Monday, November 5, 2012

Native American Heritage Month: "Running Bear"

I just found out that November is Native American Heritage Month here in the United States. This evidently has something to do with the Federally recognized Native American Heritage Day, which is the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday. I suppose it's appropriate that the day we call "Black Friday" is the same day we honor those people we raped, pillaged, and murdered for a century or two. "Bloody Friday" would have been a good name, too, I guess.

President George W. Bush (the son) signed into law The Native American Heritage Day Bill on October 8, 2008. The bill was originally passed by the House of Representatives in November, 2007. The first recorded celebration of Native American Heritage Day was November 28, 2008.

This information caught me somewhat flat-footed, as I already have things planned for the month of November for TV Tuesday, and I only know of one or two Native American comic book characters to feature on Wednesday Comics. I do, however, know of several hit songs that have something to do with Native Americans, so we'll be celebrating our Red Brothers in song this month at the very least...

First up: a "novelty" song written by the late lamented "Big Bopper" himself, JP Richardson. He wrote the song for what he considered an up-and-coming singer, Johnny Preston. It is the Big Bopper and his friends Bill Hall and C&W super-star George Jones singing the "huu-ga-huu-ga" of the background "braves."

The song was written and recorded before The Big Bopper died in the fateful crash that also took the lives of Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly on February 3, 1959. However, Mercury Records held onto the song for almost a year before releasing it. It went to Number One in early January 1960.

Johnny Preston could not sustain his career without his mentor. His last charted record was in 1961.

Here he is from December 1959 being introduced by none other than that immortal teenager himself, Mr. Dick Clark....!


No comments:

Post a Comment