August 1963. Little Stevie Wonder (as he was then) had the No 1 spot on the US Billboard Top Tunes chart with his song Fingertips Part II. The second spot belonged to Allan Sherman, a singer-songwriter who remains almost unknown outside America.
Sherman was an enormously talented parodist who rose to fame on the back of his first album, My Son, the Folk Singer, a collection of humorous songs about Jewish life in America.
It was his 1963 hit Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh that made Sherman a national hero. Americans from all walks of life could relate to his song about a boy’s first experience of summer camp. Set to the melody of Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours, it begins:
Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh
Here I am at Camp Granada;
Camp is very entertaining,
And they say we’ll have
some fun if it stops raining.