The Cheap Suit Serenaders!  (caption on back of first album) 

Detail from the cover of "Cheap Suit Serenaders Number 2""R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders" (CSS) are a loosely organized string band playing songs from the 1920s and (occasionally) modern songs styled after the songs of the 20s. They recorded three albums in the 70s and occasionally are active today, though usually without Mr. Crumb who lives in France.

More detailed information

Hearing the music online

    78 RPM Singles
    33 RPM Albums and CDs


How to find the CDs or hear samples of their music:

Follow the link below to go directly to the "R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders" information on CDNow, a leading Web retailer of music.   This is the only place I've found some samples of the music, though there are a only a few on the Shanachie Records website. Amazon has short samples of most of the songs, and you can try some sound samples there, (even buy the CDs if you want...).

Amazon's page for "Number Two" (now called "Chasin' Rainbows")

Amazon's page for "Number Three" (now called "Singing in the Bathtub") 

"Airmail Recordings" (Japan) where you can get "Number One" on CD - I'm told that the informational contact on the pages will respond in English

The Recordings:


A 78 rpm single on the Ordinary Records" label:  Possibly the first CSS record was a 78 rpm single, on the "Ordinary Records" label (no number) with the motto "A high standard of standardness."  It has "River Blues" and "Wisconsin Wiggle" on it.

Party Record:  Another early CSS recording was the "Party Record," a 78 RPM recording with fairly risqué lyrics. The songs are "My Girl's Pussy" (click here for approximate lyrics) and "Christopher Columbus" (click here for approximate lyrics - WARNING, NOT FOR THE DELICATE or easily offended!).  Here's a scan of the front cover and here's a scan of the back cover. It was on "Red Goose Records" #2016 ("Red Goose" being a pseudonym for "Blue Goose" probably because the record was on red vinyl).

Another 78 rpm record: The Cheap Suit Serenaders had an another 78 rpm single on Blue Goose, with the song "Duck's Yas Yas" backed with "Beautiful Missouri Waltz." I don't know where it goes chronologically.


Here are links to informational pages about each of the three albums:
Drill deep to get information on the musicians and instruments as well as the songs.

R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders (first album)

R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders Number Two

R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders Number Three


Some other Crumb-related sites (there are no other Cheap Suit Serenaders sites that I can find)

Megan Lynch - Megan has worked with several members of the CSS and her new album "Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me" - is delightful.  This will appeal to all ages, I guarantee!
Al Dodge's current band, "Dodge's Sundodgers"

Bob Brozman's great website - lots of useful information here!

The Official site for movie "Crumb" seems to have been removed, but here's a link to a page of information about the movie.
Robert Armstrong's Site - has info on comics, painted musical instruments, etc. by this member of the Cheap Suit Serenaders
Words to "On the Beach at Wiakiki" - which is the first (and last) song in the Hawaiian Medley on CSS 2. 
The "Huapala" site, with hundreds of Hawaiian lyrics.
A site with info on reefer songs from 1910 - 1960, with a link to a free MP3 of Ernest Rodgers original recording of "Willie the Chimney Sweeper" (see 1927)
Crumb Comics (and Biographical) Site
Crumb numbered and signed prints available...
Crumb Family Art Exhibit and Sales
Great web site with information about the late lamented Blue Goose Records
Here's a site from Holland that's a database of record covers drawn by comic artists
Jug Band Rag - World Home of Jug Band Music
Musical Spoons, Bones, Washboards, Washtub basses and Gut Buckets

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