Robert Crumb has been called the Bruegel of 20th Century America - which he flatly denies - but he is undeniably a fount of Sixties imagery, the founding father of Underground Comics, and the creator of Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and the ubiquitous “Keep on Truckin’” logo seen to this day on truck mudflaps everywhere. Crumb is also a fanatic collector of rare blues, jazz, and hillbilly phonograph recordings prior to 1936.
His longtime friend, Penn State professor Jerry Zolten, is an equally fanatic collector of 78 rpm recordings of the music of “weird old America.” In 2003, the two got together in Penn State’s WPSU studio and recorded a one-hour program called Chimpin’ the Blues in which they played favorite rarities on record and in between tracks chattered like chimpanzees about the music and the artists. Chimpin’ was commercially released in 2013 on both vinyl and CD and has been selling worldwide ever since.
At Penn State, Crumb and Zolten will replicate an in-person Chimpin’ session, spinning original rare 78s, amplifying the sound, and projecting the label images on a screen as they nitpick about the music and turn the whole experience into a one-of-a-kind entertainment.