From the Stacks

From The Stacks: ‘Fonzie Favorites’

The holy trinity of kids’ cool circa 1976 consisted of Muhammad Ali, Evel Knievel, and the Fonz. In retrospect, the first two remain legitimately cool Ali? Come on, ’nuff said. Evel Knievel? The dude wore a cape and jumped a Harley, for crying out loud.

But Fonzie doesn’t hold up so well; in fact, he probably would have benefited from a good therapist. The man actually believed he’d been on his own since age six, that he could fix things by hitting them, and that women should fall all over themselves when he snapped his fingers. And then there was his anger issues, his inability to admit when he was wrong, and his pathological fear of sharks–not an animal with which he was likely to come into contact in his native Wisconsin. Don’t get me started on the pathology of a man who sets up his office in a public restroom.

Anyway, in 1976 Fonzie moved product, and given that music played a big role in Happy Days (Arnold’s jukebox being one of the many devices the Fonz could control with his magic fists) I’m sure the idea of an oldies collection bearing his hoodlum punum seemed like a no brainer. Most of the tracks on Fonzie Favorites are things you’ve heard a million times, like the Coasters’ “Charlie Brown” and Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire,” but there are a couple of songs here that have fallen out of rotation. Check out the Rays’ “Silhouettes,” for example:

But even back in 1976 Fonzie Favorites wasn’t really marketed to music lovers. Look closely and you’ll see that a stand was die-cut into the sleeve’s back cover so that you could proudly display your Fonz album cover as if it were a 12-inch by 12-inch family photo.

This is one of those albums that has crossover collector appeal. It’s just another dollar bin oldies compilation, really, but stick it in an antique shop with a bunch of Happy Days memorabilia and it’s a ten dollar record all day long. Collectors are weird people, not “do your accounting in a men’s room weird” but weird. Happy hunting.

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