Sometimes, it’s fun to just play around with songs. Playing by ear, I tend to play things that catch my attention. A lot of older commercials and tv shows do that very well. In particular, I’m obviously talking here about Pound Puppies.
Pound Puppies were stuffed animal toys sold by Tonka. They later got a cartoon series in 1986, which ran for about 3 years. Heck, I just found out they had a whole new cartoon series in 2010 that actually won an award. So a whole new generation of kids know who they are now. But in the days of the original commercials, they had a catchy cheerful theme song. It was a fun marching song, done with flute, barking dogs, and drums.
What’s funny, I’ve played this song for years, and Monique has always thought I was doing the “Stuck on Band-aids” theme song. It does sound similar. She only recently discovered it wasn’t the ‘band-aids’ song she was humming along with.
I’m sure there were other elements, but that’s how I remember it. And, so does my son. When I first started posting about my dgx-640, John put in a request for the Pound Puppies theme song. It’s a great request… I already knew the song, and still love playing it. At first, I was just going to play the theme in straight piano mode. It’s my favorite setting, though all the bells and whistles can be very entertaining.
Then John described his memory in greater detail. He was very young, but remembers walking into the room. I was playing Pound Puppies, and John thought “I can’t believe he’s playing commercials!”
He remembers the keyboard I used to have. It was a Yamaha PS-something or other. Had a flip-up lid, weight about 60 pounds, and was 5 octaves long. Enough controls on the lid to fly a space shuttle. Spent $1500 when it was top-of-the-line, sold it at a yard sale for $35. That’s technology for you. What John remembers is that it barked. There was a voice that intentionally reproduced barking dogs in musical tones. The main reason I sold it was because the keys didn’t have a ‘real piano’ feel.
Over the years, I guess my taste in music rubbed off on him, and now it’s one of two songs he requested. Given the memory of me playing Pound Puppies with a barking keyboard, it just wouldn’t do to offer any less this time around. With a bit of tinkering, I found a dog bark on the DGX-640. (Voice # 505, actually.) The secondary instrument was originally set to be strings, but changed that to a piccolo. Turned on split keyboard, and used a base guitar for the left hand. Found a pretty straightforward marching beat for the drums.
So here you are, John. I hope you like it!!