Lord Buckley was a Calypso singer/monologist who was popular with the sort of "hip" bohemian crowd within which Dylan found himself in Greenwich Village in t he the very early 60's.
The young Dylan probably first encountered Lord Buckley through the pop/folk group, "The Kingston Trio," which recorded, I think, several of his numbers in the late 1950's -- most memorably, "Zombie Jamboree", though this may not, in fact, have been a Lord Buckley number, it was certainly a product of the same milieu.
Lord Buckley's style is difficult to categorize: sort of "Carribean Rap" before its time. He was a serious comedian, perhaps a black humorist. He was popular, for example, with the same crowd that liked Lenny Bruce (or was it John Lennon -- it's hard to tell the difference!) Black Cross is not untypical. You would have to hear Lord Buckley deliver it to appreciate how much sardonic humor he was able to inject into the monologue. Bob's version is a direct rip-off of Lord Buckley's version, by the way.
Here's the scoop on Lord Buckley from the Allmusic gopher, available by gopher to allmusic.ferris.edu (Data removed by owner, is what I found on 3 Aug 95. Karl Erik.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- All-Music Guide (C) 1994 by Matrix Software, Big Rapids, MI 49307 Please submit corrections or additional albums for this artist (also bios, sidemen, tracks, ratings, and reviews) at Internet Address: AMG@ALLMUSIC.FERRIS.EDU All-Music Guidelines in file: ALLMUSICHELP -------------------------------------------------------------------- Artist : Lord Buckley Genres : Jazz, Comdy Style : Comedy, Fiction Rating : importance (2) popularity (2) All-Music Guide Biography Buckley may have been White, but he had perfectly assimilated the slang of the Black jazz musician, to create a persona that was equal parts hipster, orator, and Sunday morning preacher. Monologs included scathing satires of organized religion, Shakespeare, racial prejudice, and big business, years before Lenny Bruce picked up the gauntlet and created his own variant. Championed by the beatnik community of the late 50s, Buckley enjoyed belated cult success and influenced everyone from Bob Dylan, "Brother" Dave Gardner, and Lenny Bruce to Mort Sahl. ~ Cub Koda Birthdate & Place : 1905 Deathdate & Place : 1960 AMG Artist ID # : P000000192 Chronological Album List |Date| Label | Number |R S T|Rating --------------------------------+----+----------+--------+-----+------ Most Immaculately Hip Aristocra|1992|Rhino |70363 |R | BestG Most Immaculately Hip Autocrat,|1970|Reprise |6389 | | Best of Lord Buckley, The |1969|Elektra |74047 | | Bad Rapping of the Marquis de S|1969|World Paci|21889 |R | Good Buckley's Best |1968|World Paci|21879 | | Blowing His Mind and Yours Too |1966|Demon |3 | | BestA In Concert |1964|Demon |4 |R | Good Way out Humor of Lord Buckley, |1959|World Paci|1279 | | Euphoria - Vol. 2 |1957|Vaya |8 | | Poppin' Daddies, Knock Me Your |1955| | | | Euphoria - Vol. 1 |1955|Vaya |101 | | Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger |Z |RCA |3246 | |
AUTHOR: Buckley, Lord.
TITLE: Way out humor
PLACE: [Hollywood, Calif.] : World Pacific, ; 1959
FORMAT: 1 sound disc : analog, 33 1/3 rpm, mono. ; 12 in.
NOTES: Publisher's number from container.
Biographical and program notes by Dan James on container.
Supermarket -- Horse's mouth -- Black cross -- Lions -- The Naz --
My own railroad -- Willie the shake -- God's own drunk.
Comedy monologues; Richard "Lord" Buckley.
Recorded live at the Ivar Theatre, Hollywood, Calif., Feb. 12, 1959.
