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 Silly Songs of the 50s 60s

 (parody and novelty songs we will never forget)

Growing up in the 50s and 60s was a great experience and left me with memories galore. I listened to music almost the entire day if I wasn't outside doing something else. Music was a big part of my life as it was to most baby boomers back then. We had our cool jocks on the radio that kept us entertained as they played the countdown each day. Included in some of these countdowns as a special treat were novelty or parody songs.

I still recall these silly lyric songs, parodies and novelty hits back in the 50s and 60s. Being an avid collector of music, I have a collection of these as well and I thought it would be fitting to add them to the website. I have picked 23 from the so many choices during that time. Of course we laughed at these songs plus there were some we really didn't believe they were that silly when they came out. As we grew older we realized, "yeh that was a pretty stupid song" or "that song has no meaning."

Take the song "Purple People Eater" from 1958 by Sheb Wooley. This song was a parody of several pop culture crazes namely sci-fi movies including monster movies. Some people at the time suggested -- incorrectly -- that the sci-fi/horror classic The Blob, starring Steve McQueen, which was released at around the same time as Wooley's song, was virtually a film of the song) Wooley had to fight to get the song released, and it ultimately became one of the biggest hit singles in the history of MGM Records.

"'Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" by Alan Sherman was first written in the narrative style of a letter from a young boy at summer camp. The camp experience is less than positive for this young lad, so he creates all sorts of reasons for his parents to bring him home. The song was supposedly inspired by letters Sherman's son wrote home from camp. This song was first released in 1963. On of my favorites and a great summer song.

The Flying Saucer," is a song that nearly topped the U.S. pop charts (peaking at number 3 in 1956). As with all of Goodman's ensuing parodies, he used a then-unique method of sampling: he would act as a "reporter," while the responses from the "people" he was interviewing would be lines from pop artist's songs. Despite its success, Goodman's first hit caused some controversy when 17 different labels sued him for using samples without permission. But the judge in the case ultimately sided with Goodman, stating that "he had created a new work" and didn't simply copy another's work. My army buddy in Vietnam and I did a parody of this one by interviewing soldiers and using music of the 60s for their responses. Sadly to say I no longer have the tape. What I would give to have that tape once again.

"Seven Little Girls (In The Backseat)" by Paul Evans and the Curls was a cute ditty and I added it here because it was a favorite of my mother. By the way, The Curls were the two female singers Sue Singleton and Sue Terry. I might add that Paul Evans wrote the song "Roses Are Red (My Love) for Bobby Vinton.

The Kingsmen claimed to have recorded over 800 songs, including both "Big Boy Pete" and "Jolly Green Giant." The latter song was recorded as a joke, the group never expected it to be released. This song is based on a jingle used in Green Giant vegetable commercials. It starts with "In the valley of the Jolly... (ho, ho, ho)..." Libby Foods, owners of Green Giant, wasn't too sure what to make of the song. The West Coast office sent the group boxes of vegetables to give away at concerts, the East Coast office sued the Kingsmen for "defamation."

 "Haunted House" from 1964 was recorded by Jumpin' Gene Simmons who at one time was the opening act for Elvis.

Below you will find the songs I have selected for your listening pleasure(?) They sure don't write 'em like this anymore. Maybe that's a good thing? Let's take a trip back.

  1. The Battle of Kookamonga/Homer & Jethro (1960)  
  2. Hello Mudduh, Hello Fudduh (A Letter From Camp)/Alan Sherman (1963)  
  3. The Flying Saucer/Buchanan & Goodman (1956)  
  4. Purple People Eater/Sheb Wooley (1958)  
  5. Seven Little Girls (Sittin' In The Backseat)/Paul Evans & The Curls (1959)  
  6. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini/Brian Hyland (1960)  
  7. Stranded In The Jungle/The Cadets (1956)  
  8. Witch Doctor/The Music of David Seville (1958)  
  9. Gitarzan/Ray Stevens (1969)  
  10. Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)/The Hombres (1969)  
  11. Leader Of The Laundromat/The Detergents (1964,65)  
  12. Don't Let The Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)/The Serendipity Singers (1964)  
  13. Little Ole Man (Uptight-Everything's Alright)/Bill Cosby (1967)  
  14. Jolly Green Giant/The Kingsmen (1965)  
  15. Name Game/Shirley Ellis (1964)  
  16. Beep Beep/The Playmates (1958)  
  17. Surfin' Bird/The Trashman (1963)  
  18. Ya Ya/Lee Dorsey (1961) 
  19. Haunted House/Jumpin' Gene Simmons  
  20. Wooly Bully/Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs (1965)  
  21. Rama Lama Ding Dong/The Edsels (1961)  
  22. Papa Oom Mow Mow/The Rivingtons (1962)  
  23. Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)/Barry Mann (1961)  

 

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