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July 8, 2017
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July 15, 2017

Transfusion by Nervous Norvus

Transfusion by Nervous Norvus

The selection for this week’s Novelty Friday is “Transfusion” by Nervous Norvus. That was the pseudonym for Jim Drake, who was indeed, a shy and nervous kind of guy. Drake wrote and recorded “Transfusion” in 1956, and that year it went to #13 on Billboard’s Pop chart. He also had a second hit that year with “Ape Call,” which rose to #28 on the chart.

Drake was born in Memphis, Tennessee,  in 1912, but his family moved to California when he was seven because of his chronic asthma. He eventually settled in Oakland, California, as an adult and spent the rest of his life there.

The lyrics speak for themselves, about this careless driver with bad judgment who keeps having accidents and needing transfusions. Drake had been working as a truck driver before and after he recorded this record. Personal injury lawyer Melvin Belli approved of the song as a cautionary tale and advice at the end of it: “So remember to slow down today!”

The record is known for its car crash sounds, which came from the Standard Sounds Effect Library. These same sounds are on other records by other artists, including “Dead Man’s Curve” by Jan and Dean as well as “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las.

In the 1950s, “Transfusion” was banned from some radio stations because of some of the more grisly lines. However, a DJ named Barry Hansen liked to play it. He eventually became known as Dr. Demento.

Drake was so shy, he refused to perform “Transfusion” on The Ed Sullivan Show. Drake did not have too much success selling his records even after this brief claim to fame. He helped others make demo records.  He died in 1968 at the age of 56 due to cirrhosis of the liver.

Here are the lyrics to “Transfusion” by Nervous Norvus:

Tooling down the highway doing seventy-nine
I’m a twin pipe papa and I’m feelin fine
Hey man dig that was that a red stop sign

Transfusion transfusion
I’m just a solid mess of contusions
I’m never never never gonna speed again
Slip the blood to me Bud

I jump in my rod about a quarter to nine
I gotta make a date with that chick of mine
I cross the center line man you gotta make time

Transfusion transfusion
Oh man I got the cotton pickin convolutions
Never never never gonna speed again
Shoot the juice to me Bruce

My foot’s on the throttle and it’s made of lead
But I’m a fast ridding daddy with a real cool head
I’ma gonna pass a truck on the hill ahead

Transfusion transfusion
My red corpsuckles are in mass confusion
I’m never never never gonna speed again
Pass the crimson to me Jimson

I took a little drink and I’m feelin right
I can fly right over everything everything in sight
There’s a slow poking cat I’m gonna pass him on the right

Transfusion transfusion
I’m a real gone paleface and that’s no illusion
I’ma never never never gonna speed again
Pass the claret to me Barrett

A rollin down the mountain on a rainy day
Oh when you see me coming better start to pray
I’ma cuttin up the road and I’m the boss all the way

Transfusion transfusion
Oh doc pardon me for this crazy intrusion
I’m never never never gonna speed again
Pump the fluid in me Louie

I’m burning up the freeway early this morn
I’m passing everybody oh nothing but corn
Man outta my way I don’t drive with my horn

Transfusion transfusion
Oh nurse I’m gonna make a new resolution
I’m never never never gonna speed again
Put a gallon in me Alan

Oh barnyard drivers are found in two classes
Line crowding hogs and speeding jackasses
So remember to slow down today
Hey daddy-o
Make that type O huh

Jim Drake aka Nervous Norvus at work

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

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