MUSIC NO: WP-1279; World Pacific
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 13:11:20 -0600 From: Richard Batey (richardb AT AMARANTH.COM) Subject: Lord Buckley On Fri, 22 Dec 1995, Ed Ricardo wrote (regarding Hezekiah Jones/Black Cross):
>It is credited to Lord Buckley but even in Lord Buckley fan circles, >an even odder bunch than this lot, it is known NOT to be his >composition. Who did write it? This comes up from time to time >but no one seems to know. To those on this list who may not be familiar with Lord Buckley: material below from Buckley's Best * Lord Buckley WORLD PACIFIC/Liberty Records WPS-21879 (routines from the Ivar Theater concerts, Hollywood, CA): born San Francisco, USA April 5, 1906 (often accused of causing the big "Frisco Quake")...[he was] linked to an incessant drive against hypocrisy in any form... there were those in nightclubs and concert halls who would most reverently wig out to the stories of Jesus, Ghandi, Lincoln, and many more, told in the updated, uptempo language of (as his Lordship so aptly put it) "The American Beauty Negro" combined with the manner of hip English Nobleman. Presented with humor, the truth became brighter and when lubricated by the wonderous magic of laughter was infinitely more digestible. Henry Miller, celebrated author, once spoke of his Highness [Lord Buckley] thusly: "It's all so very alive and jumpin' and in the pauses one can hear the atoms exploding out there in the milky way where the grass comes up one in ten billion years and there are no moth balls or Frigidaires, no box office receipts, no railroads, no crucifixions, rosy or otherwise...It is very far out, your Lordship." died New York City, November 1960 "People are the true flowers of life, and it has been a most precious pleasure to have temporarily strolled in your garden." Lord Buckley This post falls far short of sketching Lord Buckley - you just have to hear him. / / __/____ /`/` /-------\ \0/ / / ` ` |O O O| | / / ` ` o====+====+====+====+====+====o ` ` \ | ` ` ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`~`~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ email@example.com
On Mon, 25 Jan 1999 15:20:34 GMT, in rec.music.dylan firstname.lastname@example.org (Eduardo Monteverdi Ricardo) wrote: On Fri, 22 Jan 1999 23:05:37 GMT, in rec.music.dylan Jerry Sopko
wrote: >Back in the 60's I had this bootleg with the "Ballad of Hesikiah"(not >sure of spelling) on it. It's a great song. Does anyone know anything >about it, and why it doesn't appear in song lists. Lord Buckley would still have been a topic of conversation in the circles in which Bob Dylan moved when he arrived in New York City... October 1960 Buckley booked to play The Jazz Gallery in New York City. October 19, 1960 His "Cabaret Card" revoked by New York City Police, purportedly because of his 1941 arrest but more likely because of failure to pay required bribe, Buckley is barred from performing. Buckley later attempts to convince the desk sergeant at the local precinct to reinstate his Card. His "agent," Harold Humes, records the interview and makes a transcript of the recording. http://www.columbia.edu/~tdk3/arrest.html November 3, 1960 Hearing on Buckley's Cabaret Card suspension is attended by over thirty witnesses and journalists. It is adjourned and rescheduled for November 14. Saturday, November 12, 1960 Lord Buckley dies in New York City after suffering a stroke aggravated by malnutrition and a kidney ailment. Sunday, November 13, 1960 Enraged by the treatment of Lord Buckley a "Citizens' Emergency Committee" meets in the apartment of George Plimpton to fight the Police Department Cabaret Card system. Monday, November 14, 1960 Hearing for posthumous reinstatement of Buckley's cabaret card results in a raucous confrontation between Police Commissioner Kennedy and a large crowd of writers, musicians and others enraged at the Police Department's treatment of Buckley. The publicity leads to the reform of the licensing system, the abolition of the "Cabaret Card," and the removal of Kennedy. December 1960 Memorial for Lord Buckley at The Village Gate in New York City is attended by many cultural luminaries. Dizzy Gillespie and Ornette Coleman perform.
LordBuckley.com Lord Buckley's Mind Bubbles A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat Tongue Dancer The Word of The Lord The Lord Who Became a Performer's Performer
(links from Alan Polan)