Tomorrow is Halloween and 53 years ago, Bobby “Boris” Pickett released what has become, without doubt, Halloween’s theme tune. “Monster Mash”—is a true holiday classic. The song is as well known as its Christmas contemporaries, “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Jingle Bell Rock”.
After its release in 1962, the track charted for 14 weeks and went on to spend the last two weeks of October at number one on the US Billboard chart. The song was perfect for Halloween, and the record company executed the timing of the release perfectly, but here’s where it gets interesting. The song re-charted in 1973 and was a Top 10 hit all over again, cool huh? But here’s the twist, this time, it was released in early August–two and a half months before Halloween!
The song was originally created to cash in on Halloween, but it was also created to cash in on the dance craze at the time “The Twist.” The first release was also at a time when monster movies and sci-fi TV shows were sweeping the nation, but the fact that the song was re-released eleven years later and was a hit all over again— out of season—proved the song was not just some kind of flash in the pan, novelty record.
At the time of its first release, record companies were all trying to cash in on the 60’s dance crazes, they had the kids twisting and gyrating away to songs for “The Watusi”, “The Frug”, “The Mashed Potato”, and of course, “The Twist”, but only one song from that period became a two time smash, and it has turned into a perennial Halloween hit, “Monster Mash”.
Whether it was Bobby Pickett’s impersonation of Boris Carloff, or the songs infused sci-fi sounds, the song continues to strike a chord with the public to this day.
So, here’s to you Bobby, and from all of us here at Rock My World, fangs for the memories.