I was listening to some music over the weekend, and for no particular reason Allan Sherman's recording of "The Ballad of Oh, Boy" came on. This was from his first album, My Son, The Folksinger, which was a cultural phenomenon and launched Sherman's career.
The song was never one of my favorites (though I like the music for the chorus). Basically, it's just a bunch of names strung together to the tune of "The Mexican Hat Dance," followed by Sherman's reaction to them by how he says, "Oh, Boy." It's fine, and somewhat fun many decades later to hear the names of people who were of interest in the early 1960s. But I'm posting it here for one specific reason -- the person who pops up at the 3:06 mark -- so pay attention! Nice, too, is that there's a photo of the person.
(The video has pictures of most of those mentioned. It's sort of amusing to see when the guy putting this together didn't know who was being referred to. One I recall is the B'nai B'rith, the Jewish charity and service organization. Another is Bo Belinksky, who was a pitcher on the Los Angeles Angles baseball team, quite an outgoing character known for dating starlets, and who pitched a no-hitter in his rookie season, though his career didn't last long.)
For whatever reason, the music level quiets about halfway through. And I won't give away beforehand the person who comes along at the 3:06 mark, so watch. New readers of these pages might not know why I'm noting this, so I'm describe it all after the video below. But long-time readers here should get a smile.
Okay, so there you have it. "The Ballad of Oh, Boy," from Allan Sherman's career-making blockbuster first album, My Son, the Folksinger.
And there, too, you have a chance to see what public figure I was referring to that comes along at the 3:06 mark of the song.
Yes, none other than Newton Minow, father of the wonderful and oft-mentioned around these parts, Nell Minow. (And her sisters, of course. They count, too. Martha, the dean of Harvard Law School, who was Barack Obama's law professor, recommending him to her father and his firm, Sidley Austin, where he ended up working and meeting Michelle Robinson who he married) -- and Mary, an expert in library law who worked for a while in the Obama administration. But that's all secondary, since what counts around these premises is Nell. She has been mentioned here, is one of the world experts on corporate governance, and a film reviewer with her Movie Mom books, and now working for RogerEbert.com. But also my co-partner in the Apology Institute of America, fine analysts of apologies by public figures since 1832. In addition, several years back, Nell reached her lifetime goal since a child of becoming a Kuklapolitan...)
Newton Minow himself -- oh, yeah, right, him -- is included in the song here because he was the FCC Chairman under President John Kennedy, and was made famous by his speech calling television a "vast wasteland." But I prefer to think it's because he poker buddy of my dad, and one of my dad's patients, though I'm admittedly biased.
And to complete the full picture, his wife and mother of those three daughters above is Jo Baskin Minow. And yes, if "Baskin" sounds familiar, it is indeed the ice-cream family.
The only thing remaining is to check with Nell herself and find out if her dad's middle initial is, in fact, "B" -- of if Allan Sherman just picked that randomly to fit the syntax.
And now you know.
UPDATE: We have our answer from Ms. Minow. She answers The Question (about if her dad's middle initial ws, in fact, "B"), as well some other comments below in the Comments section.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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