Saturday, May 29, 2010

POPS FOR TOTS - cheap novelty tune COVER VERSIONS

Over at musicyouwont.blogspot, where obscure budget-label cover versions are a specialty (along with a whole lotta Grofe, Griffin and Gospel), Lee Hartsfeld mentioned scoring a copy of "Pops for Tots," sans cover. Well, here's the cover. And what the hell, the music, too. (PS, the back cover is just reproductions of 12 other Audition budget albums that were being sold at the time..."Beautiful Echoes from the South Seas," "The Ink Spots," Honky Tonk Piano," etc. etc.)

The album was a rarity for its time…a 33 1/3 aimed at kiddies who, if they had a "victrola" at all, only had 45's to play on it, like a scratchy copy of Patti Page's "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" or yellow vinyl RCA Victors starring Howdy Doody or Kukla Fran and Ollie. Maybe the kids still had 78's, such as Groucho Marx's "The Funniest Song in the World," which was on the Young People's label and issued in both 78 and 45 rpm format.

An album? Gosh. Bigger than a child's head! But by the time "Pops for Tots" arrived, budget albums had a list price of $1.98, which was a bargain considering you got 10 or 12 songs. And thanks Lee; I'm using your 128 kbps version because its very clean, and mine comes from much scratchier vinyl that would've taken a long time to try and de-pop and de-click. Hell, even the album cover was beaten up (you'll note the yellowing strip of cellophane tape from one side to the other, caused by a rip...fortunately while the record was on the turntable).

The download features very adequate versions of "Purple People Eater" and "Witch Doctor" (budget constraints mean there's no speeded up vocals for the creatures…just somebody singing in mild falsetto). Back then, most songs were pretty childish even if they weren't aimed at kids, and that includes "Lollipop" and "Gingerbread" as well as "Short Shorts," "Splish Splash" and "Western Movies." The only entry that doesn't quite fit is "Poor Little Fool," which isn't something any little boy back then knew about, since the only Mary Janes he was eating out were made of peanut candy. The compilation also includes two instrumentals, the goose-like organ piece "Patricia," and a nice take on "Rebel Rouser," which could've been a child's first intro to the world of the twangy guitar (although the "magic twanger" may have already been experienced, by Froggy the Gremlin fans.)

Here's nostalgia. Here's POPS FOR TOTS, and thanks again Lee! Check his blog for lots more 50's and 60's budget cover versions of rock hits.
POPS FOR TOTS Shared rapidly.

Update November 2011: Rapidshare deletes files if they aren't uploaded often enough to suit them. Some songs have been re-upped individually via a better service:

"SPLISH SPLASH" -anonymous guy trying to be Bobby Darin
some guy doing PURPLE PEOPLE EATER
POPS FOR TOTS cheap cover version of WITCH DOCTOR

Download or listen on line. No pop-ups, porn ads or use of sleazy companies that pay a percentage to bloggers for their "hard work." The hard work was done not by upping files, but by the original writers and performers.

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