How to Speak Hip - Del Close and John Brent (1959)
How to Speak Hip was a comedy album by Del Close and John Brent, released by Mercury Records in 1959. The album presents itself as a didactic tool to be used by the listener to learn the secret language of the 'hipster'. As a parody of language-learning tools, the album presents a course in 'hip'. Basic concepts such as "cool" and "uncool" are taught, as well as vocabulary building ("dig", "dig it", "dig yourself, baby", "dig the chick", "dig the cat", "What a drag!"). Social notes are presented as for many language courses, and later in the album, the teacher (Brent) is taken on field trips into the secret life of the hipster (Del Close). However, the hipster rebels against participating in the teaching tool, leading to a humorously compromised teaching style.
The album itself was illustrated throughout. The woodcuts used as illustrations on the LP were stolen from Del's Chicago apartment in the 1980s.
Brian Wilson can be heard fondly mentioning this album in the box set The Pet Sounds Sessions during the highlights of the recording sessions of the album Pet Sounds; a full working title for the album's track "Let's Go Away For Awhile" was "Let's Go Away For Awhile (And Then We'll Have World Peace)," the parenthetical being an allusion to the album.