WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - Wacky Wednesday - June 6, 2006


The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit. Today's theme was "Wacky Wednesday" which featured various wierd novelty and comic tunes from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Mike played many long-forgotten one hit wonders plus some other early gems that offer a rare glimpse into the zany sides of Rod McKuen, Merv Griffin, and Burt Bacharach. He also played Sly and the Family Stone's "Hot Fun In The Summertime" in memory of Billy Preston who passed away yesterday. In addition to his many hits from 1969-1982 on both the R&B and Pop/Rock charts, the multi-talented Preston was a prolific studio musician who played keyboards for Sly and the Family Stone and many other groups.

All but three of this morning's songs are included on the CD, Golden Age of American Rock'N'Roll: Special Novelty Edition.

Notes:

  • "Hot Fun In The Summertime" was played in memory of Billy Preston who was a longtime keyboardist with Sly and the Family Stone.

  • The Ran-Dells were brothers Steven and Robert Rappaport and cousin John Spirt who are best remembered for "Martian Hop" (1963), their only chart hit. "Martian Hop" was one of the first pop tunes to make use of electronic special effects and synthesized sounds.

  • Nervous Norvus was novelty singer-songwriter Jimmy Drake. He is best remembered for the 1956 smash hit, "Transfusion." Nervous Norvus had one other hit that same year with "Ape Call." This number was performed with San Francisco deejay Red Blanchard who can be heard in the background yelping and making ape calls.

  • Spencer and Spencer was comedy duo Dickie Goodman and Mickey Shorr. They had one chart hit with "Russian Band Stand" (1959) which is a parody of American Bandstand. In "Russian Bandstand," the "Volga Boat Song" can be heard playing throughout on the saxophone along with a running commentary by announcer "Nikita Kruschev", various sound effects, and musical snippets. Dickie Goodman is best remembered for his long string of hits from 1956-1977 that included "The Flying Saucer Parts 1 & 2" (1956) and "Mr. Jaws" (1975).

  • Bob McFadden's "The Mummy" was inspired by the 1959 movie of the same name and was this comedian's only charted song. He began in 1950 as a singing emcee for a Navy show, "The Bob McFadden Show." His sidekick "Dor" was Rod McKuen. ("Dor" is Rod spelled backwards.)

  • "The Blob" by the Five Blobs was the title song for the 1958 movie starring Steve McQueen. "The Blob" was the only song that charted for the Five Blobs, a studio concoction made by overdubbing the voice of Bernie Nee. "The Blob" was written by (surprize!) Burt Bacharach and Mack David (brother of Hal David, Bacharach's future long-time collaborator).

  • R&B singer Bobby Hendricks is best remembered for his 1958 hit, "Itchy Twitchy Feeling." Before going solo, Hendricks had been a member of the Swallows in 1956. His lesser known "Psycho" (1960) as heard this morning was Hendricks only other charted song. This number was performed with NY deejay Dr. Jive. This song has a running commentary by a psychiatrist (Dr. Jive) in which Hendricks frequently chimes in with "Name Game"-styled music snippets.

  • Music satirist Stan Freberg had a long string of hits from 1951-1960 that included "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" (1955) and "Nuttin' For Christmas" (1955). His last charted number, "Old Payola Roll Blues," is mostly a comedy skit and a commentary on the Payola Scandal of the late 1950s. "Payola" is the practice of paying to have a record played on the radio (usually to boost record sales) if that song is presented as being part of the normal day's broadcast. The Payola Scandal started when ASCAP accused BMI of of using payola to ensure airplay for BMI artists. This led to Congressional hearings beginning in 1959 and to the first court case involving payola in 1960. After that, payola was made illegal.

  • Napoleon XIV was recording engineer and novelty singer-songwriter Jerry Samuels best remembered for the thoroughly demented "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" (The B-side song was "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" played in reverse.) This song was a smash hit in 1966, and a remake of this song recharted in 1973.

  • Lonnie Donegan had several hits from 1956-1961, his best known being the 1961 smash hit, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (On The Bedpost Over Night)." This song dates all the way back to 1924 when it first charted for Ernest Hare & Bill Jones as "Does The Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight." In the UK, Donegan was known as the "King of Skiffle." This type of music was extremely popular in Britain throughout most of the 1950s and remained so until it was taken over by rock and roll around the early 1960s.

  • Actor-comedian Jim Backus is best remembered for his role as "Thurston Howell III" on "Gilligan's Island" and as the voice behind "Mr. Magoo." He had one chart hit, "Delicious!" (1958), which was credited to "Jim Backus & Friend." In this number, Backus is in a restaurant with a female friend and they're drinking champagne and talking mostly about how delicious the champagne is. There is a lot of laughter throughout and Backus' speech gets increasingly slurred as the skit progresses. Note: To this day, nobody really knows for sure who the voice was behind the "friend" in "Delicious!" although there have been many speculations over the years.

  • Freddy Martin was a tenor sax player and a very popular orchestra leader during the big band era with a long string of hits from 1933-1954. Over the years, Martin performed with many different vocalists. His 1949 hit, "I've Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts," was one of very few novelty songs for Martin and the featured vocalist for this zany tune was future talk show host Merv Griffin who performed this song with a pseudo Cockney accent. Comedian Danny Kaye also had a hit with "I've Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts" in 1950.

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