R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders Number 3

"R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders Number 3" is (obviously?) the CSS's third album. The music was still up-tempo string band music in the style of the early part of the 20th century, though a bit more of a modern feeling is in some of the songs, especially "Shopping Mall." the modern feel isn't in the music (God forbid!), simply in the subject matter of the lyrics. The core group had the four from the CSS#2 along with the addition of two new members. One is Bob Brozman, a noted folk archivist (especially of Hawaiian music: see the CD series of historic recordings of Hawaiian music he has produced for Rounder) and instrumentalist. The second is Tom Marion, who was listed as a guest on CSS#2. Again there are guests (four, count 'em) including Paul Woltz who also was a guest on CSS#1. This album is now available on CD from Shanachie Records as "Singing in the Bathtub" (Shanachie 6003, 1993).

Some information, a cover shot, and sound samples of some of the songs may be found at this link.

The cover is a bit more modern than the others. The whole front cover is surrounded by a decorative border looking slightly like a cartoon stage. At the top is hand lettered "R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders" and at the bottom is a decorative scroll saying "Number Three" with the Blue Goose logo (a goose playing a guitar) in the middle, reading Blue Goose 2025. A photo of the band is in the center, sepia toned, on a stage. There are curtains behind with a banner reading "Cheap Suit Serenaders." From left to right, seated, are Armstrong with a huge accordion, Brozman with a Hawaiian guitar, Dodge with what appears to be a banjo-mandolin, Zwigoff with a cello, and Marion with a guitar. Crumb is at the far right, standing, with a banjo. All are dressed in white shirts, white pants and bow ties except Crumb who has a cheap dark suit and a bow tie. Obscure instruments litter the stage.

The reverse side has a similar picture. though the instruments are different and an unidentified female wearing several leis sits at their feet with a ukulele. Below the picture it says "R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders." Below that is information about the band, the songs and the instruments, and the recording (all transcribed below), as always hand lettered. Colorful abstract shaped are behind everything.


R. Crumb, Robert Armstrong, Bob Brozman, Allan Dodge, Tom Marion, and Terry Zwigoff, with extra help from John Lundberg, Geoff Antipa, Paul Woltz and Rick "Gizmo" Elmore

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

Click here for information about the songs on CSS #3

Other Information on back cover:

Recorded at Mobius Studios, Oliver DiCicco, Engineer

1583 Sanchez St. San Francisco, California, 94131

Photoes [sic] taken by yoni [sic] at the York Theatre, San Francisco

(c) (p) Yellow Bee Productions, 1978

All songs copyright Yellow Bee Music

Cover art by R. Crumb

Blue Goose 2025 - Send for Catalog Blue Goose Records, 245 Waverly Pl., New York, NY, 10014 [Note: I tried, specifically mentioning CSS, and got a catalog back from Shanachie]

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Updated Feb. 15, 1998