Answer records and parodies

THE BIRCH CREEK BROTHERS' 'You've Lost That Beaver Cleaver' (WLPX 13176) is, of course, a parody of the Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin''. Under the song title, the label states parenthetically, 'with much respect to the Righteous Bros'. The Birch Creek Brothers, Max and Duane (as named on the label), were, as nearly as I can determine, WLPX morning disc jockeys of the time. The song tells the heartbreaking story of a viewer's disappointment in a local TV station's decision to cancel its syndicated reruns of prototype American sitcom Leave It to Beaver.

'He's Not A Rebel' by EL CLOD (Mercury 72087) is, obviously, an answer to THE Crystals' 'He's A Rebel'. Trouble is, even though I can understand all the words, I'll be damned if I can understand what it's supposed to be about! My best guess is that it has something to do with trouble with the law, but the prose is abstruse at best. Each verse and chorus of this surreal version, sung in a thick (and, I'm guessing, fake) Hispanic accent, is different from the others. One refrain goes, 'Just because he's always shining/His submachine gun/That's no reason that/I can't try to run...' Huh? It's produced by Marty Cooper and H. B. Barnum.

'He Loves Me, He Loves Me!!!' by VIVIAN ROBERTS (Clark 264), despite the title's lack of clues, is another answer to 'He's A Rebel', though with a completely different melody. In the song, written by R. (Rickie?) Page, Vivian exchanges remarks with her rival in the call-and-response chorus: '(He's a rebel)/No, no, he's not a rebel/(He's trouble)/No, no, you just don't know/(He'll leave you)/No, no, he'll never leave me/(He'll hurt you)/No, no, it just ain't so/Stop trying to tell me he's no good/Because you'd just steal his love if you could'. So there!

'He's A Rabbi' by DAVID ROTER (Unknown Tongue 101), is a hilarious parody of 'He's A Rebel'. The subject of the song sounds like quite a catch: 'Just because he does not eat bacon, ham, and pork/That don't mean that I can't give him everything/He is always brave and true/Got a degree from NYU/More than a rabbi, CPA to me...'

Civil War imagery is alive and well in 'He's A Yankee' by THE SWEETHEARTS (Brunswick 55240), yet another 'He's A Rebel' answer with an original tune and plot. Unfortunately, I can't understand all the words of this Alan Lorber-arranged girl-group stomper, but it's clear that the singer is imploring her mother not to reject her boyfriend just because he's 'not from Tennessee'. The bridge begins, 'They say he'll never never be any good/Try to understand...'

'I'm Your Rebel' by PAUL THORNTON (Tru-Lite 115) is still another. Rather than merely converting Gene Pitney's lyrics to the first person, the singer throws in a few variations: 'You know I'm proud when I'm holding your hand/Forget the crowd; they just don't understand/I will always be your guide/I'll stay right here by your side/Just because of that I say/I'm your rebel and I'm gonna hafta try to be good/I'm your rebel and I'm gonna hafta do what I should'. All I can say is, if Mr. Thornton's commitment to the object of his purported affections is as half-assed as his expression of them (or his 'singing'), she would probably be wise to develop a contingency plan.

Cursed with uncoordinated partners, JAN & KELLY spoofed dance crazes including the Twist, the Hippy Hippy Shake, the Bird, and the Hitchhike on 'And Then He Kicked Me' (Philips [UK] 1323). It must be heard to be believed. I can say no more.

The song 'SKID ROW (DOWNTOWN)' on the original soundtrack to the movie 'Little Shop Of Horrors' (Geffen 24125) is an answer to the Crystals' 'Uptown'. It's led by the film's Greek chorus, played by Michelle Weeks (doing her best Darlene Love impersonation), Tichina Arnold, and Tisha Campbell, whose characters' names in the film are Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon.

SPITTING IMAGE re-casts 'Da Doo Ron Ron' as a song about Ronald Reagan's bid for reelection on their 1984 single 'Da Do Run Ron' (Elektra [UK] 9713).


In a different, but also politically motivated, re-appropriation, the same melody appears as the foundation for a spoof of a corporate accounting scandal in THE FIFTH AMENDMENT's song 'Enron-Ron', not released in pre-recorded form at the time of this writing but available at

In the song 'Gummibär'n' (Teldec [Germany] 6.15041), PETER & STRANDJUNGS appropriate the melody of 'Da Doo Ron Ron' for a song about Gummi Bears.

'Da Doo Ron Ron' (Funster [UK] 1) serves as the basis for yet another novelty disc, this one released as a tribute to the late TV impressionist Dustin Gee, with proceeds going to the British Heart Foundation. Gee and his partner Les Dennis were renowned for their impersonations of Vera Duckworth and Mavis Riley, two much-mimicked characters from the long-running soap opera 'Coronation Street'. The lyrics concern Vera and Jack, a couple on the series: 'I met him on a Monday and was taken aback/Somebody told me that his name was Jack...' Billed as VERA AND MAVIS, the performers on the record are Chris Kay (as Gee as Vera and Jack) and Paul Carrington (as Dennis as Mavis), accompanied by the Coronettes (it says here).

The reworked lyrics in satirical song stylists BARRON KNIGHTS' medley of three Beach Boys songs - 'California Girls', 'Fun, Fun, Fun,' and 'Good Vibrations' - assert that, contrary to the original songs' claims, California girls are in fact generally obese and quite plain. The unflattering medley also incorporates one - count it, one - line from 'Then He Kissed Me', in which the lyrics come out 'Well, she waddled up to me like a sumo wrestler out in Japan'. It's on the group's 'California Girls' LP, released in New Zealand on WEA 600138.

Danish novelty act ONKEL DUM OG BANANERNE (Uncle Stupid and the Bananas) recorded a twisted version of 'Be My Baby' called 'Spædbarn' ('Newborn Baby'), released on their CD 'Vi går bananas' ('We're Going Bananas'), (Danish) Harlekin HMMC 4356. The reworked plot line follows a woman from her decision to go off the pill and conceive, through her joyful anticipation of the birth, on through the neonate's arrival and early life. Over that time, the mother's excitement turns to horror once reality sets in, and by the end of the song, she is alternately threatening that "When the pig turns 18, I am throwing him out" and that long before that time comes, she will "strangle my little baby/my ugly little baby/cut the head of my little baby.' Warm and fuzzy stuff!


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[ Part 2 ]
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[ Part 5 ]
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[ Part 7 ]
[ Part 8 ]