Crankshaft the Comic Strip and Symphony Sid

April 1, 2012

Today’s Sunday comic of Crankshaft, the curmudgeon with the soft heart, features a flashback scene of a young, hip musician entering the Royal Roost in NY in the early 50s, with Symphony Sid Torin providing the “voiceover” for a live broadcast. You can hear the recording of that broadcast on Charlie Parker: Bird at the Roost, on Savoy Jazz records.

Here’s a couple of YouTube recordings that give you an example of Symphony Sid’s announcing and Bird’s playing. The first is a commercial by Sid, in which he describes the Royal Roost much like today’s strip, before he launches into a spiel for some sort of face cream that sounds like it may have been for black women – it’s called Snow White!

The second is Parker doing Little Willie Leaps, with Sid doing the intro.

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