The radio alarm awoke me recently with a blast from my past.
Frankly, I wasn’t ready to go back to 1969, but the radio station and Oliver decided I must.
As I lay there fighting the urge to sleep, these words jolted me awake…”… Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba…”
…and I wondered, “What were we thinking?”
I mean really, who came UP with that crap?
The song of course, is from the Broadway musical Hair which debuted off-Broadway in 1967 and made the big time in 1968.
The book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, was a product of the “hippie” counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s.
“Good Morning Starshine” is from the second act of the musical, and is performed by the character Sheila,
Of course, Oliver made it famous. It wasn’t a one hit wonder, but Oliver’s career was, oh let’s say, a four hit wonder…
William Oliver Swofford was born on February 22, 1945, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina which is the home of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, The North Wilkesboro Speedway, and is just past the Tweetise Railroad Amusement Park which my children remember as one of the places I dragged them to back in the day.
Oliver was a recipient of the prestigious Morehead Scholarship and attended UNC Chapel Hill in 1963.
He was a member of two popular music groups — The Virginians and, later, The Good Earth — and was then known as Bill Swofford.
Clean cut, good looking, and with a soaring tenor voice he was perfect for the single and commercial version of the song, Good Morning Starshine.
He brought it to number 3 on the charts, sold a million copies, and won a gold record.
He also performed the song Jean from the movie The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (which is one of my favorite Maggie Smith vehicles.)
He went on to have a modestly successful career.
He eventually turned to business to make a living, selling real estate and running a Pharmaceutical company.
In the mid 90s he developed Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease and was eventually diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He lost the battle with the disease in 2000 just a few days short of his 55th birthday.
But we, if we do at all, remember him for Good Morning Starshine.
The song was immensely popular.
I don’t know why!
It makes no sense.
But, that didn’t stop nearly every other singer from covering it.
Andy Williams, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Hugo Montenegro!!!, Diana Ross and even Bob McGrath of Sesame Street recorded it.
Is it the frivolity of the song that attracts us?
The nonsensical refrain of Gliddy Glub gloopy?
I don’t get it.
But for some reason, I can’t get it out of my head either!
But, hey, it’s Monday, and we all need to wake UP, so here ya go…