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Sunday, March 07, 2010

A shout out to trivia victims everywhere

It's funny how the mind works (or doesn't work, as the case may be). 

I often forget what my wife has asked me to pick up at the store less than 30 seconds after hanging up the phone;  But for some inexplicable reason, when it comes to trivia, my mind is a well-organized, perpetually accessible database containing an incredible collection of the most irrelevant, extraneous, completely superfluous crap imaginable.

For example, a couple of weeks ago my friend Ben Chorin asked me if I had a recording of the song 'Shout' that I could lend him for Purim (I'll leave it to him to explain why).  A quick search of my iTunes library turned up both the original '59 Isley Brothers recording, as well as the better known (at least by people of my generation) 1978 'Otis Day and the Nights' (actually Lloyd Williams) version that was used for the famous toga party scene in National Lampoon's 'Animal House'.

Being a good friend, I burned Ben a copy of the 'Animal House' version of the song and brought it over to his house.  The crazy thing is that, without having made a conscious effort to retrieve the information, I found myself sharing the following bit of trivia along with the disc:

About half way through the song 'Shout' (in every version I've ever heard), the singer yells; "Now waaaaaaaait a minute'"... followed by 3 or 4 seconds of absolute silence... and then continues with; "I feel aaaaaaaaaalriiiiiiight...".

Now, most people my age or younger who hear the song probably never gave much thought to why the singer would suddenly ask the listener to 'wait a minute', or why there is a short pause in the song immediately after he has done so.

However, people just a tiny bit older may recall that 'Shout' was released in 1959 as a single on a 45 RPM record.  And because 'Shout' was so long, in a departure from the usual practice of putting one song on the 'A' side and another (usually less promising song) on the 'B' side, record execs decided to split the song into a 'Part 1' and 'Part 2', and use both sides of the 45. 

The lyric "Now waaaaaaaait a minute'", which is the last thing one hears on the 'A' side, is meant to assure the listener that the song is not over.  And once the listener flipped over the record, the singer continues with "I feel aaaaaaaaaalriiiiiiight..." and continues on to the end of the song.  Radio DJ's dealt with this unorthodox situation by having two turn-tables set up with the same record to save themselves the problem of having to turn the record over.

My guess is that this little nugget of useless trivia is taking up the storage space normally used to keep track of the milk and bread I was supposed to pick up at the store.   Because until I finally call Zahava and admit that I've forgotten what she asked for (or worse, end up buying something else that seems likely), I find myself shuffling up and down the supermarket aisles quietly singing "You know you make me want to [shout!] kick my heels up and [shout!] throw my hands up and [shout!] throw my head back and [shout!]...".

Don't thank me... I'm a giver.

Posted by David Bogner on March 7, 2010 | Permalink


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That is NOT useless trivia. That's an absolutely cool fact that made me smile this morning.

Posted by: Raizy | Mar 7, 2010 2:22:43 PM

Great. Now I have the lyrics to "Shout" taking up the brain space where this morning's Pesach lesson plans used to be. Think the kids will notice?

Posted by: Lynne | Mar 7, 2010 3:31:20 PM


I've now got the words "Toga! toga! toga!" running through my head :)

Posted by: chairwoman | Mar 7, 2010 3:59:28 PM

I've been reading your blog for a few months and I can't believe that THIS post is the first to get me to comment. I actually knew this piece of trivia and was actually excited to see that someone else knew it, too. I also believe that this is one of two covers that I enjoy listening to over the original (the other being Joe Cocker's version of A Little Help from my Friends).

Posted by: Jughead's Hat | Mar 7, 2010 4:19:13 PM

My wife calls me "a respository of useless" knowledge. And I need to write down shopping lists and still don't get them right. But I really needed that... Thanks.

Posted by: soccer dad | Mar 7, 2010 6:02:31 PM

So I guess I am not the only one who has trouble remembering the list of things the wife just told you to buy. I always call on from the supermarket right before I am about to head to the cashier, and go over the stuff in my cart to make sure I did not forget anything she asked for.

this little piece of trivia is great. Now I'll have something to tell my kids if we happen to hear the song together. And I am expecting a few questions from them for sure: 45 RPM record? turntable? what was that about? :)

Posted by: David S | Mar 7, 2010 7:02:26 PM

When you said 'Shout' I thought you meant the Tears for Fears song.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Mar 7, 2010 8:05:10 PM

Being a Brit, I thought it was the Lulu version.

As for lists, along with losing keys/wallets/cell phones, it's a guy thing. Even if I give my husband a list for shopping, he still calls me at work, either because he lost the list, or doesn't know which brand to buy or needs to know how many onions are in a Kilo. Sigh!

Posted by: Noa | Mar 7, 2010 8:47:14 PM

The only music trivia I know of is that DJ's played American Pie when they need to go to the bathroom and didn't have anyone to cover for them. Of course that might have been an urban legend as well...

Posted by: JDMDad | Mar 8, 2010 12:58:21 AM

What did husband's do before they days of cellphones?

Posted by: Baila | Mar 8, 2010 3:15:38 AM

Morey's the same, only with television. One day, a friend mentioned an old Canadian sci-fi show ("what was the name of that show? With the big spaceship?") that no one remembers. Morey piped up with "Starlost" and mentioned that it starred Keir Dullea, aired 1973, ran for one season on CTV and that Harlan Ellison was involved. He also remembered that Walter Koenig guest-starred on the show, but I figure any Star Trek geek would know that.

Yet he forgot to get yogurt 3 shopping trips in a row. Men are strange.

Posted by: Alissa | Mar 8, 2010 7:31:59 PM

OMG I remember the shopping and forget the trivia! what has my wife turned me into? :-)

Posted by: Ken | Mar 8, 2010 11:12:00 PM

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