Musical Musings from Swim Accounts Director Bill “The Juice” Nelson

Posted March 18, 2024 by swimcreative

“What have you been listening to lately?”

I have been giving this question some serious thought. When I was a kid, I listened to heavy rock music and prog rock like Rush, Pink Floyd and Blue Oyster Cult. But at this moment, right now – if I am being honest – there are two songs that are stuck in my head.

The ‘Five Blobs’ were all one person, the voice of Bernie Nee. His vocals were overdubbed five times.

#1 – “The Blob” by The Five Blobs

The first is the theme song to the 1958 indy film, The Blob. I watched the “B movie” on Halloween. Normally, scary movies have, well, scary music. Not The Blob. I think the actual name of the opening song is called “Beware of the Blob.” It’s not what you would expect. It’s snappy. It’s a chipper 50’s ditty. It caught me off guard. I actually laughed, and it stuck with me.

I enjoy listening to it now and again if I need a smile. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David and it was actually a hit in the United States. It reached number 33 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1958. The studio musicians that recorded the song called themselves, “The Five Blobs.” Hilarious. 

The style is very indicative of the music of that time, with jazzy saxophones, a skiffle/surf vibe, a mambo-inspired beat, clean guitar, key changes, mouth pops and LOTS of reverb. Listen to the song and it will stick with you. Better yet, watch the movie (at least the opening credits) and experience it for yourself.

Roger Miller won 5 Grammy Awards with “King of the Road” in 1966 at the 8th Annual Grammy Awards

#2 – “King of the Road” by Roger Miller

The second song that’s been stuck in my head is “King of the Road” by Roger Miller. It was recorded in 1964. I suppose I connect with it because I enjoy the freedom of road trips and there is something romantic about all of the little adventures that we can have by exploring new places on a small budget. 

During the summer months, my wife and I enjoy hooking up our fifth-wheel camper to our pickup truck and hitting the road to visit state parks, national forests and – if we’re lucky – a national park. “King of the Road” was a crossover of sorts that was popular with country & western listeners as well as contemporary music fans of that time. I would argue that there is a folk element to this song as well.

Drummer Bill Nelson (far right), with his band “De’Toure”

On a Day-to-Day Basis…

I listen to LITT Live on Apple Play in my truck. Typically Alt X Classics and Grunge-90’s Rock. Sometimes I indulge in The Strip-80’s Hair Band Rock. On commercial radio, I listen to a little news on AM 610 KDAL on the way home from bringing my wife to work. Dave Strandberg plays older songs as bumper music, which explains why “King of the Road” stuck with me. Sometimes, I listen to 92.1 “The Squatch” in the afternoon on my way to pick up my wife from work. 

If a Metallica song is on, like “Enter Sandman” or “Sad but True” I play it really loud because, well, duh.

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