An outgrowth, in part, of the Rock and Roll Revival of the early 70s. This was a cute novelty hit in 1974 for a "group" called Reunion, a collection of session players plus a singer named Joey Levine, who was part of the pool of musicians who worked for Kasenetz/Katz during the age of 60s bubblegum - Levine was the voice of the Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy" and other opera. Reunion next went into disco productions, but without the success they found here. Levine has written and sung many commercial jingles over the years; anyone over the age of zero who has watched television in North America has heard him or his work. Much more Levine info is in issue #22 of LCD, WFMU's magazine - he's a fairly important link in the chain of rock, despite his general anonymity.

The verses were speed-rapped, a list of references of varying obscurity from Rock's Rich Tapestry, a pun or other bit of wordplay here and there. The "life is a rock" choruses were sung straight, and gave you a chance to catch your mental breath if you were following along intently, trying to keep up with the mile-a-minute blasts from the past.

I'm slowly adding little notes to this, aside from the obvious hard links, so this is Under Construction; I'd rather do this than make a bunch of nodes right now for the likes of B. Bumble, Murray the K, or Bekka's Elvis-fighting mum (and what the hell is a Boffalongo? Someday I'll find out). Plus some of these things are so obscure, I'll have to ask some of the elders about them. These lyrics are combined from a couple of online listings; there are some gaps, and there were some misspellings, some of which may still be here. A writeup is never, ever, really finished.


B.B. Bumble and the Stingers
B. (William) Bumble and the Stingers had a hit with an instrumental called "Nut Rocker" in 1962.
Mott the Hoople, Ray Charles Singers
Lonnie Mack and Twangin' Eddy

Lonnie Mack and Duane Eddy were pre-Beatles guitar heroes, and post-Beatles, for that matter.
Here's my ring we're going steady
Possibly from some 50s rock and roll song.
Take it easy, take me higher
The Eagles' "Take it Easy", and Sly and the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher".
Liar, liar house on fire
Was this the first line from The Castaways' garage band hit "Liar, Liar"?
Locomotion, Poco passion
"The Locomotion", a Brill Building classic, was a hit for Carole King and Gerry Goffin's babysitter, Little Eva (Boyd), and was revived by Grand Funk Railroad around the time Reunion recorded this.
Deeper purple, "Satisfaction"
Baby, baby, gotta, gotta
Gimme, gimme, gettin' hotter
Sammy's cookin', Leslie's Gorey

Leslie Gore, whose biggest hit, "It's My Party", was one of Quincy Jones' first successes as a pop producer.
Ritchie Valens end of story
"The Day the Music Died", and all that. Hey kids! More fun! My inspiration for this was knarph's Interpretations of the lyrics to American Pie node.
Mahavishnu, Fujiyama
Kama Sutra, Rama Lama

Kama Sutra was also part of the Buddah Records family of labels, with artists such as The Lovin' Spoonful; parent label Buddah released all those bubblegum hits, including those featuring Levine. "Rama Lama Ding Dong" was a 1961 hit by The Edsels, who had broken up by then - the song was recorded in 1958 and released under the wrong name ("Lama Rama Ding Dong"). It was a small regional hit in '58, but that's all.
Richard Perry, Spector Barry
Richard Perry was a big MOR producer, including, in later years, of The Pointer Sisters. Not sure of who Barry is.
Righteous, Archies, Nilsson Harry
Shimmy, Shimmy, Koko Boppin'

"Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop" was a hit, a couple of times, for Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Fats is back and finger poppin'
Fats Domino was one of many whose careers found new life with the nostalgia boom. "Finger Poppin' Time" was Hank Ballard's ticket into the mainstream after "The Twist" failed, at first, to be a big hit.

Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
an alternate version for WLS, then a Top 40 medium-wave broadcaster in Chicago, had a re-recorded chorus: "Life is a rock but WLS rolls me..."; perhaps other large-market stations also had their own custom chorus.
Gotta turn it up louder
So my DJ told me
Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
At the end of my rainbow
Lies a golden oldie


FM, AM hits are clickin'
While the clock is tocking, ticking
Friends and Romans, salutations
Brenda and the Tabulations

An early Philly Soul group, with hits like "Dry Your Eyes". In later years, they would be produced by Van McCoy, who had a disco hit with "The Hustle".
Carly Simon, I behold her
Rolling Stoney centerfolder

I'm wondering if Ms. Simon did a mock centerfold for Rolling Stone.
Johnny Cash and Johnny Rivers
Rivers had a zillion 60s hits, including the theme to Secret Agent, "Secret Agent Man", later, as was "Satisfaction", covered inventively by Devo.
Can't stop now I've got the shivers
Mungo Jerry, Peter Peter, Paul Paul and Mary Mary
Dr. John, the nightly tripper
Doris Day and Jack the Ripper
Got to go sir, got to swelter
Leon Russell, "Gimme Shelter"

