“Folsom Christmas” by Keith Coleman – Parody of “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash – Also A Cash Impersonation

Sometimes you stumble upon things while doing research. Here is a little gem I discovered in the process of researching Johnny Cash. It was performed live to video and uploaded 12 years ago. As the moment it’s gotten 9,000 views. Maybe this is the year it goes viral.

Keith Coleman is a Johnny Cash impersonator and he got creative with one of Cash’s biggest hits to create this track. We love it. In the video he claims that the Christmas lyrics were the original lyrics, but we think that’s a big fat fib.

The real Johnny Cash also recorded Christmas music but there are no holiday parodies of his hit songs to be found. His version of “Blue Christmas” is humorous in how much unalike it is compared to the Elvis Presley version.

“I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow, The Strangeloves, Kidz Bop & Many Others – Now A Halloween Classic – Add It to Your Playlist

“This song certainly did not begin it’s life intended for Halloween. The lyrics even mention summertime. Nevertheless, the obvious connection between Halloween and candy has made the song slowly find its way into Halloween mixes. It is now considered a standard include by DJs worldwide. We probably need more songs about candy.

Most of our readers will remember the New Wave version that came out in 1982. The band was called Bow Wow Wow. The single hit No 9 in the UK and 22 in the USA.

12 inch single cover courtesy of discogs

The song was originally written from the male perspective. The narrator is talking about a woman named Candy. In the Bow Wow Wow version, Candy is now a male but it feels like it’s secretly woman to woman in this listener’s mind. The subtle lesbian-code did not register with the mainstream audience at the time.

But of course the story does not end there. The song was first made famous in 1965 by The Strangeloves. The band used a type of syncopation called The Bo Diddly Beat on the track. Some footage has unearthed of the band performing on TV. It is thought to be from a show called Shindig. Tony Basil might be one of the dancers in this video, though that has not been verified. See if you can spot her.

Since then a number of other artists have performed or recorded this song. A British group called Candy Girls charted with the song in 1996. Aaron Carter performed the vocal modulation for auto-tune back in 2000. I won’t ask you to listen to Charlie XCX murder the tune live but you can find that on YouTube.

You know you’ve made it as an artist if your song gets covered by The Kidz Bop franchise. Looks like The Strangeloves and Bow Wow Wow have really hit the big time now. The Kidz Bop version appears on the 2012 release Halloween Hits.

Don’t forget to tune in to FunHouse Radio for more Halloween Fun!

“The Witch” by Henner Hoir & The Rattles Original 1970 English Version. Check Out The German Version Too. Skip The Re-Recorded Misfire.

The Rattles were a rock band from Hamburg Germany. They are best known for the hit single “The Witch” sung in English and released in 1970 at the height of psychedelia.

Here we have a recovered copy of the original music film, probably from a VHS tape. Someone attempted to re-include the music but it falls out of sync eventually. The colors are muted as well and that makes it extra creepy. What’s not to love about this?

The single reached number 4 in Germany, 8 in the UK and 79 in the US. It was included on the album also called The Witch in 1971. We love the cover-art

courtesy of discogs

Henner Hoir was a band member at the time. He eventually left The Rattles to go solo and perform in other bands. The song was also released under his name and was included on several Henner Hoir greatest hits compilations. For this reason it is frequently credited to him alone rather than the band. It’s kind of odd because he is not even the vocalist. The lead vocals on this track are by Edna Bejarano. She also sang the German version.

Herr Hoir went on to record the song again with an entirely different band called The Rivets. In this writers opinion, it’s a disappointing remake. It’s lacks the energy and pensive character of the original.

The song faded into obscurity in North America but reemerged in recent years as DJS and music fans dig for deeper cuts for their Halloween season playlists. FunHouse Radio is no exception. The remastered English version is in rotation for the season.

“Viva Las Vegas” by Dead Kennedys ~ First Made Famous by Elvis Presley

Las Vegas, Nevada is facing a water crisis. Things are not looking good. I think this shows that efforts to terraform other planets in the future may prove successful at first but ultimately fail.

