Shorpy recently posted this great photo (on Kodachrome, of course) of the Fremont Hotel & Casino back in the 50’s. Among the great things about this photo (by all means click on the photo to see it big) are the blurry old people at the bottom and the fantastic neon — or maybe it’s bulbs, not neon, but it’s awesome (it should go without saying that this was well before the Fremont Street Experience nonsense — though I will confess an recent crush on the Golden Gate Casino).
But I digress. What really makes this picture is the entertainment listed on the marquee. Sure, there’s Mike Sarge & His Sargents, and the Four Gems. But the headliner is Ish Kabibble & Band. Like Cy Twombly, it’s awesome to say Ish Kabibble over and over again. Go ahead, do it. Out loud. You know you want to (hell, there’s even a children’s book about it).
Who was Ish Kabibble? Cornet player and comedian who played with the Kay Kyser Orchestra and, based on the Fremont marquee, obviously struck out on his own (and formed his own band — speaking of which, I think I need my own band). Hey, anonymous guy, want to be in my band?
And, as long as I’m speaking of anonymous guy, here’s the Kay Kyser Orchestra, featuring Ish Kabibble, playing a song just for you.