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Yesterday in La Crosse

They did the “Mash” on the radio in ’62

Brad Williams

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The #1 song on the week before Halloween of 1962 was “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett.  In 1991, Pickett performed the song at an outdoor concert at the Trempealeau Hotel, and joked that Elvis Presley didn’t like “Monster Mash,” but he (Pickett) was still around, and Elvis was not. Micky Dolenz of the Monkees and Tiny Tim also performed at that Trempealeau show.

Another hit record was made in 1962, before a live audience on October 22nd. It was “The First Family,” a comedy album featuring Vaughn Meader imitating President John F. Kennedy.  Coincidentally, the album was recorded the same night that the real JFK went on TV to reveal the Cuban Missile Crisis with the Soviet Union.  The audience at the recording session was not told ahead of time about the Kennedy speech, so they would be in the mood to laugh.

The World Series of 1962 was finished well before Halloween, ending on October 16th.  The Yankees beat the Giants in 7 games.  The Yanks wouldn’t win the series again for another 15 years, and the Giants didn’t even get another pennant until 1989.  Scary, huh?

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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