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2011-10-17 11:17:15

Dr. Demento's Blog - October 17, 2011

We’re getting ready for our Halloween celebration – two big new shows, uploading Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.

Until the late 1950s there were only a handful of Halloween novelty songs, but the "golden age of novelty records" (roughly 1955 to 1966) produced hundreds of them. With the continued growth of do-it-yourself (D. I. Y.) music production, the universe of Halloween music keeps expanding.

Every time I get to thinking the whole holiday has been turned over to small children, we get some very adult-oriented Halloween songs.

Still time to make your Halloween requests (act fast!) You’ve got until about Oct. 21 to make requests for our second Halloween show. I cannot of course promise to play every request, but each and every one will be considered. Please use the "Request a Song" button on the home page to make requests– it’s located in that blue area at the upper left corner.

In the 1970s and 1980s our network shows were generally recorded three weeks or more before the air date, to allow for duplication (on tape or on vinyl records) and mailing – each station got its own copy of the show, via U.S. Mail. That meant that if you made a Halloween request much after Oct. 5, it had to be held over until the next year. I can move more quickly these days, but it still takes time to seek out requested songs, check out new ones, and put everything together.

If you’ve got a new Halloween song…send it to me on an mp3 in the next couple of days (let’s say, by Oct. 19 at the latest) and I’ll give it a listen. In case our mailbox gets full, try again later. Please, just one song at a time.
Thanks so much for your responses to last week’s words. Here are a few of them:

Dr D - keep us posted on your road schedule. Will you be in the Halloween Parade?
Alas, the Trick or Treat celebration at the Orange County Marketplace in Costa Mesa, CA has been scaled back this year...budget cuts! )-: I will be appearing at a fan convention in Huntsville, AL next summer – watch for more about that soon. A few more appearances are being discussed at the moment.

Dr D - Where is the best place to get your music you play -- so I can play it on my Radio show on KCAW. Been a fan since 76 or 77 back in Minnesota. Thank You again. –CHIP
I’ve been collecting music for most of my life and it came from here, there and everywhere! It’s actually easier to find rare stuff now than it ever was before, thanks to eBay, as well as iTunes and other mp3-based websites, and of course YouTube...and we have 600+ shows worth of great Dementia available for streaming right here at Tell us more about your radio show, Chip – is it online?

Dr D - how did you find out that "Felix Figueroa" ("Pico and Sepulveda") was really Freddy Martin? -Johnny
I heard rumors for years. In the early 1980s my musician friend Brad Kay turned up a recording of Martin performing (under his own name) on an L.A. radio station in 1947, which included a performance of "P&S" very similar to the one on the record. Felix’s true identity was finally confirmed in 1986 when I met and interviewed the co-writer of "Pico and Sepulveda," the late Eddie Maxwell (aka Eddie Cherkose).
Freddy Martin’s band was featured for many years at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, and in 1947 Freddy opened a small record shop at the hotel. Freddy was signed to RCA Victor Records at the time, but recorded a handful of discs under the "Felix Figueroa" pseudonym to sell at his shop, on the "Ambassador" record label. (They were apparently available elsewhere as well, but did not receive the national distribution that RCA Victor did). "Pico and Sepulveda" was one of those.
By the way, Figueroa St. is a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles, like the other streets mentioned in the song lyrics. A year before the song came out, and with much fanfare, Felix Chevrolet opened its doors on Figueroa St.

Also – reader Ryan Johnson responded at length to my thanking Steve Jobs and Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft for making it easier for me to do the show. "It bothered me because I'm sure this is how most people think about computers," Ryan writes. "The fact is that neither of those two scumbags enabled that. The things you use in day-to-day general purpose computing were made by a large community of people in the industry who hate Microsoft, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs for many solid, good reasons. […] You can contribute this knowledge to your followers and you can join the open source movement by advocating and demanding open source business practices from companies, and refusing to be controlled by the abusive licenses typical of Apple and Microsoft products. Google has been steadily applying open source business practices and is making money doing it. It works. These other companies view it as a threat to their secrecy-based businesses."
Well-spoken, Ryan. I don’t have the space or the expertise to devote much of this blog to computer issues, but you make a good point.

More about Halloween next week!

Previous Replies:
2011-10-24 23:57:24
From: chips moondogs

Is there any way to Buy,beg,barrow,steal,down load Dr D. Basement Tapes I just finished listen to #5 and #8 Basement CD tapes and show #46 Nov.11-12 2000. GOT TO FIND MORE!!!!!!!Basement Tapes that is.
you still rock. Little prayer for your crew member that got sick.
2011-10-20 10:30:14
From: john
Dr D I have never heard The Who's Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde--is it demented Halloween material? Any thoughts regarding Careful with that Axe Eugene? Maybe that is more for your headphones only material...
Current popular music seems to lost its sense of humor...
2011-10-20 00:32:06
From: chips moondogs

Hi DR. D. I got the chance to do a radio show up here in Sitka,AK. About 3 months ago. We have alot main stream NPR shows. Most shows are done by volunteers here. It took me a bit to hit on Comedy songs. I had about 12 records and 15 CD to start with. The station(KCAW) has your six Album set plus about 80+ albums. My second show in made the commitment to do comedy. Well wouldn't you know they started renovating the Cable House(its 100+ years old. Had to put 60% of library of records in storage.(which included all Comedy albums. They are still in storage :{ . No one had a comedy show except for Stupid and Contagious on Friday nights for a younger crowd. More slap stick a bit course on subject matter. I was given 0000-0200 Wednesdays slot (I help out my girls Mom during the day health reasons). I opened with The Radio adventures of Dr. Floyd followed closely Beetle B Dr.Demento Delights. Followed by Monty-Python's Contractual Obligation album. The show is 2 hours long no PSAs or weather reports. I have on . I hope to be around for awhile. We are mostly run by volunteer host. We are working on getting on line very soon. Enjoy your shows always. I'm also doing two Halloween shows. Thank you Chip

2011-10-18 01:14:11
From: lindaheern
just wanted to say thanks for the many many years of joy your show has brought me. and now that i have found you here on the internet you can bet that my children will be listening as well.:)