Thursday, June 27, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Larry Verne

Artist:Larry Verne
Song:Mr. Custer
Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll: Special Novelty Edition

This goofy novelty song was a number one hit in 1960. Larry Verne had one other chart song and quit the music business. He worked as a construction coordinator in the film industry for many years. He was born Larry Vern Erickson Feb. 8, 1936 in Minneapolis. So everyone knows about General Custer and the massacre at Little Big Horn. This silly song has one of Custer's soldiers begging not to go. The song was written by Al DeLory, Fred Darian and Joe Van Winkle. They had a songwriting and production company in Los Angeles called Jatco Productions. DeLory went on to produce most of Glen Campbell's albums and was part of the Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. Larry Verne worked in a photography studio in the same building. They spoke to Verne and thought he would be perfect to record Mr. Custer. They sold the recording to Era Records. Mr. Custer topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The record sold over a million copies. The follow up single Mr. Livingston charted but was not a big hit. Novelty singers rarely have long careers. According to his son, Larry Verne was offered a contract to be a serious singer by Decca Records but Verne had a seven year contract with Era and they wouldn't let him out of his contract. You can get Mr. Custer on this various artists comp from Ace Records. Verne always said that he hated Mr. Custer but loved the residual checks. He quit the music business and became a contractor. For many years he was a construction coordinator in the film industry. Among his credits are the 1982 TV series Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, the 1988 film Rambo III and the 1989 film Tango & Cash. He retired in the early 90s and lives in Los Angeles. Here's Larry Verne performing Mr. Custer 1960. Thanks to Joe Troiano for the Larry Verne bio.

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