Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Flip Side for Ted Cassidy: WESLEY
Everybody knows "The Lurch," Ted Cassidy's dance single. It was hollowly growled in his Lurch voice from "The Addams Family." Though the single's now rare and expensive, the song has been anthologized, most recently on the "Hollywood Hi-Fi" CD, which includes obscurities from Jack Larson, Joe E. Ross, Dennis Weaver and Bette Davis.
The single arrived in 1965, produced and written by Gary Paxton, of "Monster Mash" fame. Taking a break from the ooky-spooky, the country flip side, "Wesley" (Scott Turner--Cliffie Stone) utilizes Cassidy's normal speaking voice, and is probably closer to his own preferences in music. After all, Cassidy (July 31, 1932 - January 16, 1979) grew up in West Virginia, and started college at West Virginia WESLEYan. He probably enjoyed C&W narration items when he worked as a disc jockey in Dallas (where he interviewed eye-witnesses to the JFK assassination). Probably his most famous film role was in a western; "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." At memorabilia shows, when fans brought that iconic photo of Butch Cassidy kicking Ted Cassidy...he'd autograph it directly at the crotch area!
"Wesley" offers Ted's narration with honky tonk piano and some back-up singers. I'd say "distracting" back-up singers, but Wesley reminded Ted and now reminds us: "If you can't say something good about someone, don't say nothin' at all."
WESLEY - TED CASSIDY