Sunday, November 19, 2017


Here's "Turkey Mambo." 

Thanksgiving is next week. So get your Tofurkey NOW. If you eat a real turkey, you might feel like the covergirl above, and think you've been cut in half at the stomach.

No way would this blog endorse or celebrate killing animals. There's a reason the President of the United States always pardons a turkey. It's to send a subtle message against cruelty. Although this year, if Trump pardons a turkey, visions of his ugly demented sons murdering elephants and lions will still be hard to erase.

The irony is that most people don't even like turkey (not when dere's frahhhd chickun). Chicken is much easier to cook. Just ask Curly Howard. Roasted turkey requires time, stuffing, basting, and great care to avoid a dry and overcooked disaster. PS, we all know there's a drug in turkey that makes you so sleepy that if you don't pass out on the couch, and instead try to drive home, you just might smack into a lightpole.

(Parenthetically noted, if you wonder why this blog is topical over Thanksgiving, but is not devoting space to the recently deceased Malcolm Young or Mel Tillis, it's because those two artists are very famous. Young's AC/DC sold FIFTY MILLION copies of "Back to Black," which ranks it second ONLY to partially black Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in sales. FIFTY MILLION copies. This blog is for obscurities, like "Turkey Mambo," which maybe sold 5,000 at best.)

Richard Hayman (March 27, 1920 – February 5, 2014) ) was a virtuoso on the harmonica, and a capable music arranger and conductor. After a stint with the Harmonica Rascals, and working for the MGM music department as an arranger, he created charts for Vaughn Monroe's big band. He signed with Mercury for a bunch of easy listening albums. And as any dumbfuck would tell you, listening to music is very difficult. The average jazz or classical piece is WAY too challenging. 

The Haymaker's version of the movie theme for "Ruby Gentry" (simply titled "Ruby") was a big hit in 1953. He worked as an arranger for the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler, and later conducted "Pops" concerts himself for many years with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. With "easy listening music" no longer selling (and being given away by emotional Dutch bloggers instead) conducting 4th of July concerts and holiday-fests was a way for Hayman and orchestra musicians to keep doing what they loved. 

Hayman's albums were not just Jackie Gleason or Melachrino-type collections of sound-alike romantic violin music. More similar to MOR albums by Charlie Barnett or the Elgart Brothers, each album side kept listeners alert with actual changes in tempo. They sometimes snuck in a novelty tune. "Turkey Mambo," which turns up on "Let's Get Together," is much more ridiculous than other, more usual tracks, such as "Port of Spain," "Song of April," or "Never Again."

"Turkey Mambo" is a mild big-band version of "Turkey in the Straw," which is stupid enough, but what renders this even more ridiculous, and delightful, is the chorus of middle-aged men who happily call out "TUR-KEY! MAM-BO!"


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