This edition of The Week That Was is brought to you by Hamm’s Beer, from the land of sky-blue waters!
So today’s prompts are "greet, hey, howdy," and I decided to go with something a little off the wall. Off the left field wall, because it’s a baseball song.
In 1969, the Chicago Cubs had one hell of a year. They led the newly-formed National League Eastern Division from the start of the season, and the longer the season went on, the more it looked like they were going to run away with it. Great for Cub fans, of which I am not one: I followed the crosstown White Sox, who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory most of the time. It was cold comfort for us when the Cubs went from 9 games ahead on August 16 to falling out of first place on September 10 and ending the season 8 games behind the New York Mets.
Anyway, they looked really good in June, which is approximately when the Cubs’ fight song, "Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel," came out. The first lines of the song were the exclamations uttered by the Cubs’ announcers, Jack Brickhouse ("Hey Hey!"), Vince Lloyd ("Holy Mackerel!"), and Lou Boudreau ("No doubt about it!"), when a member of the Cubs hit a home run. The song was written by I. C. Haag with music by John Frigo and was sung by the Len Dresslar Singers.
The lyrics, as well as several MP3’s of the song, are on Critter Bob’s webpage.
No doubt about it,
The Cubs are on their way. (Hey hey!)
The Cubs are gonna hit today,
They’re gonna pitch today,
They’re gonna field today.
Come what may the Cubs are gonna win today.
Hey hey! Holy Mackerel!
No doubt about it,
The Cubs are on their way.
They got the hustle.
They got the bustle.
The Chicago Cubs have come to play.
The Chicago Cubs are on their way.
It took the Cubs 47 more years before they won a World Series.
And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for June 13, 2021.
I took Driver’s Ed in high school, because it was a required course. I did well in the Rules of the Road portion, but I had the misfortune of drawing possibly the worst driving instructor in history for my time behind the wheel. Illinois High School Association rules stated that all coaches had to be full-time teachers at the school, and Mr. G, who was the defensive line coach, had no college degree, so they made him a driving instructor. He had a quick temper and any small mistake behind the wheel led to him yelling and generally making me feel like pulling the car over, getting out and walking home. He convinced me that I had a depth perception problem and probably should never drive.
A few years later, I was a supervisor at a food plant, and one of my jobs was driving a forklift. I told the personnel manager about my experience with Mr. G and was ordered to see an optometrist to ensure that I wouldn’t drive a forklift off the loading dock. After giving me the test, my optometrist muttered something about idiot Driver’s Ed instructors and certified me safe to drive.
I still didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 28 and working a job in which I traveled heavily and had to rent cars. I was a reasonably good driver, and got lots of experience driving to and from client sites and out in search of food and entertainment In the evenings. Many trips between Atlanta and Chicago made me a confident motorist.
The last time I drove was the day that I had a stroke. From that point on, Mary has done all the driving. I was tested by a person who would re-certify me, and while I got through that, I was presented with a 5-page document telling me the modifications I had to make to our van, I decided it wasn’t worth it. One Sunday morning, I asked Mary if I could try driving the van. I was barely able to climb in on the driver’s side and couldn’t operate the gear shift. At that point, somewhat tearfully, I admitted I couldn’t do it, and that was that.
You know, I was friends with several defensive linemen in high school. I should have asked them to have a talk with their coach…
From their 1984 album Heartbeat City, The Cars with "Drive."
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Bert and Harry about Piels beer.
Young and Rubicam came up with this ad campaign, featuring "Bert" and "Harry" Piel, voiced by Bob and Ray (Bob voiced Harry, Ray voiced Bert).
Singer and actor Jim Nabors would be 91 today (he died in 2017). Best known for playing Gomer Pyle in The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, USMC, he had been living in Honolulu at the time of his death. Carol Burnett would have him on the first show of her variety show each season and considered him her "good luck charm." This performance of "The Impossible Dream" happened on Gomer Pyle, Season 4, Episode 9.
As I mentioned last week, there are a number of instrumentals that feature the human voice in some form: speaking, whistling, singing either with syllables (e.g. "la la la" or "ooh") or with a phrase repeated (e.g. "people all over the world" in MFSB’s "TSOP"). I’ve gathered five examples for your listening enjoyment.
Ramsey Lewis with Earth, Wind & Fire, "Sun Goddess": Title track from Ramsey’s 1974 album. The song was written by Maurice White and Jon Lind and reached #20 on the Hot Soul Singles chart and #44 on the Hot 100.
Chicago, "Happy ‘Cause I’m Going Home": From 1971’s Chicago III, written by Robert Lamm. Lamm and Pete Cetera "la la" through the first half, the second half is an extended flute solo by Walt Parazaider. This has been covered several times, notably by Charles Earland.
Danish National Symphony Orchestra, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly": The Ennio Morricone theme song as covered by the Danish National Symphony and The Danish National Choir, under the direction of Sarah Hicks. Christine Nonbo Andersen does the vocalization and whistling throughout, with Tuva Semmingsen does the vocalization in the second half. The orchestra did several works by Morricone that are out on YouTube, so you might want to check them out.
Toots Thielemans, "Bluesette": Best known for his harmonica playing, Toots was also a remarkable guitarist who could whistle the notes as he was playing, which, speaking from experience, is not as easy as it looks, particularly not at the level of expertise with which he does it.
Van McCoy, "The Hustle": According to Wikipedia, no one had much faith that Van’s 1975 album Disco Baby would do especially well when it was released, but somehow "The Hustle," inspired by dancers at a New York nightclub doing the dance, took off and became a #1 hit on the Hot 100 and the R&B, Adult Contemporary, and Dance charts and won the Grammy in 1976 for Best Pop Instrumental Performace. (There were apparently two dances called "The Hustle," an East Coast and a West Coast version. The song worked with either one.)
And that’s Five For Friday for June 11, 2021.