Show 45: Fire Truck!

Just last week, a video of the “Fire Truck!” song by Ivan Ulz (alter ego of Treasure Ivan) topped 4 million hits on YouTube. This edition of the Treasure Ivan Radio Program celebrates “Fire Truck!” and the golden-age children’s record that helped to inspire it.

Why Is a Fire Engine Red?
Johnny Cash

Fire Truck

Fire Truck!
Ivan Ulz, with John Messer on guitar

The next selection, like its companion release “Let’s Be Policemen,” is a Children’s Record Guild Production with songs about various aspects of firefighting.

Let’s Be Firemen
Lee Sweetland

What makes this next record such a rarity is that Edmund Karlsrud, who delivers the vocal, was a professional bass-baritone who performed with the Metropolitan opera during their 1970 season.

Edmund Karlsrud

Edmund Karlsrud

Dan the Fireman
Edmund Karlsrud

One of the best parts about writing a hit song — “Fire Truck!” has been called a “preschool anthem” by The New York Times — is that other musicians record their own versions, including this one from a group based in Santa Cruz, CA.

Fire Truck!
Jerry and the Silly Monsters

That’s followed by the anthropomorphic tale of a little fire engine who is in a hurry to grow up and fight fires like mom and dad. The two stories told here are in the tradition of “Little Toot” and “The Little Engine that Could,” also featuring talking vehicles who are a just a bit too small.

Flick the Little Fire Engine

Flick the Little Fire Engine

Flick, the Little Fire Engine
Narrated by Robert Dann

Fire Truck!
“Mister” Bob Linsenmayer

Margaret Wise Brown, of “Goodnight Moon fame, wrote “The Little Fireman” in 1938. This recorded adaptation was made by Young Peoples Records in 1949. Tom Glazer, author of “On Top of Spaghetti,” wrote and sang all the songs.

The Little Fireman
Norman Rose & Tom Glazer

The final rendition of “Fire Truck” on this program is also my favorite cover. Frank Gallo and his group, Rolie Polie Guacamole retain the original unbridled enthusiasm of the song and create some wonderfully original additions of their own.

Fire Truck!
Rolie Polie Guacamole

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