This doesn’t come up in any of the Zappa commentaries I’ve read, but I was playing some Spike Jones collector pieces on YouTube last night and it dawned on me that they have much in common. Although Spike and the City Slickers were a big band comedy sound… and although Spike died just as Zappa was coming up, his presence on 50s television and in Movietone shorts would certainly have been experienced by Frank at some point.
Dancin’ Fool is one of the Zappa pieces that strike me as related to some of Spike Jones:
Someone commented on this one (12th Street Rag) by saying that Spike Jones was like a cross between Zappa and the Globetrotters. I like that comparison: