Friday, October 24, 2014

Your Mental Sorbet: Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Monster Mash

Here is another "Mental Sorbet" little spark of madness that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

"Monster Mash" is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. The song was released as a single onGary S. Paxton's Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The "Monster Mash" single was #1 on the Hot 100 chart on October 20–27 of that year, just before Halloween. It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since.

Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called The Cordials at night while going to auditions during the day. One night, while performing with his band, Pickett did a monologue in imitation of horror movie actor Boris Karloff while performing The Diamonds' "Little Darlin'". The audience loved it and fellow band member Lenny Capizzi encouraged Pickett to do more with the Karloff imitation

Pickett and Capizzi composed "Monster Mash" and recorded it with Gary S. Paxton, pianist Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae, Rickie Page, and Terry Berg, credited as "The Crypt-Kickers". (Mel Taylor, drummer for The Ventures, is sometimes credited with playing on the record as well, while Russell, who arrived late for the session, appears on the single's instrumental B-side, "Monster Mash Party".) The song was partially inspired by Paxton's earlier novelty hit "Alley Oop", as well as by the Mashed Potato dance craze of the era. A variation on the Mashed Potato was danced to "Monster Mash", in which the footwork was the same but Frankenstein-style monster gestures were made with the arms and hands.


Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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