Sunday, September 06, 2009

"Downtown" Jones

Anyone who reads Mark Evanier's News From ME blog (and you all should be doing so), knows that last month Mark got on sort of a "Downtown" kick. By "Downtown" I refer to the Petula Clark hit from the 1960s and Allan Sherman's takeoff of same, "Crazy Downtown." First Mark linked us to a video of Allan Sherman singing "Crazy Downtown" then a week or so later Mark related how he was almost sued by Mr. Sherman for writing his own parody of "Downtown."

So, I was alive when all this was going on. I was young, but I remember "Downtown," I even remember singing it in elementary school choir. But for the life of me, I don't remember ever hearing the song "Crazy Downtown," but it seems Mark was, shall we say, enamored with it and the Petula Clark hit as well. But exactly how enamored was Mr. Evanier? Just how big of a "Downtown Jones" was Mark in the clutches of? It was pretty bad folks.

You see, my other blog, DC Comics 40 Years Ago, causes me to spend some part of each week reading old DC comic books from, you guessed it, 40 years ago. On September 4, 1969 Batman #216 was published. It was a pretty good issue, but what I found really interesting was the letters page and a missive from one Mark Evanier of Los Angeles, California who extolled the work of new DC writer Frank Robbins is his own unique way. It went something like this:

Dear Editor:

The following is a song parody of the type I used to win original Inferior Five artwork with. It is sung to the tune of "Downtown"...

When there's a mag, wherein the stories don't drag,
The writer is probably--Robbins.
In all his glory, he can write a mean story,
Johnny Hazard's pop -- Robbins.
It may be in a Batman or it may be in a Flash,
If it's not his first issue then it's certainly not trash,
Superboy too.
Top it off with Novick art,
You have a Batman story that comes straight from the heart,
It's by Robbins...
Frank is a real find.
Robbins...Bad stories are behind.
Robbins...Immortalized in this song.
Oh yeah, that guy Evanier had a real "Downtown" monkey on his back!

1 comment:

Steve Chaput said...

Bwahaha! Wow, what a great find! Wonder if even Mark remembers.