Friday, April 25, 2008

Rare Tom Lehrer Videos

Growing up in the late 1960's, I was introduced to the songs of Tom Lehrer by my friend Scott Turpin. Lehrer is a mathematician who taught at MIT and Santa Cruz, but he is best known as one of the best musical satirists of all time. He produced a small number of albums in the 1950's and 1960's, but essentially stopped all performing in the late 1960's. A small number of songs written afterwards, such as the songs he wrote for the TV show "Electric Company", are available on compilations.

Now I see that a channel on YouTube has resurrected some extremely rare video performances of his songs. And here you can see a video of some of his songs about mathematics. If you, like me, never had a chance to see Lehrer perform in person, these videos will come as a welcome surprise.

It's too bad Lehrer became bored with performing and writing. I would have loved to have heard him comment on Reagan, Bush, and Bush junior.

2 comments:

RBH said...

w00t! I was in high school in a little bitty town in the midwest in the 1950s and a seditious teacher introduced me to Lehrer. I've loved his stuff ever since. Thanks for the link!

Jonathan Lubin said...

When I was in grad school, Tom came back to Harvard, I suppose to finish his PhD. He occasionally performed for the other grad students, and was very weirdly funny at all times. A truly fine and gentle person.