2003   DECEMBER 2   #336

The Real Don Steele - Cecil The Unwanted Frenchfry

Some years ago I was at a birthday party for a friend and Jahna's gift to the birthday girl was a single by "The Real Don Steele", entitled "Cecil The Unwanted Frenchfry." She knew nothing about the record, but figured by the title it would probably be good for a laugh or two.

She was right. I'd never heard anything quite like it: the voice on the track told the story of a lovable spud named Cecil who dreamed of becoming a delicious frenchfry. When he finally does, he laments that the rest of his fry buddies are bought by a customer, and Cecil is left alone. The unwanted french-fry.

Since that day, I've been keeping my eye out for my own copy of "Cecil the Unwanted Frenchfry."

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune of finding a somewhat battered copy of the single at the garage sale of Telstar Records impresario Todd Abramson's garage sale. Todd books Maxwells in Hoboken, NJ and is known as Todd-A-Phonic Todd to listeners of WFMU. Figure if he's getting rid of a record, its still gotta be pretty good.

The singer on the record is the Real Don Steele. He was a DJ in LA during the sixties, credited with originating "Boss Radio in Boss Angeles".

"Mr. Steele was never one to analyze the evolution of rock radio. In a 1995 interview, he insisted, "Look, you take the Motown sound and the British Invasion and you throw in Elvis and Roy Orbison, and you have a music mix that's hard to beat at any time or any place."

What prompted Don to record the story of Cecil may never be revealed. Another unexplained item surrounding Don was the fact he would start each broadcast with the phrase, "Tina Delgado is Alive! Alive!" Who Tina Delgado was is a mystery he took with him when he passed away in 1997. Not even his wife knew.


- Eric Fusco, fuzzco66@yahoo.com, www.soybomb.com/subwaysurfers

TT-3:30 / 3.2MB / 128kbps 44.1khz