Young Colin (11 years old) really liked the skiffle rhythms after hearing “Cumberland Gap”. With reference to the thought provoking (not!) lyrics, I am assuming that Lonnie Donegan was used to a cabaret style of entertaining hence the insertion of a few “funny lines” which had nothing to do with the song. I listen to it now and, while the words are meaningless, I still like the skiffle sound and rhythm!
If you can remember hearing this song, then you are not young anymore! I believe it was released in 1958 and reached “No.1” in the US, and “No.2” in the UK. According to Wikipedia, it had an interesting life after The Teddy Bears had recorded it, in that it was recorded (albeit with a few word changes) by:
Dodie Stevens in 1961; Nancy Sinatra in 1962; The Shirelles in 1964; Peter & Gordon in 1965; Bobby Vinton in 1969; Jody Miller in 1972; Gary Glitter in 1973; Steeleye Span in 1974; David Bromberg in 1978; Dolly Parton/Linda Ronstadt/Emmylou Harris in 1987 (as a trio); The Beatles recorded it a number times from 1962, until eventually released in 1994 and (believe it or not), quite a few others!
I think we can conclude that it was a very successful song!
To quote Monty Python .. “and now for something completely different”! I first heard “Whistling Rufus” when I was around 11 or 12 (mid/late 1950s) and my feet started tapping. They still start tapping whenever I hear it. Continue reading