Friday, September 09, 2005

Bert Convy: The Monster's Hop/Gorilla (Contender CT-510)

Here we have another instance of the "Before They Were Stars" syndrome. In this case, Bert Convy, long before he became known as the host of "Super Password" and other game shows (and a panelist on "Match Game PM"), was a member of The Cheers who had a hit with Leiber & Stroller's "Black Denim Trousers." He also cut this oddball item suitable for Halloween or anytime you want to play something off the beaten track.

Let's start with "Gorilla," which kind of sounds like Convy's attempt to be Sheb Wooley a la "The Purple People Eater." But there's a little twist ending in store. See, he and the kids are out of school with nothin' to do, so they go to the zoo. They're havin' lots of fun just lookin' at all the animals when someone shouts out:


That's right, folks, the gorilla is loose and raising hell. But when he hears rock 'n' roll from a record shop, he stops what he's doing and starts to bop. Ah, the power of good ol' rock 'n' roll! Then, a purple people eater flys by. The gorilla reaches up and grabs him and eats him whole! See what I meant about a twist ending?

"The Monster's Hop" is just as crazy, if a bit more grim. In this tale, our singer happens on a party where Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy are doing their thing and it freaks him out. There's an organ playing with no organ player. And (in my favorite bit) "The headless horseman was combing his hair!" Our singer escapes, but he escapes traumatized for life. And all of us 21st-century listeners can say is "What a wimp!"

The music itself is pretty standard late 50s rock 'n' roll backing, but the sheer craziness of both sides makes this worth seeking out. You get your bits of monster laughs and crazed yells and stuff, plus the lyrics for both songs are pretty funny.
Not bad for a guy whose future lay ahead in game shows.

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