Novelty Tracks (60 mins. of music)

Spend an hour reliving 60 years of musical humor for April Fool's Day.

“No one cares how you wear your hair, darling, just keep doing it." – Sir Monte Rock III, aka Disco Tex.

Novelty songs, those that use humor as a primary vehicle, got their start in the modern age during the Tin Pan Alley era about a hundred years ago. There is a distinct difference between these tracks and songs that use humor. For example, the Jazz Age, which took hold about the same time. There are many popular Jazz tracks that would use humor, but novelty tracks were typically based in some type of fad, often spawning their own catchphrases that would stay in the common vernacular for decades, sometimes longer. 

This program is looking at novelty hits over the last 60 years, starting during the first wave of Rock and Roll, which many considered was a fad in of itself and would not last. Due to the fun nature of Rock and Roll, it made the genre ripe for mining comedic tracks that could be easily utilized into humorous hits.

Sir Monte Rock III, aka Disco Tex, the openly gay Puerto Rican hairdresser who scored a Top 10 hit in the mid-1970's with "Get Dancing". He is still with us, lives in Las Vegas, where he not only still performs, but is now an ordained minister and is legally licensed to perform marriages. Photographer unknown, circa 1975.

Our tracks this week: Title, Year, Artist

First Part
1. The Witch Doctor, 1958, David Seville
2. They're Coming To Take Me Away, 1966, Napoleon XIV
3. Judy In Disguise (With Glasses), 1967, John Fred & His Playboy Band
4. King Tut, 1978, Steve Martin & The Toot Uncommons
5. Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It), 1971, Daddy Dewdrop
6. Disco Duck, 1976, Rick Dees & His Cast Of Idiots
7. Surfin' Bird, 1964, The Trashmen
8. The Boy With The Beatle Hair, 1964, The Swans
9. Troglodyte (Cave Man), 1972, The Jimmy Castor Bunch
10. Alley Oop, 1960, The Hollywood Argyles

Second Part
11. Get Dancin’, 1975, Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes
12. Smells Like Nirvana, 1992, Weird Al Yankovic
13. Valley Girl, 1982, Frank and Moon Unit Zappa
14. Convoy, 1975, C.W. McCall
15. The Purple People Eater, 1958, Sheb Wooley
16. Who Let the Dogs Out?, 2000, Baha Men
17. The Name Game, 1964, Shirley Ellis

18. The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?), 2013, Ylvis

To download this program, click here.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
Ace of Spades PDX

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for 'fair use' for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

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