Song of the Day: George Gobel, “Are You A Turtle?”

Actor, comedian, and musician George Gobel would be 102 today (he passed away in 1991). George was from Chicago and started as a country singer on the WLS Barn Dance in the late ’30’s. He was an early TV personality who had his own popular show in the ’50’s, and was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. On one of those appearances in the early ’70’s, he debuted the song "Are You A Turtle?", a novelty song that was inspired by the Ancient and Honorable Order of Turtles. The Turtles recognize each other by asking riddles that could have an off-color answer, but don’t (example: What does a man do standing up, a woman do sitting down, and a dog do on three legs? Answer: Shake hands.) It’s assumed that every Turtle owns a sweet-tempered donkey, and when asked "Are you a Turtle?" he replies with "You bet your sweet ass I am."

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day: George Gobel, “Are You A Turtle?”

  1. I never knew this was a song. After following the link to Wikipedia, I have to also say I don’t remember ever knowing the Turtles started in WWII. Since a Viet Nam vet was the first to ask me “are you a Turtle?” I thought it came from ‘Nam. Are people still Turtles?

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