The song “Viva Las Vegas” was written by Doc Pomus & ‎Mort Shuman for Elvis Presley to record as well as for the Movie of the same name featuring Elvis.

In the early days of Punk Rock, a lot of bands actually did cover versions of pop and rock songs from prior decades. They would dare to “punk-up” a song almost as a gag. Sometimes they were just out to piss on the concept of pop music itself.

The problem is that most of these cover versions never made it to release. The band may play the song live but it never appeared on an album or 7 inch record. The reason was because of the licensing fees required to keep it legal. These fees were partly due up-front. This made it a risky investment for a working class band to afford.

We got lucky with Dead Kennedys. They included “Viva Las Vegas” on their 1980 debut LP, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables.

The song had been a part of their live set almost since the band’s inception. Their version strips the musical arrangement down and uses a slightly faster tempo, yet maintains the song’s melodic structure. It features satirical lyric changes by Jello Biafra, the lead singer at the time. It was later featured in Terry Gilliam’s film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

The band exists today but without Jello. There is bad blood there. A new remaster of the album was just released. The problem here is that Biafra was not consulted and he has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the results.

I have listened to the new mixes and I concur totally. Stick to the OG mixes. Good luck to Las Vegas with that predicable global warming water crisis thing. I hope that all rich people in charge are properly compensated for their losses when they file with the IRS.

“Boa Constrictor” by Johnny Cash

What better song to listen to on World Snake Day? “Boa Constrictor” was written by Shel Silverstein.

Johhny Cash covered the song for his comedy album Everybody Loves A Nut in 1966.

The lyrics later appeared in a collection of poems, lyrics and stories called Where The Sidewalk Ends. first published in 1974.

I had this book myself as a child as well as the sequel, A Light In The Attic. I recommend booth books to any kid age 5-12. There is also a musical record to go with the first book.

courtesy of laut.de

“Sing A Simple Song” by Sly & The Family Stone

Today is National Simplicity Day. This track fits perfectly. Released in 1968, it was actually a b-side for the number one hit single “Everyday People”. The b-side surely helped the a-side to top the charts. It’s considered a hit in it’s own right by fans.

Since it’s release has been covered by a number of acts, including Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Commodores, Miles Davis, The Meters, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Prince, and many others.

It has also been sampled by numerous artists, including 2Pac, Jodeci, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Digital Underground, Cypress Hill, Gorillaz, Arrested Development, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, and Alanis Morissette.

courtesy of discogs

“White Rabbit (Go Ask Alice)” by Jefferson Airplane, “live” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

July 4th is Alice In Wonderland Day. The occasion is celebrated by Lewis Caroll fans around the world, but especially in England. Why July 4? According to his diary, July 4th 1862 was the day he started telling his rabbit-hole stories to Alice Liddell and her sisters.

This Acid-Rock classic is all about Carol’s famous novel.

From what I can tell, the vocals are live. In fact her performance is sublime. I think the music however is from the studio recording. The rest of the band is pantomiming. Things like this were common on 1960s TV.

Happy Lewis Carol Day. Follow the White Rabbit!

Courtesy of The British Library

-Wacky Alex

“Feelin’ Groovy” by Liberace And The Young Folk on The Red Skelton Hour 1968

“This is a perfect example of how network television was totally out of touch with what was going on in the 60’s and early 70’s.” -Dane F

“This is how the generation gap ended. All the kids loved hanging out with their parents after this aired, and Jack Webb opened an insurance business with Timothy Leary.” -Rudy S

“…For my birthday in 1969, I received a bike that had a white seat with groovy flowers just like those on the piano.” -Trisha D

“I read that they toured at Leningrad Stadium and sang for Kruschev. It nearly started WW3 when he choked on his vodka and the Politburo took it as an American plot to assassinate him.” -roblindsay101

Wait. WHAT? These are all from the comment section on YouTube.

In my opinion, this bit of footage is so bad that it’s good. It’s like watching a train-wreck but with all the cars painted up in groovy color patterns. Far out man.

If you can find something musical on youtube that is so bad that it’s good, please let us know in the comments!