Song Of The Day 12/5/2014: Tommy Collins - "All of the Monkeys Ain't in the Zoo ('60s Version)"



Housekeeper's Holiday: Tommy Collins from Oklahoma was one of those country musicians who had a little more hidden influence over his contemporaries than fame. Like a Tompall Glaser, Hoyt Axton type. Collins was one of the architects of the Bakersfield sound which Buck Owens and Merle Haggard employed to their advantage. (Bakersfield might've been the most country music town in the entire USA during its heyday. Agriculture and oil production and Dust Bowl migrant workers? My fingernails got dirty just typing that out.) In the late '50s Collins recorded a bit of folkloric rockabilly called "All of the Monkeys Ain't in the Zoo" which applied an animal-based homily to several typically country family situations. Quite a few of them involved men of their time somehow being hoodwinked into marital arrangements they were either not prepared for or trying to elude as a matter of libertarian principles. Bummer.

Although the song wasn't a hit single, Collins nonetheless reworked it at some point in the '60s and revived it. Collins touched upon three different, rather less personal situations to compare to our distant feces-chucking relatives: (a) people actually going to the zoo to see actual monkeys; (b) girls in the throes of Beatlemania; and (c) the very act of songwriting -- in fact, a verse about writing the very song he's singing. At the time, the meta-commentary must have blown people's minds. Certainly in Bakersfield, I would think.
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