Note: This post appeared yesterday, under a different title, on The Blog of Funny Names
“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.”–Winston Churchill
In the beginning, there was Outerbridge Horsey. And Outerbridge Horsey begat Outerbridge Horsey, Jr., who begat Outerbridge Horsey III, who begat Outerbridge Horsey IV and so on through Outerbridge Horsey VII, who still lives today. And collectively, The Horseys begat the blog of Funny Names which became the bible of funny names.
Now, unto us a king is given. Behold a new dawn and a New Testament of funny names.
I give you, Oliphant Chuckerbutty. Or in full, Soorjo Alexander William Langobard Oliphant Chuckerbutty. (note: he apparently also was known at times as Wilson Oliphant, but why he would ever go by anything other than Oliphant Chuckerbutty is beyond me.).
The esteemed Mr. Chuckerbutty (1884-1960) was a church and cinema organist, as well as composer of organ music. He lived most of his life in India. He was best known for, well, not much other than an awesome name. He did write a brief treatise for young aspiring cinema organists and a single one of his compositions has survived in the classical organist repertory. Unfortunately for his legacy, there has been no call for cinema organists since the invention of talkies in the late 1920’s. And here’s an interesting puzzle: if the World Wide Web has only existed since the 1980’s, how is it that his ancient document entitled To be or not to be–A Cinema Organist is available on line (here)? Would anyone in his right mind actually publish this relic today? No. Aliens definitely walk among us; they built the internet hundreds of years ago and hid it from us until this exposee on The Blog of Funny Names.
There’s not much else to tell about Mr. Chuckerbutty. His grandfather was a journalist named William Oliphant–which might lead one to speculate that he was a relative of the political cartoonist Pat Oliphant. It might; I have no idea. Or maybe he was the inspiration for Tolkien’s oliphants. I suspect that would actually be the organist in the You Tube video below.
Postscript: One of the comments on The Blog of Funny Names made reference to an online picture of Oliphant Chuckerbutty in a bow tie. I looked up that picture and was astonished to see that he is was a near dead ringer for the notorious Arnold Rothstein. As their supposed birth dates are within two years of each other, I’m wondering: brothers separated at birth? Or maybe Rothstein didn’t die from gunshot wounds in that NYC hotel in 1928. Maybe he moved to London and became Oliphant Chuckerbutty. What do you think?