It was the biggest hit ever for Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Cryptkickers. Okay, it was their only hit. “Monster Mash” was released back in the days when new dances were introduced by songs (think “The Twist” and “Mashed Potato”), and this one is about a Frankenstein-type monster rising and introducing a new hit dance.
Bobby Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called the Cordials at night. He sometimes used his Boris Karloff impression during the act, and a fellow band member suggested they write a song for Bobby “Boris.” A new dance? Why not? And “Monster Mash” was, uh, born.
The song became a number one hit just before Halloween in 1962, and “comes back to life” every October since. It’s actually been re-released and made the charts three other times, oddly enough not in October, but in December (’62), August (’70), and May (’72).
The song was essentially Pickett’s whole career. He tried to capitalize on the rap craze by releasing “Monster Rap” in 1985. And most desperate (and strange) of all, he did a version to combat “global warming” in 2005 called “Climate Mash.”
Oh, one interesting bit of trivia – one of the “members” of the Cryptkickers went on to make a name for himself in the music world – Leon Russell.