Bobby "Boris" Pickett has died too soon at the age of 69. He recorded what has to be one of the most popular novelty pop songs of all time with his hit of hits "Monster Mash". Just mentioning that title creates a Pavlovian response in me, making me smile, fidget and often making me sing that song aloud to myself. This effect can last for a couple of days.
This song is legendary for a number of reasons, including the number of times it charted. Pickett is also memorable for the good natured way he accepted that this song was meant to be his legacy. The song is going through my head again already. I'll sing it in the car.
Here's part of the obit from celebrity death beeper:
NEW YORK (AP) - He does the "Monster Mash" no more. Bobby "Boris" Pickett, whose dead-on Boris Karloff impression propelled the Halloween anthem to the top of the charts in 1962, making him one of pop music's most enduring one-hit wonders, has died of leukemia. He was 69.
Pickett, dubbed "The Guy Lombardo of Halloween," died Wednesday night at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital, said his longtime manager, Stuart Hersh. His daughter, Nancy, and his sister, Lynda, were at Pickett's bedside.
"Monster Mash" hit the Billboard chart three times: when it debuted in 1962, reaching No. 1 the week before Halloween; again in August 1970, and for a third time in May 1973. The resurrections were appropriate for a song where Pickett gravely intoned the forever-stuck-in-your-head chorus: "He did the monster mash. ... It was a graveyard smash."
The instant smash became a sort-of Christmas carol for the pumpkin and ghoul set. In a 1996 interview with People magazine, Pickett said he never grew tired of it: "When I hear it, I hear a cash register ringing."
Pickett's impression of Karloff was forged in Somerville, Mass., where the boy watched horror films in a theater managed by his father.