This morning, listening to our Youngest say; “Bah bah bah Da da da,” I was reminded of a bit of musical history from my youth. It was the song “Barbara Ann,” written by Fred Fassert, performed by The Regents in 1961. I had originally mistakenly thought Sha Na Na preformed the song. But that’s memory for you. Hard to remember things that happened to you when on part of you had volunteered to enlist in the Army and was in Việt Nam, and the other part was still in high school in Kansas City, Kansas.
Eventually, I got together with myself in 1966, at Ottawa University in Kansas. My father heard to Ottawa University Choir on a USO tour in Việt Nam and figured that was a good enough reason to apply to Ottawa University. He was planning on being a Music Minister, but married a PK instead, on the condition that he wouldn’t be a minister. So it goes. But, I’ve always found it rather interesting that but for a University Choir that had the courage, honour, and dignity to visit soldiers in Việt Nam, I wouldn’t exist. Not as both bits of me anyway. Or at least, the odds would have been against it. So in the midst of of a horrible war there was one bright moment, for me anyway. It’s important to remember those bright moments. It is what makes us different from the animals, even when we are being more brutal than any animal going.
Anyway, here is the first version by The Regents, followed by The Beach Boys: