[Dixielandjazz] Re: "Oriental Jazz"

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Mar 15 15:27:37 PST 2005

> Whyat was the tune that had within its lyric the phrase "I'm the meanest man
in Siam, yes I am." ??
or was that the title?

Dear Craig,
The song you have in mind is indeed called "Siam" .
Spike Jones and His City Slickers recorded it for a Standard radio
transcription (27 Feb 1942), Bluebird (28 March 1942) and V-Disc (mid Aug
1945). Yes, I have all three.
However, they only use the words 'greatest, fastest, richest' in the vocal
Incidentally the V-Disc version with the vocal chorus starting with "I'm the
'fastest' man in Siam, yes I am......." is sung by Red Ingle, dear ole dad
of esteemed musician DJMLer Don Ingle.
Now for the big question.
"Siam" was written in 1915 by Fred Fisher with lyrics by Howard Johnson.
The Spike Jones version is credited to (Porter-Hoefle).
Reedman Del Porter and pianist Carl Hoefle were members of the Spike Jones
band in the 1940s. Did they claim authorship for adapting/arranging the
Fisher-Johnson hit, OR are they two different songs?
There are no early recorded jazz versions of "Siam" that I can find.
Now look what you've done!
You also set me off - playing my Spike Jones records. Again!!!
Kind regards,

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