Music on Mondays (11-2-15)—Don’t go walkin’ in the woods alone

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music always has been a significant part of my life since my mom played the piano and organ, her parents played the violin and flute, and I played the piano and violin, as well as sang. Although I have an appreciation for classical music, I prefer full orchestra over solos, duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, and octets.

When I was introduced to The Beatles in late 1965, I fell in love with pop music. After I graduated from Texas A&M University, I set out to own all of the singles and albums that had made it to #1 on the Billboard charts during the rock ‘n’ roll era, generally said to have started in 1955, the same year I was born. That led me to Casey Kasem (1932-2014) and his American Top 40 weekly broadcast, as well as books by Joel Whitburn documenting the Billboard charts.

Music trivia became a part of my life, so much so that I won several weekly happy hour music trivia contests in Houston and College Station during the ’80s.

Two areas of music trivia I always have found interesting: “one-hit wonders” and “most #2 hits without having a #1 hit.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival held (and probably still holds) the record for most #2 hits without having a #1 hit with five #2’s: Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River, Travelin’ Band, and Lookin’ Out My Back Door. They also had a #3, #4, #6, and #8. I have a complete Creedence Clearwater Revival discography; I like their music since it’s easy to sing along.

Another group on the “most #2 hits without having a #1 hit” list is Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs, with two #2 hits: Wooly Bully and Lil’ Red Riding Hood. I always liked Lil’ Red Riding Hood and just discovered that it was not in my digital music collection. It is now.

This song, while building on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” is more about the man with concealed sexual intentions rather than the animal, although some might say that the man with ulterior sexual intentions is an animal….

The singer remarks on the “big eyes” and “full lips” that Red Riding Hood has. An added element is that he says to the song’s audience that he is disguised in a “sheep suit” until he can demonstrate his good intentions. Note that instead of a sheep’s baah the song uses a wolf call in the form of a howl.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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