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Humpback Whale – V. Karlsson – “Passing Tone”

Humpback Whale 45 Passing Tone
Humpback Whale – Passing Tone

Getting out of my usual range to post about an unknown record from 1973. The label reads “Mumbled on the album Riddles from Home by Humpback Whale” but I haven’t found a trace of that album yet, if it exists.

One side contains a kazoo arrangement of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” with whistling. It predates the version by the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra by a good five years.

“The Whale Sighed” (i.e. the side with the whales on the label) has a great original song called “Passing Tone” by V. Karlsson.

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The only other credits are “1973 Angel Guardian Road Service” and “Your Basic Fish Recordings, Chicago, Illinois” and BMI, though I can’t find the songs in BMI’s database.

Humpback Whale 45 Also Sprach Zarathustra
Humpback Whale – Also Sprach Zarathustra

Randy Chance was lead guitarist for a group called the Other Half, and before that the Just Four. Note this was not the Other Half from Chicago who cut “Girl with the Long Black Hair” / “Third of January” on the Orlyn 503 in June of 1967.

There is an April 1975 copyright registration for “Search for Magicians”, words by Wade Martinow (Martinov), words and music Van Karlsson, pseudonym of Van Carson, Angel Guardian Road Service Publishing Company.

Randy Chance has a website with a timeline, dating Riddles from Home to 1972 and noting that from 1971 – 1973, he built Humpback Whale Studios in Chicago, plus “Your Basic Fish” record company and “Angel Guardian Road Service” publishing.

He also wrote and performed a musical, Turds in Hell by the Godzilla Rainbow Troupe, and a rock opera Breathe Deeply Today is Fill in Blank for the Free Theater and the Center for New Music.

Randy’s online resume includes an extensive list of composition and recording through 2016.

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