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?
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
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.
Dan the Fireman
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.
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
Narrated by Robert Dann
“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.
Rolie Polie Guacamole