Brevity in Pop: Know When to Fold

These (short) songs clearly run the risk of leaving listeners wanting more:

Wildcat Run”    Red Sovine    1966    (1:20)

Revellion”     The Revels     1962     (1:14)

Oh Claire”      Cheap Trick     1978     (1:10)

Happy House”     Shuggie Otis     1974     (1:08)

Something Else”     Me and Them Guys     1966     (1:05)

Shut Up”     The Stranglers     1978     (1:05)

Thank You Boys”     Jane’s Addiction     1988     (1:03)

When We Were Young”     The Residents      1980     (1:02)

Once Was a Time I Thought”     The Mamas & Papas     1966     (0:57)

Ding Dang”    The Beach Boys     1977    (0:57)

Wild Honey Pie”     The Beatles     1968     (0:53)

Abide with Me”    Thelonius Monk    1957    (0:53)

I Can’t Sleep”     Sloan     2006     (0:53)

It’s Johnny’s Birthday”    George Harrison    1970    (0:50)

If You Won’t Leave Me…”     Warren Zevon     1993     (0:45)

Maggie Mae”     The Beatles     1969     (0:39)

Meant for You”    The Beach Boys    1968    (0:38)

I Love Monsters Too”     Alex Harvey     1977     (0:37)

Five Percent for Nothing”     Yes     1971     (0:35)

Nayli, Nayli, Get Me Down to Washington”     Moonshine     1970     (0:33)

Yoko Ono”     Die Arzte     2001     (0:31)

The Shortest Love Song”     Wee Willie Small     1978     (0:29)

Life Song”     Mason Williams     1968     (0:27)

Field Day for the Sundays”     Wire     1977     (0:27)

A Short Song”     Paddy Roberts     1959     (0:26)

26 Second Song”    Shel Silverstein    1972    (0:26)

Do You Think It’s Alright”     The Who     1968     (0:24)

Her Majesty”     The Beatles     1969     (0:23)

Harvey the Wonder Hamster”     Weird Al     1993     (0:21)

This Is the Shortest Song in the World”    Kenny Price    1970    (0:18)

Miracle Cure”     The Who     1968     (0:12)

Short Blues”     Neil Innes     1976     (0:11)

Turn It Over”     The Youngbloods     1969     (0:11)

That’s All Folks”     The Blues Magoos     1968     (0:08)

This Song”     Barry & the Bookbinders     1986     (0:05)

There’s a Riot Goin’ On”     Sly Stone     1971     (0:00)

18 seconds:  shortest track on a 45?

Kenny Price 45Small Claims:

Shortest song to hit #1 (U.S.): 1960’s “Stay” by Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs  1:35

Shortest song to hit #1 (U.K.):  1978’s “What Do You Want” by Adam Faith  1:35

Shortest song to hit Top 40:  1959’s “Some Kinda Earthquake” by Duane Eddy 1:17

Shortest song to hit the Hot 100:  1964’s “Little Boxes” by The Womenfolk 1:02

Shortest song to hit the UK charts:  2007’s “The Ladies’ Bra” by Trunk & Wiseby 0:36

Shortest Song - aa1Shortest Song - a1

“Happy Tracks”: Universal Code of Conduct?

Here’s a lyric that I wish everybody would use as their spiritual guidepost:  “Happy Tracks” by Ray Pennington – I particularly like this 1967 version by The Browns:

Musicians on this album include Weldon Myrick on steel, David Briggs on piano, and Jerry Reed & Wayne Moss on guitars.

From Wikipedia:

Ray Pennington first performed in a western swing band called the Western Rhythm Boys, which performed in Ohio. In 1958, he signed with King Records and released “Three Hearts in a Tangle” under the name Ray Starr.  However, Pennington was dissatisfied with the recording, so he asked that it be withdrawn as a single.  Pennington then took up record producer and artists and repertoire jobs at the label, including a production credit on Hawkshaw Hawkins’ final album, Lonesome 7-7203, one of the first country albums to feature both black and white session musicians.  He also produced for The Stanley Brothers and Reno and Smiley, playing drums for the latter.

“Happy Tracks” would also be covered by an artist who – like Ray Pennington – was a pretty big music figure from the Ohio Valley:  Kenny Price:

“Happy Tracks     Kenny Price     1969

Born in Florence, Kentucky, Price played live music at the tender ago of 14 on Covington, KY radio station WZIP.  After a brief stint at Cincinnati’s College – Conservatory of Music (CCM), Price became a musician on WLW’s Midwestern Hayride program and later its host until the show went off the air in the early 1970s.  Six feet tall and nearly 300 pounds, Price enjoyed the nickname “Round Mound of Sound” – before slimming down in later years.

Kenny Price - Happy Tracks

Price went on to national fame as part of the Hee Haw TV show cast, especially it’s long-running Hee Haw Gospel Quartet, with Grandpa Jones, Buck Owens and Roy Clark.