Richard Dawson recorded a kooky psychedelic record while making Hogan's Heroes
Have you ever heard a Family Feud host sing about fruit?
Image: The Everett Collection
Richard Dawson is famous for two things — kissing contestants as the host of Family Feud and playing the crafty Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes. Sure, you might know him for his brief stint as a cast member on Laugh-In, as a cheeky panelist on Match Game, or perhaps as the villain in the Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man.
But you definitely do not know him as a psychedelic musician.
The cast of Hogan's Heroes was no stranger to making novelty records. The entire gang cut an album in 1966 called Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best Of World War II. Dawson contributed two tracks, performing "This Is Worth Fighting For" to close out the collection and duetting with Larry Hovis on "Nightingale Sang On Barkley Square." Those bordered on spoken word, with Dawson occasionally crooning in a heavy Cockney accent.
A year later, as the psychedelic era was hitting full swing, Dawson dabbled in trippy territory — though, honestly, he tripped up more than he took minds on a trip.
Dawson released a 45 titled "His Children's Parade" / "Apples and Oranges." There are equally bizarre and amusing.
The A-Side, co-written and arranged by Jerry Fielding, the acclaimed composer behind film scores like The Wild Bunch, attempts to meld traditional English parade music with the LSD-inspired sounds of the era, like Sgt. Pepper's. But, obviously, not that successfully.
The mellower "Apples and Oranges" fares a little better, as Dawson softens his singing and tones down the accent. But, again, you realize why he turned to game shows. Especially when you get to the dark ending.