Friends, in my youth there was a pretty nice skating rink in my neck of the woods – in fact it is where I first would play the likes of Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Scramble. Generally every Saturday afternoon my Father would take me to the Skate Place and while he would sit in the concession area I would get out on the floor with kids my age – roller skating to many popular songs of the day. I should add that the Skate Place’s DJ played music from all genres and naturally did requests – so around 1977 there was a lot of skating to Meco’s “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” from the Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk album. As I have stated numerous times, music just wasn’t a thing in our household while I was growing up – so besides radio while riding in the car – it was the Skate Place that I heard most of my music. It is most definitely where I first fell in love with the novelty tune “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees and His Cast Idiots – a song that would reach the number one spot for the Billboard Hot 100 Singles list on October 16th of 1976. Which is why Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots were showing up on American Bandstand and The Midnight Special – complete with a puppet performed by Michael Chesney, backup singers, and a person in a duck suit.
“Disco Duck” would manage to move to the number two spot the following week on that Billboard Hot 100 Singles list – staying there for four weeks and keeping in the Top 10 for five more weeks. Thanks to the Wikipedia entry I learned that Dees was influenced by yet another novelty song entitled “The Duck” which was co-written by Earl Nelson and Fred Sledge Smith and recorded by the former as Jackie Lee in 1965.
Rick Dees by the way had another animal themed song to go along with “Disco Duck” – “Dis-Gorilla“!