Today In Pop Music History (11-25-2015)

THE B SIDE OF
“THE BIRDMAN OF ALKATRASH”
HITS THE TOP


Imagine this…you’re 16 years old and you’re asked to sing lead vocals at a recording session for a group…
 
Even though you’re not a member of the group.
 
And the song’s supposed to be the B side for a single entitled “The Birdman Of Alkatrash.”
 
Well, that B side became a psychedelic rock and roll classic…and the new #1 song in the USA on this day in 1967…
 
 
According to Wikipedia, Mike Munford was the friend of the Strawberry Alarm Clock members who sang lead vocals on “Incense And Peppermints.”  According to writer Fred Bronson, drummer Randy Seol sang lead vocals on “Incense And Peppermints” in concerts because he sounded like Munford. 
 
Fourteen years later, on the September 12, 1981 “American Top 40” show, “Incense And Peppermints” was played as part of AT40’s airing the #1’s of the 1960’s in chronological order. But it wasn’t Casey Kasem who played the song. Instead, it was Gary Owens, who was filling in for Casey. Ironically, Gary Owens was best known for the TV show “Laugh-In”–and the first rock group to appear on that comedy TV show was…
 
The Strawberry Alarm Clock!!!
 
“Those were the beginnings of videos for the most part as we known them today,” recalled Owens. “The cast of ‘Laugh-In’ wanted someone who was well known musically and yet ‘hip’ to a young and old audience. The Strawberry Alarm Clock kind of filled the demographic bill.”
 
Two people associated with “Incense And Peppermints” are in rock and roll heaven. Guitarist Lee Freeman was 60 when he died of cancer in 2010 and John Carter, the song’s co-writer also died of cancer the following year. Carter was 65. The Strawberry Alarm Clock had five other hits but only one, “Tomorrow” (#14), made the 40.
 
For more on the song…
 
 
And for more on the group…
 
 

TOMORROW:
SHE ONCE HAD JUST
36 CENTS TO HER NAME…



 

 

 

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