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The Ballad of Irving – Frank Gallop

The Ballad of Irving – Frank Gallop

Frank Gallop was born in 1900 and by the 1940s was an announcer for numerous radio programs before moving on to early television shows in the ’50s. “What’s a radio program?” I hear some younger readers asking. Those of you who were playing with Daddy’s MacIntosh or Hewlett-Packard desktop while still wearing diapers might very well be shocked to learn there was a time when there was no TV, let alone Internet or cell phones! In … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, Country

Valley Girl – Frank Zappa

Valley Girl – Frank Zappa

With a sharp sense of humor that skewered everything from politics to TV commercials to Beatles’ album covers and song titles such as “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,” “Stevie’s Spanking” and “I Don’t Want to Get Drafted,” Frank Zappa was one of the most unlikely artists to put a song anywhere near, much less in, the hallowed Top 40. But there it was in 1982 when “Valley Girl” made it to Number 32 on the Billboard … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly

Three Little Pigs – Green Jelly

Today we celebrate another novelty song and heavy-metal one-hit wonder with “Three Little Pigs” by Green Jelly. Nursery rhymes and fairy tales have always been fodder for both feature films and animated shorts (how many dozens of old Saturday morning cartoons have spoofed “The Three Bears” or “Little Red Riding Hood”?). It’s the same for the pop chart where numerous songs based on fairy tales have made their mark. For our purposes we’ll concentrate on two stories … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

The Lumberjack – Jackyl

The Lumberjack – Jackyl

Editor’s note: “The Lumberjack” by Jackyl is not a true one-hit wonder. Though if you ask people about the band Jackyl, “The Lumberjack” is often the only song they know. Our resident heavy metal expert Jim Barton pays tribute to this unique song. Just for fun, let’s take a look at a song that was never a Top 40 hit, but I think the novelty angle of a chainsaw being used as a musical instrument … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

In the Mood – Henhouse Five Plus Too

In the Mood – Henhouse Five Plus Too

Few songs make me want to pay an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to remove my ear drums. But “In the Mood” by Henhouse Five Plus Too is in serious contention. This novelty song is pure garbage. It’s stupid. It’s silly. It’s dumb enough that to hear it once is more than enough. Remarkably, “In the Mood” by Henhouse Five Plus Too reached #40 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1977 and that’s good enough to land … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman – Whistling Jack Smith

I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman – Whistling Jack Smith

I love everything about “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith. 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 … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, Pop