August 7, 2013

Cashman on the Barrelhead

Well, that was inevitable, wasn't it? When you win a game 13-0, you're pretty well doomed to lose the next game 7-0, even when your ace is matched up with some kid named Andrew Albers in his first big league start. That's baseball. That's the world. It happens.

However, fans seem to have completely lost their shit after this loss. They went from ECSTATIC (crazy bitches swimming in the stadium fountains) to DESPONDENT (openly contemplating suicide on twitter). That's just how fans are, especially Royals fans.

Being a die-hard Royals fan myself has forced me to become a die-hard fanatic in other areas of my life that prove to be more rewarding than following a perennial loser ball club. That way, after games like last night, I've got some other interest that will help me rebound from the loss. That's why I've gotten deep, deep into things like literature, film, music, and drinking.

Mostly drinking.

Anyway, I think I've managed to work most of those interests into the blog over the years, but music, maybe the hobby I love the most next to the Royals, hasn't gotten much, if any, play here.

That's about to change. I've accumulated hundreds of thousands of songs over the years, many only available on defunct or endangered formats like 45 records and cassette tapes, and about ten of those songs are inspired by the Royals in some way. You'll know some of them, you won't know some of them, but I thought it would be fun to profile each of those songs in a new series called The RWC Record Club. We will feature some background on the artist and song, an audio recording of the song, and the lyrics. Should be fun!

For the first post in the series, we'll be looking at the Royals version of one of the most well known baseball songs ever, Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball." Why am I starting a series on obscure Royals songs with one of the most famous baseball songs ever? Because if I didn't, I'd get forty-eleven e-mails from people telling me I need to profile it. So let's get that out of the way, shall we?

Growing up, most nights during the summer found me lying in bed with a window open, listening to cicadas hum "o-whee-o-whee-o-whee" while Royals games crackled on the crappy AM clock radio next to my head. Win or lose, I'd listen to the post-game show run late into the night, hosted by former Royals pitcher Al Fitzmorris. He nearly always ended the postgame show with Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball," so I literally fell asleep hundreds of times while the song played.

Terry Cashman (born Dennis Minogue) is actually a former pitching prospect, though he played in just six games at the age of 19 for two D-level teams in the Detroit Tigers organization. He was the lead white boy doo wop singer of the early 60's white boy doo wop group The Chevrons. Then in the 70s he teamed up with Gene Pistilli and Tommy West to form the folk-rock trio Cashman, Pistilli, and West. At some point, Pistilli apparently got pissed and quit, and the trio became the duo Cashman and West. They had a few minor hits, but did better as producers of several Jim Croce records. By 1981, Cashman was recording solo and looking a lot like a sleazier version of Gene Hackman.

That's when he came up with "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey, and the Duke)" based on a photo of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Duke Snider. The song proved popular among baseball fans, and Cashman decided to cash in, man, releasing literally dozens of alternate versions of the song focused on different teams. Maybe his best known alternate version is from 1991, when he parodied the song as "Talkin' Softball" for the classic Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat."

I have the 45 record of the Royals version of the song released in 1982, titled "Talkin' Baseball (Baseball in K.C.)," and I'd like to share it with you now. Click on the player below to hear the song in its entirety. Below that, you'll find the lyrics poorly transcribed by me.

"Talkin' Baseball (Baseball in K.C.)"

Baseball in K.C.

Kansas City got up to date
In the field and at the plate
They owned the AL West for many years
Whitey led the way,
Freddie Patek, Hal McRae,
The 1980 Pennant brought a Royal cheer

I'm talkin' baseball,
Willie Wilson, Georgie Brett,
Royal baseball,
Aikens, Tom Poquette,
Leonard and Gura throw the pea,
Darrell Porter,
WHOOPS, he's in St. Louie
Talkin' Baseball, Baseball in K.C.

Now when you're talkin' Royal baseball,
Jim Colborn, Rich Scheinblum,
The waterfalls at Royal Park,
Where Brett attacked the .400 mark,
Busby, two no-hitters won,
Kansas City here I come.

'81 wasn't all there,
There were strikes and Billy Ball there,
But once again a brand new season calls,
New names joined the old,
Another team unfolds,
They'll answer the bell with Blue and U.L.,
So let's play ball.

I'm talkin' baseball,
Willie Wilson, Georgie Brett,
Royal baseball,
Aikens, Tom Poquette,
Leonard and Gura throw the pea,
There's Wathan, Dan, Geronimo, White, and Lee
 I'm talkin' baseball, it's baseball in K.C.

Talkin' Baseball, Baseball in K.C.
K.C., K.C., K.C.
Baseball, Kansas City
K.C., K.C., K.C. 

Well Gossage he throws,
and there it goes,
K.C., K.C., K.C.,
George has hit a home run,
Talkin' Baseball
A Pennant in K.C.
K.C., K.C., K.C. 

Oh Willie's the one,
Just lookin' to run
It's a blur,
K.C., K.C., K.C.
Talkin' Baseball, Kansas City
K.C., K.C., K.C.
They got some crazy little women there...

And there you have it. The Royals version of Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball." Certainly the only song ever written that contains the word "Scheinblum."


Go Early 1980s Royals! You're the Best!

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