It was close to 30 years ago that I first heard Barbara and the Boys’ immortal 45, “Hooty Sapperticker”, on the Dr. Demento show. Many years later, it was mentioned prominently in Dave Barry’s series of columns (and book) on the worst records ever made, and it continues to hold that status for many who have heard it. Why that is mystifies me – I consider it inspired idiocy, along the lines of Alfred E. Neuman’s “It’s a Gas” and “The Blob” by The Five Blobs – the sort of ridiculous rock and roll record that I can listen to over and over again without ever growing tired of it. It’s certainly far better than any number of highly regarded “serious” rock and roll records that I could take up the rest of this page listing. It was also co-written, by the way, by the Sherman Brothers, who would soon go on to great success in a series of films and other projects for Walt Disney. This single has been shared on many sites (although not here), but because of what came next in my search for a copy, I’m sharing it here, as well:
Over the last several years, I have periodically looked for a copy of this 45, without success. It occasionally shows up for auction on eBay and other sites, but typically goes for far more than I’m willing to pay for a single 45, particularly not one I've had on tape since the '80's. Thanks to a like-minded collector friend, I now have the high quality MP3 of it, shared above. But in seeking out this 45, I’ve come across some interesting facts. First, at least a few DJ’s across the country (including Chicago's legendary Dick Biondi) were in the habit of using the name Hooty Sapperticker in running gags, during the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s. At least one even had a jingle using the name, although it apparently was not the tune heard on either of the records I’m sharing here today.
Finally, and most surprisingly, my search led to a 45 from about 1967, by Andy Rose and the Thorns. This record has the same title but is otherwise unrelated to Barbara and the Boys’ record. While I wouldn’t put it in the same league as its '50's namesake, in terms of appeal or quality, it has its own charms as well:
For completists, here is the B-side of Andy Rose’s record: