Cover Boys

Finally…. a magazine for the boring people!

It’s time for us to put a little fun and whimsy into your normally dull Monday, as The Nest takes another small step towards the finish line in our Top 30 Novelty Songs Of All Time countdown!  DJ Scratchy’s got her smiling face on for this week’s entry, while the Sponkies are checking their makeup and combing their manes.  This post will save you 69% off the newsstand price…

#29. “The Cover Of ‘Rolling Stone'” – Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

If your band name is some monstrosity like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, you’re pretty much expected to be some kind of novelty act.  And that they were.  Formed in the early 70’s, the entirety of Dr. Hook’s first two albums were goofy little curiosities written by Shel Silverstein.  The first album spawned the unusual Top 5 hit “Sylvia’s Mother.”  But it was the second album, Sloppy Seconds in 1972, that gave us the legendary tune the band will always be known for…

Even at the tender age of five years old, the counterculture bible known as Rolling Stone was a big enough deal to the world of rock and roll, that there was a feeling that one hadn’t truly “made it” until they appeared on its cover.  “Cover” was a big enough success to make it up to #6 on the US charts, and as you might expect, with all the buzz it generated for the magazine… they did indeed put Dr. Hook on a future cover.  Just maybe not quite how they had dreamed the big moment up…

I’m not sure mama would want five copies of this cartoony dreck…

But as it usually goes in the “what have you done for me lately?” music business… it doesn’t matter how many teenage blue eyed groupies you have, if you can’t stay on the charts, you end up in the discount rack like another can of beans.  So after their third album completely bombed, the members of Dr. Hook decided to get out of the novelty song business, drop the silly Medicine Show from its name, and go on to become one of the kings of schlocky love songs in the late 70’s…. making them one of the rare bands that found commercial success under two completely different musical styles and personas.

The disco era needed a hell of a lot of love songs to get anyone in the mood…

Here’s a fun fact for my British readers!  If you can’t get the YouTube video to play (as usual) due to petty copyright restrictions, well… it wouldn’t be the first time you couldn’t listen to “The Cover Of ‘Rolling Stone'” in the UK.  When the song was originally released, the BBC banned it due to its infamous policy against songs giving free “advertisement” to brand name products.  Only when some (ahem) clever BBC deejays decided to shout the name of the broadcaster’s own magazine “Radio Times” over every mention of “Rolling Stone” was it allowed on the air.  And I’ll bet that sounded shitty…

Coca…. er, Cherry Cola, he got!

Come back next Monday for #28…. or as it will be known, the oldest song to ever be featured on The Nest’s Music Monday.

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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28 Responses to Cover Boys

  1. that’s a nice song for a bbq party… one with much beer ;O)))

  2. crimsonowl63 says:

    Love this song and listen to it often! 1972 was the first year I started listening to AM pop radio on my red Flavoradio. I was 9. This song was just great. Sylvia’s Mother is depressing as hell!

    I am loving this countdown!

  3. That was pretty silly.
    And what a teaser! The oldest? Ever? Spike Jones? Radio Franks? Whoever it is I know it will be fun.

    • The oldest song I remember playing on a Monday was from 1969… unless Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album came before that (Yes, I posted a Johnny Mathis song once!). Next week’d song is practically vintage. It will be a lot of fun…

  4. Great song!!! I listen to 70s radio on a regular basis and they play this from time to time! Fun! Happy Monday! 😉

    • We had a 70’s station 20 years ago that played this song regularly… otherwise, I might have never heard it at all. I think Poison killed it from mainstream radio with their hideous cover version…

  5. The thing with the BBC is that even when they advertise the Radio Times on TV, they still have to explicitly say that other listing magazines are available, because the Beeb isn’t funded by advertising but by us Brits having to buy a TV licence. (Weird, yes, but also rather convenient because then you can watch a film without any advert breaks, and if you live long enough, you’ll also get your TV licence for free!)

    • I guess a TV license would save us from the pathetic begathons the public broadcasting channels do yearly here to raise their funds. I guess that’s better though than having Sesame Street sponsored by Budweiser….

  6. I always that that was a clever and hilarious song. After about the 70th time it’s a little TOO schlocky but until then it’s just good old fashioned fun!


  7. ody N biskit !!!!! we rememburr thiz one 🙂 ♥♥

    ♫♫♪♪♫♪ gonna buy five copies for my mother ~~~~~♫♪

  8. Trisha says:

    I know I’ve heard that song many times but I don’t if I ever even heard the name Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. How did people find out about stuff before the internet? I never learned the secret and was always clueless when people were talking about…well, pretty much everything.

    • I wondered that myself in a really old post where I questioned how schoolyard rhymes from back in my day seemed to be so universal despite the limited methods for such songs to disperse. I love how we sang about such nasty and offensive things on the school playground when everyone thought we were sooooo innocent and too young to watch HBO.

  9. draliman says:

    Quite fun, and catchy too! And ironically this one did play over here in the UK…
    I have actually heard of “Dr Hook”, I didn’t realise that once upon a time they had a Medicine Show too!
    Interesting trivia about the BBC. I saw an interesting interview once where they were talking about all the trouble they take to invent plausible yet non-existent names for household products seen in the background of the shots in dramas.

    • I would love to have the job of creating fake names for products that appear in TV shows. I don’t know how long I’d last coming up with the likes of Snott’s Soup, Bitch Bleach and Tasty Teats Milk…

  10. Always had a hard time ‘appreciating’ Dr. Hook and his gang.

  11. I think I remember the album. Not the music, but the title. That was a very catchy title.

  12. I always liked that one, and I didn’t mind Sylvia’s Mother. I remember seeing them on TV. They used to have shows like the Midnight Special (among others) that ran concerts or had musical guests late nights – usually Friday or Saturday. I watched lots of those concerts sitting up late with my mother. I remember being fascinated with the one dude’s eye patch. Was he Captain Hook?

    • In my “research” for this post, I found out that the eyepatch guy was the inspiration for the Hook part of their name… though it noted the irony that the literary Captain Hook was neither a doctor nor did he have an eyepatch. It also stated that it was just part of the band name and nobody in the group was actually “Dr. Hook.” So they’re like Jethro Tull or Blondie in that regard….

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