A few years ago, I was scanning through a batch of used reel to reel tapes I'd bought, when I came across one which contained several tracks which were much less mainstream than the rest of the material on these tapes. I was particularly taken with a pair of songs which the original owner of the tapes had indicated were by Bernie Green, and described as "More Than You Can Stand". Both tracks were fantastic, and I assumed that the notation was a joke about the "fringe" quality of the material.
A search through the internet found enough references for me to learn that Bernie Green had released at least three albums, one in conjunction with both the great Henry Morgan and Mad Magazine, and another one called "Bernie Green Plays More Than You Can Stand In Hi-Fi". I quickly snapped up copies of all three albums via various online sellers. While the Mad album (and the other one) have their moments (and both of those have been reissued on CD), "More Than You Can Stand", which as far as I can tell has not been re-issued since its original 1950's release, is the real killer.
Today I've provided four of my favorite tracks. The music strikes me as a combination of Spike Jones and Raymond Scott. This is particularly true of "Ragging the Scale", which for my money is the standout track, particularly for the role played by the timpanist, who must have worked long and hard to be able to do things he does here.
One other note is that the calliope on the final selection is played by the great Dick Hyman.
(Incidentally, the scan of the cover is quite clearly a composite from two separate scans, as my scanner can't take in the full cover, and I can't seem to make the two parts scan at the same degree of darkness!)