I have a feeling this album was approved for production based on the cover design alone, but it’s an amusing listen, too—in 1966, Happy Time Records (motto: “Hi-Fi for Small Fry”) released Kiddie Au Go-Go, an LP’s worth of “Nursery rhymes with the teen dance beat of today!”, boasting textbook greeting-card psych bubble lettering and a fabulous photo of a little girl in Mondrianesque mod-wear and a toddler boy dressed like his mom thought it’d be “darling” to send him out on Halloween as Quentin Crisp.
The U.S. Happy Time release, 1966
The UK Allegro Records version, also 1966
No damn clue whatsoever, International Award Series Records. This image comes from the Way Out Junk blog, which offers this commentary: “For kids in the sixties that wanted to be cool and parents who wanted to keep them tied to the children’s classics, here’s an album that probably didn’t make either group happy!”
”33 1/3 RPM UNBREAKABLE.” This is my own copy, so we won’t be testing that claim.
As advertised, the album features nursery rhymes (some of them more like children’s folk songs, but that’s probably a petty quibble) set to music associated with the Frug, the Jerk, the Watusi, the Monkey… which is to say that they all sound pretty much like teenage garage bands playing “Twist and Shout” to me. Notably, Happy Time was a subsidiary of Pickwick Records, which really good weirdos will recognize as the label that gave Lou Reed a day job as a session guitarist and songwriter before the Velvet Underground made him notorious. The 1966 release date makes it entirely possible that this was in production during Reed’s two-year tenure at the label, but oh, dear reader, I hunted high and low for any evidence—even the merest suggestion—that Reed might have played on this album, but a lengthy rabbit-hole dive that ate up too much of a nice afternoon turned up zilch. The LP label itself names the band as “The Mod Moppets,” but no session information is forthcoming anywhere, and Discogs lists this as the only release by the anonymous “band.”
Someone really ought to steal that band name.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Astonishing found footage of kids dancing to the Velvet Underground in 1956!
Lovecraft For Kids: The Adventures of Lil’ Cthulhu
When Devo met Disney: Kids singing about sexual frustration, what could possibly go wrong?