Five years before “The Monster Mash,” King Records would peddle their own piece of Halloween pop in 1957, with the only release ever by The Swinging Phillies on DeLuxe — “Frankenstein’s Party” (backed with “L–O–V–E“):
“Frankenstein’s Party” The Swinging Phillies 1957
Thanks to the unnamed Discogs contributor who posted this biographical sketch:
The Swinging Phillies are a Philadelphia-based group, and are composed of Charles Cosom, lead; Philip Hurtt, first tenor; Richard Hill, second tenor; Ronald Headon, baritone; and Al Hurtt, bass singer and founder of the group.
More band history below courtesy of the “bio-disc“:
Hard to believe that people have paid hundreds of dollars for an original copy of this doowop 45, but they have.
A search of the 45Cat database seems to suggest strongly that DeLuxe 6171 is the first of the “Frankenstein” songs, two years before Buchanan & Goodman’s “Frankenstein of ’59” (and one year before Bo Diddley’s “Bo Meets the Monster” – although this source says 1956), but is it also pop music’s earliest Halloween-slash-horror song? All attempts to find “scary” songs earlier than 1957 – using such search terms as monster, ghoul, vampire, mummy, spooky, haunted, Halloween, et al. – have not yet proven abundant. According to AllButForgottenOldies, the “flying saucer” songs of 1956 would kick start the teen horror fad in popular music, which merely echoed the big screen — although I’m not sure I would include “Old Black Magic” (especially as rendered so touchingly by the Glenn Miller Orchestra; same goes for Margaret Whiting’s “Old Devil Moon” — ditto Perry Como’s “Haunted Heart“) on a ‘Halloween Oldies’ song list.
“Frankenstein’s Party” just might be King’s only Halloween and/or horror tune.
Q: Aside from the “flying saucer” discs of 1956, can you find a Halloween/horror tune earlier than 1957?
LINK to other Zero to 180 Halloween & Horror history pieces