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Turn It Up

Turn It Up: December 21, 2012

Long Live the King (RockBeat Records) is really not too ostentatious a title for a compilation given the fact that the late Dickie Goodman, also known as the King of Novelty, created a comedic genre that blazed a creative trail for Weird Al Yankovic, the modern-day equivalent of Goodman. But while Yankovic’s greatest talent is recrafting pop songs into clever parodies, his Brooklyn-born predecessor was a true creature of the studio—cobbling together snippets of popular songs and plugging them into a scenario with a pop culture connection while posing as a reporter on the street to tie the whole scenario together. This anthology not only contains early songs addressing the ’50s sci-fi craze (“The Flying Saucer Part 1 & 2,” both 1956 Top 20 hits; Santa & the Satellite Part 1 & 2”), but spins on the  ’60s 007 craze (“James Bomb”), college unrest (“On Campus”) and even the moon landing (“Luna Trip”). Most will be familiar with the ubiquitous ’70s AM staple “Mr. Jaws,” which found Goodman targeting Steven Spielberg’s cinematic shark while tossing in samples of songs by War, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Glen Campbell, The Bee Gees and The Eagles.

Politics was also a popular target whether it was during the administrations of Nixon (“Watergrate”), Carter (“Election’80”) or Reagan (“Election ’84”). And while Goodman in 1989, son Jon put together “Election 2012,” which touches on the Obama/Romney race and using contemporary touches like having the election be determined by an appearance on America’s Got Talent all the while tossing in those sound bites of both candidates singing and song samples of Bruce Springsteen, Human League, The Lion King, E.T. and The Go-Gos.