Artist: Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

The Cover of the Rolling Stone ~ Dr Hook & the Medicine Show

dr-hookDr. Hook and the Medicine Show was a pop-country rock band formed around Union City, New Jersey in 1968. There the band’s earliest incarnation played many small clubs around the ‘Transfer Station’, an area of bars and restaurants, all advertising ‘live’ music.

The founding core of the band consisted of four friends–George Cummings, Dennis Locorriere, Ray Sawyer, Billy Francis–who had played up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest, ending up in New Jersey one by one, with invitations from founding band member George Cummings. Told by a club owner that they needed a name to put on a poster in the window of his establishment, Cummings made a sign: “Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Tonic for the Soul.” The name was inspired by the traveling medicine shows of the old West. To this day, frontman Ray Sawyer is mistakenly considered Dr. Hook because of the eyepatch he wears as the result of a near-fatal 1967 car accident.

The band played for about two years in New Jersey, first with drummer Popeye Phillips, a session drummer on The Flying Burrito Brothers first album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Citing musical differences, Popeye returned home to Alabama and was replaced by local drummer Joey Oliveri. When the band began recording their first album it became obvious that they would need a more solid back beat, and Olivieri was replaced by session player John “Jay” David, who was asked to join the band, full time.

In 1970, their demo tapes were heard by Ron Haffkine, musical director on the planned Herb Gardner movie, Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, starring Dustin Hoffman as a successful songwriter having a nervous breakdown. The songs for the film were written by cartoonist, poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein, who determined that Dr. Hook was the ideal group for the soundtrack. Among the several songs the group did for the film, Dennis Locorriere sang the lead on “Last Morning,” the movie’s theme song, later re-recorded for their second album, Sloppy Seconds. The film was released in 1971 by National General Pictures to mixed reviews.

Meanwhile, CBS Records head Clive Davis had a memorable meeting with the group, described in Davis’ autobiography. Drummer David used a wastepaper basket to keep the beat, and while Sawyer, Locorriere and Cummings played and sang a few songs, Francis hopped up and danced on the mogul’s desk. This meeting secured the band their first record deal. Subsequently the band went on to international success over the next 12 years with Haffkine as the group’s manager as well as producer of all the Dr.Hook recordings.

Their self-titled 1971 debut album featured guitarist Cummings, singer Sawyer, drummer David, singer/guitarist, bass player Locorriere, and keyboard player Billy Francis. The album included their first hit, “Sylvia’s Mother.”

Shel Silverstein wrote the lyrics for many of Dr. Hook’s early songs (in fact, he wrote their entire second album), such as “Sylvia’s Mother”, “Everybody’s Makin’ It Big But Me”, “Penicillin Penny”, “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan”, “Carry Me Carrie”, “The Wonderful Soup Stone”, and at least 24 more, some co-written with Ray Sawyer and/or Dennis Locorriere.

The Cover of the Rolling Stone

“The Cover of the Rolling Stone” is a song written by Shel Silverstein and first recorded by rolling-stoneAmerican rock group Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. It peaked at number six on the U.S. pop chart. It was the band’s third single.

The song satirizes success in the music business; the song’s narrator laments that his band has not been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine despite having the superficial attributes of a successful rock star, including drug usage, “teenage groupies, who’ll do anything we say” and a frenetic guitar solo.

As a result, the band was on the March 29, 1973 cover of Rolling Stone; however, they did so in caricature, rather than in a photograph, and with the caption, “What’s-Their-Names Make the Cover.”

BBC Radio refused to play the song, as it contained the name of a commercial publication (Rolling Stone) and could therefore be considered advertising. The song was re-recorded and rush released in the UK as “The Cover of the Radio Times” (Radio Times being the name given to the weekly television and radio guide published by the BBC), which did find its way onto playlists.

Ha ha ha I don’t believe it
Da, da, ah, ah don’t touch it
Hey, Ray, Hey Sugar tell them who we are

Well, we’re big rock singers
We got golden fingers
And we’re loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten-thousand dollars a show (right)

We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll gitcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the rollin stone

(Rollin stone)
Wanna see my picture on the cover
(Stone)
Wanna buy five copies for my mother (yes)
(Stone.)
Wanna see my smilin face
On the cover of the rollin stone
(that’s a very very good idea)

I got a freaky ole lady name a cocaine Katy
Who embroideries on my jeans
I got my poor ole grey haired daddy
Drivin my limosine

Now it’s all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won’t really be blown
Like the blow that’ll gitcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the rollin stone

(Rollin stone)
Wanna see our pictures on the cover
(Stone)
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers (yeah)
(Stone)
Wanna see my smilin face
On the cover of the rollin stone
(talking)
Hey, I know how
Rock and roll…..

