2007   FEBRUARY 27   #058

Vic Dana - Hello Roommate

Vic Dana - Hello Roommate (2:21)

I discovered this song when I bought a small carrying case of someone's old singles at a thrift store in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. (Parenthetically, it was the same thrift store where I found an incredible painting that my mild-mannered boss had done in his younger days titled "Hey World, Look at Me", click image below to view.) The box was full of some pretty interesting singles, most of which I'd never heard before. One of my favorites (after "Hello Roommate," of course) was "From Head to Toe" by female singer Chris Clark - a Smokey Robinson song that I was convinced would be perfect for Elvis Costello. Turns out, I was right; Costello released the song as a UK single.

Vic Dana had a top-ten hit with his 1965 recording of “Red Roses For A Blue Lady”, but “Hello Roommate” predates that success. I immediately loved the attitude of “Hello Roommate”. It contained a creepy mix of tones: light and pleasant, musically, with a sense of hurt and sarcasm simmering just below the surface of the vocal performance. A seething indictment, on one level, but also with a confiding tone. Despite the forced politeness, there's no mistaking the fact that when the singer refers to his scheming roommate as "buddy," he means nothing of the sort.

It almost seems to chronicle the birth of a stalker.

- Contributed by: Greg Williams

Images: Hello Roommate (single), Hey World, Look at Me (painting)

Media: 7" Single
Label: Dolton
Catalog: 48
Credits: Arranged by Hank Levine. Produced by Bob Reisdorff.