Title - 'Presents Percy Dovetonsils ... thpeaks'
Artist - Ernie Kovacs
Percy Dovetonsils was popular with viewers and became one of Ernie Kovacs signature characters/bits. Along with the Nairobi Trio, born the following year during the run of Kovacs Unlimited on CBS, the Percy character is probably what Ernie is most identified with by members of the general public.
Percy was a staple of Kovacs shows over the years, and Kovacs appeared as Percy on late-1950s guest shots and in clues on Kovacs
ersatz panel show, Take A Good Look (1959 1961).
Ernie Kovacs' Presents Percy Dovetonsils ... thpeaks CD is an unreleased, and now expanded comedy album. Indeed, Ernie left behind files of information for ... thpeaks, as well as an artist’s mock-up of the album cover. The tape found in the EdiAd archive gave Omnivore a clue as to what Ernie wanted for the final product. On the tape you hear Kovacs say at the end of the recording session, “Now, with 88 bars of music between each line, it’ll come out even!”
Taking this statement with a grain of salt, Ben Model has composed and recorded some piano underscore, and Percy Dovetonsils finally gets to “thpeak.”
The album begins with Percy Dovetonsils introducing his new album to us all with a personal message. In his trademark lisp, he reveals he is sitting alongside his Italian Harpsichord, backed onto an unknown marble bust, and after some more turntable greetings; and a little sip of his martini, we are finally off and running. His first poem is 'Ode To Stanley's Pussycat,' a tale of a drunken cat, which is followed by a 17 second 'Ode to Mona Lisa.' Then comes the self-explanatory 'Lament From A Germ's Eye Viewpoint' (which combines all known ailments in tune!), and is followed by 'Ode To The Happier Days of The Roman Coliseum' (a recalled memory from one of Kovacs' vacations), a 30 second 'Ode to Whistler's Mother'(which he put together after a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art), 'Thoughts While Falling Off The Empire State Building' (which was one of Percy Dovetonsils first ever poems!), and (based on it having originally been a vinyl album, of course) a 30 second 'Side One Closing.'
Percy comes back on Side Two with an historical nod, 'Some Pertinent Thoughts of Julius Caesar While He Was Being Assasinated.' This, for me is the cleverest of the tracks, a true ode to distant times. Next is the 47 second 'Ode to Sam, the Taller of the Two Monkeys' (an ode to two monkeys on the occasion of the projected isolation in the rocket on their first flight into outer space!), which is followed by the self-explanatory 'Ode to a House Fly,' and then another 47 second 'Ode to an Emotional Italian Knight' - another ode created whilst at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The original album is rounded out by 'Happy Birthday to a Book Worm,' a tale donated to an actual book worm, and not someone who reads a lot of books! Then comes 'The Night Before Christmas On New York's Fashionable East Side,' before the 30 seconds-each, 'Cowboy' and, of course, 'Side Two Closing.'
This newly-expanded version now also includes six Bonus Tracks from the Just Outside The Bookends archives. The first is a "Roughing It" Interview, which midway through reading from his book, Percy asks the people playing the poker game behind them to stop re: the noise coming into his microphone! This is followed by a series of excerpts from Kovacs Unlimited, such as 'A Day At The Races,' an HILARIOUS (just listen to all the laughing before he can even begin!) 'Ode From A Worm's Eye View,' 'Ode to A Hangman's Noose,' 'At Home With Lorelei Latour,' and a 'Poem from Edith Adams.'