Novelty Records | Surf Records | Response Records
Music is valued by listeners for many reasons. Some just love a good beat to dance along with. Others like deep lyrics that connect with their own life. Others believe in the message being espoused. Then some music is meant just for the purpose of making the listener laugh.
Novelty records music is a genre of music meant for entertaining listeners with nonsensical or comedic situations, sounds and lyrics and to make them laugh. Having its roots in the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the biggest hits of the early century were novelty records songs.
Gimmicks were often used to make listeners laugh, such as silly rhymes, mimicking a stutter, singing about absurd situations that couldn’t be real, or by being absolutely annoying. “That Doggie in the Window” though a number one single in 1953, became known for its huge backlash over being annoying.
Notable faces of the genre include: Dickie Goodman, Roger Miller and Patti Page. These early pioneers led the way for future comical musicians such as Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yankovic.
With the invention of the internet and the rise of Youtube, many novelty records songs are now being sampled for the use in other songs or becoming cult hits among segments of the younger population.
In addition to these novelty songs is the genre of themed music. Bands such as the Beach Boys brought surf record music to the music industry even in locations that had never seen a surf board before. In addition to surf record music, 45’s were made featuring songs about cars and other themes.
Another popular novelty song concept was the “answer song.” Also known as response records songs, these songs would be released as a response to similar songs. Early examples included “This Land is Your Land” which was a response to “God Bless America.” These songs took popular themes of the time and continued them on beyond one song to keep with the idea.