Sunday, July 28, 2019

This Instrumental Is a Gas

Song 470: This week the playlist applauds Classical Gas by Mason Williams, who also wrote the song, and you can find a YouTube video of it by clicking on the title. When this 45 came across the airwaves in the summer of 1968, just shortly before I began my senior year at HS, I really liked the sound of it. At the time, I played violin with the orchestra, as well as writing my own songs on an acoustic guitar and the family piano, so I really enjoyed an instrumental hit that combined classical elements with popular music ones. I also have a vague memory of one of my friends sharing an odd rumor about the record being created by an anonymous source who hid his real identity and put Mr. Williams up as a front man. I don't know where that strange story came from, but I learned, in researching for this post, that MW was the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time of the release, which makes me respect him even more. In addition, I read that Mason originally called the tune Classical Gasoline, and I'd say that the musical copyist who shorted it did him a favor, because this composition is a real gas!

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