Les Luthiers


Les Luthiers are a group of Argentine med school students who started doing this song-and-dance variety to earn a little extra cash while they were studying. They write their own material and often invent their musical instruments and props for the shows. Their act ended up being such a hit that they gave up practicing medicine because they made more money doing the show… I couldn’t decide which video to post on this, so I picked two. This first is from a set of jazz numbers they did- one for each of five different styles of jazz music and given sarcastic English names for each of the five vowels.

    Papa Garland Had a Hat and a Jazz Band and a Mat and a Black Fat Cat (Rag)
    Pepper Clemens Sent the Messenger: Nevertheless the Reverend Left the Herd (Two-step… er… TEN step. Yeah.)
    Miss Lilly Higgins Sings Shimmy in Mississippi Spring (Shimmy)
    Doctor Bob Gordon Shops Hot Dogs from Boston (Foxtrot)
    Truthful Lulu Pulls thru Zulus (Blues)

*In case you’re confused by the titles (English speakers), imagine reading it in Spanish- the vowels always sound the same… so this song is Pepper Clemens… and e always says ěh… read it out loud like that. It’s kind of a friendly jab at how silly the English language can sound. Hope I’m not over-explaining here, I just think it’s too funny not to mention.

This second video has an introduction in Spanish- the music begins at 1:40. I think a good English translation-explanation of the title (although the instruments are different) would be sorta like saying “Concerto for chamber ensemble, banjo, kazoo, tambourine and two tenors.” Also, “Bueno” could be kind of like the Spanish equivelent to “al-RIGHT!”

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