Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Batman and Mary Jane

Speaking of Patty Duke, I used to like the old Patty Duke record, "Please, don't just stand there..." And however it went from there, "Come kiss me, you silly fool" No, that's not right. I probably, maybe still have it in a box somewhere.

I was actually just listening to a couple old 45s, which I haven't done for a few months. But I got them at a couple garage sales a few weeks ago.

The first one was an obvious cash-in on the Batman craze in the late '60s: The Camps, "The Ballad of Batman" and "Batmobile." Both written by Sonny Curtis, so a connection back to Buddy Holly. And one of the websites I saw puts this record in the Crickets' discography! So that's awesome. Here's a great link for Batman related rock groups. I love these guys in their Batman outfits, or multiple Robin costumes!

Side A (Parkway P-974) tells about Batman. "This is the story of Batman and Robin." Making things tough for the underworld mob. Making things safe for the little boys and girls. Tells what Batman and Robin wear. And that kids marvel when they pass. Good song, 'Fun fun fun' to drive the Batmobile. The delivery actually has a tinge of Bob Dylan's delivery, faintly.

Side B has a rockier sound. In fact, it's essentially one of the standard rock tunes. Like if you took the words out, it sounds just like a dance tune from a beach movie.

The other record is by a guy I've heard of, but that's about it. Ernie Maresca. Basically from the Tab Hunter/Frankie Avalon/James Darren time frame, but he definitely looks working-class. He had a famous song, "Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out), which record I don't believe I've ever had.

The one I was playing was Seville 45-119, "Mary Jane," which may be the B side. It sounds similar in certain ways to "Geraldine" by Jack Scott, but is just basically a rocker addressed to Mary Jane, and what she does to him. The other side is "Down On The Beach," which is an A-side sounding title. Opens with "dum-diddly's," so it's meant to be a group/fun song, and indeed, it tells about getting together at the beach and doing the latest dances. Twisting, mashed potatoes, getting together with Patty Ann and Johnny Angel. We're going to have a party, it's true! School is out! I'll bring my yo-yo, my boomerang won't come back. Numerous references to the latest fads (of circa 1960-61).

Neither of these Ernie Maresca songs do much for me today. They were meant to push certain buttons at a certain time and make a buck. The Batman sides also aren't much to speak of. They cashed in to whatever extent it turned out to be, and that was it. But as far as being more entertaining, they are.

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