For both June 7th and June 28th, 1965, Jim noted in his journal that he taped three pieces for trumpeter Al Hirt’s popular show Fanfare. He then listed them: “Cool Jazz”, “Robot”, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face”, “Java”, “Two-Headed Monster – Piano Bit”, “Balloon Conductor”. Jim was a fan (he had three Hirt albums in his record collection) and clearly pulled out all the stops for this popular program.
One of the pieces featured a drawn out bit of wordplay that would have tickled Jim and his writer Jerry Juhl – it starred an orchestral conductor whose head was made out of a balloon which, of course, popped… as in the Boston Pops Orchestra. Clearly, Jim and Jerry thought this was a very good idea and reprised it more than ten years later on the Peter Ustinov episode in Season 1 of The Muppet Show.
Learn more about the various pieces Jim did on Al Hirt’s show including “Java” which debuted there.