Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Lurch

No music is so bad it’s good. There are many reasons to love music, but none of them are because it's bad; most music is bad and as such its principal function is to increase the joy of good music by contrast or relief when it does arrive. Part of pop’s allure is its novelty value and the novelty song genre has produced some stone cold classics, few better than The Lurch by Ted Cassidy.

Cassidy, most famous for his role as ‘Lurch’, the butler in The Addams Family, used his deep, spectral tones to great effect on this titular song. The lyrics suggest that it’s an attempt to start a dance craze, although its 1965 release would suggest that it was a little late in the day for that sort of success, and was largely songwriter Gary Paxton’s attempt to replicate the success of his 1962 hit, Monster Mash.

Mrs FET says she can find no merit in this song no matter – or perhaps especially – how many times I play it. According to her it’s stone cold crap. But then she does own a couple of Eminem albums. What do you reckon? I think this song is the bee’s tits.


Tim said...

Gary Paxton is an amazing geezer. He clearly has, or had, a handle on how to make proper novelty pop, but he was also responsible for a large chunk of the brilliant country wich came out of Bakersfield in the 60s, surrounded by a number of future Byrds of the generally (and unfairly) derided Clarence White - Gene Parsons - Gin Guilbeau type. (Anyone who has a taste for Glen Campbellish country pop and who doesn't know "The Sound of Goodbye" by the Gosdin Brothers should LEG IT to the shop or the illegal download site like NOW).

He then did a runner to Nashville, where finding God didn't stop him from making at least one crazed genius solo LP (makes Lee Hazelwood sound like Jim Reeves) and turning out some fairly creditable mainstream country while he was at it: I have an LP he produced on Vern Gosdin for Elektra in the late 70s, which is surprisingly fine.

LMorland said...

I'm very interested in this song, as my father coached Ted Cassidy in college, and he's still one of the most famous people to come out of Stetson University (DeLand, Central Florida).

Could you possibly post the song on YouTube sometime? I imagine that the rights have expired....

Thanks much in advance!