database to compare, but I assume those versions are similar to the iTunes version.

I should note that the intro on the iTunes version conatins a few extra words (after the march, when the interviewer introduces Jose Jimenez) that aren't on the 45, meaning (to me) either the 45 was slightly edited from a full LP version at this point or this intro was re-recorded.

There could be other missing elements, but this is as far as I've gotten so far.

Jon O.


Edited by jono on 10 May 2012 at 8:58am
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Paul Haney
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Posted: 10 May 2012 at 10:34am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

JL328 wrote:
Also, how did this make the Top 40? It's not even a song. Was this track actually getting airplay in 1961 or did it make it all the way up to #19 based strictly on sales of the 45? I can't imagine somebody playing this on the radio. That seems so odd to me.


This record got quite a bit of airplay back in 1961. For example, it made it to #1 on WHIL in Boston and to #2 on KRLA in Los Angeles. The Jose Jimenez character was very popular at the time and radio stations played stuff like this a lot more back then. Really, this record is no different than other spoken-word hits (from Johnny Standley in the 1950s to Cheech & Chong in the 1970s). I still think it's pretty funny even in this day and age.
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musicmanatl
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Posted: 11 May 2012 at 6:58pm | IP Logged Quote musicmanatl

I have an mp3 of the full version to share if anyone wants it. It's from vinyl. This really is a funny song, even today, if you can get past the "humor" of a guy speaking in a Spanish accent as funny in itself. How times have changed. :)
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davidclark
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Posted: 12 May 2012 at 10:25am | IP Logged Quote davidclark

does the single begin with the line "The gentleman you're about to meet...",
or "A new uhh, policy uhh, here at the..."? I have heard two versions. I think
it's the former, as it matches the 45 timing indicated by Paul C above.

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jono
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Posted: 12 May 2012 at 5:02pm | IP Logged Quote jono

David -

My copy of "The Astronaut (Part 1)" (Kapp 409) begins with the line, "The gentleman you're about to...meet is the most important man...". The "is" spoken in this line is sort of cut-off, as it sounds like "...meet s'the most important..."

Interestingly, the version of this song that I downloaded from iTunes (see above posts) begins with the other line you mentioned ("A new, uhh, policy...") as the first spoken words after the introductory marching song. Shortly after this line is spoken, the interviewer says "The gentleman you're about to...meet COULD POSSIBLY be the most important man..."

Incidentally, the flip side (Part 2) begins with 3 seconds of audience laughter, followed by the line, "Let's talk about the rockets themselves..."

Jon O.

Edited by jono on 12 May 2012 at 5:05pm
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Posted: 24 February 2024 at 11:38am | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

So time almost 12 years later to revisit this particular song.

What timing is the 45 version? Is the 45prof right? Is it Part 1 and Part 2 or just Part 1? I am confused as hell.

The 45prof has the full version up at 8:09 that is not on CD. This runs way too long to be the correct 45 run time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YXKL86H6kU&t=54s

Ed in his 1961 top 40 assembly has a 4:31 which is not on CD at all but appears an edit. The versions I can find on CD are 5-6 minutes and do not open like the 8 minute version.

There are no printed times on the US release, the closest I can find to confirm Ed's Top 40 run time is 4:31 on Part 1 and 3:39 on Part 2. Is the 4:31 the radio edit?

https://www.45cat.com/record/k409ca

Joel Whitburn's annual has P1 and P2 together for an 8:15 running time for the 45.

If anyone has any insight to this (or if it made CD) kindly let me know. I am betting this never made stereo either....

Edited by PopArchivist on 24 February 2024 at 11:51am


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Posted: 24 February 2024 at 11:39am | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

Paul C wrote:
I timed Part 1 at (4:32) and Part 2 at (3:39). I don't have any of the CDs containing this comedy piece, but they all obviously are missing significant chunks of it.


If you still have this dub, I would be interested in having it to listen to for Part 1 and 2. Thanks.

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Paul Haney
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Posted: 24 February 2024 at 1:51pm | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

If you watch the 45 Prof video, he flips the record over to Part II (right after the line about "...lets out that
little mouse."), which is where Part 1 ends. Pretty neat how he did that.

