Here’s why: none of what you believe about the song is true.
First, the guy whistling on the record is not actually Whistling Jack Smith. His name is John O’Neill.
Second, John O’Neill didn’t actually appear as Whistling Jack Smith. Whistling Jack Smith was actually performed by a guy named Billy Moeller.
Third, Whistling Jack Smith was not actually Kaiser Bill’s Batman. I assume you knew that already.
Fourth, the lead instrument on “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” is a multi-tracked whistle. Not a guitar. Not a piano. Just a guy and his mellifluous whistle whistling the same chorus again and again. The best part of the song is the “Oy” near the very end. A pre-punk “Oy” in a song my grandparents loved. How post-modern.
Fifth and last, “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith just might be the best combination of bizarre band name matched to silly song title ever. Please share your nominations for equally strange band/song title in the comments below.
Listen to “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith
“I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith reached #20 on the Billboard Top 40 back in the summer of 1967. That was, after all, the summer of love and it’s impossible not to love “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” or Whistling Jack Smith like they are your own.
It’s a novelty song. Click to hear more novelty songs
It’s an instrumental one-hit wonder (unless you count the “Oy” and I don’t). Click to hear more instrumental one-hit wonders
It’s bizarrely awesome and even better when you watch the video of a spot-on whistling performance by Whistling Jack Smith or John O’Neill or Billy Moeller or whoever this dandy fellow is bouncing around on the stage.
It would be hard to love a song more than this one.