On Monday, I hipped you to Shorty Petterstein. In September 2011, I turned you on to the Nutty Squirrels. Today, in my continuing series on jazz comedy and comedians, I want to introduce you to George Crater—a pseudonym for New York radio personality Ed Sherman [pictured, from the back of an album], who died in 1965.
In addition to hosting a radio show on WNCN in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Sherman (as Crater) authored a monthly Down Beat column in 1959 and 1960 of the same name featuring his humorous jazz reflections. Through a little Billboard research, I found that Sherman featured his observational style of jazz humor on WNCN's early FM station in 1961— appearing on Saturdays starting at 6 p.m. You'll find a little more on Sherman here.
In 1960, Riverside released Out of My Head, a humor album by Sherman's "Crater" doppelgänger. Crater delivered his hip monologues in a Lenny Bruce-ian tone, but without Bruce's dark edge. In fact, Sherman interviewed Bruce in 1960 for Down Beat, asking him, "What's your favorite instrument," to which Bruce replied, "The one of death."
Here's a taste of Sherman's Out of My Head. A special thanks to William Forbes in the U.K. for passing it along...