Dr. Demento's Delights

Dr. Demento

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Dr. Demento's Delights Review

by Ken Dryden

Barry Hansen, whose syndicated Dr. Demento radio program took off in the mid-'70s, featured oddball records of all kinds from several decades by artists both famous and obscure. This initial anthology assembled by Dr. Demento is one of his best. It helped give Allan Sherman's "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!" a new lease on life some dozen years after its first triumph on the airwaves, even though Sherman sadly was not alive to enjoy the attention, due to his death from a heart attack in 1973 at the age of 48. It also revived a forgotten record by Spike Jones, "Ya Wanna Buy a Bunny," which featured trumpeter George Rock's patented little kid vocal. There was also a new record by Doodles Weaver of "Eleanor Rigby," on which he has a blast skewering its sappy lyrics just as he had similar fun with "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" during his days with Jones. He also revives one hit wonder Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!," and shares little known tunes like Possum's "The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati," and Harry "The Hipster" Gibson's boogie-woogie hit from 1944, "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" This collection remains a hard one to beat.

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