1967 The Fifth Estate – Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Five musicians formed The Decadents in Stanford, Connecticut in 1963. They changed their name to The D-Men and began recording for United Artists the next year. Their early music was garage band stuff and they quickly gained a local following.
The band began appearing in television shows that were taped in New York City, and even performed their single I Just Don’t Care on Hullabaloo in 1965.
The band signed with the Redbird label in 1965. They changed their name based to something they saw in a magazine in Chicago, The Fifth Estate. They released Love Is All A Game but the single only became a regional hit.
Songwriter Dan Askew often wrote lyrics for the group, and bragged at a party that the band was good enough to make a hit out of almost any song. Somebody offered Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead.
The group actually recorded the song, but their keyboard player wasn’t completely happy with the resulting recording. He added an interlude in the middle and incorporated parts of La Bouree from Terpsichore by the 17th-century composer Michael Praetorius.
The resulting single finally gave the group their first hit record.
The record peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1967. The group toured with an impressive list of much bigger acts and released a few more singles. They even recorded Heigh Ho!, a song from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but even that couldn’t get them back onto the charts.
The band members went their separate ways in 1970. Eventually, the group was reborn, and it still continues to appear in Oldies shows.
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