The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
"The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" is a song composed by Charles Randolph Grean and performed by Leonard Nimoy, telling the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. The recording was featured on Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, the second of Nimoy's albums on Dot Records. It was also released as a single (Dot Records Cat. #45-17028) in July 1967, backed with a "modern thought-image" folk song called "Cotton Candy".
When the single was originally released, Nimoy lip-synched to the recording during a guest appearance on the July 28, 1967 episode of Malibu U, a short-lived variety television series. This segment survives as a "music video" and shows Nimoy (wearing his Star Trek hairstyle as the series was in the midst of production of its second season at the time) and a group of color-coordinated young women, all wearing plastic pointed ears (Hobbit or Vulcan), singing and dancing on a beach. Since its rediscovery on the BBC2 documentary Funk Me Up Scotty and propagation over the Internet, it has become a relatively well-known example of 1960s camp. An excerpt from the musical number is also included in the documentary Ringers: Lord of the Fans about The Lord of the Rings fandom. The song was also included in the 1993 Nimoy compilation album Highly Illogical.
From approximately 1968 to 1973, several Nimoy and Star Trek fanzine writers and editors (notably contributors to Regina Marvinny's Nimoyan Federation and members of the Leonard Nimoy Association of Fans) discussed the idea of a live-action The Lord of the Rings film, with Nimoy playing Aragorn, and there was a brief letter-writing campaign.
References to the song
An audio clip of the song was played as part of an answer on an episode of Jeopardy! aired January 5, 2006. The song was sampled by Bentley Rhythm Ace for their track "Theme From 'Gutbuster'" on their album For Your Ears Only, released in 2000. The video was also a feature on VH1's Web Junk 20. Segments of the song were shown during Bring Back... Star Trek, with Justin Lee Collins citing it as research into Leonard Nimoy.
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- "Ideology Of Love Topic Of Leonard Cohen Disc". St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, Florida: Nelson Poynter). March 4, 1968. p. 42. OCLC 5920090. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Belladonna (January 30, 2005). "More 'Ringers' Photos and Review". TheOneRing.net. Michael Regina, Erica Challis. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- "Meet .... / Leonard Nimoy". The Miami Herald (Miami, Florida: David Landsberg). February 7, 2003. ISSN 0898-865X. OCLC 2733685. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- "J! Archive - Show #1330, aired 1990-05-18". J! Archive. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: "The Challenge" (YouTube video). Audi of America. 2013. Event occurs at 1 minute 9 seconds. Retrieved 2013-05-09.