Music Hub

Originating Location: 1950s-1960s

Originating Era: United States

Key Artists[]

Key Albums[]

  • Napoleon XIV - The Second Coming
  • Vaughn Meader - The First Family

Genre Description[]

Novelty is a subsection of Comedy, as it can typically be a bit more Experimental than most straight comedy records. Often, there's an off-the-wall hook with a novelty record which would result in its popularity, sometimes leading to something very important. For example, Buchanan & Goodman's break-in records led to a landmark sampling case, and Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" featured a brand new technique developed by Jerry Samuels himself, allowing to record his voice with the pitch being modified while keeping the tempo constant. (In the past, it was simply achieved by slowing the tape down, and singing to a slowed down backing track, to keep the tempo constant with the rest of the song -- though this does strange things to the sound; witness the early David Seville records.) Unfortunately, novelty music is looked down upon for precisely that reason -- it's considered a novelty and once the newness wears off, so, in the eyes of many, does the quality of the song. This may be true for some records (as it is for records of any genre), but many of the best novelty records hold up to listening after listening.

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