Wednesday, April 04, 2012

More Sad Songs : 1970s Tearjerkers about Dearly-Departed Pets

If you lived through the mixed-bag that comprised AM radio in the 1970s, you probably remember the following odes to deceased pets. Whether you dismissed ‘em as sappy drek or cried til the grooves wore out on the 45, they will stir up lotsa “Me Decade” memories.

Shannon-Henry Gross

Henry Gross, one of the founding members of Sha-Na-Na, is best known for this 1976 tearjerker. Written about the death of Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s Irish Setter, the song made it to number 6 on the Billboard charts in 1976 and was ubiquitous on AM radio. The song is the catalyst for an infamous outtake from Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 radio show. Kasem’s  rant about a “Long Distance Dedication” to a dead dog placed after an up-tempo song has been a viral favorite for years. Click Here to Listen

Wildfire - Michael Martin Murphey

I always loved the piano intro to this 1975 hit song. Even if the lyrics about a doomed, mystical horse are too sappy for you, the haunting music will get to you. Songwriter Michael Martin Murphey  has enjoyed  a long and notable career, recording songs in several musical genres, including country/western, pop, cowboy and folk. His hit songs include  “Still Taking Chances”, “Carolina in the Pines” and “A Long Line of Love.” Murphey also wrote the song, What Am I Doing Hangin' Round for the Monkees.