Monday, July 23, 2007

Musical Monday......OHW's

I have a very good friend by the name of Rod Bowles. Rod was in the funeral business for years as it was his family's business also. We were sitting at a local Tavern last week enjoying the cold beer and fine conversation, when the subject of San Francisco came up. We had all been there before, and we were exchanging our experiances there, when Rod's story gave me my idea for Musical Monday, and the current "theme" that I have been milking as of late...
He said that the last time he was visiting San Fran, he met an old classmate of his for a drink at a local bar...As they were exchanging yarns of old, a local friend of Rod's buddy sat down at their table with a beer in hand and extended his hand and introduced himself.......
Hi, ...Norm Greenbaum. Yes folks THE Norman Greenbaum!! The performer of arguably The most famous One-Hit Wonder of all time..."Spirit In The Sky"...Rod said that he sat with them for about an hour before he moved on to some other friends that he knew there. Rod's buddy says he comes in everyday, drinks a few brewski's talks with the locals for awhile then goes home. He does nothing but live off of the royalties for his one hit song...40 years ago!!!
I guess he mentioned to them that he gets about 68-80 Grand a year for his one hit, enough to live on and enough to drink a beer every so often with....Heres Norman's story....

Norman Greenbaum was born in near Boston in 1942, and studied music at Boston University.
He was a singer/songwriter and had some local success before being asked to move to Petaluma California by his record producer. He felt that the Cali setting was more conducive to writing a solo album....And while he was trying to finish his album, he ran a goat and dairy farm to help pay the bills..Oddly enough he was not the 1st Jewish farmer in that area, in the early part of the century, a group of Jewish Soicialist Chicken farmers settled in that area, and flourished until the 50's..
Greenbaum's first solo album debuted in 1969 called "Spirit in the Sky", it's first two singles flopped before the title track was released. It reached as high as #3 on the charts, and sold over 2 million copies.....Unfortunately all of his subsequent works were not received well by the public, and he sort of dropped out of the music business. He knocked around with odd jobs for a while, before things started to turn around for him in the Mid-80's. The song was re-released in Britain and soared to the top of the charts for a long time, thats when the real $$$$ started coming in because his song was used in TV commercials and several movies including...
"Contact", "Apollo13", And "Waynes World"..
One final note on Greenbaum; he has the dubious achievment of having 2 One-Hit wonders!!
How is this possible...You may ask?? In 1968 under the name "DR. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band" He recorded the modest hit " The Eggplant That Ate Chicago" how many of you can remember that one?........I can!


Little Wing said...

Look at me, Number One!

Never heard of this guy but it's a great story!

Snow White said...

I remember the song, and lately from the movie, "Remember the Titains." I have the soundtrack. I must admit, you stumped me with the other song though. I don't believe I've ever heard of it! As usual, great post, G-Man! xox

Little Wing said...

The eggplant that ate Chicago??????!!!!!

No wonder he bombed!

Serena Joy said...

Heh. I never knew what happened to Greenbaum. That's a shame, too, because I liked 'Spirit in the Sky' a lot. 'The Eggplant That Ate Chicago'? Nooooooo! Never, ever heard of that.:-)

Charles said...

Chicago's gone? SJ just had a video...

I loved the story of the amp in that song, caused the bass to sound like nothing else before or since, had a bad pentode in it. I'd have loved to have had a look at it while it was like that.

Its cool Greenbaum isn't stuck on himself. Its nice to run into people like that.

Little Wing said...

Was the eggplant that ate Chicago anything like the attack of the giant tomatoes??????

barman said...

I know his one song but not the Eggplant. I shall have to look it up when I get home and see if I can find it.

What a cool thing to do. Amazing he can bring in all that on one song.

My SanFran story was not near as fun. I lost my tickets and had to get a replacement return trip until I could claim the other tickets as lost. Of course the people at work got a little millage out of it. See, boring. Sure there are others but they do not compare either.

Who, I ask you, can one up the G-man?

Crabby said...

He wrote the Eggplant that Ate Chicago??? That's my very favorite song!
Naw....I'm lyin again.
60-80 grand for one song? We are all in the wrong business people. We need to make some music.

PS. G-man and Ebezp are offering free sex at the cowpie field. Ebezp is giving away freer sex than G.

G-man, you're gonna have to step it up a little. I know you're tired but I just found out I need 7 votes to hit number one and not'll be needing to keep that stamina up. Wanna a gatorade or something?

MyUtopia said...

lol, so does that make him bad luck ? ;) Interesting and informative as always.

MONA said...

Galen dear... I shall come back & comment in the morning! It is after 2 AM here & when I started reading this I read something like 'Red Bowels' in the first line. So I stopped attempting to read any more!