SOLO

Ah, that’s beautiful

We got a lot of little teenage blue eyed groupies
Who do anything we say
We got a genu wine Indian Guru
Who’s teaching us a better way

We got all the friends that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep getting richer but we can’t get our picture
On the cover of the rollin stone

(Rollin stone)
Wanna see my picture on the cover
(Stone)
Wanna buy five copies for my mother (wa wa)
(Stone)
Wanna see my smilin face
On the cover of the rollin stone
On the cover of the rollin

Stone)
Wanna see my picture on the cover
(talking)
I don’t know why we ain’t on the cover, Baby….
(Stone)
Wanna buy five copies for my mother
(talking)
We’re beautiful subjects
(Stone)
Wanna see my smilin face
(talking)
I ain’t kiddin, we would make a beautiful cover
On the cover of the rollin stone

Fresh shot, right up front, Man
I can see it now, we’ll be up in the front
Smilin, Man
Ahh, beautiful

  • Audio from the 1972 album, Sloppy Seconds:
Click to Purchase
Click to Purchase

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Sylvia’s Mother ~ Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show

dr-hookDr. Hook and the Medicine Show was a pop-country rock band formed around Union City, New Jersey in 1968. There the band’s earliest incarnation played many small clubs around the ‘Transfer Station’, an area of bars and restaurants, all advertising ‘live’ music.

The founding core of the band consisted of four friends–George Cummings, Dennis Locorriere, Ray Sawyer, Billy Francis–who had played up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest, ending up in New Jersey one by one, with invitations from founding band member George Cummings. Told by a club owner that they needed a name to put on a poster in the window of his establishment, Cummings made a sign: “Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Tonic for the Soul.” The name was inspired by the traveling medicine shows of the old West. To this day, frontman Ray Sawyer is mistakenly considered Dr. Hook because of the eyepatch he wears as the result of a near-fatal 1967 car accident.

The band played for about two years in New Jersey, first with drummer Popeye Phillips, a session drummer on The Flying Burrito Brothers first album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. Citing musical differences, Popeye returned home to Alabama and was replaced by local drummer Joey Oliveri. When the band began recording their first album it became obvious that they would need a more solid back beat, and Olivieri was replaced by session player John “Jay” David, who was asked to join the band, full time.

In 1970, their demo tapes were heard by Ron Haffkine, musical director on the planned Herb Gardner movie, Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, starring Dustin Hoffman as a successful songwriter having a nervous breakdown. The songs for the film were written by cartoonist, poet and songwriter Shel Silverstein, who determined that Dr. Hook was the ideal group for the soundtrack. Among the several songs the group did for the film, Dennis Locorriere sang the lead on “Last Morning,” the movie’s theme song, later re-recorded for their second album, Sloppy Seconds. The film was released in 1971 by National General Pictures to mixed reviews.

Meanwhile, CBS Records head Clive Davis had a memorable meeting with the group, described in Davis’ autobiography. Drummer David used a wastepaper basket to keep the beat, and while Sawyer, Locorriere and Cummings played and sang a few songs, Francis hopped up and danced on the mogul’s desk. This meeting secured the band their first record deal. Subsequently the band went on to international success over the next 12 years with Haffkine as the group’s manager as well as producer of all the Dr.Hook recordings.

Their self-titled 1971 debut album featured guitarist Cummings, singer Sawyer, drummer David, singer/guitarist, bass player Locorriere, and keyboard player Billy Francis. The album included their first hit, “Sylvia’s Mother.”

Shel Silverstein wrote the lyrics for many of Dr. Hook’s early songs (in fact, he wrote their entire second album), such as “Sylvia’s Mother”, “Everybody’s Makin’ It Big But Me”, “Penicillin Penny”, “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan”, “Carry Me Carrie”, “The Wonderful Soup Stone”, and at least 24 more, some co-written with Ray Sawyer and/or Dennis Locorriere.

Sylvia’s Mother

The song tells the story of a man trying to say one last goodbye to his ex-girlfriend but is not able to get past her mother, who tries to interfere.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/Dr_Hook-Sylvias-Mother.flv[/flv]

Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s busy, too busy to come to the phone
Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s tryin’ to start a new life of her own
Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s happy so why don’t you leave her alone
And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes

Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her,
I’ll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye

Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s packin’ she’s gonna be leavin’ today
Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s marryin’ a fella down Galveston way
Sylvia’s mother says please don’t say nothin’ to make her start cryin’ and stay
And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes

Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her,
I’ll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye

Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s hurryin’ she’s catchin’ the nine o’clock train
Sylvia’s mother says take your umbrella cause Sylvie, it’s startin’ to rain
And Sylvia’s mother says thank you for callin’ and sir won’t you call back again
And the operator says forty cents more for the next three minutes

Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her,
I’ll only keep her a while
Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye

Tell her goodbye…
Please… tell her goodbye..

  • Audio from the 1972 album, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show:
album-doctor-hook
Click to Purchase


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