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Ballad of Sigmund Freud

Larry Glasser, who teaches Physics at Clarkson University,  tells about the background and  history of The Ballad of Sigmund Freud” which was recorded by The Gateway Singers on the “Puttin' on the Style” album.

In 1952 Bob March and I (then undergraduates at the University  of Chicago)spent an evening at the "College of Complexes" (a Chicago bar and coffee house) where we met Dave Lazar who recited a short poem titled Freud. I thought it would make a clever song, so Bob and I returned to my room, added several verses and constructed a suitable tune. We performed it on numerous occasions (once on the Nascent WFMT where Mike Nichols was a volunteer announcer). It was picked up by other local singers , including our friend Alex Hassilev.

A year or two later Bob heard (possibly from Lou Gottlieb) that The Gateway Singers would like to record it. At this point the three of us got together and agreed that Dave (who was a lawyer) would get it copyrighted. The next group to record it were the "Raunch Hands" (I have never heard their rendition).  Subsequently MGM used it on the Doctor Kildare Show and the Chad Mitchell Trio performed the song on Harry Belefonte's Carnegie Hall benefit album (worst performance ever, but that was the best selling album of 1960). In 1960 Alex 's group the Limelighters performed it on the television show "PM East". Pete Seeger performed it from time to time and Irwin Silber included it in "Sing Out".

The last I heard from Dave was about 1963 when he was a US agent in Lima Peru; he seems to have gone into the forrest and vanished. I last saw Bob when he retired from the University of Wisconsin Physics Department about ten years ago; He is the author of the award winning  textbook "Physics for Poets". I think Valerie [who has written in to The Gateway Singers website] is his wife.
Larry Glasser

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Enrico Banducci's hungry i lives again at

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