Here are some amusing videos from YouTube for your weekend edification and enjoyment. The first shows a musical young man originally from Baltimore, Frank Zappa, on the Steve Allen Show in 1963. Frank plays the bicycle:
For those with a limited knowledge of early television, Steve Allen was a former jazz DJ who was the first star host of the Tonight Show. He was a respected musical composer and also guest starred in the Superman newspaper strip as a lookalike for Clark Kent.
Frank seems somewhat shy yet articulate in this amusing sketch. Zappa was later busted in a police sting for making an allegedly pornographic audio tape; he spent several months in jail but had a successful career after that ordeal as the leader of the Mothers of Invention and other brilliant music endeavors.
Next, a 14-year-old Jimmy Page in 1957 plays skiffle on a British television show; the Hofner archtop guitar he plays seems as big as he is:
Jimmy is the young man in the dark sweater and white shirt. He went on to play guitar in British music producer Mickie Most’s studio band, backing singles by Herman’s Hermits, Donovan and Brenda Lee. After that, he was in the Yardbirds and, of course, Led Zeppelin.
Onward we go, still in the late 1950s. We meet a pair of young singers working for various low-budget record labels in the New York City area. They recorded a lot of covers and a few of their own songs. Known professionally as Tom and Jerry, they struggled for years before splitting up. The guitar player and songwriter of the duo, Paul Simon, went to England by himself to try his luck. Art Garfunkel, the lead vocalist, stayed in the NYC area and concentrated on his college math studies.
A record producer, Tom Wilson, liked a cut on their very obscure 1964 album, Wednesday Morning 3am, and on his own volition, had electric guitar, bass and drums added to Paul’s simple background guitar on the tune. He released this version in 1965 without the knowledge or approval of Paul or Artie and it became very popular. Columbia Records quickly got the duo back together to capitalize on the unexpected popularity of the song, Sounds of Silence, and Simon and Garfunkel became a best-selling musical team.
Here’s a sweet-sounding 1960 single by Tom and Jerry entitled Just a Boy: