Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Leon Redbone 

Friday, September 14, at the Winchester, Lakewood.

Leon Redbone is a cross between a Southern gent, Bing Crosby, and Groucho Marx. For him, music began to go downhill in the '30s. In essence, he is the Michigan J. Frog of the old Warner Bros. cartoon, hopping out of his time capsule to do a vaudevillian song and dance.

Crooning pre-Depression jazz, blues, and Tin Pan Alley, Redbone appeared out of nowhere (he keeps all personal details secret) to do his shockingly anachronistic routine in the disco '70s. After some albums, Saturday Night Live appearances, and commercials, Redbone slowed down in the '90s. But open up that capsule and out he hops into the 21st century, with cane and straw boater.

When compared with the cartoon frog, Redbone replies, "Well, I'm resigned to the fact that I have virtually no connection with -- I wouldn't say 'reality,' but I have no connection with any of the standards that I'm supposed to conform to, or at least people's perception of what I'm supposed to conform to. That's never been my life experience."

As for folks keeping up with the latest fashions, he says, "They are simply the product of a certain moment in time. And that's the point of recognition. It's almost as if you're a factory product, and you're stamped with the logo, the serial number, and so forth. And that's what you are as an individual."

Redbone doesn't seem to understand that he has stamped himself with a "1929." But his serial number is certainly more unique than all the 1957, 1968, 1977, and 1981 models out there.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Show Preview

Latest in Livewire

More by Mark S. Wedel

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • The Temptations and the Four Tops @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Songs of the Polka King Release Party with Joey Miskulin & the KTB @ Beachland Ballroom

    • Sun., Nov. 28
  • Jokes on You @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Last Sunday of every month

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation