Who's groovier, Michael Jackson or the Bee Gees?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Voices of Marvel Comics - courtesy of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.


The Voices of Marvel Comics, record, MMMS
Despite my uncanny knowledge of the recording industry and its history, I was until recently unaware that, in the 1960s, members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society didn't just get a copy of the fan club's theme song. They also got a platter called The Voices of Marvel which was a recording made by Stan Lee and the staff and freelancers we all knew and loved in our childhoods.

So, if you've ever wanted to know what such luminaries as Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky, Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Don Heck, Stan Goldberg, Chic Stone, Adorable Artie Simek and Sam Rosen sounded like, at last you have your answer.

Flo Steinberg, 1975
Fabulous Flo Steinberg by Lopaka42
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Needless to say, Steve Ditko refused to take part - and there's no sign of Martin Goodman.

Did Martin Goodman ever have an alliterative appellation? Was he ever Marvellous Martin Goodman? Or Merry Martin Goodman? Magnificent Martin Goodman? Maleficent Martin Goodman? I have a feeling he probably never was but am happy to be proven wrong.

Also needless to say, I don't think the disc was in any danger of knocking the Beatles off the top of the charts or of winning its participants too many Oscars. But it's all good fun, everyone comes across as a good egg and it's a chance to hear the voices of people some of us know purely from the printed page.

I should give credit and say that I know of this disc purely because it's mentioned in Todd Frye's book Marvelous Mythology: How the world's greatest superheroes were created which is currently for sale on Amazon. It's an amiable recounting of the 1960s' history of Marvel Comics, with the occasional diversions into the Bronze Age along the way.

Sadly, budgetary restrictions mean there're no pictures but it's an easy and pleasant read that I'd say is primarily aimed at people with gaps in their knowledge when it comes to Marvel's Silver Age, rather than people who've dowsed themselves in so much minutiae of the company's history that they can tell you what Flo Steinberg was drinking on the morning of January 28th, 1965.

14 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Steve, I've just been reading 'Marvelous Mythology' too - another thing it mentions that I'd never heard of was the night that Stan Lee appeared at Carnegie Hall and the whole event descended into an embarrassing fiasco !

Steve W. said...

I don't think I'd read about that one before either. I sort of wish I'd been there to see it.

Kid said...

Already got it on CD, plus there was a follow-up disc (a song) which I've also got on CD. They're a real slice of the '60s. A replica M.M.M.S. membership kit (along with the flexi-disc) was made available by Marvel sometime in the '90s.

Colin Jones said...

We might have guessed you'd already got it, Kid :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not aware of Martin Goodman having an alliterative appellation, Steve, but I suspect Jack Kirby and Wally Wood might have come up with a few choice adjectives for him on occasion.

-sean

John Pitt said...

This is fascinating. I'm going to see if it's on YouTube!

John Pitt said...

And YES, it IS!!

Steve W. said...

John, it's not just on Youtube, it's at the top of this post.

Kid said...

I think that Stan did actually refer to Martin Goodman as 'Merry Martin Goodwin' on at least one occasion - I'll see if I can find it in one of my books (when I've got time).

pete doree said...

Alright, I'll do the gag then: Flo had a black coffee, two sugars & a danish. It's in my upcoming book: Marvel Minutiae - Everything even Stan doesn't want to know.

John Pitt said...

Not on this mobile phone, there's just a big white empty space where the link is. Something to do with my not letting cookies in, which I don't understand?
Anyway, I've got it mow.
Flo sounds nice in a Lois Griffin-type-of-way! Going to have to look her up!!

John Pitt said...

OH YES!!

Joe S. Walker said...

Mark Evanier once posted some comments of Jack Kirby's about that record. Suffice to say he wasn't enthusiastic.

Colin Jones said...

John, I get that problem with links to YouTube as well but only on my tablet - I only see a grey space with the words "this plug-in is not supported" whatever that means. I have to wait till I'm using my laptop again before I can see the link.

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