Show 7: “Today is a Birthday”

This week’s show features a number of records celebrating birthdays. Some of them you may have heard before, but there’s one that deserves special attention because it hasn’t been heard in more than 50 years.

Big Jon & Sparkie’s Birthday Song was sung every Saturday morning on their ABC radio show “No School Today.” After years of searching, I have not been able to find any recordings of this program, let alone the Birthday Song.

The Birthday Song might have been lost forever, except that I seem to have remembered every single word and every single note. This year, I recorded it with guitarist John Messer and it will soon be available on my new CD. But you don’t have to wait. Hear it now on Treasure Ivan Show 7, and let me know if it rings a bell or resonates with a deep memory of birthdays long past.

Let’s Have a Party
Guy Lombardo & the Royal Canadians

The Birthday Party Record
Frank Luther

Baby Snooks

Baby Snooks, courtesy of Kiddie Records Weekly

Baby Snooks Learns About Crossing Streets & Table Manners
Fanny Brice

Burl Ives

Burl Ives

Little White Duck
Burl Ives

Little White Duck
Ivan Ulz

Daffy Duck

Daffy Duck's Feathered Friend

Daffy Duck’s Feathered Friend
Mel Blanc

Dennis Day

Dennis Day

A Very Merry Unbirthday
Dennis Day

The Birthday Party Record
(Happy Birthday Chowder Head)

Big Jon & Sparky

Big Jon & Sparky

Big Jon & Sparkie’s Birthday Song
Ivan Ulz

Sheriff John

Sheriff John

Sheriff John’s Birthday Cake Polka
Ivan Ulz

Phil Harris

Phil Harris

Minnie the Mermaid
Phil Harris

Let’s Pretend: The Little Mermaid

Swimmy Swim
Woody Guthrie

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4 Responses to Show 7: “Today is a Birthday”

  1. Janica Williamson says:

    Have never forgotten The Birthday Song of Big John and Sparky! And thanks for all of the other memories of good times ago in front of the radio!

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks for your Big Jon and Sparky birthday song. I heard it at a friend’s 75th birthday party. Apparently a group of his friends sing it all the time.

    You asked about “A Very Merry Unbirthday” song’s origin. I first heard the tune on Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. It was sung at the Mad Hatter’s tea party, if I remember correctly. Different verses from the version that you played.

  3. l'empress says:

    I was looking for the Birthday Song that we remember from Big Jon and Sparky, to the melody of “The Merry Widow Waltz.” I’m finding everything but.

    No names (or places to insert names) were in that song. I remember the lyrics, I know the music, but I was hoping for a demonstration of how it sounds.

    • treasureivan says:

      Big Jon & Sparky’s birthday song is actually set to an original tune, written by Jon Arthur himself. Ivan’s recording of the song is the only one we know of — it’s available on his latest CD, This Is My School, which you can download from iTunes.

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