Wednesday, November 14, 2007


People have asked me how I came up with the exact title for my book. Well, when it came time to think of one, I knew it had to be based on a song title from the vintage era. Various working titles included "Those Oldies But Goodies," "It Will Stand," and "That Old Time Rock and Roll." Not bad. I mean, they all certainly had the music connection covered, but they were just way too serious. I wanted something that would suit not only the the subject ('50s & '60s rock and roll trivia) but also fit with my overall approach to the material (humorous, irreverent, downright goofy in places). Then one fine day I was listening to my favorite Internet oldies station, WPON, when they happened to play Jan & Dean's "New Girl in School." What a good one that is, I thought to myself, and went on with my day. Later on, I happened to hear them play "I Met Him on a Sunday" by The Shirelles, with that wonderful opening phrase. All of a sudden it came to me in a bright flash of channeled genius, as if all the cool spirits of those departed music legends up in Rock and Roll Heaven got together and zapped me with a collective lightning bolt: "Papa Do Run." The perfect choice.

Since then, I've also come across a rockin' little number from Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (to be perfectly honest, I didn't recall it from my youth) called "Teenage Love." Anyway, you guessed it, that one contains the immortal lyrics, "papa do run" too. Next I found out there's a band called Papa Do Run Run, a group of talented musicians who are kind of California's "house band." They've been closely associated with the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean for donkey's years. Wow. It looks like "papa do run" is at the very foundation of rock and roll. Those ghostly musicians really nailed it. So, now I wonder - are there more songs out there with "papa do run" in the lyrics? There just may be. Here's the deal. I'll give a free copy of my book to anyone who can find me another song with those three words, in that order. There you go; that's your homework.

Meanwhile, I'm posting YouTube links to the songs on my website, Someone just posted the Shirelles, and I'm going to get that link up ASAP. It's not the original 1958 version, but a 1966 re-do, a little pale in comparison; at least you can hear the song. Ciao for niao.

No comments: