Thursday, October 15, 2015

Green Tambourine

From time to time, as a public service, Mister Tristan (the blog, not the 7 year old human being) will present a brief lesson on musical instrument history.

Today is your lucky day.

While driving and listening to Sirius XM Radio recently, the bride and I heard an tune on the Classic Vinyl channel that brought back high school memories.  This 1967 hit, Green Tambourine, from the Lemon Pipers "...  has been credited as being the first bubblegum pop chart-topper" (per the YouTube blurb).  It was catchy, but as the bride always says, "I prefer screaming, like Creedence or The Animals."

If embed does not play, here's the link.

But while it wasn't our cup of tea, this piece of music provides a teachable moment.  What most people don't know about this tune is that while the color of the tambourine in the music video is indeed green, the song is actually a music insider's joke--a not-so-subtle reference to the Green Tambourine Company of Terre Haute, IN.  At the time, Green was (and still is) the nation's premiere maker of orchestral quality tambourines.

It's analogous to having a Stradivarius violin, Martin Guitar, or a Tama or Gretch drum kit...only think of having a Green Tambourine.

Now go back and enjoy the clip again--I can't--for what I have told you is a total fabrication.  See, I gave up playing the tambourine in high school, but I know that if I had just stuck with it, I could have been playing sold-out stadiums by now.  So you understand my bitterness toward the instrument, whoever the hell really makes it.

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