Peter Sellers; The Trumpet Volunteer (1958)

 |   |  <1 min read

Peter Sellers: The Trumpet Volunteer
Peter Sellers; The Trumpet Volunteer (1958)

There has been a long tradition of mocking the pretentions of rock and pop singers, which isn't that hard. Many of them take themselves very seriously.

When National Lampoon for example got stuck into a Pink Floyd-like musician who wanted to create a massive rock opera (on their '75 album Goodbye Pop, helmed by Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap) they were just part of a long lineage of mockers of rockers which goes right back to Stan Freberg and Peter Sellers in the Fifties.

Sellers in this track was doubtless poking at people like British star Tommy Steele, the rock'n'roll singer who was hugely popular at the time, "a star of stage, screen and radio an' all that. And records of course".

Steele was a likable, working class guy and not quite as pretentious as Sellers makes out, but it was kinda sad and strange to hear that he got his Classics Illustrated comics leather bound.

But here Sellers nails those who take classical music into rock (as Emerson Lake and Palmer and others would do in the prog-rock period) but of course his time was late Fifties rock'n'roll. Still funny, still relevant. Just the music has changed, the pretention is still there in rock today.

This comes from the four CD set A Celebration of Sellers. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Paul Rowe - Mar 16, 2010

Rather spookily I am reading a bio of Peters at the moment (Mr Strangelove) and it is a rather good read about a rather sad and unlikeable man. I hadn't really appreciated what a huge star he was in the 60s, although a lot of those films were quite forgettable. There's no mention of this song in the book, but next time I visit my parents I'm going to dig out Dad's copy of A Hard Day's Night and see how it stacks up. Next book off the rank is Spike's My Part in His Downfall - not sure why I sepnd so much time reading about depressives....

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels: Devil with the Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly (1966)

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels: Devil with the Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly (1966)

Whatever the reason -- working class industrial, mix of races, impurities in the water -- Detroit has been a hotbed of great music. From Bill Haley and Hank Ballard in the Fifties through Motown,... > Read more

Arthur Russell: Another Thought (1985)

Arthur Russell: Another Thought (1985)

Curiously, it has only been in recent years that the British music press "discovered" Arthur Russell. But maybe not so curious: Russell died of Aids-related illnesses in '92 and although... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Femi Kuti: Africa for Africa (Wrasse)

Femi Kuti: Africa for Africa (Wrasse)

In 1970 George Melly wrote Revolt into Style, a witty and sometimes scathing look at how the revolutionary, anti-establishment figures in pop art and culture had been assimilated into the... > Read more

Donovan: Troubadour; The Definitive Collection 1964-76 (1998 compilation)

Donovan: Troubadour; The Definitive Collection 1964-76 (1998 compilation)

When I interviewed Donovan in 1998 -- mindful I might have to introduce him to a readership which had probably never heard of him -- I noted that even back in his heyday of the Sixties he'd been a... > Read more