FEVER DREAMS ON 45

 

A couple years back, I was digitizing some novelty 45s, and decided that I had enough a-list stuff to make a great goofball mixtape. It came together better than I’d dared to dream: in fact, FEVER DREAMS ON 45 may just be the best mix I’ve ever made. The cassette version is long gone, but this collection of inexplicable one-offs by folks determined to share their oddball gift (or at least get their point across) demands to be shared far and wide. As such, I’ve made it available for streaming here, in hopes that it may bless fresh ears.

 

SIDE A:

HEIKKI LUNTA- Heikki Lunta’s Snow Dance Song
Heikki Records 326
Heikki Lunta is a legendary figure in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a bastardization of a Finnish concept of a monster who dances to bring the snow. I guess I didn’t have to explain that, since that is exactly what the song does. Everything on this record is credited to Heikki Lunta himself, which I guess means he’s real…

LARRY SHANNON HARGROVE- Leave Bill Clinton Alone
Big Bidness Records BB #218

I guess the weirdest thing about this record is that they bothered to release it as a 45, instead of just doing a CD single. The latter would make more sense, given the era. Anyway, a classic topical song made way funnier by Father Time.

JERRY MEADOR & THE COUNTRY MELODY MAKERS- Silly Belly Button Rub
Cowboy Joe Records 1001
What just happened? Whatever it was, it came from Clawson, MI… not exactly a hotbed of country music (or any other kind, at that), which may explain why one of the few records to ever crawl out of Clawson is so bizarre in its subject matter. A relative actually contacted me about this one when they found it on my old blog! Sadly, Jerry Meador passed from this plane several years ago…

THE COWSILLS- The Prophecy Of Daniel And John The Divine (Six Six Six)
MGM K-14063
The Cowsills, as any pop historian knows, were an American family band most well known for the song “Indian Lake” (tune into an oldies station long enough and you’ll hear it). This song, released a couple years after that hit, is way weirder… a mournful melodrama that would be somewhat forgettable if not for the backing vocals bursting through with the chant “six… six… siiiix…”. Weird.

JACK BLANCHARD & MISTY MORGAN- Tennessee Bird Walk
Wayside WS.45-010
My dad used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little, to the point that I thought it was either a), a standard, or b) something he/his family wrote. Not so, but it was a big hit, #1 with a bullet on the country charts (peaking at #23 in the overall Top 40). Different times…

BOOZOO CHAVIS & HIS ZODICO ACCORDIAN- Hamburgers & Popcorn
Goldband G-1161-2
For years, I assumed that zydeco records (or zodico, as it’s spelled on this 45) had nothing to offer me except headaches and a tensed-up back. That’s still mostly true, but thanks to this recording, featuring great extemporaneous vocals by “Little Brother”, I can now say that I don’t HATE zydeco. Everyone wins!

THE BEACH BUMS- The Ballad Of The Yellow Beret
Are You Kidding Me? Records H-010
A perfect novelty record, no matter how infuriating the message. A two-pronged parody of both draft dodgers and “The Ballad Of The Green Beret”, with vocals by none other than (wait for it…!) a very young BOB SEGER. No kidding. The B-side, “Florida Time”, was also featured on an early single by Seger & The Last Heard, along with “Sock It To Me Santa”, proving that despite his phenomenal late ’60s/early ’70s work, Bob Seger was always a cheese.

J.J. FONTAINE featuring NEON RUSSELL- American Foxes
Unique Kinda Records 1
Goofy-as-hell hard rock/almost-punk, clearly self-released. Comes with a “pinup” that is just a crappy caricature of Mr. Fontaine. Brilliantly dumb, just like the inscription on the non-playing side of this one-sided monster: “The other side, turkey!”.

CLAY GLOVER- Michigan Lottery
Million Dollar Records MDR 1974
The thing that amazes me most about this record (which came out of Jackson, MI) is that he manages to not rhyme throughout the whole song. I don’t think it was on purpose.

ALICE MARTIN- Charlie, The Christmas Chimpanzee
Kontention K-102
Maybe I like Christmas music, after all.

 

SIDE B:

SOUL PARTNERS- Boo Boo
Bell B-792
In which an already excellent, ridiculous novelty groove becomes transcendent, thanks to the singer’s completely inexplicable bellow of “Hot Dog!” during the fadeout.

SALVAGE- Hot Pants
Odax OD-420
I’ve never been able to dredge up much info on this group/single, except that they may’ve been a more known group recording under a different name. Anyway, a great bubblegum/novelty song about things that matter.

GORDON SINCLAIR- The Americans (A Canadian’s Opinion)
Avco AV-4628
Just in case you thought U.S. citizens were the only ones driven to jingoism by misinformation and misdirected patriotism, Gordon Sinclair is here to prove you wrong. Apparently, he was a big deal news commentator in his day.

BUDDY KNOX- I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself
Roulette R-4140
Easily the cheeriest song I’ve ever heard about suicide. Great (if slightly squeaky-clean) rockabilly teen melodrama from the singer of the hit “Party Doll”.

RODNEY ALLEN RIPPY- Take Life A Little Easier
Bell 45.403
Buddy Knox should take this kid’s advice. About life, not singing. Well, maybe both. Rodney was a minor celebrity in the early ’70s, primarily for his appearance in some very popular Jack In The Box commercials… look him up on Youtube…

HEIKKI LUNTA- Heikki Lunta Go Away
The B-side of the Heikki Lunta song that kicked off Side A. Poor Heikki Lunta!

 

BONUS (NON-45) TRACKS:

CRAFTMASTER featuring ROBBIE ROB- Crack Attack
12” single, Craftmaster Records, Inc. 2000
This would be pretty pedestrian old-school rap even with its funny lyric, but what really does the trick is Robbie Rob’s vocal, Gloriously sloppy and off-the-beat. One doubts that he was giving Kurtis Blow any sleepless nights…

LINDY MICHAELS- Communicable Diseases
from “Ragamuffin Child” LP, Vault VS-412
This song loses some of its impact when not in the middle of a really pedestrian pop vocal record, but it’s still a real “WTF?” moment.

 

NOT ON ORIGINAL CASSETTE:

U.S. SHEEP- The Chong Bong Song
U.S. Sheep were a band formed by members of Ann Arbor/Detroit bands Wig and Morsel in the late ’90s. Judging from this track, they were mostly a joke cock-rock band. Smart move to only put out one single, but man, it’s a killer.

Dustin Krcatovich is a cartoonist, writer, designer, founder of FM DUST, and a collector of certain curios and ephemera (with a focus on 20th century "junk culture"). His writing and illustration work appears frequently in The Quietus, Tiny Mix Tapes, and Esquire's Culture Blog. He is also a former editor and contributor to Secret Zen Garden,Saagara's illustrated mindfulness/wellness blog for young people. He currently resides in Portland, OR.