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So long, Dr. Demento Show

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by MTM, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    I didn't even know this guy was still on the air. I used to love his show and would listen every Sunday night.
    "Knockers Up" was a favorite song, along with "Pico and Sepulvada" and "Shaving Cream."

    From laradio.com

    After 40 years of delighting radio audiences with weird, off-beat, mostly homemade music, Barret “Barry” Hansen, better known as the Dr. Demento with the battered top hat, tuxedo-clad King of Dementia, is airing his final broadcast on a half-dozen stations. Long-gone from Los Angles airwaves after being heard on KPPC, KMET, KLSX, and KSCA for decades, wrote on his website that it was a painful decision. “I really hate to let it go after almost 40 years but I have come to agree with my manager and my family that it's necessary. The broadcast has been losing money for some time.”

    The good news is that he intends to continue producing new shows every week for www.drdemento.com for the foreseeable future. A new one will be available Saturday morning, June 12, and more new shows will be posted every Saturday thereafter.

    Perhaps best known as the man who launched "Weird Al" Yankovic's career, the Doctor has also resurrected awareness of Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, Stan Freberg and other classic comedy musicians.

    He was born in Minneapolis in 1941. The Doctor-to-be began haunting thrift shops for old records while in junior high, eventually accumulating nearly half a million platters of all speeds, sizes and shapes. He began his radio career at 10-watt KRRC/fm on the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

    After graduating from Reed with a degree in classical music theory, he headed for UCLA where he wrote a master's thesis on the evolution of black music from blues to rock & roll. After a stint as road manager for the rock-blues band Canned Heat, he became a staff producer for Specialty Records, where he compiled numerous LP reissues of vintage blues, gospel and rock recordings.

    Meanwhile he was invited to share some of his vintage treasures with the audience of alternative-programmed KPPC in 1970. He was playing Transfusion by Nervous Norvus when the gm's secretary commented "You've got to be demented to play that on the radio!"

    Rechristened Dr. Demento, Hansen was hired for a weekly rare-oldies show which soon mutated into a bonanza of "mad music and crazy comedy." The Doctor moved to KMET in 1972, and started national syndication in 1974.

    In 1975 Warner Bros. released Dr. Demento's Delights, the first of nearly two dozen Dr Demento compilation albums. Most of them are on Rhino, including his 20th, 25th and 30th Anniversary Collections and The Very Best Of Dr. Demento (2001) which includes his all-time most requested songs: Fish Heads, Dead Puppies and They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! He has also worked on many other Rhino compilations; his notes for "The Remains Of Tom Lehrer" received a Grammy nomination. Away from the microphone, Hansen has always been a serious student of many types of music. In the 90s he wrote his first full-length book, Rhino's Cruise Through The Blues from Backbeat Books.
     
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    A sad day for demensions and dementites. And how can you have a program syndicated to only six stations? You would think it'd be one station or hundreds.
     
  3. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Listened to him religiously as a kid, but had no idea he was still doing a show. Sorry he couldn't go out on his terms.
     
  4. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I never missed his show as a kid. It was on after I was supposed to be asleep, and I would listen with my ear against the stereo speaker in my room. Then the next day I'd be singing "Fish Heads" and cracking up all my friends.

    I once was at LAX waiting for a late flight, and the gate area was almost deserted. There were maybe five people in the whole place, and one of them was Weird Al. I approached him and struck up a conversation about Dr. Demento. It was awesome.
     
  5. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid Dr. Demento was appointment radio from 9-11 on Sunday night. And he followed Casey Kasem's American Top 40, which was also appointment radio as a teen.
     
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I've never heard Stairway to Cleveland or Frosty the Dope Man anywhere else.
     
  7. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    How is doing podcasts really going away?

    If anything it might open him up to a broader audience.
     
  8. I'm surprised he never ended up on Sirius or XM. Seems that is tailor-made for him.

    At any rate, I still have a cassette tape from around 1984 of a Sunday night broadcast that included the "Funny Five" ... Harry's Jockstrap, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Star Drek, I Lost on Jeopardy, and I forget what the fifth was. Dr. D made up a big part of my childhood. Still have his LPs, too.
     
  9. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Farewell to one of Bart Simpson's two mortal enemies.
     
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    He's selling the podcasts. Nobody is going to buy them. This is adios.
     
  11. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    Darn.
    Hadn't thought about him in years, until just the other day, when "Shaving Cream" popped into my head. When I first heard that, back as a teenager in the '70s, I was amazed -- I had this picture of the '40s as incredibly earnest and straight, John Wayne killing Japs and everybody huddled around the radio listening to Glenn Miller when they weren't buying War Bonds. I was amazed by the song, and then I was amazed again when I told my mom about it and she remembered it well. Had to rethink some things there.
     
  12. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    There you go.
     
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