Friday, July 1, 2011

Ron & The D.C. Crew - "Rappin' Ron"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted January 24, 1987, Peaked #93, 4 Weeks on the Chart)

Leading into the extended July 4th weekend, this song is perfect. This makes sense to most of us who lived in the U.S. during the 1980s. For those who weren't there, "well""...

One of the things about political humor is that it doesn't tend to age well. As time goes on and new people take the national stage, things that were funny to one generation make no sense at all to the next. A prime example of this is the comic Bloom County. I loved it when I was a kid, but when I was showing a book of the comics to my young daughter a few years back, a lot topics that were specific to the strip's 1980-'89 lifetime didn't register with her because she didn't have the same frame of reference. Instead, I introduced her to Calvin & Hobbes. Since that comic strip generally stayed away from political issues, she fell in love with the concept of a kid who imagines his stuffed tiger is real.

But while political humor rarely ages well, the same goes for novelty records. Usually, they can only be played a few times before they get stale. And that's exactly what happened with my local radio station's morning program. Since I grew up in a small town, many of us listened to the same station as we got ready for school, and most buses played it on the way there. One morning, they played "Rappin' Ron" and we thought it was great. The next morning, we still thought it was great, and I even got a recording on a Certron tape of one of the times it was played.

But before the week was out, it wasn't so funny anymore. And the station went on to the next novelty.

For those of us who lived through the era and remember the Reagan years, a cheesy "rap" imitation might make us chuckle to hear again. Because it is so 1987 (except for the line "Push, the George Bush," which was straight out of 1979). In fact, it's hard now to tell whether the song was intended to lampoon the President or merely cash in on his persona.

In previous entries, I've mentioned that it's a shame that some songs aren't available as digital downloads. I've even called it "criminal" to keep them unavailable. In this case, I'm going to say that I'm not surprised in the case of "Rappin' Ron."

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