Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Zoom, Dad, Zoom!

Not a fan of the embedded screens so here is a picture link to youtube of the classic retro future pop hit, Eep Opp Ork that appeared on the Jetsons animated television program way back September of 1962. I really liked that show and looking back, it is clear to me the show was certainly an early influence that shaped my life-long preference for science fiction and pulps.

eep_opp_ork

I kind of blame this episode of the Jetsons for the later proliferation of pop song sequences during other kid shows like Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats and Archie. While the original Scooby-Doo theme is great, it was apparent that nearly half of any show was a chase scene set to music. After that it was only a matter of time until entire cartoon programs were bereft of any story at all and just consisted of vignettes made of recycled clips with very short framing devices (aka Jabberjaw, et al). But you can't really blame the Jetsons for starting the trend. It was kind of popularized when Little Ricky Nelson used the Ozzie & Harriet show as a vehicle to promote his new single.

Eep Opp Ork is nearly as burned into the public consciousness as the in-show tune Sugar Sugar that appeared in the Archie cartoon. I've heard it's success as a song was a happy accident for the show and musician Tommy Roe but I kind of doubt it, because even as the show premiered there were flexible plastic .45 records being glued to Honeycomb cereal boxes that you could cut out and play on a turntable.

Enn Joyy Ah-Ah!

Bonus Linkage: A cover of the tune sung by the Violent Femmes. The audio is dubbed over a Ricky Martin video. Weird-alicious.

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3 comments:

  1. That episode really WAS a trend-setter. Just two weeks after this aired, Fred Flintstone was doing the "Twitch." Another prototype was The Way-Outs, who made their historic debut in '65.

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  2. The BBC did a 10-hour history of pop music a few years back that covered the story behind Sugar Sugar. It was originally written for the Monkees' second album. They rebelled, turning down the bubble-gum pop they were supplied and demanding to do their own songs (and play their own instruments). The writers (who may have included Tommy Roe; I don't recall) decided they needed a less troublesome band to work with so they went from fake to non-existent with the Archies. Sugar Sugar went on to outsell anything the Monkees ever did.

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  3. 10 hours? Cripes. But I think that goes with the merchandising push for the song. They were prepped for the release.

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