The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Murray Roman


Murray Roman (1929 – 1973)

BLIND MAN'S MOVIE, A TETRAGRAMMA T-120 LP 1968 11 TRKS

BLIND MAN'S MOVIE, A TRACK UK 613 015 LP 1969 11 TRKS

BLIND MAN'S MOVIE, A promo TETRAGRAMMA T-120 LP 1968 11 TRKS promo, white label

BUSTED U.A. US UAS 5595 LP 1972 18 TRKS

OUT OF CONTROL EVEREST US LPBR 9005 LP 1960 9 TRKS

PROMO SINGLE (1-Sided) U.A. US SP 75 7" 1972 1 TRK no pic sleeve, promo (interview?)

YOU CAN'T BEAT PEOPLE UP… TETRAGRAMMA T-101 LP 1968 16 TRKS blue back cover, autographed by Murray Roman (see the photo!)

YOU CAN'T BEAT PEOPLE UP… TETRAGRAMMA T-101 LP 1968 16 TRKS white back cover

YOU CAN'T BEAT PEOPLE UP… TRACK UK 613 007 LP 1968 16 TRKS stereo

(also re-issued as a Track Record “Backtrack” series LP)

I discovered comedian Murray Roman in the 99 cent bin at a hippie record store in downtown Long Beach in the late 60’s/early 70’s. His 3rd album, “A Blind Man’s Movie” was available to me for 99 cents – how funky, a black cover, with a black insert with no printing on it – OH, I get it. “A Blind Man’s Movie”! Comedy & rock music together! I turned up his 2nd album in a used bin, “You Can’t Beat People Up & Have Them Say I Love You” – it seemed really quite “revolutionary” to me, mixing comedy with rock music. His debut LP was “Ski Humor” – as I recall, it was just a stand-up comedy album.

I was paying attention when his 4th (and final) LP came out in 1972: “Busted” – on a major label (United Artists), and Side One was super long – over 30 minutes. Side Two seemed to be a “Best Of” – with cuts from mostly his two Tetragrammaton albums. Next thing I remember, it was mentioned in probably the L.A. Free Press that he had died. As there were not really any books about contemporary culture at that time, it took a few years before I found out a little more about him.

He had been a writer for The Smothers Brothers Show, on TV, on CBS. I also read that Keith Moon of The Who had been quite a fan of his two Tetragrammaton LP’s, insisting that they be released in England on Track Record (The Who’s label!). I have also read the he used to be an opening act for Julius Wechter and the Baha Marimba Band (!). I guess I should try to talk to Tommy Smothers about Mr. Roman. Recently, I was writing about Chickenman (the WFCL 60’s radio comedy serial) and I got comments from a man named Dan O’Day – who mentioned on his website meeting Mr. Roman, when Roman was a writer for The Smothers Brothers.

It’s true – some of the comedy on Roman’s records is not 100% ‘politically correct’…but a lot of it is funny – in a ‘1968’ kind of way. He had a marvelous (Brooklyn, I presume?) speaking voice, good comedy timing – and some very ‘out there’ ideas. As far as I know, there are no CD’s available of his work. I do not know his cause of death, and I would be curious to find out more about Murray Roman.

Know anything more than what I’ve written? Please let me know!


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Kliph said...

He died in a car accident in 1973 - apparently he slipped into a coma temporarily before eventually passing away.

4:18 PM  
Blogger furrball said...

I remember that United Artists promo disc, as I used to own a copy. It wasn't an interview; it was just Murray (who, for some reason, did it in a Mexican accent!) plugging his then-new album "Busted". And oh what I wouldn't give for an mp3 of that! Hasta lluego, Murray.

1:48 AM  

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