Rabbit Hole: It Came from Hollywood

One Song I have not been able to get out of my head since 1984.

I love compilation films about genres of film I love. Even though they barely scratch the surface about the films, I find them entertaining. From Terror in the Aisles for horror films to It Came From Hollywood which covered a number of genres from horror, comedy, musicals, stoner flicks, etc. Most of the films were not named by the comedians making jokes about them, but the actual names of the movies were included at the end of the film.

In our contemporary world of IMDB and YouTube, I finally was able to answer a question that has haunted me since I saw this movie on cable in 1984. What was that song from one of the scenes about rebellious youth titled “Troubled Teenagers?” And what movie was that from?

This seems like an easy question to find now, but back in the day, I would have had to rent the movie on VHS (or tape it off of cable) and watch the ending credits to find out the names of the various films. Then I would have to rent each and every one of them on VHS (if I could find them), and try to find the scene in question. Then, I would have to watch the credits to see what song was used in the scene, buy a cassette that hopefully included the songs, and that is all assuming they were still in print.

Today, it is a bit easier, but still not quite as easy as I hoped. But, luckily, YouTube and IMDB exist and both had the films and soundtracks listed for the various movies. It took a lot of digging and a bit of confusion to figure it out.

Here’s the clip that has haunted me for decades. I had taped the song on my cassette recorder to play back because for some reason I loved that snippet of the song.

After looking through the long list of films at the end of It Came from Hollywood, I found a few that sounded like they would be teenage kids in trouble-type flicks. I was right, though I stumbled upon the right one after about five incorrect movies.

The clip is from Don’t Knock the Rock, a 1956 film about teenage rebellion touted as a movie about the real lives your children won’t tell you about. Bill Haley and His Comets was featured in the film as well as Little Richard. Those are huge names for the time, and even though I did not have extensive knowledge of their discography, it didn’t seem like they would be the ones to have created the novelty song-sounding thing from It Came from Hollywood. Finding the dance scene and watching it, I was right. It was not the song used in the original film.

So, back to It Came from Hollywood I went. It was common for compilation films to use other music, especially if it was tied to popular artists who had high royalty rates. It was there, in the music credits, that I found the novelty song, “Martian Hop” by The Ran-Dells. It would haunt me no longer, or maybe more now that I had made this journey. Either way, I had solved a weird mystery that had followed me through my life and would rear its head in the back of my mind every few months. “What was that song?”

It was very much ado about nothing, but it is a reminder to me that no matter how much I dig nostalgia and enjoy the past, there are so many things that I absolutely love about the present as well. I would never have found this in the past, but now I can put to bed one song in the soundtrack of my dreams.