Remastered Archies & Crazy Elephant CDs

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Repertoire has remastered the bubblicious debut from Riverdale’s finest, and packaged it with the mono 45 versions of "Bang Shang A Lang" (just typing that makes me wanna shimmy) and "Truck Driver." They also have turned that hard-to-find Crazy Elephant album into a shiny silver disk, with nine bonus tracks. It’s pachadyrmistic.

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True Life Adventures of Count Chocula

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Some clever soul on Wikipedia had a little fun with the entry for Count Chocula cereal. We’re archiving it below, just in case the wiki-elves decide it isn’t fit for the long haul.

Count Chocula is a member of the line of monster-themed breakfast cereals produced by General Mills. It contains chocolate-flavoured corn cereal bits and marshmallows. Count Chocula is the cereal’s mascot, whose name is a pun on the vampire Count Dracula. Instead of craving blood like Dracula, Chocula craves Count Chocula breakfast cereal.

In 1971, the first two cereals in the line were introduced, the still-available Count Chocula and Franken Berry. Boo Berry, a pun on blueberry, was released two years later, in 1973, and Fruit Brute came in 1974, only to be discontinued in 1983. General Mills tried replacing Fruit Brute with Yummy Mummy in 1988, but that too had a short shelf life when it was ended in 1993. The latter two are no longer sold in retail stores.

Ernst Choukula was born the third child to Estonian landowers in the late autumn of 1873. His parents, Ivan and Brushken Choukula, were well-established traders of Baltic grain who– by the early twentieth century–had established a monopolistic hold on the export markets of Lithuania, Latvia and southern Finland. A clever child, Ernst advanced quickly through secondary schooling and, at the age of nineteen, was managing one of six Talinn-area farms, along with his father, and older brother, Grinsh. By twenty-four, he appeared in his first "barrelled cereal" endorsement, as the Choukula family debuted "Ernst Choukula’s Golden Wheat Muesli", a packaged mix that was intended for horses, mules, and the hospital ridden. Belarussian immigrant silo-tenders started cutting the product with vodka, creating a crude mush-paste they called "gruhll" or "gruell," and would eat the concoction each morning before work. The trend unwittingly spread, with alcohol being replaced by sheep–and then cow’s–milk, and the demand for the Choukula’s "cereal" reached as far south as Poland and as far west as the northern Jutland province of Denmark. It wasn’t long before the unmistakable image (the original packaging, a three gallon wooden vat which featured a burnt etching of a jubilant, overalled Ernst holding a large dog and grinning broadly) made a pop-cultural splash throughout the entirety of Europe and northern Africa. In fact, Tunisia’s "Carthagian Sand Crunch" was seen as the first imitation of the Choukula form; the aforementioned product was presented in broad leathern bags with the woven insignia of a nude tribesman holding a sword and a bunched stalk of oats. Sadly, this would neither be the first nor the tamest appropriation of Ernst’s iconic visage. Meanwhile, in the "textile paradise"-region of Schenectady / Elmira New York, General Peter Mills–a celebrated turret gunner in McKinley’s navy–was first beginning to mine America’s seemingly insatiable desire to consume food before high noon. The trend, initially known in the United States as "brekkfest" had first appeared in 1903, with Dominic Eggo’s invention of "wassled" or "waffled" bread, and really picked up steam throughout the teens and twenties, when eating in the morning was no longer deemed a sin by the Anglo-Catholic church. News of Choukula’s economic domination across the Atlantic fascinated and troubled Mills, who was eager for similar success. In 1927, while vacationing the Iberian peninsula, he first encountered three discarded barrels of "Duke Choukula’s Animal Supplement" (the name and design of the product had undergone several makeovers throughout the previous seven years, the most recent of which featured Ernst dressed in a cape and tiara, reflecting his family’s oft-disputed ties to Eurasian royalty). Immediately intrigued, Mills brought one with him on his boat ride back to the States, and spent the twenty-three day trip obsessively studying the packaging. In the spring of 1929, General Mills’ "Prince Chocula’s Morning Digestive" was picked up for distribution in three dozen pharmacies, grocery stands and agrarian carts throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and northern Maryland. The public response was confused and angered at the recipe’s savory, clove-like sting; apparently a confusion over the name led many to believe the breakfast was made from chocolate, and by 1931 the formula had been updated to reflect the nation’s collective sweet tooth. In 1932, boxes were labeled simply "Count Chocula’s Chocolate Food" and Peter Mills was named Life Magazine’s "Humanitarian of the Year, 1933". Ernst Chocula died in a Ukrainian cabin, penniless and alone, having descended into a type of brain-madness.


