Thursday, October 25, 2007

Song of the Day: "Dinner with Drac" by (John) Zacherley

With all due respect to the late, great Bobby 'Boris' Pickett's immortal 1962 smash hit "Monster Mash," the greatest horror novelty song ever came out four years earlier.

John Zacherley was one of the first wave of horror movie hosts on TV, a slicked-back cross between Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera and Colin Clive. At nearly eighty, he's still working the horror convention circuit with his trademark snarky wit thoroughly intact, but in the 1950's he was a big crossover celebrity. A trip to the studio to cut a record was inevitable.

"Dinner with Drac," Zacherley's 1958 top ten gem, predates the rock-and-roll backbeat of Pickett's tune, and it arguably rocks harder, with an especially grimy stripclub saxophone punctuating the instrumental breaks. Atop the pre-garage rock strut is Zacherley's mordantly hilarious narrative..."A dinner was served for three at Dracula's House by the sea...The H'ors 'doeuvres were fine, but I choked on my wine when I learned that the main course was me!" It was a top ten hit in 1958, and it's become a Halloween staple since.

It's one of the few novelty songs that really stands up to repeat listens for me. The instrumental grittiness, the sick wit of the lyrics (click here for the whole shebang), Zacherley's priceless delivery, and his hearty laugh (one of the most infectious I've ever heard) all combine to an irresistible whole. Thanks, XM Radio: It was great hearing this again today.

1 comment:

Philip said...

Another verse I remember from the time:
There was an old monster from Clure whose wife was as thin as a skewer, last night, sad to say, she at last passed away; through the bars of a drain, down the sewer.

Any idea where to get the song download though ?