4 out of 4 stars
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Denny Hatch, like many of us during the pandemic, woke up feeling confused by all the conflicting Covid information. He was fearful and depressed until a friend sent him a joke. He realized that his laughter was an antidote to his negative feelings. Hatch decided to publish a book of jokes to alleviate anger and fear and to make the world a more pleasant place.
Bawdy Jokes & Patter Songs is the result of extensive research and dedication. The collection has 87 jokes and 87 patter songs. Many of the jokes and most of the songs have links to live performances, so readers get to see and hear the humor. Hatch also provides interesting facts about the artists. Background information about the entertainment industry is also included.
I was impressed with the exhaustive research Hatch put into his book and doubly impressed upon learning that he is 85 years old. His anecdotes about seeing old celebrities on stage in Las Vegas and New York were some of my favorite parts of the book. The jokes are not arranged chronologically and bounce around through different decades starting in the 40s. My favorite jokes are the ones that rely heavily on puns or double etendres. My least favorite jokes were the vulgar, inappropriate, and politically incorrect ones.
The patter songs are in two sections. One part contains 16 patter songs from 1875 to 1917. Hatch is able to provide the lyrics in this section since they are not under copyright. Another part has 71 modern patter songs from 1920 to the present. Composers in this era include greats such as Cole Porter, Danny Kaye, and Ira Gershwin. Hatch explains how to see the lyrics that are copyrighted. In addition to the links to the songs, Hatch recommends a variety of movies to watch about the patter composers.
It is difficult to determine an audience for Hatch's book. I can envision a music appreciation class in college using the patter song section as their textbook. In his introduction, Hatch says that this book is for "every adult who likes to lighten up a gathering of friends, family and associates." I would have to amend that to only include those adults who are aware of just how bawdy this book is. I can recommend this to individuals who are looking for a way to pass the time while reading, listening, and learning about the humorous history of risqué jokes and songs. My rating is four out of four stars because of the unique format, extensive information, and almost flawless editing. It is obvious that Denny Hatch is serious about brightening the lives of people affected by these trying times.
Bawdy Jokes & Patter Songs
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