Friday, 23 January 2009

Story Songs #4 - Royal Guardsmen, Benny Hill

Fourth in a series - find more stories on How Marvellous..

Whilst it's not essential for a Novelty hit to have a good story inside (think the Smurfs & Joe Dolce for starters), it certainly helps, in my opinion. I could argue that it was the Snoopy connection alone which got The Royal Guardsmen's second single so far up the charts in '66/67, but there can be no doubt that it was a traditional story-song in content, even if not the subject matter.

Snoopy vs the Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
Snoopy vs the Red Baron (1966)
buy | website

The Royal Guardsmen split in 1969 - doubtless worn down by successive Snoopy recordings - however, they reformed in 2004 & released err Snoopy vs Osama (buy) - hmmm.

Righto, here's another novelty-with-story hit, this time from Benny Hill - possibly a re-write of Frank Gallop's 'The Ballad of Irving', which was a parody of 'Ringo' by Lorne Green ( ahh, more story songs to investigate...), Ernie started as a popular song within The Benny Hill Show in 1970. Popular enough to chance a 7" single release after inclusion on a Benny Hill album - 'Words & Music', Ernie reached #1 in the UK charts around Christmas 1971, keeping Jeepster by T Rex off the top (hell's bells!).

Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) - Benny Hill
Words & Music (1971)

I've been reminded of Benny Hill several times lately, as his music & antics feature on Simpsons re-runs; so I'd better include the theme tune, just to save you searching for it.

Benny Hill Theme

Benny's Place

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