It's my understanding that most radio stations played both parts when the record was current. So, I'd consider
both Parts 1 & 2 the "hit" 45 version.
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davidclark
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Posted: 24 February 2024 at 5:16pm | IP Logged Quote davidclark

I have a stereo version, well, since it's not music with multiple instruments, it's
simply the audience that is stereo. It is a 5:52 version that I believe came from
this 1991 Rhino CD:

https://www.discogs.com/release/8721412-Bill-Dana-Bill-Dana- Asks-José-
Can-You-See-The-Best-of-José-Jiménez-Yesterday-Today

Edited by davidclark on 24 February 2024 at 5:17pm


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crapfromthepast
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Posted: 24 February 2024 at 8:17pm | IP Logged Quote crapfromthepast

I believe that the 45 version (A- and B-sides strung together) can be edited down from the LP version. The first 15 seconds of the LP version can be edited down to form the first 8 seconds of the 45. The rest of the LP version matches the rest of the A- and B-sides of the 45.

The LP version starts with the following text:

Quote:
A new policy here at the Hungry I is to bring you people who are in the news currently, and the gentleman you are about to meet could possibly be the most important man in any of our lives. He's the United States Air Force officer who has been chosen to be the first man sent into outer space.


The 45 starts with the following text:

Quote:
The gentleman you are about to meet's the most important man in any of our lives. He's the United States officer who has been sent into outer space.


There's a tricky edit at the end of the word "meet", to somehow get an "s" sound to make it sound like "meet's". I don't know where the "s" sound is taken from in the intro.


The version on Rhino's Bill Dana Asks "José Can You See?" - The Best of José Jiménez - Yesterday & Today (1991) runs 5:52. It's in stereo, although the only significant part of the stereo is the audience laughter. This disc truncates the tail of the fade. It's an edit of the LP version, which cuts out five portions of the LP version (1:43-2:13, 2:26-2:55, 4:44-5:35, 6:22-6:50, and 7:26-7:37).

The Wacky Favorites Crazy Classics version running 5:52 is the 5:52 Rhino version, with a quick fade at the end to fade to silence.

The Wacky Favorites version running 6:43 is the 5:52 Rhino version, with a weird instrumental track called "Jose Can You See (Outro)" tacked on at the end. "The Astronaut" and "Jose Can You See (Outro)" are the last two tracks on the Rhino Best Of CD.

Edited by crapfromthepast on 24 February 2024 at 8:50pm


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Posted: 26 February 2024 at 6:45am | IP Logged Quote Hykker

Paul Haney wrote:
This record got quite a bit of airplay back in 1961. For example, it made it to #1 on WHIL in Boston and to #2
on
KRLA in Los Angeles.


Let's not read too much into that. I don't know how much of a player KRLA was in 1961, but WHIL was anything but. It was a daytimer
licensed to Medford, a suburb of Boston. WBZ, WMEX and WHDH accounted for probably 90% of listening back then. ARSA didn't list any
surveys for either 'BZ or 'MEX for the summer of '61, WHDH was MOR. I suppose if anyone would have played a comedy cut it would have
been them, since at the time most comedy LPs were targeted to adults.
From the meager format description in the Broadcasting yearbook, it appears WHIL was somewhat block-programmed, not unusual for that
time frame. The survey you reference could very well be from a "teen scene" show that ran for a couple hours Saturday afternoon and
not representative of what the station typically played.
And we all know how trustworthy radio charts can be...

While 1961 was a year or so before I started to get into music, I don't remember any stations playing comedy material regularly.
Some
novelty songs, yes, with "songs" being the key word.

Edited by Hykker on 26 February 2024 at 7:01am
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Paul Haney
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Posted: 26 February 2024 at 10:53am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

The Gavin Report had "The Astronaut" peaking at #1 for one week on 9/1/61 (in the heading of the chart Gavin explains that "these appear
to be the popular records most preferred by radio listeners"). On 6/2/61 Gavin reported that the record was a "smashing success in
Boston" and on 6/16/61 he reported "very active listener requests in several areas." Good enough for me!
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Posted: 26 February 2024 at 10:56am | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

Paul Haney wrote:
The Gavin Report had "The Astronaut" peaking at #1 for one week on 9/1/61 (in the heading of the chart Gavin explains that "these appear
to be the popular records most preferred by radio listeners"). On 6/2/61 Gavin reported that the record was a "smashing success in
Boston" and on 6/16/61 he reported "very active listener requests in several areas." Good enough for me!


I just can't wrap my head around an 8 minute plus vocal track being played on radio in 1961 when every song was generally 3-4 minutes tops in that era and even that was pushing it. Play in Boston vs play the rest of the country might be entirely different...

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