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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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My Radiation Baby (My Teenage Fallout Queen): George McKelvey [1964]

This satirical song was penned by folk artist and comedian George McKelvey as a reaction to the blurring of lines between the worlds of rock and folk. The record was released on Randy Sparks' (The New Christy Minstrels) label, American Gramophone and in 1965 was produced as a Scopitone film. Scopitone was a brief fad in the mid-'60s that was a kind of 'video jukebox.' For the film of his song, McKelvey acted out the wacky scenario of the lyrics with unknown actress Mary Pom. The tune also appeared on the LP 'A Crowd Of George McKelvey.'

George McKelvey was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1936. At an early age he taught himself how to play guitar. After high school he joined the air force. Upon getting out of the service in 1959, McKelvey started his folk music career in Chicago as part of a duo. One of McKelvey's main influences was the satirical musician Tom Lehrer. In 1964 he moved to Los Angeles where he performed his music solo and found acting work in a couple of episodes of the television show 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' In the early '70s McKelvey worked with the comedy improv group The Committee. Eventually he moved with his family to Colorado where he opened a comedy club and had business interests in two other such venues. McKelvey now resides in New Mexico where he still performs occasionally.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
My Radiation Baby (My Teenage Fallout Queen): George McKelvey [1964]

Spoken:

A significant song of social protest you can dance to…

Sung:

You oughta see my baby
She’ll really make you stare
She holds my hands in both of hers
While her other one strokes my hair
She’s my radiation baby
She’s my teenage fallout quee hee hee hee een
Hee hee hee heen

The other night I met her
Down by the hot dog sta aa aa aa and
She was waitin’ there for me
Her heart was in her hand, (growls): Yeah!
She’s my radiation baby
She’s my teenage fallout quee hee hee hee hee ee een

Spoken: Here comes the dramatic part now!

Recitation:

I remember it well, my darling,
The night we had our fight.
You threw my class ring into the grass
As we sat in the park that night.
We were kissing dear, and making out, uh,
When we saw the blinding light!
‘N I didn’t know that you weren’t with me dear,
When they locked that shelter tight.

Starts singing again:
You went back for my class ring
Where you left it in the pa aa aa aa ark
Now when it’s on your finger dear
It glow wo wo wo wo wo wos in the dark
You’re my radiation baby
You’re my teenage fallout quee hee hee hee
Wee wee wee ween

(Shoop doo doo doo wah)

Your clothes look like a sack to me
And your hair, your hair is gettin’ thin
But I thought I saw when you came back to me
That it had cleared up your skin!

So wo wo, hold me close my darling
‘Cause I know what you’ve got
My Geiger counter, dear
Tells me that you’re hot, ha ha
You’re my radiation baby
You’re my teenage fallout quee hee hee hee
Hee hee hee hee een

George McKelvey [1964]
My Radiation Baby (My Teenage Fallout Queen)
(McKelvey)
Scopitone (American Gramophone GR-5)

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