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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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Mushroom Cloud, A: Sammy Salvo [1961]

This melodramatic tune written by the famous Boudleaux Bryant (who, with his wife, Felice, wrote many of The Everly Brothers' hits) is, in spirit, not to mention release date, a kind of prequel to Bill Chambers' 1962 apocalyptic teen anthem Fallout Shelter. Salvo's song's protagonist carries on about his fears for his romantic future because "a mushroom cloud hangs over my dreams" and manages, in the course of a couple of minutes, to convey the angst of a generation. Indeed, A Mushroom Cloud is but another example of how sometimes a short pop song can summarize history and portray the emotion of an era better than a dozen 1,000-page books.

Sammy Salvo was born Sammy Anselmo in 1937 in Birmingham, Alabama. Salvo wrote the Jimmy Newman rock song Bop-A-Hula.t. He recorded for Dot, Mark V (a Birmingham, Alabama label), RCA, Imperial, Hickory and Golden Eagle. Salvo's cover of The Crescendos' Oh Julie charted on Billboard at number 78.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Mushroom Cloud, A: Sammy Salvo [1961]

I want to be happy I want to be gay
I want to be normal in every way
But a mushroom cloud hangs over my dreams
It haunts my future and threatens my schemes
Refrain: Please, please, please where did you go?

I've got me a sweetheart and I love her, too
We want to make big plans but what can we do?
When a mushroom cloud has changed every rule
It's deepened our thinking at home and at school
Refrain

We prayed, we partied, we laughed and we pray again
And we prayed, too and tried not to think of the mess we're in

I cling to my baby and she clings to me
We talk of the future, but what do we see?
There's a mushroom cloud that hangs in the way
Tomorrow looks black so we live for today
Refrain (repeat twice)

Sammy Salvo [1961]
A Mushroom Cloud
(Boudleaux Bryant)
Hickory 45-1138

CATEGORY: SONGS: ATOMIC[ 1 | COMMENTS | May 10, 06 | 4:09 am ]

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