Presents the United States of America, Vols. 1-2

Presents the United States of America, Vols. 1-2

by Stan FrebergStan Freberg



Even though it took Stan Freberg three-and-a-half decades, he successfully updated the irreverent and historically challenged masterpiece Presents the United States of America, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1961). With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Freberg and his all-star company take on some of the greatest tales and incidents from the annals of U.S. history. The luminous cast boasts players from Freberg's hit novelty 45s and his short-lived, self-titled weekly radio series, such as Peter Leeds and June Foray, alongside the equally lauded voice-over talents of Jesse White and Paul Frees, and the musical director Billy May. The troupe reenact behind-the-scenes incidents beginning (appropriately enough) at the beginning with "Columbus Discovers America," which includes the song "It's a Round, Round World." With Frees as narrator, the story then moves forward to the "Pilgrim's Progress" where Mayor Pennypacker (Freberg) starts a goodwill campaign and invites everyone to "Take an Indian to Lunch." Other brilliant satires deal with the "Declaration of Independence" where listeners will find the melodious message "A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He Signs These Days" -- which still remains a bit of sensible advice, and keen-eared fans of Freberg will recognize that "Yankee Doodle Go Home" contains nods to his reworkings of "Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Banana Boat (Day-O)." Although the idea of a second volume had been kicked around, in typical Freberg fashion, he created and produced "The Middle Years" when he got around to. Of course the passage of time presented a few challenges in regards to continuity. But ever the ingenious entrepreneur, Freberg assembled another top-shelf company with original participants Leeds, Foray, White and May flanking the likes of Tyne Daly, John Goodman, David Ogden Stiers, Sherman Helmsley, Harry Shearer, Lorenzo Music and Freberg's children Donovan Freberg and Donna Freberg Ebsen. They pick up the story with the surreal concept of the founding fathers as an ad agency trying to 'sell' the idea of America, as heard on the three installments of "Madison, Jefferson, Franklin & Osbourne." Equally inspired is the elder Freberg's transformation into the role of "Star-Spangled Banner" author Francis Scott Key on "Rumplemyer's Shoes: The Francis Scott Key Story." Similarly exceptional is his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in "Abe Lincoln in Analysis" -- featuring the number "Show Folk" -- and the slice-of-life "Abe Lincoln at Home in the White House" with Daly, Helmsley and Foray. "The Middle Years" concludes in the wake of World War I with "Two Tin Pan Alley Songwriters" -- Freberg and Goodman -- coming up with the new patriotic selections "Hello, Peace, Hello" and a reprise of "There'll Never Be Another War," a tune introduced after the Civil War era "Appomattox Courthouse Bar & Grill" sketch.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/02/1996
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227247621
catalogNumber: 72476


Disc 1

  1. Overture
  2. Columbus Discovers America: It's a Round, Round World
  3. Pilgrim's Progress (Take an Indian to Lunch)
  4. Thanksgiving Story (Under the Double Turkey)
  5. The Sale of Manhattan: Top Hat, White Feather, and Tails
  6. The Boston Tea Party
  7. Declaration of Independence: A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He ...
  8. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
  9. Betsy Ross and the Flag: Everybody Wants to Be an Art Director
  10. The Discovery of Electricity
  11. Washington Crosses the Delaware (Command Decision)
  12. Yankee Doodle Go Home (Spirit of '76)
  13. The Battle of Yorktown
  14. Finale: So Long, Friend...

Disc 2

  1. Intro & Overture
  2. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, & Osbourne: The First Advertising ...
  3. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, & Osbourne
  4. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, & Osbourne, Pt. 2
  5. America! America!
  6. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, & Osbourne, Pt. 3
  7. Rumplemeyer's Horseshoes: The Francis Scott Key Story
  8. Rumplemeyer's Horseshoes
  9. Stephen Foster, Beloved Songwriter
  10. Samuel F.B. Morse Sends the First Telegram
  11. Abe Lincoln in Analysis
  12. Show Folk
  13. Abe Lincoln at Home in the White House
  14. Barbara Frietchie, Martyr of the Year
  15. Shoot If You Must
  16. Lincoln at Shiloh With General Grant
  17. As Long As You're Up/A Sober Life's a Hard Life
  18. The Appomattox Courthouse Bar & Grill
  19. There'll Never Be Another War
  20. Custer's Last Stand
  21. Alexander Graham Bell and the First Phone Call
  22. Thomas Edison Invents the Light Bulb! The Phonograph!, Pt. 1
  23. Perseverance
  24. Thomas Edison Invents the Light Bulb! The Phonograph!, Pt. 2
  25. Planned Obsolescence
  26. The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk
  27. Henry Ford Invents Detroit
  28. Perseverance (Reprise)
  29. The Sinking of the Lusitania
  30. Two Tin Pan Alley Songwriters
  31. U-Boat/The Guns of August
  32. Hello, Peace, Hello
  33. There'll Never Be Another War (Reprise)
  34. Finale: America! America! (Reprise)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stan Freberg   Primary Artist
Billy May   Conductor
John Goodman   Track Performer
Lorenzo Music   Track Performer
Tyne Daly   Track Performer
David Ogden Stiers   Track Performer
Corey Burton   Narrator
Donald Freberg   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Stan Freberg   Director,Sound Effects,Producer
Terry Jennings   Engineer
Billy May   Arranger
Paul Mitchell   Engineer
Sherman Hemsley   Contributor
John Goodman   Contributor
Lorenzo Music   Contributor
Harry Shearer   Contributor
Tyne Daly   Contributor
David Ogden Stiers   Contributor
June Foray   Contributor
Peter Leeds   Contributor
Naomi Lewis   Contributor
Jesse White   Contributor
Coco Shinomiya   Art Direction
Robert L. Emmer   Executive Producer
William Woodson   Contributor
Jimmy Bryant Singers   Contributor
Ed Green   Engineer
Ray Erlenborn   Sound Effects

Customer Reviews

Presents the United States of America, Vols. 1-2 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to this recording (VOL 1) growing up in the 70s and early 80s. My dad had the original LP (An LP is a vinyl record. ...a vinyl record is a, oh...never mind) Volume 2 is also good, but the original is most excellent. So much history, so many laughs. You won't be sorry with this purchase!!!