When Soupy Sales’ national TV show was at its peak (in 1965), RCA Records decided it was time to put Soupy in the studio to record an album. The idea was to include songs relating to Soupy’s skits and characters featured on his show and Denny was invited to get involved.
Attention to Soupy was particularly high at that time as he had just been put back on the air after a week’s suspension (with major media hoop-la) for asking the kids to go into Daddy’s wallet and “send uncle Soupy all of the little green pieces of paper”.
Denny: “They had the concept for the album but they needed the songs. So, since Soupy’s show was televised live from NBC’s New York studios, the first thing was to hang out with him while he did several of his shows and get into his world.
Soupy was huge in New York both with the parents and the kids because his jokes and antics worked on two levels, and when I got to the studio the line of fans hoping to get a glimpse of him or maybe even an autograph stretched around the block.
Soupy was back. And as I watched him, along with his other routines, do his little mouse dance, it seemed like a natural to write a song for Soupy to go with that dance.”
Within a couple of weeks, as the project was on the fast track, Soupy was in the studio recording his album including “Hey, Do The Mouse” and 5 other of Denny’s songs. All but one of those songs were specially written for Soupy. “Mr Cab Driver”, on which Bob Crewe was also a collaborator, was written earlier.
Denny: “The album was done at Olmstead Sound, one of my and my crowd’s favorite studios at the time, and where the tracks to such hits as “A Lover’s Concerto” by the Toys and “Let’s Hang” On” by the Four Season’s were cut. I was at all of the sessions and even sang back-up on Soupy’s version of ” The Name Game”.
“The Mouse”, which became the title song and the first single released from the album, was rushed out and sold 250,000 records in New York City alone then went on to be a national hit, culminating with Soupy doing “The Mouse” on the Ed Sullivan Show. Even Ed couldn’t resist a little ear wiggling, as witnessed in one photo of him and Soupy.
(Another of Denny’s songs, “Bird Watchin’ Man”, also specially written for Soupy, was later recorded by him and released as a single by RCA.)
Denny: “The greatest part of the whole thing was hanging with Soupy. He was funny all the time, whether or not on. And whenever I was with him he kept me and everybody else in stitches.
Like when walking back from the Hullabaloo TV show “Do The Mouse” rehearsal with Soupy, his agent and Jack Jones and New York Giant Roosevelt Grier, huge and in great shape, who were also on the show that week, Soupy’s one-liners about the items in the store windows, which you’d think couldn’t be that funny, had us all rolling around on the ground every other minute, which can be dangerous when walking with Rosie Grier. It was good times doin the Mouse with Uncle Soupy”.