The AAUGH.com Reference Library now has a copy of How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years, the 2004 memoirs of comedienne Kaye Ballard. Now, Ballard may be best remembered as an actress in The Mothers-in-Law, a 1967-1969 sitcom brought by some of the key creative forces behind I Love Lucy. However, her relevance to this blog lies not on the small screen, but on the record player; her 1962 album Peanuts with her doing Peanuts skits with songs was the first time Schulz’s characters had been used for music… really, the first non-advertising use of Peanuts beyond the printed page.
I really cannot comment on the album itself; I own a copy, but have never owned it and a working record player at the same time, so I’ve actually never listened to it. I have not yet experienced life has to offer, and I have this to look forward to in the coming years.
Ms. Ballard, who retired just last year at age 89, had a long and storied career, and there are plenty of anecdotes about working in all aspects of show business, and the people she knew along the way. I shan’t review that all, this is not the place for it. I’ll just note that if you come to this book looking for Peanuts/Schulz stuff, you will end up disappointed, as, while the Peanuts link is promoted on the cover, there is only a page of it, starting toward the bottom of page 83. In summary, Ballard wrote Schulz a fan letter, Schulz showed up at her show, Schulz later invited her and her accompanist to his house, they agreed it’d be a good idea for her to do an album based around the strip, and the record company decided they didn’t want the accompanist’s songs. She introduced sparky to some famous people (Nichols & May; Bette Davis.)
If you’re interested in the book, it’s out of print, but used copies are cheap through Amazon. I now no longer recall where I landed my copy (it’s been hanging around here for a couple months waiting for me to get around to it), but mine is autographed!