Saturday, May 29, 2004

 

Pop Culture Fromage

OK, no ifs ands or buts about it, The Addams Family was far cooler than The Munsters. Morticia was smoking a hookah way before it was fashionable, and a "normal" family trying to be weird is lots funnier that a weird family trying to be normal (check out the credits on The Munsters - it's the Leave It To Beaver crew).

But that said, The Munsters did have one brush with cool that's become sort of a pop culture milestone. In the episode "Far Out Munster", The Standells - way before "Dirty Water" - appeared. They did two songs, the second being a cover of "I Want To Hold Your Hand". The first one was a song called, depending on various sources, "Come On And Ringo" or "Do The Ringo". A catchy, typical mid 60's pop effort obviously designed to cash in on rampant Beatlemania. But the interesting thing about this is that while it appears in the episode, the full recording of the song is nowhere to be found. The discographies out there indicate nothing that sounds close (although there's a 1964 single on Liberty called "Peppermint Beatles", but I'd bet that isn't it).

So, was this something the Standells would've done just for the show, or was it a canned track sitting in Liberty, MGM or Vee Jay's vault? And the money question is where the heck is it today? There was a Standells rarities disc out a few years ago, with no mention of "Do The Ringo". I checked the song databases offered by the various performing rights organizations, and no mention. The Library Of Congress's online records don't go back to the '64-'65 timeframe yet. Google produces a lot of references to the episode and song, but no specifics on the actual recording. Was it a throwaway? Was it even copyrighted? Tracking this one down will require the persistence of Kaspar Gutman.

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