Steve Greenberg looked at the history of the sung for a recent sequence of his podcast “ Speed of Sound. ”
Greenberg explains that Pickett was in a local anesthetic group that was playing around LA, and at the time, the U.S. was going through a giant movie madden. Films featuring Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, and so forth were on television receiver for the first clock, which drew a new generation of audiences.
“ It was actually a very big cultural fad. There were monster lunch boxes and monster exemplary kits. … Monsters were hot in America, ” he says .
Pickett tried to cash in on the monster fad by doing a song in the voice of repugnance film star Boris Karloff. “ In order to do that … he actually cashed in on so far another craze … this dancing called ‘ The Mashed Potatoes. ’ ”
Greenberg continues, “ It was that menstruation of dance crazes in America, like the Twist … and the Watusi and all those dances. They all had records attached to them. so Bobby Pickett decided to do a parody of the song ‘ The Mashed Potatoes ’ and using as its discipline topic, the monster fad. So he combined two cultural crazies of the moment to make one record. ”
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Greenberg says Pickett tried to get the record signed by LA labels, but everyone passed. then it was picked up by a belittled mugwump label called Garpax, owned by Gary Paxton .
“ Garpax Records was the only people who would put out ‘ Monster Mash. ’ But it turned out to be a act one read, and not fair the count one record at the meter. It actually came back 11 years late into the top 10 again in 1973, which is a very strange matter. Because when it came back in 1973, it wasn ’ t even Halloween. The record started to hit in the form, and it got into the acme 10 in 1973 in August. ”
Greenberg says Pickett was a one hit wonder, and by the time “ Monster Mash ” hit the acme 10 again in 1973, he was driving a taxi in New York City .
“ Until the time of his death a few years ago, he was one of those people who could always make a living performing [ at ] skill fiction shows and horror shows … amusing shows. … And he would be Bobby ‘ Boris ’ Pickett, and he would do ‘ Monster Mash, ’ ” says Greenberg .
— Written by Amy Ta, produced by Christian Bordal