Rhino Records
Rhino Records

When radio was radio: The good old days of Dr. Demento...


From what now seems like a very, very long time ago, when radio dials were round and you could barely hear the humming of the tubes and transistors, your Rock And Roll Blimp was one of the first stations to air the (now legendary) "Dr. Demento Radio Hour" and it was a perfect fit for weekend listening. Crazy hits from established artists, novelty records, one-hit wonders, songs that were banned or bleeped, the good Doctor kept track of all the weird tunes that would occasionally make their way onto the Blimp playlist (even if it was on the fringes, which is pretty much where you can reliably find the more adventurous in equal measure with the more moronic).

Always presented with a twinkle in his eye and a certain finger hidden out of sight, we have to admit that even when we weren't sure whether we liked a song or not, Dr. D was there to lay it on us anyway, just to see what would happen. We miss that.

There's too much stuff to get into and categorize, so we thought we'd start with something simple, like "Dr. Demento's Top Ten Records Of The 1960's". You bought some of these. We know you did.

(10.) "Alley-Oop" - The Hollywood Argyles. Alley-Oop was a comic strip caveman; an argyle was a pattern composed of various colored diamonds on a plain background. Hey, you might be in a trivia contest someday.


(9.) "Bounce Your Boobies" by Rusty Warren. These used to be called "Adult Party Records" and she sold millions of 'em with no radio airplay whatsoever!

(8.) "Martian Hop" - The Ran-Dells. Early '60's fixation with sci-fi meets late '50's doo-wop. Bingo!

(7.) "Surfin' Bird" - The Trashmen. Went to #4 in 1964. Often imitated, never really duplicated.

(6.) "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!" - Allan Sherman. Simple: just take an old song, put some new words in.


(5.) "Monster Mash" - Bobby "Boris" Pickett. Went to #1 here, but it was originally banned by the BBC back in 1962!

(4.) "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" - Brian Hyland, who was just 16 years old at the time when this one made it to #1 in 1960. As Sixties as it gets.

(3.) "Tip Toe Thru' The Tulips" - Tiny Tim. An underrated archivist, actually. To hit the radio waves during the height of psychedelia with a song from 1929 was definitely going to put you on the map.

(2.) "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago" - Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band. 5 years after this flirted with the singles chart in 1966,  Dr. West would gain classic rock immortality with "Spirit In The Sky". Yup, in real life Dr. West was actually Norman Greenbaum.


(1.) "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" - Napoleon XIV. New England's own beloved The Fools used to blast this through the PA before the band would take the stage.


Next go round, the "Dr. Demento Top Ten Of The 1970's".


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