Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years
|Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years|
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Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years is an American comedy album with music and dialogue written by Stan Freberg, released as Capitol W/SW-1573 in 1961. Freberg satirizes episodes of the history of the United States from 1492 until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783. The album combined dialogue and song in a musical theater format. Billy May orchestrated and conducted the music, with the Jud Conlon Singers providing background vocals. In addition to Freberg, the cast included the following performers:
Freberg used anachronistic and self-referential humour in these sketches, such as referring to the Fourth of July weekend in the "Declaration of Independence" sketch, Thanksgiving Day in the skit on "Take an Indian to Lunch" as well as the "Thanksgiving Turkey" portion, and Columbus Day in "Columbus Discovers America". Freberg also referred to McCarthyism in the "Declaration of Independence" sketch, where Benjamin Franklin says, "You . . . sign a harmless petition, and forget all about it; ten years later, you get hauled up before a committee."
Admirers of this album have included Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Paul McCartney. Dr. Demento's listeners have repeatedly voted The United States of America as the greatest comedy album of all time.
Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume Two was planned for a release during America's Bicentennial in 1976, but did not emerge until 1996. In his autobiography, Freberg detailed his efforts to have the songs and skits produced on Broadway; when this failed, he used material omitted from the original album in the sequel.
A third volume was planned. Due to the death of Freberg's wife, Donna, and Freberg's personal health problems, the project was shelved.
In 2019, Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress.  
- "Columbus Discovers America: It's a Round, Round World"
- "Pilgrim's Progress: Take an Indian to Lunch"
- "Thanksgiving Story (Under the Double Turkey)"
- "Sale of Manhattan: Top Hat, White Feather, and Tails"
- "Boston Tea Party"
- "Declaration of Independence: A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He Signs These Days"
- "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" [not on original LP]
- "Betsy Ross and the Flag: Everybody Wants to Be an Art Director" [slightly longer version than original LP]
- "Discovery of Electricity" [not on original LP]
- "Washington Crosses the Delaware (Command Decision)"
- "Yankee Doodle Go Home (Spirit of '76)"
- "Battle of Yorktown"
- Finale: "So Long, Friend"
- Cyndi Lauper, Neil Diamond, Jay-Z Music Inducted Into National Recording Registry| Hollywood Reporter
- Purdum, Todd S. (1999-11-14). "A Confirmed Iconoclast, Still Looking for Targets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
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