Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mr. Turnkey

Now here's one of the sickest singles you're ever apt to hear.

If you're aware of the folk duo Zager and Evans at all, it's for their post-apocalyptic smash hit "In the Year 2525," which inexplicably spent six weeks at #1 during 1969.

Denny Zager and Rick Evans (both from Nebraska) never again had a Top 40 or even a Hot 100 single, but a year after "2525" they released the astonishingly perverse "Mr. Turnkey," which has to be heard to be believed.

It's about a guy in Wichita Falls who rapes a girl in a bar, is sent to jail, and commits suicide in his cell by pounding a spike through his wrist into the brick wall. The miscreant sings while crying, hanging from the wall, and begging his victim for forgiveness.

Although the Billboard charts are filled with hits about dead teenagers, audiences had little interest in a song about a dying sex offender, and Zager and Evans soon went their merry ways. If you're into bizarre pop music, however, you should probably give "Mr. Turnkey" at least a one-time listen.


Jake Murdock said...

Unbelievable. But things were pretty crazy in those days.

Anonymous said...

Did someone alert Chris Hansen?

Anonymous said...

Song would go great with "Timothy" by The Buoys.

hobbyfan said...

There's a reason why Zager & Evans were 1-hit wonders. This is that reason.

Rich D said...

I can sort of understand why they might have thought that this could have been a hit. The Bee Gees reached number one in July 1968 with their Death Row ballad "I Gotta Get A Message To You."