Friday, June 08, 2018

Vintage Dodger Tunes: "Brooklyn Dodgers Jump"

I thought it would be fun to take a little detour. Instead of cards I thought I would spend some time to explore some vintage Dodgers-themed music.

I'm sure all of you have heard the classic tune "Follow the Dodgers", but have you ever heard of the "Brooklyn Dodgers Jump?" It is a little song that was sung by Ralph Branca, Carl Furrilo, Erv Palica and the Ebbets Field Chorus in 1949. You can check out an advertising for the record on the right that was found in a July 2, 1949 copy of Billboard magazine (p. 38).

As I was doing some background research I came across a fascinating story in the Hollywood Reporter about the man who helped set this deal up for the three Dodger players; as well as, represent numerous other ballplayers throughout the game.

His name is Frank Scott, and he began in Baseball as the Yankees' road secretary in 1947. While there he befriended the players, and came upon an idea when he visited Yogi Berra and his wife one afternoon. Per the Hollywood Reporter story by Scott Feinberg:
Around this same time, the Scott's visited the Berras at their home, and Berra’s wife, Carmen, observed that Frank wasn’t wearing a watch. “She excused herself and reappeared with a whole tray of wristwatches, at least 20, and told me to take my pick,” Scott later recalled in a 1961 New York Times Magazine profile of him by Gay Talese. “That’s how those scoundrels had been paying off Yogi for personal appearances. He didn’t know any better.” Scott, however, realized that the gifters of the watches could and should offer better compensation for their association with a popular athlete than watches bought in bulk. The wheels started turning in his mind: Perhaps he could work with players off the field to capitalize on the fame they derived from their achievements on it.
It's infuriating how so many of these old-timers were financially abused.

Soon, Frank started his own company and built an impressive client list that included 91 ballplayers; such as, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Robin Roberts, Joe Dimaggio and Mickey Mantle. Non-Baseball athletes included Frank Gifford, Vince Lombardi and Oscar Robertson.
“He had deals here, there and everywhere,” recalls former Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca, now 89. Scott landed Branca a Wheaties endorsement, a TV commercial hawking Buster Brown shoes, a deal recording a song called “Brooklyn Dodgers Jump” with teammates Erv Palica and Carl Furillo and a constant stream of personal appearances. “He’d call me and had a deal for me to go do something, make an appearance or whatever. I’d say at least two appearances a month.”
These extra earning opportunities made a huge difference in the lives of ballplayers during the golden age of the game. After all, all of them had to find a second job during the off-season.

Now, take a moment to listen to the record. As you will notice there are two different versions of the song -- both using the exact same melody, but using different lyrics. You can also find the complete lyrics at the very bottom.

YouTube Video Link:

Here is the "B" side -- which is a slightly different version of this song.

YouTube Video Link:

First, here are the lyrics for the "A" side version of the song.
Brooklyn, Brooklyn Hear us while we say
Brooklyn, Brooklyn, just for you we play.
You're the very greatest borough in the U.S.A.
Brooklyn, Brooklyn, you ain't got no squares.
Brooklyn, Brooklyn, you got no long hairs.
'Cause that Barberman , he tells you 'bout those Brooklyn play'rs.
He tells you of Hermanski, Furillo and the Duke
Of Shotten, Blades and Pitler, not to mention good ol' Suke;
Of Robinson and Hodges and Captain Pee Wee Reese,
Of Cox and Campanella, how their efforts never cease.
Oh! Barber, Barber, don't you ever stop
You're the very greatest tonic in our barber shop.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, U.S.A.
Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers , how you play.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Dodgers, you both are here to stay.
That Barberman he tells you of Barney, Branca, Roe
Of Banta, Minner, Martin and of good ol' Hatten, Joe
Palica, Newcombe, Edwards, McCormick, Whitman, Brown
And Miksis, Rackley, Jorgy, how the whole gang goes to town!
Oh! Barber, Barber, you're a good ol' soul.
You're the very highest fellow on our barber pole.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, U.S.A.
Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers , how you play.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Dodgers, we sing your song today.
Here are the lyrics for the "B" version:
We sing the praises of the stars you knew
Like Vance and Grimes and Uncle Robbie, too
And of all the many others to whom much credit's due.
We sing about one Dodger, who, 'tis said,
When catching flies would really use his head.
It's too bad they couldn't teach him to use his glove instead.
But don't you start afrettin' there's no cause for alarm
The Dodgers now are learnin' how to keep away from harm.
They're gettin' really healthy in mind as well as arm
'Cause all of them are bloomiin' down on Mister Rickey's farm.
Oh! Rickey, Rickey he's on top you see
He's the very highest Branch on our family tree. 
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, U.S.A.
Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers , how you play.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Dodgers, hoo-ray, hoo-ray, hoo-ray! 
Our tree holds lots of Dodgers, some old and some are new
And some are strictly Minor, but then lots are Major, too.
Though there may be some lemons, the most of them are plums
But no matter how you slice 'em, they are all still Brooklyn Chums!
Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers, hear us while we say
You will always be our champions of the U.S.A. 
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Brooklyn, U.S.A.
Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers, Oh! Dodgers , how you play.
Oh! Brooklyn, Oh! Dodgers, hoo-ray, hoo-ray, hoo-ray!

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

1 comment:

  1. Boy, the singing is delightfully awful. Kind of like "Gets Metsmerized" but in a whole different time. Thanks for sharing this.


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