Thursday, October 31, 2013

Haunting Songs of Halloween

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt Kickers photo BorisPickettMonsterMash_zps462ab56d.jpg Warren Zevon photo WarrenZevonWerewolvesofLondon_zpsdb13e7a7.jpg
David Seville photo DavidSevilleWtichDoctor_zpsfd893077.jpg Sheb Wooley photo sheb-wooley-purple-people-eater_zpsb83e05fb.jpg
Clockwise: Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt Kickers; Warren Zevon; Sheb Wooley; and David Seville.

To celebrate the Halloween season, I thought about what songs would be great for the season. I will lead off with a song that might be considered the granddaddy of all Halloween songs, "The Monster Mash". The song was released in 1962 by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers. The song was written by Pickett and Leonard L. Capizzi. And just befoer Haloween of that year, the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100! Here is Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers singing "The Monster Mash".

Next up, we have a rock song composed by LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, and Warren Zevon and performed by Zevon. "Werewolves of London" was released in 1978, off the album 'Excitable Boy'. The single was in the Billboard Top 40 for six weeks, making it to #21. It was great fun at the time, and continues to be an exceptional song, 35 years later. I hope you enjoy Warren Zevon's music video for "Werewolves of London".

Back in the 1950s, David Seville was quite the busy man. Not only was he writing and recording songs, he was also forming the ideas for 'Alvin and the Chipmunks', a storyline that would create a cartoon and recording career for years to come. I still remember being a young kid and watching the Chipmunks, wishing the animals outside my house would talk and sing like the Chipmunks did! In 1958, Dave Seville & the Chipmunks released a novelty recording called "Witch Doctor". In the summer of that year, the song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was the first of his songs to include the animated characters, but certainly not the last. Here is David and the Chipmunks with "Witch Doctor".

Well, it seems as though 1958 was a great year for novelty songs, for Oklahoma native Sheb Wooley had a big hit with "Purple People Eater", and I am not sure who saw that coming. The song was fun and silly, and seemed to capture the imagination of all the kids across the country, for it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And while it might not be a true Halloween song, I certainly think it applies to the season quite nicely. this is "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


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