Nervous Norvus


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"Transfusion" is one of the best-known novelty songs of the 1950s and the biggest hit for Jimmy Drake under the alias of Nervous Norvus. Drake began his career as a composer of pop and novelty demos. He teamed up with DJ Red Blanchard, who gave him his pseudonym and aided Drake with effects and behind-the-scenes production skills for Nervous Norvus recordings. Their most lauded mutual affiliation, "Transfusion" was a sonic admonition to reckless "barnyard drivers" -- as Drake calls them -- who "come in two classes: line-crowding hogs and speeding jackasses," and it shot all the way to the Top Ten in June of 1956. Among Drake's fortes is his keen sense of rhyme and use of hip (by late-'50s standards) jargon. The demented ditty commences with Drake blowing a raspberry into the microphone to simulate the sound of an automobile in need of a new muffler. The story begins as he is "tooling down the highway" at nearly 80 miles an hour. The narrator proclaims himself as a "twin-pipe papa" right before running a stop sign. The resulting accident requires our "hero" to undergo the first of what will be a series of blood transfusions, which Drake always requests in short, memorable stanzas including "Slip the blood to me Bud," "Shoot the juice to me Bruce," "Pass the crimson to me Jimson," "Pass the claret to me Barrett," "Pump the fluid in me Louie," "Put a gallon in me Alan," and finally "Hey daddy-o/Make that Type O, huh?" Each wreck is followed by a vow that he's "never, ever, ever gonna speed again." Of course, all of the mishaps are due to operator error, such as "cross[ing] the center line" because he has "gotta make time," "pass[ing] a truck on the hill ahead" (which sends his "red corpsuckles" [sic] into a state of "mass confusion"), "pass[ing] a slow poking cat on the right," and other forms of generally poor vehicular progression. Parties wishing to hear more of Drake's work are encouraged to locate Stone Age Woo (2004), a 33-track compendium with never before circulated material, not to mention both the A- and B-sides of the three 45s issued on the Dot label.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1990 Rhino
Cra-a-zy Hits 1990
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 2:23
Crazy Rock 1991
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:25
Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time 1991 Rhino 2:27
Wacky Weirdos 1992
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:24
Dot Rock 'N' Roll 1996
Various Artists
Ace 2:27
Wacky Favorites: Weird & Wild 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time / Life Music 2:23
Hot Rods & Custom Classics 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:23
Stone Age Woo 2004 Norton 2:25
No Image 2006
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
Paramount Records 2:22
No Image Big Beat Records / Geffen 2:22