Saturday, January 26, 2008

Remembering...Dickie Goodman

While on downloading some of my monthly allotment of music, I ran across a true blast from past. I was very excited to find these after so many years of having not heard them.

Those of us who grew up in the 70's and the 80's probably have some recollection of the novelty records put out by Dickie Goodman - songs like "Mr. Jaws" and "Mr. President" and the "Energy Crisis". These typically consisted an interviewer asking questions and the responses would be snippets from popular songs at the time to invoke a humorous response.

Interviewer: Mr. President, what really caused the energy crisis?
musical response: Smokin' in the boys room*
Interviewer: During the crisis, how much gas will motorists be allowed?
musical response: Just enough for the city*

*taken from the songs by Brownsville Station and Stevie Wonder, respectively

Anyway, you get the idea.

As I kid in the 70's, I found these to be very clever. So much so, I would often try to make my own version of these novelty songs. I'd take my old tape recorder (this was back in the day when I didn't have a stereo that combined both a turntable and a cassette record together - I think my first combined stereo had a turntable, radio and 8-track player - but that's a story for another time), speak questions into the microphone, pause the recording, then queue up a song on my record player. I'd hold the tape recorder up to the speaker, wait for just the right spot, release the pause button to record, then pause again. This could easily keep me busy for a Saturday afternoon. Sure it was hours of work to perhaps produce three or four minutes of stuff to play back, but it was a fun and creative exercise to do. Just something to keep me busy - especilly during those cold winter days when it was just too miserable to go outside in the weather.


Michael O'Connell said...

Wow. Talk about a flashback. I can remember sitting around with my cousins and making up "Mr. Jaws" jokes of our own...and yet, I have no memory of the actual song. Did I even ever know there was one? Or did we just pick up playing that game along the way? I can vividly remember, right now, riding in the back of a car, saying, "Mr. Jaws, what are you doing with that life preserver?" and then singing the Bee Gees' - "Staying alive, staying alive".

Martin said...

Mike, that's exactly on point. Good one. Yeah, you must have suconsciously knew - perhaps your cousins might have heard it. "Mr. Jaws" charted in the summer/fall of 1975 for seven week, reaching the highest position of 4 in the top 40.