From "CB Johnny" O'Hern, WeirdAlArchive@gmail.com
December 27, 2018
Welcome, fellow fans!
It has been a tremendous pleasure crafting what some consider The True Successor To The Songography as confirmed by three strangers at gunpoint who each have no knowledge whatsoever of "Weird Al" Yankovic let alone the avid fanbase's plethora of archival resources.
My name is Johnny and this is my hobbyist contribution to the ever-flowing fountain of trivia available to Weird Al fans.
It's best I provide some context by explaining what the original Songography was.
Greg "Catradohtem" Method had compiled an extensive thorough list of even the most minute examples of "Weird Al" Yankovic songs ever known. This was not merely the typical rare songs passed around on the internet such as concert-exclusive parodies, submissions to the Doctor Demento Show, or any other sort of odds and ends you can reasonably expect on the Medium Rarities album. No, this even included every track Al was a guest on, every known instance Al sang a song for an interview, and other absurdly specific examples of "music"
What was he trying to prove?
Who he was trying to impress?
Why did he write it and how did do it?
It's anybody's guess
What I WILL tell you is that the reason I do this is because one small gag can be an absolute joy for one fan and an absolute bore to another. If collectors are aware of what they can find then they can make an informed decision.
Or... they can feel a Completionist Itch overcoming their priorities as they scour the internet for song after song after song. Well, y'know what? I just made that easier for you. You're welcome, America... And you, too, other English speaking territories.
Here are the differences in how Greg and I do things though.
This will not be a list of every printed resource of a song.
Instead this will emphasize how to find a song digitally or otherwise while still supporting the official release.
Green blocks signify that these are readily available to support through purchase or streaming.
White blocks means the source is perhaps out of print, a concert-only exclusive, or the like.
So how do you read it?
The columns are as follows:
Column A: song name
Column B: original source
Column C: credited performer
Column D: release date. If unreleased then a recording date available will go there instead.
Column E: newest, highest quality, and perhaps easiest way to hear it legitimately.
Column F: context.
Column E's information must be to the reasonable approval of all rights holders and not just Al Yankovic. Some may argue that Fair Use laws can be a loophole to make plenty of these entries available online. However, I'm still leaning on the more cautious side of things.
If a song's quality is improved by a digital remaster of some sort such as the Squeezebox set or the UHF 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray disc then I'll list them as such.
If a song is from an out of print or off the air release, then depending on what the song is: if you write to the content holders you might make a positive change. A show could wind up on Netflix or Hulu. A song could play on the Dr. Demento show. Maybe, even, oh I dunno, a rerelease of Peter and the Wolf could happen so you're not just buying Al's limited supply personal collection copies at a tour merch booth.
Column F is the context of a performance. For instance: a song title may appear misleading if you're expecting a full length cover only to find that Al sang a few words mid-conversation for a podcast interview.
There is a separate list for non-musical entries that have official releases as tracks. these tend to be audio books and radio interviews. I include them to honor the songography's contributors' efforts but I keep them separate as they are merely conversations and monologues. Technically any conversation is music when it's organized sound with emotion but then we'd have to just include the audio for any time Al ever made a public appearance in the history of EVER. I'm all set with that, thanks.
There will be grammar, syntax, and spelling errors so I thank you all in advance for your patience. This was written entirely by me at random points in 2018 when life afforded me time, energy, and motivation. I encourage and invite any of you to send me reasonable corrections via email for the benefit of fans who either less than fluent comprehension of conversational English or have reading disabilities.
Speaking of writing styles...
There will be inconsistent terminology because large portions of this document were created at different points in 2018. If you notice them and feel I'd benefit from some uniformity then by all means contact me about that, too.
In general: I'm going to welcome ANY AND ALL emails pertaining to information that needs correcting. Missing entries, incorrect dates, content in the wrong column, linguistic errors, or that a column E resource is no longer available since I have written of it.
For example maybe a TV show was pulled from the owner's pay-wall archive or removed from Hulu and/or Netflix.
Maybe you want to tell me the opposite and that a TV show that Al had performed on became available officially online since this document has been written.
Keep in mind I especially welcome information on songs I've missed. This will likely never be a complete resource as there seems to always be something new to discover.
I'm already pouring through Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast appearances let alone any other podcast appearances.
Hell, I'll even welcome some volunteers to spread out that podcast workload if you feel you have the ear for what sort of entries I look for.
If you have insight on creating spreadsheets and know of ways I can enhance or improve the readers' experience then PLEASE reach out to me.
Speaking of contributors: deep gratitude is in order to the following fans
"Ergalthema" for the Vanity Tour spreadsheet
Greg "Catradohtem" Method for obvious aforementioned reasons.
David "Elvis" Rossi for his friendship, guidance, insight, and support.
Jeff Morris for his impeccable work for The Dr. Demento Radio Show archives*
and of course:
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz for not only being a patient, informative, and readily available source of insight to his fans but also for enabling- I mean empowering- us with the amazingly thorough content he's provided since the '90s.
before I conclude:
I'd like to gently explain my stance on Al's 1970s content.
Al was a teenager when recording the songs. Sometimes he was even a minor. He clearly remains guarded about such content and, of course, had not expected widespread scrutiny for generations to come even without factoring in the easy access provided by the internet. It seems he may have grown tolerant of pockets of avid fans hearing these songs under the circumstance that they found it after scouring the internet for information to learn that they exist let alone can be heard online. However, more recently, it's far too easy to find a bootleg.
Out of respect for Al and to return some balance to the force upon uploading this:
I deeply encourage you to support the official release of those songs via subscribing to the Dr. Demento Online Club in order to access them. Membership grants you access to a deep treasure trove of comedy music including Al's teen years material. There's a search function that covers every Dr Demento show that has ever transpired.
Consider it out of respect for Al.
Consider it out of support for Dr. D.
Consider it out of enriching yourself, too.
Because not only do you open these doors for amazing funny content but you're supporting the man who changed not only the trajectory of Al's life, but the trajectory of yours as well. After all... can you imagine the butterfly effect of changes to your life for better or worse had you not been part of this fanbase?
I certainly feel gratitude for that.
I'll do my best to start maintaining a list of changes on a separate page of the document once this uploads to David Rossi's website.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy
- "CB Johnny" O'Hern
To access the latest version of The Competionist Guide To Hearing Everything, please visit here. Extra special thanks to Johnny for letting me post this awesome spreadsheet on my web site!