This is not Baboonland!

000_01711 ghostbusters

The popularity of novelty and parody songs had fallen off from the golden days of top 40 radio in the fifties and sixties when you could always count on at least one  or two on the charts at any given time.  Programmers at top 40 stations, which had become devolved to top 20 – and renamed the format Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) – just didn’t see the need for those songs on a tight hitbound playlist.     The only exception was Weird Al, who was a one-man novelty song industry in the eighties and nineties.

Their loss, our gain is the way we viewed an opportunity to fill the void- and we were always in search of an off-the-wall novelty or parody song, most of which would get initial airplay on the Buzzard Morning Zoo. “The Scotsman,” “Eugene,” and “We Like Ugly Women” are three examples.

On Memorial Day Weekend 1985, when we declared open war against WGCL following the Slade lip sync concert debacle, our goal to rid Cleveland of that Baboon-infested radio program department by Labor Day Weekend (which we did).    And we openly slammed them on-the-air whenever there was occasion to.

Since our parent company, Malrite, also owned Z100 in New York, it permitted us to collaborate on certain projects.   Among them was creating custom-made novelty and parody songs to attack WGCL with.

Though “Baboonbusters,” performed to the tune of Ghostbusters movie theme song remains missing, a slightly damaged – but cleaned-up – version of one of the Buzzard vs. Baboons novelty songs has turned up. 

One of the popular songs of the summer was “This is Not America” by David Bowie backed by the Pat Metheny Group from the movie soundtrack to The Falcon and the Snowman

We did our own WGCL parody version, “This is not Baboonland,” which was recorded and produced by Northern Ohio native J.R. Nelson, who had moved to New York to help sign-on and handle creative production and a member of the morning show team for Z100.   J.R. had one of the most identifiable voices on Cleveland radio having worked at a WGAR, WGCL and WHK (and did a few fill-in shifts on WMMS) before transferring to Z100.   J.R. was assisted by David Kolin, who also provided the voice of Michael Jackson on some Buzzard Morning Zoo bits.   Like “Baboonbusters” before it, “This is not Baboonland” got more requets than the original Bowie version after it was first premiered on the Buzzard Morning Zoo.

You can download “This is Not Baboonland” here.

Special thanks to Jim Davison and Chuck Matthews.

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