One of the weirdest things I ever found was The Andrew Sisters version of "Rum and Coca-Cola" on Gia's iPod. It's actually a very cute and catchy Calypso tune, but something you don't expect to find. Normally. But whoever said Gia was normal. She digs me, after all. That ain't normal.
I was just thinking about it last night and I decided to look it up on the old Interwebs so I could post it for y'all. What I found was soooo much better than just some lame Youtube video. No, what I found was gold. Gold, Jerry!
I went to the Wikipedia, as I am apt to do, and saw that Morey Amsterdam was listed as "writing" the song. Remember Morey? He was part of the comedy writing team, along with Dick Van Dyke and Rose Marie, on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He played Buddy Sorrell, probably he most well known role. I loved that show. Morey was hilarious on it, and it's a clear pre-cursor of shows like 30 Rock. That "behind the scenes" look at a hit television show. He also played Cappy in Frankie and Annette's Beach Party movies.
But, of course, Morey didn't really write the song. When the song was first recorded here in the US, Morey was listed as the lyricist and he copyrighted the song. Problem is that a Calypso artist from Trinidad named Lord Invader (really) actually wrote it. Morey plagiarized the tune, and it became a big hit for him with The Andrews Sisters. He first heard it in 1943 when he visited Trinidad with a USO tour. I'm also trying to wrap my mind around why the USO would be visiting lovely Trinidad during the height of World War II. Which soldiers stationed in Trinidad* during World War II really needed their spirits raised by entertainers? C'mon.
So Amsterdam heard the song while entertaining the troops, loved it and then he wrote his own version of it that lessened the original's political message. And, um, well...he kinda implied that the women "working for the Yankee dollar" were whores. Booze and whores? Why wouldn't it be a huge hit here in the US? Ha!
Anyway, Lord Invader eventually sued Amsterdam and won a settlement even though Amsterdam was still granted copyright privileges.
The surreal shit you can find out on the Interwebs these days, eh?
*I will readily admit that I am too lazy to look up why we had soldiers stationed in Trinidad during World War II. So forgive me if I spoke out of line here.
PS - I had you at "Booze and Whores", didn't I? - Earl
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Morey would want you to do it.