Monday, March 22, 2010

The Strange Story Behind "Gimme Dat Ding" By The Pipkins

In 1970, a very unusual novelty single, "Gimme Dat Ding" hit the charts and became a top hit both in the UK reaching and in the U.S. But this very unusual single has an even stranger history.

In many ways, "Gimme Dat Ding" was the first rap song ever, using two voices in a strange duet, one very similar to that of legendary radio announcer Wolfman Jack, and another much higher pitched voice. The song also made liberal use of ragtime-era styled music as well. The popular British comedy show, THE BENNY HILL SHOW, often made use of the music from this song which was originally written for a British children's program, OLIVER AND THE OVERLORD.

Tony Burrows, the lead singer on the song actually hit the charts in 1970 using four different act names. With The White Plains, "My Baby Loves Lovin"" was a hit both in the Uk and the U.S., with Edison Lighthouse, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes", and with The Brotherhood Of Man, "United We Stand" was also hit both in the UK and the U.S. It was probably the first time in chart history that one singer had four chart hits in one year in both the UK and the the U.S. using four different act names, each with a different style of music. Two other singles by Burrows recorded under the group names Current Kraze and The Naked Truth apparently failed to chart in 1970, otherwise Burrows would have had even more hit singles in a single year. Tony Burrows sang the deeper voice parts, while it was Roger Greenaway who did the falsetto style voice on "Gimme Dat Ding".

Interestingly, since Tony Burrows was a session singer, he wasn't always available, so live show versions of "Gimme Dat Ding" were performed by British singers, Davey Sands and Len Marshall. A few years ago, "Gimme Dat Ding" was rerecorded using new digital recording technology. However, fans of the songs complain that the new version simply lacks the sheer fun of the original recording.

Tony Burrows was sometimes describes as "the human hit machine" because he had an usual knack for picking the right songs to sing that became hits. Burrows also rates in the record books as having the most chart hit singles by any human being ever. Burrows had hit singles recording under his own name, as well as with a huge number of group names. He was also the lead singer of First Class and had the hit "Beach Baby" with them as well.

Incidentally, Albert Hammond who co-wrote "Gimme Dat Ding", with Mike Hazlewood, also wrote the hit song for The Hollies, "The Air That I Breathe". Hammond also had a big hit single with the song, "It Never Rains In Southern California".


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