I'll Be back! :D


dickiebo said...

My wife, Barbara, used to be P.A. to the M.D. of a Recording Studio. They had such Artistes as Acker Bilk, Roger Whittaker, Lonnie Donnegan, Blue Mink, etc. She used to tell me that the Artistes made a fortune from the Royalties, but I never quite believed it until now!

EBEZP said...

Never heard of the egg plant thing but thanks to Google!!

My sex is freer than yours G but it'll only be in Europe so don't worry!!

Go Crabby!

Go G!!

SignGurl said...

Spirit in the Sky is one of my favorite songs. I make my girls listen to it often and they almost appreciate it.

You have too much fun.

I'm waiting for sex from you because I voted for Crabby.

barman said...

OK, I heard it on Sadie Green Sales Ragtime Jugband ... Frogs, Toads & Egg Plants. Pretty corny. I wonder if I heard the same song?

Oh and GUESS WHAT? I better not tell. I will have to save it for something in addition to my next post.

jillie said...


I love that song Spirit in the Sky. I remember when it came out.

Whew are we really that old????

snowelf said...

Oh! I actually like that song! :)
The music to it is so awesome.

Happy Musical Monday Galen!!

Your favorite little student,

Little Wing said...

wacka do, wacka do??????

Anonymous said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september... here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

G-Man said...

Congratulations on landing today's starring role!!! xoxox

Lady Di,
I'm so glad you are home, and of course you are wayyyyy too toung to have heard of that flash in the pan..Thanks xox

Serena Joy,
Maybe you are too young to remember it also...
You sure like it anyway.
My Comely Crimson Kumquat!
Thanks...Galen xoxobgxoxo

Good Evening Charles, I heard that there has been some wild activity going on around Blog land today, did you have anything to do with it?

Yes JD, as a matter of fact I think that the song was inspired by the movie...Thank You for asking..xoxoxo

Barman....You were there, I was just relaying a story!!
Lots of people can one up me Bryan, especially when it comes to PC's..
We need a One-Hit wonder brother....

I'm doing my share, but that darned MilkMaid wore me out right off the bat...Damned RedHeads!

Thank You Myutopia,
I hope you are feeling better.....Galen

Go to bed!!!

Simon My Man!!
Thanks for taking on Europe brother, These American women are voracious....G

Mr. Acker Bilk's "Stranger on the Shore" is a classic for sure, and Lonnie Donnegans "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor"....was in my 45 collection for years
Thanks for Memories....G


Don't do this to me!!!

You heard That one on the oldies station also!!
You are NOT that old..xox

Hi SnowElf,
Thanks for comming sweetie, wheres my apple?

..."I hear tell your doing swell,and things are looking good, I wish I had your happiness, and you had a do wakka do wakka do wakka do!!!
Roger Miller"....

Serena Joy said...

Au contraire, I remember it well. Crimson kumquats. LOL. Of course, those green ones are sour, you know.:-)

Hale McKay said...

I remember "The Egg Plant That Ate Chicago." I never knew Norm Greenbaum was part of that group though.

(I even have the 45 drawing must and dust somewhere down in my basement.)-No I didn't buy it - I inherited somehow.

I read that Don MacLean is still rolling in a pile of dough for "American Pie."

G-Man said...

Hale Mckay!!!
Validation, thank you my friend, sometimes I think that my minions think I make this crap up!..I'm just a purveyor of existing information thats all!!

Serena Dear,
NOTHING on you is sour!!

lime said...

that is astonishing that oen song can make that kind of royalites! and no i never heard ot the egglpant song

Strumpet said...

I really need to go listen to this tune about the eggplant!

J Morgetron said...

La La La.
Congratulations on the big win.
I'm proud of your trash talk.

G-Man said...

Welcome back Trini,
You sure were missed..
I'm glad you had such a great time..xox

Yeah, That tune actually got some airplay....
Not a classic though.
Nice to see you sweetie.

I'm so happy, that when I get my prize, I'm doing a HNT with it...

MONA said...

Galen.. That is uch a beautiful story...I never heard any of those songs But I will now take the link that Simon has povided!.. I MUST listen tyo that song to see what evryone is here going crazy about!

G-Man said...

Yes Mona,
Please do, you'll love em both....xoxoxmrxox

MONA said...

Galen? no no no... Charles did not have anything to do with it... your friend roxwhateverishername dressed you funny first!... Why alone Charles Even I would have got the same idea!

Ok Take a pot shot at ME! I have been atrocious & obnoxious! But I am not the one who cannot take a joke on myself!...