This may end up being a mistake, but I'm going to do it anyways. This mistake is that I'm going to post my favorite Eddy Arnold record before posting any of the others that I have. I actually have quite a few records by old Eddy Arnold and they all have their own special charm, but "Hep Cat Baby" stands out to me. I think I like it because while it is definitely a country hit, the phrase Hep Cat isn't so I like the juxtoposition or the two worlds. The song is littered with hipster lingo from the 1950's which today seem really corny. A lot of them remind me of two particular TV shows. It reminds me of "The Honeymooners". For some reason I have it in my mind that there is an episode where Ralph is trying to act young and hip for Alice. I don't really thing he's using these phrases, but it still reminds me of that. The other show it reminds me of is an episode of "The Munsters" where Herman is trying to relate to Eddie. Eddie is using phrases like "cool daddy, cool" and Herman tries to be cool using the hip lingo of the kids. As a kid it always cracked me up, because I thought it sounded so unhip and old fashioned. The guitar on this song also reminds me of something from "The Beverly Hillbillies". Yes I've been saying that about a lot of music recently. I can't help it, that's just the way I hear it. Maybe I watched too much "Beverly Hillbillies" as a kid.
I'm sure you are starting to get a picture of the kind of TV I was watching in the late 70's and early 80's. Long before I had cable and long before TVLand I watched all these shows on WFLD channel 32 in Chicago. At that time it was just a local station that ran nothing but reruns until it was bought by FOX at the end of the decade.
The B-Side is a pleasant little song. Again it has country roots, but like also has one foot firmly planted in traditional pop. That is one thing Eddy excelled at. He was a big cross over singer who brought his country flavor into the mainstream pop world. It is a nice blend, I think.
So get out your 50's slang dictionary, pull up a chair next to the cement pond and have some fun with "Hep Cat Baby".
01 Hep Cat Baby.mp3
02 This Is The Thanks I Get.mp3