Friday, 3 May 2013

DR. DEMENTO LIVES ON.

Novelty songs have been a favourite of many people, perhaps since the beginning of humanity. Even during the days of the cylinder record, artists with a sense of humor wrote and sang side-splitting ditties.


Having a love of word play, puns, and silliness in general, I've always enjoyed novelty songs. The first one I remember hearing was Don't Let The Rain Come Down. Being only five years old, I enjoyed that song by the Serendipity Singers. My brother, Roy, and I loved Susan Kristie's song, I Love Onions. I remember riding in Dad's Volkswagen as the radio blasted out that song back in 1966. A few years later, Ray Stevens recorded several novelty songs which I enjoyed immensely.


When I learned how to play the guitar, I wrote a few songs of my own. They were pathetic compared to the tunes that I loved but I had fun singing them.


Then I heard The Dr. Demento Show in the autumn of 1975. It was a gold mine of hilarious songs, some dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. I felt astonished and delighted when I heard all the silly ditties which Dr. Demento played each week. The show stayed on the local radio station for a year and then disappeared. I never knew what happened to it until recently.


Meanwhile, I heard a new singer named Weird Al Yankovic. He sang a parody of a Queen song called Another One Rides The Bus. I thought at first that he would be a one-hit-wonder like Joe Dolce and his song, Shut Up You Face.


As the decades passed, I didn't hear too many novelty songs on the radio. Then I discovered YouTube and all the wonderful songs that people had uploaded there. I spent hours searching for bands and artists who released novelty songs.


Whatever happened to Dr. Demento? To my delight, I googled his name and found his site. He still hosts a podcast, though no radio stations air his show at this time. It's too bad since I'm sure that University students would appreciate his treasury of humorous songs. If you wish to hear his programs and you have a PayPal account, visit his Dr. Demento streaming audio page.


Though I didn't mention this maverick DJ in my How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity book, I did mention my love of puns and word games. Check out this e-book and paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers pagesDemento