by Skip Cohen
In the sixties, comedian and songwriter Allan Sherman hit a few home runs. One of them, "Camp Granada" became an instant hit. Years later, it still makes me laugh. And as a parent, if you've ever sent your kid to camp for the first time, it hits home even more.
But, like every Throwback Thursday post I share, there's always a backstory. My Dad and Allan Sherman were fraternity brothers at the University of Illinois. Dad took me to see him when he did a concert in Cleveland. I was just a little kid, but I remember the two of them laughing about their college days, as Allan grabbed a quick bite before the concert in his hotel room.
Laugh-in's Artie Johnson was in the same fraternity. Years ago, we were in New York with my folks for their anniversary. Artie Johnson was in Candide when it came back on Broadway, and my sister had tracked him down. So as we ate breakfast, he came in, sat down next to my Dad, and started eating off his plate! They hadn't seen each other in years, but the laughs and stories that followed were outrageous.
For some reason, Sheila woke up yesterday trying to remember the lyrics to "Camp Granada". While today's throwback isn't a photograph, it represents why Throwback Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Those looks in your rearview mirror that bring back memories and smiles need to be savored!
Allan Sherman died at just 48 of respiratory failure in 1973. We lost Artie Johnson at 90 in 2019, and my Dad passed away in 2015 at 93. I like to think of the three of them hanging out together now, telling stories, laughing, and keeping an eye on their families and friends.
And if you've never heard Camp Granada, just click the video below - you can find anything on YouTube!
Happy New Year!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.