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For Halloween (2)

There were many novelty records around when I was growing up. Some of them would simply record the latest fashion or fad and manufacture a forgettable hit. Most of them don't rate a mention but there is one glorious exception.

(From Wikipedia)


Bobby Pickett co-wrote "Monster Mash" with Leonard Capizzi, featuring impersonations of veteran horror stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (the latter with the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"). It was passed on by every major label, but after hearing the song Gary S. Paxton agreed to produce and engineer it; among the musicians who played on it was pianist Leon Russell. The single became a million seller, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks before Halloween in 1962. It was styled as being by "Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers". The track re-entered the U.S. charts twice, in August 1970, and again in May 1973, when it reached the #10 spot. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, peaking at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
A Christmas-themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday," was also released in 1962 and reached #30 in December that year. Another of his songs, "Graduation Day", made #80 in June 1963. Pickett also recorded a novelty spoof on Star Trek called "Star Drek" with Peter Ferrara, again performing some of the various voices, which was played on Dr. Demento's radio show. In October 2005, Pickett protested inaction on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash," a new version of his hit single. Amazingly there is a website dedicated to the
record and artist  Here where you can download the track as an MP3 or a ringtone.

Bobby Pickett died in April of this year. Here is what he'll be forever remembered for.


The Monster Mash

Haunted Hits


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For Halloween


The Calypso track mentioned over at Alastair's (see below) was Zombie Jamboree by The Charmer (aka Louis Farrakhan). As Alastair is on holiday (but has still managed to post every day!) he couldn't upload this track. So complete with intro from Bob Dylan (he featured it on his theme time radio hour Halloween special), here it is.



zombie jamboree

The Charmer


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Martin Taylor

I've just heard a great Martin Taylor version of the Odd Couple theme tune over at Helpless Dancer's place and I was reading about former 1950's calypso artist "The Charmer" at Alastair's  you may know The Charmer better by his current monicker - Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, a bunch of religious fundamental nutjobs a significant black pressure group in the USA .

Anyhoo sometimes seemingly disparate threads can converge and these two elements brought to mind a film I saw of Martin Taylor doing a calypso piece by weaving a piece of card between the strings of his guitar. It recreates a kind of steel drum sound.

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