Monday, July 05, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Nervous Norvus
Album:Stone Age Woo: The Zorch Sounds Of Nervous Norvus
This is one of the goofiest screwiest novelty songs to ever sell a million copies. And that's despite the fact that many radio stations thought Transfusion was too gruesome for airplay. The man behind Nervous Norvus was Jimmy Drake. He was born in 1912 in the Los Angeles suburb of Oakwood. His main source of income was a demo recording service he set up in his garage. He advertised in the local paper and charged $7 for one song and $11 for two songs. He also drove a truck. Drake was a big fan of a San Francisco radio DJ named Red Blanchard. Blanchard loved novelty songs and even had his own jive language called Zorch. So Drake started sending Blanchard demos to see if Blanchard was interested in the songs. Drake didn't perceive himself as a performer. If you've heard Transfusion, you'll know that it's about teenagers getting into car crashes and cheerfully getting a blood transfusion with a safe driving message at the end. The jive language he uses is supposed to impress Blanchard. The song is exactly as it was delivered to Blanchard except that Blanchard added the car crash sound effects. Drake also had a vocal group called The Four Jokers record Transfusion but his own version worked much better. Blanchard came up with the Nervous Norvus name because of Drake's vocal style. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1956 and Drake got a contract with Dot Records. He had a couple more singles on Dot and recorded occasionally until his death on July 12, 1968 at age 56. You can get all the Nervous Norvus music you could possibly want on this CD from Norton Records and you can also get Transfusion on Dr. Demento comps. It's one of the all time great novelty records. Here's a video for Transfusion by Nervous Norvus.