Sunday, September 19, 2010

PANCHO THE PARROT "I Left My Heart in San Francisco-Bali Hai"

One of the memorable moments on "The Tonight Show" was when Pancho the Parrot came through, and sang a few bars of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Up till then, most talking birds just sat and did nothing. Or barely said "Hello." At best, a mynah bird announced "My name is Howard." (The famous clip was on YouTube, but has been blocked via DMCA from Carson Productions, since they sell it on various "Tonight Show" compilation DVD's and don't appreciate the "if you like it, buy it" mentality.)

So delightful was Pancho on that September 16th, 1981 broadcast, that somebody decided to try and get him to actually record "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Which was hard to do for a bird-brain who could only cover the song's first 15 words. However, Pancho also knew a little bit of "Springtime in the Rockies" and "Bali Hai," and the result? The medley you are about to download, augmented by generic Mitch Miller orchestration and a somewhat fun-dampening bunch of middle-aged choristers.

Pancho is a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot (which means that his entire head is yellow, not just the "forehead"). Back then, the bird's chief rival was Lolita, a mere yellow-naped Amazon parrot (just a spot of yellow on the back of her head). She could sing a bit, and could bark or meow, but her main charm was a girlish laugh she picked up from her original owners who had a kid around the house.

Owners of amusing birds such as Pancho know it's important to treat them well, and that doesn't simply mean adequate food and water. The trade-off for a parrot or even a budgie subjected to captivity, isolation from its own kind, or clipped wings, should be minimum time confined in its cage and a maximum of love and attention. Do you know why a caged bird sings? It could be that it's gone nuts, a winged creature who can fly for miles finding itself confined in a cage where it can only walk sideways for a few inches in either direction. People think this isn't cruel? If they do, they left their hearts in some place other than San Francisco, and their brains as well. Pancho at least still sings his three tunes out in the open at a theme park, and isn't confined the rest of the time in a confining small cage that for us, would be as degrading and claustrophobic as a toilet stall.

PANCHO THE PARROT "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" Instant download or listen on line. No pop-unders, porn ads, or premium account sale attempts from pimp-like file hosting "services."


Anonymous said...

Is Poncho still alive?

Ill Folks said...

He probably is still alive, and amusing people at some theme park or other. I think there are some YouTube videos of him.

Parrots can live a very long time, so when you buy a parrot as a pet, it's literally yours for life.

Duncan said...

THANK YOU! Too funny, AND awesome!!