Before we get into the subject at hand here, please be aware that in today’s New York Times there is a brilliant opinion piece on the Op-Ed page titled “We Can’t Work It Out; Why I Finally Broke Up with The Beatles” by Josh Max. Most interesting!
On another subject, Dickie Goodman was famous in the 1970’s for putting out novelty records in which he did mock interviews about current events or pop culture. The responses were in the form of snippets of pop songs of the day. In 1974 when the U.S. was engulfed in the famous energy crisis, Goodman put out “Energy Crisis ’74”. The song features songs from three ex-Beatles: “Helen Wheels” by Paul McCartney and Wings; “Mind Games” by John Lennon; “You’re Sixteen” by Ringo Starr.
As interviewer, Goodman is pretending to interview President Richard M. Nixon and asks, “Who do you believe the gas shortage will affect the most?”. Then, the answer is the snippet of “Helen Wheels”.
The very next question is, “Mr. President, the crisis must be solved, what do you intend to do?” Then, Lennon sings, “Keep on playing those mind games.”
Then, in a phone conversation with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. He asks, “King Faisel, what are your thoughts when you look at oil those oil wells?”. Then, the snippet of Ringo singing “You’re mine, all mine” is inserted.
It is impressive that this silly song actually landed in the Billboard Hot 100 at number 33.
Actually Paul McCartney appears in another Dickie Goodman novelty hit, “Watergrate” in 1973. “Watergrate” of course was a spoof on the Watergate scandal surrounding the Nixon presidency at the time, and used Wings’ hit “My Love”.
Dickie Goodman scored a major hit in 1975 with his novelty song “Mr. Jaws”, which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mr. Jaws” was in reaction to the movie Jaws, which was the box office smash for the summer of 1975 and is considered the first ever summer blockbuster, laying the ground for the movie industry ever since to release major movies in the summer.
Dickie Goodman died in 1989 at age 55 after a lifetime of making novelty records.
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