Sixty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on Billboard (pre-hot 100 era) was Oh! My Pa-Pa (O Mein Papa) performed by Eddie Fisher. A lamentation, sung by a young woman grieving the loss of her clown-father, the song was written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard in 1939 for the musical Der schwarze Hecht (The Black Pike). Reproduced and re-issued in 1950 as Das Feuerwerk (The Firework), the musical was made into a German film, Fireworks, in 1954 starring Lilli Palmer.
Trumpeter Eddie Calvert had a #1 with an instrumental version of the song in the UK at the very same time Fisher’s version was the #1 in the US.
On March 8, 1967, television audiences were treated to a version of the song by Jim Nabors, in character as Gomer Pyle, in the Season 3 episode (#85) “Sing a Song of Papa”. On October 24, 1991, Krusty the Clown sang the song as O mein Papa on The Simpsons in the Season 3 episode Like Father, Like Clown, a twist on the young woman’s sorrow over her father.
This song has been covered by many other artists, including The Everly Brothers, Connie Francis, Ray Anthony (last surviving member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra), The Bobbettes, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Björk (as “Pabbi minn”).
November 9 has three celebrations. National Louisiana Day highlights the 18th state. Purchased as a territory in 1803 during the Jefferson Presidency and admitted to the Union on April 30, 1812, its largest city is New Orleans and its capital is Baton Rouge. Those native to the state are referred to as ‘Louisianians‘ but, having had a great neighbor in Texas that was from this state, he, frequently, referred to himself as a certain Cajun ethnicity. The official nickname is the Pelican State but, other nicknames are Bayou State, Creole State, Sportsman’s Paradise and The Boot.
With a blending of cultures, this multilingual state has Native American (seven distinct tribes), French (Acadians), Spanish, African, German, Irish and Haitian influences. This unique mixture has brought forth grand cuisine, excellent music, Creole culture and Mardi Gras.
Louisiana is home to the National World War II Museum, the Historic Voodoo Museum, the Mardi Gras Museum, the New Orléans Jazz Museum, the Delta Music Museum, the Old State Capitol and the Tabasco Museum. It is also home to the earliest North American mound complex: Watson Brake, the U. S. National Monument & UNESCO World Heritage Site: Poverty Point and, the Troyville Earthworks.
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe [Jelly Roll Morton] – Musician (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941)
Louis Daniel “Louie” Armstrong [Satchmo] – Musician (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)
Truman Garcia Capote – Author (September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984)
Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. – Musician/Singer/Songwriter (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017)
Howard Allen Frances O’Brien [Anne Rice] – Author (October 4, 1941)
Cheers and enjoy!