Sprawling Best of the 1910 Fruitgum Co. Released Next Week

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Repertoire has compiled a best-of that goes beyond the usual twenty-two minute selection from the annals of the Fruitgum Co. We haven’t heard the remastered versions of the tunes yet, but if you’ve been struggling to find some of these oddities, now’s the time.

Tracklist: 1. Simon Says 2. May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) 3. 1-2-3 Red Light 4. Goody Goody Gumdrops 5. Indian Giver 6. Special Delivery 7. Train 8. When We Get Married 9. Go Away 10. Lawdy Lawdy 11. Reflections From The Looking Glass 12. (Poor Old) Mr Jensen 13. Sticky Sticky 14. Candy Kisses 15. Liza 16. No Good Annie 17. Eternal Light 18. Baby Bret 19. Track 20. Clock 21. Soul Struttin’ 22. Hook, Line & Sniker 23. Game Of Love 24. Song Song 25. Book 26. Semplicissimo 27. C’e Qualcosa Che Non Ricordo Piu 28. Hip Hip Hip Urrah! (1-2-3 Red Light)

AND NOW, A BRAND NEW DANCE TO WATCH AND LEARN!! The Archies Dance-of-the-Week Collection!

Hi. I’ve already shared most of this collection with you as part of "The Riverdale Archives", but I recently discovered two more dances ("The Angel" and "The Bubblegum") from my old VHS tapes. I think there are still more out there, but this gave me 19 tracks, enough to warrant a separate collection focusing just on the dance numbers. In case you’re not familiar with these, they’re all unreleased and taken directly from videotapes of the first season cartoons. When "The Archie Show" debuted on CBS-TV in 1968, the music was a big part of the show’s draw. Not only did the half-hour series feature the best stories of the entire Filmation/Archie run (very similar to the old comic book plotlines), it also gave us one of the finest bubblegum bands on the planet. Kirshner Records’ Archies albums are some of the best pop records ever recorded. Don Kirshner did have a golden ear, and it heard a golden voice in singer Ron Dante. Ron’s voice shines like the sun itself on a brilliant catalog that gave us four top 40 hits and five studio albums. The only reason that I don’t share the albums is out of respect and love for Ron, who is one of the nicest guys in show business. I don’t want to curtail one thin dime from him, as he and Kirshner do plan to release a box set at some point. These TV-only tracks will probably never be released, so I don’t mind sharing them. The "Dance-of-the-Week" segments were used in the first season only to lead into a track from the first album. They were terrific little numbers that featured the Archie gang performing an animated version of the dance steps while the music played. The voice that introduces the dances is Dallas McKennon, Archie’s TV speaking voice. The songs themeselves are performed by Ron Dante and the crack musicians from the albums (including Jeff Barry and Toni Wine!) These dance numbers bring back such fantastic memories of that awesome first season that made The Archies rock stars! I am currently sharing mp3’s of the following Dance-of-the-week numbers at my blog,                           Enjoy! TRACK LISTING: 01. DANCE-OF-THE-WEEK INTRODUCTION, 02. THE STICKSHIFT, 03. THE ANGEL, 04. THE BUBBLEGUM, 05. THE ROCKETSHIP, 06. THE MILKSHAKE, 07. THE INDIAN, 08. THE JUGHEAD, 09. THE BEANIE, 10. THE BETTY, 11. THE GRUNDY, 12. THE SURFER, 13. THE WEATHERBEE, 14. THE HAMBURGER HOP, 15. THE BANANA SPLIT, 16. THE VERONICA WALK, 17. THE TOUCHDOWN, 18. THE MOONWALK (Recorded for Tang Radio Ad), 19. TANG RADIO AD.