Besides being a great Stones song, Gimme Shelter was a great Maysles Brothers documentary about the Altamont tragedy.
Miracles in Smokey places
Slide guitarists and Fender basses
Mushroom omelet, Bonnie Bramlett

Mrs. Bramlett was half of a singing duo at the time with her husband Delaney, and, before that, was a member of The Ikettes, perhaps the first real blonde to hold that distinction. Delaney & Bonnie were also part of Joe Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" troupe. She would later gain infamy for allowing Declan MacManus to pick a fight with her. The Bramletts had a daughter, Bekka, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac during "the lost years".
Wilson Pickett, stomp and kick it

Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
Gotta turn it up louder
So my DJ told me
Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
At the end of my rainbow
Lies a golden oldie


Arthur Janov, Primal screamin'
John and Yoko helped popularize Dr. Janov's Primal Scream Therapy. In the subsequent decade, Janov's book would influence a pair of bands, Tears for Fears and (of course) Primal Scream.
Hawkins J. and Dale and Ronnie
Screamin' Jay Hawkins, of "I Put a Spell on You" fame (1956), and later an influence on the oddballness of Lord Sutch. The song, and Hawkins' popularity, was revived by its inclusion in the 1984 Jim Jarmusch film Stranger Than Paradise. Dale Hawkins' biggest hit was the "swamp rock" classic "Suzie-Q" (1957), which later was revived by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Ronnie Hawkins' band, The Hawks, would go on to become Bob Dylan's band, and later became known as The Band.
Kukla Fran and Norman Okla
Kukla, Fran, and Ollie was a long-running children's TV trio (Fran Allison, a humanoid, while Ollie was a dragon puppet, and Kukla was a humanoid puppet), dating back to the early days of television.
Denver John and Osmond Donny
J.J. Cale and ZZ Top
And L.L. Bean and "Dee Dee Dinah"

"Dee Dee Dinah" was a hit for Frankie Avalon (1958).
David Bowie, Steely Dan
And sing me proud oh C.C. Rider

"C.C. Rider" was one of those seminal rock'n'roll records, a hit for Chuck Willis 1957 (on Atlantic Records), and later revived as part of Mitch Ryder's "Jenny Takes a Ride" medley.
Edgar Winter, Joanie Sommers
Joanie Sommers of "I want a brave man / I want a caveman" fame, from her "Johnny Get Angry" hit of 1962.
Ides of March and Johnny Thunders
The Ides of March (beware!) were a (mainly) 60s group. Their leader, Jim Peterik, went on to big success as a songwriter of AOR power ballads and such, with .38 Special, REO Speedwagon, and, most notably, Survivor.
Eric Clapton, pedal wah-wah
Stephen Foster, doo-dah, doo-dah
"Good Vibrations", "Help Me Rhonda"
"Surfer Girl" and "Little Honda"

Four songs by the Beach Boys.
Tighter, Tighter, Honey, Honey
Sugar, Sugar, Yummy, Yummy
CBS and Warner Brothers
RCA and all the others

CBS Records was sold to Sony. WB was the label of the moment, having bought Frank Sinatra's Reprise, and indie labels Elektra and Atlantic, a major assimilation/conglomeration in the record biz. Bertelsmann owns RCA now, I think. And "all the others" have mostly been Borged, from Motown to A&M to Virgin to...

Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
Gotta turn it up louder
So my DJ told me
Life is a rock but the radio rolled me
At the end of my rainbow
Lies a golden oldie...


Listen... they're playing our song...
At this point, the song starts to fade out (with the intro to The Four Tops' "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'"), and the background vocals provide a counterpoint (italicized here), with excerpts from other songs; "they're playing our song" is an old, old phrase, which itself was used for a 60s classic by The Buckinghams.

Rock it, sock it, Alan Freed me
Murray Kaufman tried to lead me
Fish are swimmin', Boston Monkey
Make it bad and play it funky
Wanna take you higher!
Freddie King and Albert King and
Phoebe King and frolic-king and
Getting on and
{unintelligible}
Pappalardi, hale and hearty!
Baby baby baby light my fire!
Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music!
There's a perfect morning you can
{unintelligible} Randy Newman
One two three songs apiece, Anita, Freda, Aretha!
Teenie queenie, Boffalongo, Cuba War and even
{unintelligible}
{further unintelligibility}
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, out-a-sight!
California, Beatlemania, New York City, Transylvania
S&G and
{unintelligible} Bobby Vee and SRO, yeah!

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