RIP the greatest Elvis-novelty-movie-song writer ever

Sid Tepper’s Los Angeles Times obituary today:

Tepper and Bennett never had a big hit with an Elvis song — many of them were novelty numbers. For “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (1962), they wrote “Song of the Shrimp” with lyrics from the point of view of a shrimp.

Goodbye mama shrimp, papa shake my hand
Here come the shrimper for to take me to Louisian’

The songs were in sharp contrast to the gritty numbers that made Elvis an electrifying star. But Tepper made no apologies.

“I believe that Elvis’ movies and their songs made a mighty contribution to his career,” he told Sharp. “They brought him to the attention of millions of people who otherwise would never have known the greatness of the King.”

A few favorites from Tepper’s bunch as I learn about him this morning…

The shrimp song (and, somehow, a Frank Black cover of it):

A Tepper song I’ve mentioned before here, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce:

One I just discovered today, a duet with Ann Margaret, which is weird and delightful, The Lady Loves Me (and more about how the song came about):

And the first novelty Elvis movie song I ever heard (somehow among the tracks on my first Elvis tape), Cane and a High-Starched Collar:

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