Knock Yourself Out!

As the Jimmy Castor Bunch put it in their 1972 novelty hit “Troglodyte (Cave Man)”:

What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time.

Before we do that I have to say this video for ‘Troglodyte’ is highly amusing. And speaking of the Jimmy Castor Bunch, two of my sons have been laughing for weeks about the JCB’s other hit, “The Bertha Butt Boogie”, the 1974 sequel of sorts to ‘Troglodyte,’ which the boys heard once on the radio.

Anyway … why do I feel I’ve gotten myself completely off the track?

OK, back on it.

Three times in recent weeks — in the Happy Harry‘s drugstore in Fenwick Island, DE, the Wawa in Ocean City, MD, and the brand new Wawa near my house — I’ve heard a familiar yet unidentifiable “real oldie”, as the radio business now calls songs from the ’50s and early-to-mid ’60s. Three times. It’s not like I spend a lot of time hanging around Wawa. Maybe the head DJ was trying to tell me something. (Yeah, like “blog about this song”.)

Now I am pretty good at identifying Top 40 hits from the ’60s so the situation was unusual. A Google search for “shout shout knock yourself out lyrics” provided the answer. The song is “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)” by one-hit wonder Ernie Maresca. (Isn’t it nice when you’re trying to identify a song and the most memorable portion of the lyrics turns out to be the title 🙂 ?) ‘Shout! Shout!’ peaked at #6 on the pop chart in 1962.

I searched for this song online to identify it, as I said, and, of course, to hear it and read the lyrics. But the search also yielded this great video (thanks, Facebook) by the animators at The Walt Disney Studios. Here ’tis (‘Shout! Shout!’ starts at 0:21):

I’m not going to say much more about this song. Its unbridled enthusiasm quite simply puts a smile on my face. Barely two minutes long, its beat is intense and straightforward. Fortunately for weary dancers, there is a break …

Every party that I intend
Believe now it’s the livin end
Moving and groovin with some friends of mine..

… after which Maresca pegs the gusto meter:

Saturday night now we’re having a time
So Lets..Shout Shout knock yourself out..

In Maresca’s biography on AllMusic.com, Richie Unterberger refers to him as “an average nondescript vocalist at best.” While that may be a fair assessment in general, I think Maresca really sells ‘Shout! Shout!’ with his singing. It’s hard to imagine how a more refined vocalist would be an improvement.

Maresca, by the way, was a more prolific songwriter than he was a recording artist. He co-wrote “Runaround Sue” and wrote “The Wanderer”, both huge hits for Dion. Note the mention of ‘Sue’ in the lyrics of ‘Shout! Shout!’. As of the year 2000, at the age of 61, Maresca was still working in the music business.

Another coincidence related to this: During the period I heard Ernie Maresca’s song at Happy Harry’s and Wawa, I was a guest in a home owned by a guy named Ernie for perhaps the first time ever. (No, not Ernie Maresca.)


Administrative note:
I’ve come out of the closet. That is, my name now appears on this blog. You’ll find it on the bottom of the sidebar on every page and more prominently on the About page. It’s time I stand behind the QC product.
– QC (er, Jon)

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3 comments so far

  1. Mrs. QC on

    Yes, indeed, the Troglodyte Song takes me waaay back…It was a big party hit in my day, especially with the guys. Girls found it a tad sexist. It is bringing back thoughts of the Cave restaurant in Wilmington, replete with dinosaurs with light-up eyes.

    One additional reason the Bertha Butt Boogie may have caught the boys’ attention is that the “bump, bump, ba da dump” refrain sounds very much like Strong Bad from Homestar Runner.

    Oh, and congrats on coming out of the closet. Anything else you want to tell us?

  2. 2nd Son on

    Me and Son #1 found the Bertha Butt Boogie hilarious mainly because it’s just so weird, in nearly every aspect, we didn’t know it was such a hit, we thought it was something more obscure.

  3. QC on

    @2nd Son:
    Thanks for the comment!

    A bit more research http://www.70disco.com/jimmycas.htm finds the peak pop chart positions for the JCB’s hits that featured Bertha Butt:

    Troglodyte (Cave Man) — #6
    The Bertha Butt Boogie — #16


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