Sunday, October 07, 2007


People have been asking that question for ages. Well, I'm here to answer it for you. It ain't Sgt. Pepper, folks. It's purely and simply Zacherley's MONSTER MASH album from the late 50's. And what better record for Renfield to cough up today.
Naturally, everyone knows that Zacherley is the grandaddy of all TV horror hosts. My mother regaled me with tales of watching Zacherley (then know as Roland) on Philly's WCAU-TV Channel 10 in the 50's. Zach then migrated to New York and changed his name to Zacherley (which wasn't hard since his REAL name was John Zacherle). One of "The Cool Ghoul"'s innovations was to "break into" the horror film he was showing so we'd see him doing some particularly silly thing related to what was happening in the film. Many (if not all) horror hosts have copied him but no one's equaled him. So naturally, Zacherley recorded several records in the late 50's-early 60's (and, in fact, he's STILL coming out with new songs now and then -- even in his 80's). He's also a regular fixture at the Chiller Theater convention in North Jersey. But back to this record. . . I dug my claws into this LP when I was a kid and played the hell out of it! And I've never stopped. All the songs on the album are, of course, horror themed. But the music tracks are taken from actual songs of the time like "Mashed Potato Time" and "The Bristol Stomp". But oh, the songs. . . Of course, the album title should tell you that The Cool Ghoul tries his hand at Bobby Pickett's "Monster Mash" and his version is almost as good. In fact, sometimes I prefer it. "Hurry Bury Baby" finds Zacherley trying to dig a hole in the sand for his dead wife "My Dear" whom he's squeezed to hard. Sadly, the waves keep washing her away and Zach's got his job cut out for him. "Let's Twist Again (Mummy Time Is Here)" finds Zach and Igor squeezing Mummies for Mummy Juice! "Gravy (With Some Cyanide)" has Zacherley making a special kind of dinner for his relatives. And "Popeye the Gravedigger" is digging a grave bid enough to fit EVERYBODY! All this only on the record's side one. Side Two features more classics like "Pistol Stomp", "Weird Watusi" and his radio hit "Dinner With Drac". Unlike many other "novelty" horror records of the time period, Zacherley's albums remain funny today. There's nothing that will get me in the Halloween mood more than spinning this album!

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