Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand!
It's time to play more deadly ditties - novelty records of the past that were perfect for fright night. Dell Rat Ron's back with a couple of creepy ones and I dug up a few of my own.
Time for me to scoot
and say Ron, be my
Shady, in our last post
I named Mark Dinning's
morbid 1960 hit "Teen
Angel" as arguably the
most popular of all tear-
jerkers. Years later, as a
teenager hanging out at
Burnell or Rodney
played the following
record for me and
eventually I had to have
a copy of it. I think you
might enjoy it, too!
Ron, please allow me to expand on your intro because this one's a scream. "I Want My Baby Back" is an outrageous parody
of death rock records and you'd swear that you were listening to Ray Stevens. Instead it's Jimmy Cross, an American producer and singer. Jimmy's "Baby Back" was such a groaner that it was declared The World's Worst Record by a British deejay!
Listen all the way through. It's the sickest!
"I Want My Baby Back" - Jimmy Cross
(February 1965, highest chart position #92)
I want my baby back ribs and all!
Jimmy Cross is a tough act to follow, Ron.
Who's up next?
J. FRANK WILSON
AND THE CAVALIERS
Shady, it's the pair of records that inspired that hilarious
Jimmy Cross parody. Jimmy's "I Want My Baby Back"
borrowed its gruesome storyline from "Last Kiss" and
"Leader of the Pack," two "serious" tearjerkers that had
become smash hits a few months earlier.
"Last Kiss" - J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers
(Halloween 1964, highest chart position #2)
"Leader of the Pack" - Shangri-Las (Halloween 1964,
highest chart position #1)
Ron, let me follow the "Leader" with a couple of creepy weepies by Dickie Lee. The first one's about about a girl who took her own life.
"Patches" - Dickey Lee (Halloween 1962 highest chart
Next, dig Dickie's grave goodie about a ghostly girlie.
"Laurie (Strange Things Happen in This World)" - Dickie Lee
(June 1965, highest chart position #14)
Ron, back to you!
Shady, I'm sure you remember the Revels,
the California surf rock band featured in
my series Instrumentally Yours a few
months ago. The Revels group in today's
post is a different act, a 1950s doo-wop
vocal group from Philadelphia. I was
introduced to this spooky song of theirs
Saturday mornings on the Rock 180 Club.
Original pressings of this 45 had "Dead
Man's Stroll" as the title. On later issues,
the name of the record was changed to "Midnight Stroll"
because "Dead Man's Stroll" was considered too disturbing
at that time. Here's to Halloween all year long!
"Midnight Stroll" - Revels (Halloween 1959, highest chart
Ron, I hear Mummy calling.
It's soon time for us to stick
a pitchfork in it. Let's finish
our fright fest with 3 more
final vinyl creepy classics.
First up, the man who taught Alvin and the Chipmunks how to sing. His real name was Rostom Sipan "Ross" Bagdasarian but he decided that the stage name David Seville might be easier to remember. Ya think? Seville was an actor, singer, songwriter and record producer who used a recording studio technique to achieve a string of hits. By speeding up vocal tracks, Seville created funny, high pitched character voices. In the summer of 1958, six months before the Chipmunks became a sensation, Seville used the goofy gimmick to tell the story of his bizarre encounter with a witch doctor.
"Witch Doctor" - David Seville (June 1958, highest chart
JUMPIN' GENE SIMMONS
Tongues will be wagging over this piece of trivia. Kiss icon Gene Simmons reportedly took his stage name as a tribute to this guy, a rockabilly artist from Tupelo, Mississippi who was once an opening act for Elvis Presley. Recording as Jumpin' Gene Simmons in 1964, the artist scored a sizable hit with a cover of Johnny Fuller's 1958 recording about spending the night in a haunted house!
"Haunted House" - Jumpin' Gene Simmons (Halloween 1964,
highest chart position #11)
BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT
One of the best known spooky songs was co-written and performed by singer Bobby Pickett. Imitating veteran horror actors Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, Bobby spoofed the two most popular dance crazes of the early 60s, The Twist and The Mashed Potato, and whipped up the "Monster Mash."
"Monster Mash" - Bobby "Boris" Pickett (Halloween 1962,
highest chart position #1)
Thank you Dell Rat Ron
for coming back here to
your old haunt and taking
us on a Halloween tour
of the wax museum!
Have a Shady day!