Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Halloween Playlist

Throw out that “Creepy Sound Effects” CD! There are much better ways to set the mood for Halloween. Rock out to some songs that never go out of style! Here are our favorite musical treats to celebrate the spookiest night of the year.

What are your favorites? Do you have any to add to our list?

“Monster Mash” – Bobby “Boris” Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers (1962)
This yearly favorite has been on the top Billboard charts three times since it was released. It was originally banned by the BBC for being “too morbid,” but reached number three on their charts when it was eventually released in the United Kingdom eleven years later.

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
were always dressed for Halloween!
“Thriller” – Michael Jackson (1982)
Fortunately, the BBC overcame their reservations about dancing monsters in time for Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video. The original lyrics for this song were pitched as, "Starlight! Starlight sun..." It was re-written as, “Thriller, thriller night…” when “Thriller” was chosen as the title for the album.

“Wooly Bully” – Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (1965)
This crazy tune was Billboard’s number one record of the year. The title “Wooly Bully” was actually the name of Sam’s cat.

“Li’l Red Riding Hood” – Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (1966)
Following the success of “Wooly Bully,” Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs released another eccentric classic. Evidently, Miss Hood was a popular gal. The Big Bopper has a similarly themed song, “Little Red Riding Hood,” released in 1958.

“Purple People Eater” – Sheb Wooley (1958)
The child of a friend once asked Sheb Wooley, "What has one eye, one horn, flies and eats people?” The punch line: “A one-eyed, one-horned, flying people eater!” Sheb Wooley composed this song within the hour, and the rest is rock n’ roll history.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins played the part
when performing "I Put A Spell On You."
“That Old Black Magic” – Ella Fitzgerald (1961)
This song was originally written in 1942 with Judy Garland in mind. In addition to Judy Garland, this popular tune has been recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Glen Miller, Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mercer, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, Bobby Rydell and more!


“I Put A Spell On You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1956)
This spooky song was originally intended to be a blues ballad and love song. During the recording session, Jay Hawkins and his band had a little too much fun and a little too much to drink. Their accidental odd-ball recording became an instant underground hit, launching Jay Hawkins’ singing career.


“Witch Doctor” – David Seville (1958)
Ross Bagdasarian Sr. released this song under the name David Seville. The voice of the witch doctor is actually his own, sped up to double speed. He also used this technique to create the beloved animated series Alvin and the Chipmunks.


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