More Of MisenPOPic!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Out There!: "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell

Once again while adding more songs to my collection as I am now trying to own every Top 40 song of all time, another gem of a song came into my consciousness. And what makes this song so special is that even though it was written in 1946, this tune definitely was ahead of it's time. The song I'm writing about this week is "Shaving Cream", a song that would become a Billboard hit almost thirty years later, and one that I just added to my list of Top 50 Funniest Songs Ever.

Shaving Cream was written by Benny Bell and sung by Paul Wynn. Bell was a Jewish American singer/songwriter best known for writing tunes that were risque but innocent. He was a definite precursor to "Weird Al" Yankovic and sophomoric humor rappers like 2 Live Crew, Eminem, and Young MC with lyrics referring to poop, butts, and sexual activity. And this was during a time when Bell had no real outlet to get his songs heard on the radio. Shaving Cream was recorded during the 1940's, but didn't gain much exposure in part to the innuendo lyrics. Each verse of the song describes a bad situation setting up an ending in which the last word is assumed to be "Shit." Instead as your ears anticipate to hear this naughty word due to the emphasized Shhhh sound, the lyric actually is shaving cream. Here's the first verse of the song which is a perfect example of what I'm referring to:

"I have a sad story to tell you
It may hurt your feelings a bit
Last night when I walked into my bathroom
I stepped in a big pile of ...shhhhh . . . aving cream,
be nice and clean. . . .Shave ev'ry day and you'll always look keen."

The song gained new life thanks to appearing on Doctor Demento's radio show, a show that supported novelty songs and tunes filled with dry humor. Demento was the king of spreading cheesy tunes of his liking to the nation developing a cult audience in the process. Thanks to receiving tons of requests from his loyal listeners, he was able to influence Vanguard Records to re-release the song in 1975. The song was recorded fresh with Bell on vocals and reached #30 on the Billboard Charts. Finally Buddy Bell had gotten the hit record he was determined to make thirty years earlier.

Give this tune a listen, I think you'll get a good laugh from it. It a classic bunch of Shh..
Shaving cream!!!!! Be nice and clean!"

1 comment:

  1. I remember this song from the Z-100 Morning Zoo back in the day. Can't believe that it was a hit!