DEL RIVERS' BIOGRAPHY (w/James P. Bulmahn):
Instead of going through the sordid details of my entire life, I've decided to highlight various moments relating to my "entertainment" experiences ... anything else will have to be pried-out of me in person!!
Believe it or not, my first recording experiences occurred in 1963 (or so) when "Jimmie and Mommie" went into a booth at Roseland Park and recorded the infamous "Baby 45"...no music- just me saying 'hello' to grandma Bulmahn. (It would be worth something if I ever write a 'hit' record!!)...My sister (Bonnie) and I used to record funny stuff on a mini reel-to-reel tape deck- my earliest experience with recording and comedy...Other musical memories include watching Ed Sullivan shows and Beatles' cartoons religiously, listening to my parent's records (Bill Haley, Everly Bros., Ventures, Marty Robbins, Martin Denny), and listening to both pop and country radio (WBBF-AM & WNYR-AM)...The first record (of 60's Garage variety) that I got from a cousin was "BAY-HAY BEE DOLL" by The Swingers; which was a J.C.Penney giveaway!!
I loved musical instruments, although I was somehow prevented from playing them...Our neighbors had a high-quality toy piano which I tried playing, as well as an old pump-organ in our garage from the 1800's that my feet barely reached...My grandfather used to have several guitars (including an old Washburn which I just had reconditioned), a banjo, and a piano...My dad had a Western-style guitar with cowboys on the front...Lyrical inspiration came from a book of "Mother Goose Rhymes."
My first exposure to television and video was as a guest on a T.V. show that introduced Saturday morning cartoons called "The Funny Company"(circa 1965). In that show, you put on imaginary 'thinking caps' and win car model kits; if you were lucky...From that moment on, I had dreamed of becoming famous without knowing the pitfalls ahead.
I remember seeing (in the late '60's or early '70's), a garage band with a spectacular blue-sparkle drum-kit, and a couple Kodak shows that featured sound-effects man Wes Harrison, and pop-group The Arbors.
Nothing beats hearing a new Beach Boys song while going to the beach, or hearing Pet Clark's Downtown while actually going to Midtown Plaza!! Those kind of memories don't happen too often anymore...The Chipmunks, The Monkees, and The Archies ruled as our favorite bands as a youngster overall...Remember those cereal box 45's?!!