Ever wondered about the origins of the Halloween song, The Monster Mash? Here’s how the iconic tune, deemed “too morbid” by some, became a smash hit for decades to come!
A tune that’s become synonymous with the ghoulish holiday of Halloween is The Monster Mash. But have you ever wondered about the story behind how this toe-tapping, spine-tingling classic came to be?
Well, it’s time to unmask the mystery behind The Monster Mash!
Halloween Song The Monster Mash Origin Story
By day, Bobby “Boris” Picket was an aspiring actor. But by night, he performed with a band named The Cordials. Singing wasn’t Bobby’s only talent, though. As a lover of horror films, he also had a knack for mimicking spooky voices.
One night, while on stage with his band, Bobby performed a monologue in the style of the movie actor Boris Karloff (famous for his role as Frankenstein’s monster). It was a huge hit with the audience!
Bobby’s bandmate, Lenny Capizzi, suggested he do more with his ghoulish impressions. So, Lenny and Bobby sat down and wrote the now-famous Halloween song, The Monster Mash.
“The song wrote itself in a half hour and it took less than a half hour to record it,” Bobby said.
The Making Of A Graveyard Smash
Bobby Pickett and Lenny Capizzi recorded the song with Gary S Paxton, pianist Leon Russell, Johnny MacRae, Rickie Page, and Terry Berg under the name of The Crypt-Kickers. Plus, The Blossoms, which featured singer Darlene Love, provided backup vocals.
Though the song The Monster Mash was released during the summer of 1962, it’s no surprise it soared into popularity during Halloween of that year.
The song, narrated by a mad scientist, is about classic monsters and ghouls gathering together and dancing the Monster Mash. The producers added to the ambiance by including spooky sound effects such as a coffin opening, a bubbling cauldron, and chains rattling.
The blend of catchy lyrics, a danceable beat, and a dash of campy humor made it an instant Halloween classic. The song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the Halloween season of 1962.
WATCH: Bobby “Borris” Pickett Performs The Halloween Song The Monster Mash
Was The Monster Mash Banned?
Bobby Pickett’s hit has been a Halloween staple for so long, that it’s hard to imagine it not making it to the airwaves. However, would you believe it was once banned from radio?
Despite its success in the United States, the BBC banned the Halloween song, The Monster Mash, in the UK. Why? They deemed it “too morbid” for radio. However, when re-released in America in 1970 and 1973, it finally reached number three in the UK.
The song became a Halloween classic and continues making its rounds each season decades later. And it was by far the most successful venture by Bobby Pickett.
He followed up the Halloween hit with a Christmas-themed Monsters’ Holiday in December of 1962. And in 1985 he even released Monster Rap where the mad scientist taught the monsters to rap. In 1995, Bobby starred in a movie musical based on the hit song.
But nothing ever came close to the lightning-in-a-bottle success of the Halloween song The Monster Mash.
“Let’s just say that it has paid the rent for 43 years,” Bobby once stated about the royalties received for the song.
A Timeless Tradition
Over the years, The Monster Mash has become a staple of Halloween celebrations. You’ll hear it at parties, on the radio, and even at family-friendly Halloween events. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the fact that, sometimes, the spookiest season of the year can be a time of laughter, togetherness, and community.
As Christians, we know that darkness exists in the world. But we also believe in the ultimate victory of light. The Monster Mash serves as a reminder that sometimes, it’s okay to have a little fun with our fears.
So, when it comes time for pumpkins, costumes, and candy, don’t forget to include The Monster Mash in your Halloween playlist!
WATCH: Stunning Light Show To The Halloween Song The Monster Mash
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h/t: U Discover Music
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