Cartoonist Charles M. Shulz would have turned 100 this week. He was the creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all of The Peanuts gang.
I grew up watching The Charlie Brown holiday specials on TV. A few years ago I bought a DVD that includes several of the holiday specials. I’m glad I did because they don’t show these programs on TV anymore. I love to play the DVD but I kind of miss the yearly commercials.
We have a special affection for his cartoons in Minnesota. There are statues of the characters all over the Twin Cities Metro. It borders on mass hysteria.
To mark the occasion here is a great fan video. We play this song all the time on the live stream. The Great Luke Ski is an amazing parody artist. Everyone should check out his bandcamp site.
We’ve never shied away from cringe at FunHouse Radio. Before you listen to this you need to be warned. There are shrill vocalizations that make some people to get neck hair erections. Others cover their ears, yell, and stomp feet. You might even go cross-eyed.
Not only that, but we are treated with a lot of dissonant chords on a clean tone electric guitar. If you hate Jazz, you will really hate this.
“Kiss, Kiss, Kiss” was released on the album Double Fantasy in 1980. It also appeared as the b-side to Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” single. Stylistically quite different from Lennon’s track, I think it can safely be classified as New Wave. Ono fans consider this one of her best productions. It’s been remixed several times as well.
The “orgasm” starts at 1:42 in the song. The official story is that she just simulated the sounds in a studio but you have to wonder if she set up a tape recorder and then captured her and John were doing the deed. What do you think?
Edward Khil became known to the world in 2010, when this 1976 clip of him singing on Soviet Television was uploaded to YouTube. The video went viral and became an Internet meme. It’s been described as the “Russian Rick-roll”.
In this performance Khil elected to use phonemes instead of the actual lyrics to the song. As a result it earned the nickname “Trololo Song”. This term because so ubiquitous that the singer adopted the stage name, Mr. Trololo.
The song has been referenced in pop culture numerous times. Family Guy produced a scene where the guys sing along at the local bar.
Mr. Trololo died in 2012. His final public performance was in 2010 where he sang the song to an enthusiastic crown in St Petersburg.
Who needs kitty treats? I’ve loved cats since I was a kid and I am always on the lookout for songs about them. Here are the first nine that come to mind. Most of them have entertaining music videos. If you love kitties and music, this list is for you. For best results, find your own meow-faces and have them join you while you check out these songs.
LIFE ONE : “Cool For Cats” by Squeeze
LIFE TWO : “The Siamese Cat Song” by Peggy Lee
LIFE THREE : “The Love Cats” by The Cure
LIFE FOUR : “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones
LIFE FIVE : “Pussycat Meow” by Deee-Lite
LIFE SIX : “My Cat is Afraid of The Vacuum Cleaner” by Power Salad
LIFE SEVEN : “Stray Cat Strut” by Stray Cats
LIFE EIGHT : “Josie And The Pussycats” by Juliana Hatfield & Tanya Donelly
LIFE NINE : “The Cat” by The New Christy Minstrels
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The song had been done by other polka groups before. I remember hearing it on the radio but with lyrics and in German by some other group. The Emeralds did an instrumental version which became an international hit. Soon it acquired a goofy dance routine to go with it. You may have seen it at performed a wedding reception.
Shortly after I first heard the song on the radio, TV commercials started to air for a hits compilation titled Bird Dance by The Emeralds (Show and Dance Band), a group from Canada. It came out on K-Tel Records which had some distribution in the USA, especially in the Midwest.
There are two versions of the song. This one was recorded and released first, but also appears listed as “version 2” on the compilation. Originally called “Bird Dance” people quickly nick named it “Chicken Dance” and that became the alternate song title.
This exact recording is heard in the Weird: The Al Yankovic Story while the actors do the dance. You can watch it for free on the Roku Channel. If you have not you should. it’s a great time. The song also appears on the forthcoming CD and Vinyl soundtrack to be released in January 2023. I’ve heard the new mix and I prefer the original. The new mix is too tinny.
I believe my Grandma found her copy on a merch table at the Yack Arena in Wyandotte, Michigan. Dozens of ethnic festivals were held there every year in the 1980s. Polka music was popular among the elderly population that had immigrated from Central and Eastern Europe decades before.
But because I was a weird kid, the story does not end there. You see, ever since I was about 9 years old I knew that I wanted to own a radio station some day. I was also a bit of a nerd that liked to tinker with things.
One Christmas I received an electronic projects kit from Radio Shack that looked like this.
You would follow the wiring instructions in the manual to create a host of different circuits. It was fun to put them together. One of the projects was a low-power AM radio transmitter.
I put that circuit together but I wired in my cassette recorder and connected the TV antenna located on out roof. The tape in the cassette recorder was of course Bird Dance by The Emeralds (Show and Dance Band). I went out to the back yard to find my grandmother. I tuned her radio into the broadcast and it worked like a charm. Good times. :)
Today is Halloween and this might be the most appropriate song. Released in 1993, it became an instant classic. It’s not quite as ubiquitous as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Bobby Picket’s “Monster Mash” but it fit’s the occasion like a spooky glove.
“Danny Elfman, who has scored many of Tim Burton’s imaginative films (Edward Scissorhands, his two Batman films, etc.), is a perfect musical partner for the somewhat macabre director, and never more so than here, where, Elfman gets to play the main character. The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated movie musical about the abduction of Christmas by the denizens of Halloween land, and Elfman sings the part of Jack, the Pumpkin King.” (allmusic, edited)