The Song – A Brief Introduction To It's Heritage
Today, many don’t even remember the names of Lonzo & Oscar, but they were making folk laugh each Saturday at the Opry for more than 40 years, and their biggest hit is about to do so again. They regularly performed with Paul Howard’s Arkansas Cotton Pickers and charmed millions with a national audience on WSM radio, earning themselves a recording contract with RCA by 1947.
Dwight Latham, a member of a singing group called The Jesters, discovered the idea for ‘Grandpa’ whilst musing over the written thoughts of Mark Twain, who realised that a man could technically be his own Grandfather if he married a widow whilst his father married the widow’s daughter. He wrote the song as a throwaway with Moe Jaffe, and it would have come and gone, disappearing in a single comedy sketch, if not for the fact that it was noted by Lonzo & Oscar who were looking for a comedy vehicle to promote themselves. Released in January 1948, it hit the top ten within a month and became L&O’s biggest all-time seller.
Since then it has been covered successfully by Capitol star Jo Stafford, multi-million selling recording artist Guy Lombardo, Phil Harris (legendary bandleader and Disney’s ‘Baloo’) and more recently performed live by Ray Stevens (country star extraordinaire but also novelty aficionado of ‘Bridget the Midget’ and ‘The Streak’ fame).
The Chaps have taken the song to a new level for the 21st Century, with a 130bpm club beat, a laid-back spoken vocal (re: Baz Luhrman’s ‘Sunscreen’) a C&W violin riff for the line dancers (shades of 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia' ) and a pub chorus (a la Chumbawumba’s ‘Tubthumping’ ).
From 1948 to 2005 in a single bound with Ibiza and/or Christmas eagerly awaiting……
The Chaps…………Pete Gallagher and Martin Fisher
The song……………“He’s His Own Grandpa”
The world…………is holding it’s breath
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