Number One Halloween Song!

The #1
Halloween Song Of All Time!


When Elvis Presley heard it, he called it “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

At least four record labels turned it down.
 
The BBC initially banned it in England, deeming it offensive.
 
In spite of its dubious beginnings, “Monster Mash” it stands alone as the #1 Halloween hit song of all time…
 
 
When I first polled my radio friends, it wasn’t even close. “Monster Mash” by Bobby (Boris) PIckett and the Crypt Kickers was a unanimous choice for #1 among those polled. One of my radio friends, Bill Phillips, perhaps said it best:  ‘Monster Mash’ is to Halloween as ‘White Christmas’ is to Christmas.” 
 
As Pickett told me in a 1991 interview, the song’s roots are tracked to his ability to win talent contests with his 
dead-on impersonation of Boris Karloff. Then he applied his unique voice sound to his California-based 
group, the Cordials. He’d use it on the monologue on the song “Little Darlin'” (which the Diamonds took to #2 in 
1957).
 
 He would utter in his Karloff-like way, “My darling, I need you…to call my own.” Eventually, Bobby and 
his friend in the Cordinals, Leonard Capizzi, wrote the song. Then, Bobby remembered the time his 
group performed at Will Rogers State Beach and how a red-headed teenage girl approached them afterwards. She 
said, “My old man is Gary Paxton. He sang ‘Alley Oop’ (a #1 hit in 1960, when he called himself the Hollywood 
Argyles). He produces stuff now. He’d love you guys. Give him a call.”
 
Bobby did…and after at least four label rejections, Paxton pressed about a thousand copies on his Garpax 
label, hand-delivered copies up and down the California coast…and the rest is music history. “Monster 
Mash” shot to #1 for two weeks in October, 1962. In 1970, it recharted for three weeks and reached #91 one
 chart and #72 on another. In 1973, the BBC lifted its ban on the single…and it charted for a third time, reaching
#10 in the USA. 
 
It’s the only novelty single to reach the top 10 on separate chart runs. To this day, “The Monster Mash” is 
the longest charting novelty record ever with 37 weeks total. 
 
Pickett and Karloff never met face-to-face. However, Bobby heard through a friend who saw Karloff buy the 
single at a record store. Karloff told Pickett’s friend, “I love the record.”
 
Pickett did the recording in one take although there was a pickup, or slight editing job. To get the bubbling 
sound effects, someone blew through a straw in a glass of water. For the coffin opening, someone pulled a 
rusty nail out of a 2×4. 
 
Bobby Pickett died April 25, 2007 of leukemia. He was 69.

TOMORROW:
A BANK COMMERCIAL SONG
BECOMES A WEDDING SONG CLASSIC

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