Monster Mash. It was a graveyard smash.
Monster Mash was released in 1962. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi and recorded by Pickett and “the Crypt-Kickers.,” the single hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from October 20-27, 1962 and has been a Halloween favorite ever since.
The song features Pickett doing an impression of Boris Karloff, a famed horror movie actor. He also does a Dracula impression for one line in the song.
The song was inspired by and danced to the Mashed Potato dance of the era. Monster Mash was danced like the Mashed Potato except with Frankenstein monster arm and hand movements.
Interestingly the sound effects in the song were very low budget. The coffin sound was created by removing a nail from a piece of wood; the cauldron bubbling was simply a straw bubbling water; and the chains rattling were just chains being dropped on a tile floor.
The song tells a story loosely similar to Frankenstein but with a fun, dance twist. A mad scientist’s monster comes to life and performs a new dance which became very popular and led to a party with other monsters.
Below is the video from Bobby Pickett performing the song on American Bandstand October 13, 1964.