Enrico Banducci's Legendary hungry i Lives Again!
hungry i Memories 6
The name of Singer LYNN GOLD is synonymous with Los Angeles celebrated Ash Grove, but she also has great memories of the hungry i.
I never appeared at the hungry i, but when first starting out went into the club when visiting San Francisco.
As I remember it, the hungry i was a small cabaret style room, possibly candle lit, with much atmosphere. The low wooden stage was not large, and there was an intimacy as the audience was close to it. It had that in your living room, hanging out feel, and the place was packed with lines outside waiting for the next set.
I believe they cleared out the audience after each one. Some places did that to accommodate huge crowds.
I remember standing by a small rectangular entrance to possibly backstage on right side of the room, stage to the left front, between sets, where Phyllis Diller was talking to us, her hair short and spiky, her diminutive build resembling Ellen Degeneres in every way, as both are not tall, both finely boned.
Though feisty, her face pre-plastic surgery was, I thought, leprecaunish and very attractive. She talked about living on someone's boat at the time with her kids, and had the intensity of someone on the rise who knew it! Rapid, staccato speech, half whispering as she was about to go on...
We'd stopped in to see The Kingston Trio. (Phyllis Diller was there not as the headliner). Mort Sahl - or maybe Lenny Bruce - was the main comedy attraction.
I went backstage to say hi, and remember Nick Reynolds running over with a great big smile. He was the sweetest guy ... warm, unpretentious, kind.
(I met him through Bud Dashiell and Travis Edmonson when appearing with them at The Ash Grove in Los Angeles.)
Various Kingstons would show up at the Grove, mostly Nicky, who was really a buddy of Trav's (they'd been in college together at the University of Arizona). Sometimes they were like two preppies at a game they were winning! Which they were. They were two balls of energy...sparks flying!
I recall Nicky once sitting front row at The Ash Grove, facing the back of his chair with legs round the seat, intensely watching Bud and Travis with head bent down, chin resting on the chair, eyes looking up, listening hard.
The Kingston Trio usually caught the last sets, when appearing at another Los Angeles club or having given a concert somewhere, stopping in late.
The Kingston Trio was very good at what they did, but I must admit one had to love Bud & Travis for who they were and the craftsmanship it took to shape their art. No easy thing with two...,
No one of their genre held a candle to them be it the music or the act itself. No one had their charisma, or better, call it soul.
I didn't know how Travis created the arrangements ... some of the most beautiful I have ever heard,...Bach would have felt at home listening to them! The interweave of voices and instruments. in the 1800's Schumann played guitar and sang at taverns of the time too.
They all drank from the same well!
Experience your own hungry i reunion with the wonderful DVD featuring commentary by Enrico Banducci and performances by The Kingston Trio, Limeliters, Mort Sahl, jonathan Winters, Stan Wilson + rare Lenny Bruce footage. Just click the icon to order direct from Amazon!