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They Do the Mash! They Do the Monster Mash!

Herman Munster

“Since it’s release in 1962 when it became #1 in 8 weeks, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett is the only active performer whose original recording reached ‘the top 100’ on three different occasions.

“Over the years Monster Mash has been heard on every top 40 and oldies station on the planet and such popular T.V. shows as the Simpsons, Cheers, Roseanne, Doogie Howser and CNN, not to mention its use in several movies including ‘Halloween III’ and ‘Sweetheart’s Dance.’ Its co-creator and vocalist, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, has been hailed as the Guy Lombardo of Halloween and Monster Mash has become the national anthem of this fun holiday.” —TheMonsterMash.com

Who Wrote ‘The Monster Mash’?

That honor goes to Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the song was made famous by him and his fictious band, “The Crypt-Kickers.” (Leonard Capizzi is credited with co-writing the song although you won’t find much information on him anywhere-but he and Bobby were bandmates in “The Cordials.”)

According to Bobby, on the Monster Mash official website, “Lenny sat down at the piano and began futzing with various four-chord progressions and I stood next to the piano. Like me, Lenny was a major horror movie fan from childhood. He loved Bela Lugosi as Dracula. He knew I had the Boris Karloff voice pretty nailed, although in reptrospect, I feel that what I actually had was a very cartoonish rendition of that wonderful actor’s voice. In any case, we’d both seen how the audiences had loved it when I was with the group and we’d sing ‘Little Darlin’ and I did the monologue in the middle of the song in Boris’s voice. We agreed that the Karloff voice was the most obvious one to tell the story. And what was the story?

‘Well,’ Lenny suggested, ‘Maybe the Frankenstein monster should start a dance craze.’

‘That’s it!’ I said.”

(Get the whole “Mash” story at TheMonsterMash.com.)

Monster Mash PotatoActually, the dance craze that was tapped into by “The Mash” was a subtle variation of another popular dance of the period, “The Mashed Potato.” The “Twist”, the “Mash,”…there was a lot of hip-grinding going down in the early sixties!

“Monster Mash” reached #1 on the Billboard music charts in October, 1962-just eight weeks after it was recorded-and just in time for Halloween. It has been a staple of Halloween parties and October radio programming ever since.

(Interestingly, the piano player on “The Monster Mash” is the legendary Leon Russell, who has played on hundreds of famous records and himself penned many hit songs, including “This Masquerade” — a career song for guitarist George Benson — and “A Song For You” — recorded by many people including The Carpenters, also done brilliantly by the late Ray Charles.)

Bobby “Boris” Pickett died on April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, due to complications from leukemia. He was 69 years old.

The Monster Mash Lyrics
(Words and Music by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and Lenny Capizzi)

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

They did the mash
They did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash

The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man
Dracula and his son

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, “The Crypt-Kicker Five”

They played the mash
They played the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They played the mash
It caught on in a flash
They played the mash
They played the monster mash

Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?”

It’s now the mash
It’s now the monster mash
The monster mash
And it’s a graveyard smash
It’s now the mash
It’s caught on in a flash
It’s now the mash
It’s now the monster mash

Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash
The monster mash
And do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash
You’ll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash

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