DOPEY, BUT CATCHY
Look, I like novelty records. I don't care who knows it. I hate camping but I love camp.
As a collector, I usually look for things that satisfy a whole bunch of cravings. Books made into films, records by anyone who has no business singing, anything in poor taste.
As a longtime student of Max Shulman's humorous works(Barefoot Boy with Cheek, The Zebra Derby, The Feather Merchants, etc.) I was well aware of the television series (1959-63) inspired by Shulman's Dobie Gillis stories.
What I didn't know was that Dwayne Hickman recorded an album of songs, simply called Dobie!
|Dobie! by Dwayne Hickman (Capitol T1441, 1961)|
It's not good, but it's great. Do you know what I'm saying? I've been listening to this record for days. The singing is fine, nothing special, but so goddamn melancholy at times I want to slit my wrists. The arrangements by Jimmie Haskell are terrific, and the angels singing backup are outstanding.
The songs? All over the place.
The record kicks off with "Bad Reputation" which sounds like a Ricky Nelson reject as written by a decidedly square and very white bread Jesse Jackson:
I had a bad reputation, such a bad reputation
But all of that is through
'Cause after much mediation
Here's my declaration
A love that will be true
"Don't Send a Rabbit" is a cautionary tale about a sad sack who sends his buddy to pick up his girlfriend and they end up running off together. Which is why you don't send a rabbit to the store to bring home carrots, a monkey to bring home bananas, or an elephant to bring home peanuts.
It's a J. Walter Weatherman lesson, minus the missing arm.
And then there's the oh-so-earnest-it-hurts "A Most Impossible Dream."
We kiss and you whisper that you love meThat's a most impossible dream
Like a star so far above me
Just a most impossible dream
You're the princess, I'm the beggar
I could never share your throne
Yet I stand outside your castle
Dreaming all alone
We touch and you tell me that you need me
That's a most impossible dream
Where will all this dreaming lead me
It's a most impossible dream
But they say that love works miracles
So I'll dream as dreamers do
That a most impossible comes true
The three other songs on side one are "My Personality," "Angel," and "I'm a Lover, Not A Fighter." More of the same, all of it very odd audio gold.
I'm excited about side two.