Saturday 9: Mairzy Doats (1944)
Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.
1) While today this is considered a children's song, "Mairzy Doats" was a #1 hit and a staple on radio stations in 1944. Do you know any of today's most popular songs? (Here's this week's Hot 100.) Oh how sad, I did not recognize anything on that list, except for Blake Shelton's Livin' on Minimum Wage. I do like The Jonas Brothers and a couple of other songs on the radio, but I did not see them, they must not be in Top 100 anymore. I am not gonna lie, I am not a huge fan of today's music, but I am not their audience. I try to keep up, but about 5 years ago I started hating it. I listen more to 80's. Josh listens to 50's and 60's. I bet Josh has listened to this group. I have never heard of them.
2) One of the song's writers recalled that the song was inspired by an old English nursery rhyme. Tell us a rhyme you remember from childhood. My dad used to sing Rock-a-bye Baby to me as a kid. Those crazy nursery rhymes have the darkest meanings. I do still teach them today in pre-K. The kids love them. We play a lot of ring-around the rosey.
3) This week's group, The Merry Macs, was formed by three brothers -- Judd, Joe and Ted McMichael -- who learned to harmonize at home. Did you grow up in a musical household? not really, but I was in choir and choraliers in school as well as I played the flute in band for a year. Choraliers was a song and dance group. We performed at special occasions...half time, concerts, etc. It was so much fun.
4) When the McMichaels decided their new group needed a woman's voice, they asked Cheri McKay to join them. Realizing all their names began with Mc, they began calling themselves The Merry Macs. Have you ever performed with a singing group? (Yes, that garage band you played in after school counts.) If yes, what was your band called? Just choraliers. I was in choir in college too. This is choraliers... I am 5th from the right. Very short. I never realized I was so short in this group. We sang and danced to songs like Puttin' On The Ritz. Fun group. I was a sophomore in high school in this picture.
5) The Merry Macs' first gigs were playing high school dances. Do you have any memories of school dances you'd like to share this morning? I met my senior year boyfriend at a homecoming dance. We knew each other of course, but we started dating after that night. I just remember we danced all evening and then he walked me to my car and kissed me goodnight.
6) Once their recording career took off, The Merry Macs went to Hollywood. They appeared in a film with the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. Who last made you laugh? I had lunch with the girls from work this week and I was laughing the whole time. I sure did miss those ladies. I am glad we will be back together this year.
7) In 1944, when "Mairzy Doats" topped the charts, sunscreen was invented. It was first developed to protect soldiers during WWII, and that original formula was sold to Coppertone. Do you regularly use sunscreen? Oh yes. I always have it on my face. If I am going to be in the sun a lot, I will wear it all over by body.
8) Also in 1944, a board game called Murder! was introduced in England. In 1949 it made its way to the United States and was renamed Clue. It's still popular today. Can you name any of the original 6 "characters" in the Clue game? (Extra credit: One was replaced in 2016; who was it?) I remember Professor Plum. I did not know they replaced a character. I had to look it up. I never had that game, but I loved playing it when a friend had it.
9) Random question: The new house you just bought comes with a big mirror on the ceiling of the master bedroom. Would you take it down or leave it there? That would have to come down.