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Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett

Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett

Halloween is one of the greatest American holidays. “Monster Mash” is one of the greatest one-hit wonders. Except it’s not. “Monster Mash” actually charted on the Billboard Top 40 two separate times in two separate years. With eleven years between the hits. The first time is 1962 when the novelty song was first released and “Monster Mash” reached #1 on the Billboard Top 40. Listeners lapped up the Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi references and the song became … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, 1970s

Laffy Taffy – D4L

Laffy Taffy – D4L

Some songs burst onto the music scene, make a huge impact, reach #1 on the Billboard Top 40, and forever afterwards are considered some of the worst songs ever. That seems to be the story of “Laffy Taffy” by D4L that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006 and was fueled by big online sales and a video that featured bikini beauties in a water fight. High art here, folks. The lyrics are, well, simple and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 2000s, Hip Hop

A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson

A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson

If you have young kids in the house. If you have young kids in the neighborhood. If you were a young kid in the 1990s, you know this song. That’s because “A Whole New World” is the title track to Disney’s animated 1992 film, Aladdin, that has earned more than $500 million dollars worldwide. That’s half-a-billion dollars for an animated movie. That’s simply astounding. It’s also the kind of broad reach and wide appeal that can transform … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Pop

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

“Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott is a complete mystery to me. It’s a number one hit. It’s soulful. It’s smooth. It evokes the spirit of Marvin Gaye and Al Green, two of my favorite soul singers. In fact, one of my favorite albums is What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. Yet in the 1980s and today, “Shake You Down” leaves me cold. I’m simply indifferent about the song. I don’t like it. I don’t hate it. I could care less … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace

The Night Chicago Died – Paper Lace

“The Night Chicago Died” was one of my favorite songs as a young kid. I had no idea who Al Capone was. The hardest thing I had ever tasted in my life was sour orange juice. I had no idea what prohibition was or how it was related to Al Capone or how Al Capone and the Chicago cops were connected. I had no clue that the East Side of Chicago, the same East Side of … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Brother Louie – Stories

Brother Louie – Stories

If you’ve ever confused “Brother Louie” by Stories with “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen, you wouldn’t be the first. Both have catchy choruses. But the differences in the first line are huge. Example #1 Louie Louie, oh no Me gotta go Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said Example #2 Louie Louie Louie, Louie Louie Louie Lou-I If you correctly identified example #2 as “Brother Louie” you should buy yourself a ham sandwich as your reward. Brother Louie by Stories reached #1 on the Billboard Top 40 in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Rock