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Song Parodies -> "Ballad Of Jack Masten"

Original Song Title:

"Ballad Of Davy Crockett"

Original Performer:

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Parody Song Title:

"Ballad Of Jack Masten"

Parody Written by:

Old Man Ribber

The Lyrics

PLEASE READ!! This is the story of a man amiwriters never knew - and your lives are poorer for it. Cincinnati's Jack Masten (1927 - 2010), blind from birth, was simply the best organist - pianist - all-around musician - raconteur - wit - friend I ever knew. Beyond the sheer joy of making music and matching wits with Jack, I owe him my place here. His incredible improv parodies astounded me. In awe, I asked how he could do something so marvelous spontaneously. I'll never forget his advice..."You jam with music.Just jam with words." I try to avoid footnoting, so many places cited are locations and venues in Greater Cincinnati. I will mention George Coorey - Jack's lifelong friend, fellow piano master, and occasional gig partner - who was also blind from infancy. As Jack and George were born within a week of each other, they died just three days apart in February. If I've taken liberty with the amount of syllables in some line, so be it. I think it gives it a folk song feeling...that's my story and I'm sticking to it! ;D

Here is the story of a modern day Liszt
And the music he made with his fist.
Whether as a single or playing with a band,
He's King Of The Organ and Prince Of The Baby Grand!
J-ack, Jack Masten! King Of The Keyboard Players!

Born in Cincinnati in old Mohawk,
Started playing music before he could talk.
Even as a kid they knew he was hot.
He sat down at the keyboard and said "Bring me a shot!"
J-ack, Jack Masten! Boozin' in his high chair!

Old Carl Johnson* taught Jack to play,
But Jack started playing a different way.
He didn't want to be a symphony star.
He took his talent straight into the nearest bar!
J-ack, Jack Masten! Under age? Didn't care!

Jack's best friend is a part of the story.
His alter ego, little blind George Coorey.
When they played together they laid down such jive!
The only question was "Which one is gonna drive?"
J-ack, Jack Masten! Jack drives! Now that's a scare!**

Jack moved around a lot from job to job.
He played at the Watermill, he played at the Hob Nob.
Joined Ribber at Showboat where they have the nice folks.
We loved his music and we'd tolerate his jokes.
J-ack, Jack Masten! What fun times we had there!

Old Man Ribber proudly makes this claim:
Jack got him going in the parody game.
When Jack's fun songs were the best that Todd*** heard,
Jack said "You jam with music. Just jam with words."
J-ack, Jack Masten! Mentored Old Rib...beware!

Then the angels took Jack away -
They had a gig that they needed him to play.
He won't play the cathedral with Bach and the greats -
He's booked into the lounge outside those Pearly Gates!
J-ack, Jack Masten! King Of The Keyboard Players!

* = Carl Johnson was also blind. ** = Jack actually drove on a few occasions! His father insisted he learn to operate a vehicle. *** = Old Man Ribber's real name (Todd Whitford). Pleased to meet you. ;D

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Matches Pace of
Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.6
How Funny: 4.6
Overall Rating: 4.6

Total Votes: 10

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   9

User Comments

Comments are subject to review, and can be removed by the administration of the site at any time and for any reason.

Mark Scotti - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Fives for how you know "Jack". ...
Old Man Ribber - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Thanks, Mark! And to the's ok...Jack just gave your name to Saint Peter! ;D
Andria - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Very good, OMR... of course, I've never heard of Jack Masten or George Coorey, considering our geographical distance, but they sounded pretty darn cool. 5s.
AFW - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Nice to honor a departed friend with a parody.
Old Man Ribber - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
Thanks Andria and AFW...they were our kind of people, especially Jack. He once gave me a foolproof practical formula for creating a parody...substitute "lunch" for "love" in any song. ;D
LadyNorCAL - August 16, 2010 - Report this comment
. . . Davy . . . DaveCampagna, born in the town of 0 . . . . Shorn on the top by Pomo Mom, ate his grits from pan of . . . you get the picture, Sir !
Barry J. Mitchel - August 17, 2010 - Report this comment
Wish i could give the 5s to Jack Masten for inspiring OMR to join the wordsmith game. Good tribute, TW; great imagination in the last stanza! 555
Wild Child JIN - August 19, 2010 - Report this comment
Wow! again with a score of 1 in P,F, & O! Oh well, I still think this song is excellent! ;-) and is worth it's weight in 5's! 555 Davy Crocket would be very proud of you. :-)
cooreylives - March 03, 2011 - Report this comment
George and Jack passed in April. Jack passed the 22nd. George the 24th. they were best friends till the end :)
Linda Coorey - June 12, 2012 - Report this comment
research the dates, my father and Jack were great and loved by many though you wrote of jack mentioning my dad was good only he wasn't little in any way
Brandi Auckerman - January 09, 2014 - Report this comment
Jack was my grandfather and I have been looking up everything i can find about him today since i dont have much left but my memories with him. So seeing this brought joy to my heart. Thank you to the author! He was truly a wonderful man!
April Masten - May 06, 2016 - Report this comment
Jack was my grandfather, truly missed! I have great memories as a little girl sitting on my grandfather's lap while he played the piano for me!! Love you grandpa!

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