R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders
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|R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders|
|Labels||Blue Goose, Shanachie Records|
R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders are an American retro string band playing songs from, and in the style of, the 1920s: old-time music, ragtime, "evergreen" jazz standards, western swing, country blues, hokum, vaudeville and medicine show tunes. Their three 33⅓ rpm albums, all recorded in the 1970s on the Blue Goose label, were titled R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders (1974), R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 2 (1976), and R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 3 (1978); the latter two have been reissued on the Shanachie label as Chasin' Rainbows and Singing In the Bathtub respectively. Their self-titled debut LP is currently out of print, though the tracks "Get a Load of This" and "Cheap Suit Special" were re-released on the R. Crumb Music Sampler CD which was included with The R. Crumb Handbook.
As a novelty, they issued a number of 78 rpm 10-inch singles for Blue Goose, long after the format was obsolete. The most familiar is probably R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders' Party Record (1980), with the double-entendre "My Girl's Pussy" on the "A" side and X-rated "Christopher Columbus" on the "B" side.
Robert Crumb was the band's frontman and album cover artist. As of 2006 he was no longer much involved with the group; the band at that time included Robert Armstrong (vocals, musical saw, guitar), Bob Brozman (vocals, various resonator instruments, guitar, ukulele), Al (Allan) Dodge (vocals, mandolin), Terry Zwigoff (saw, cello, Stroh violin, and mandolin), and Tony Marcus (vocals, guitar, and fiddle). As of 2017, they still play regularly at the Freight and Salvage, a folk-oriented concert venue in Berkeley, California.