Looking for a specific Halloween song
October 7, 2013 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Back in the day, Zacherle had an annual Halloween radio special in NYC; in my day—late 80s to early 90s—it was on WCBS-FM. There was one song he played that I haven't found anywhere else. It featured a vampire (who was very likely Zacherle himself, but I can't swear to that) with several cheerful backup singers, speaking/singing about being "overdrawn at the blood bank." Anybody recognize this and know where to find it?

The chorus went as follows:

I'm overdrawn at the blood bank
Can I put the bite on you?
I'm overdrawn at the blood bank
Without your blood, I'm oh so blue
Can't get credit for where I've been*
This is pathetic— getting under my skin!
I'm overdrawn at the blood bank
Can I put the bite on you?

*or possibly "what I've been"? This is the one line I'm not sure of.

I've conducted all manner of searches over the years, but have not managed to track this song down.
posted by Shmuel510 to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: NYT, 2001:

"One of Mr. Zwerling's friends and neighbors is John Zacherle, who in the 1950's had been host of late-night horror shows on television. Mr. Zwerling wrote him a song, ''Overdrawn at the Blood Bank,'' which Mr. Zacherle recorded.

"Last year, a Zacherle fan put together a compilation CD of Mr. Zacherle's songs along with some new material. He called Mr. Zwerling to ask about leasing the rights to ''Blood Bank.'' Like vinyl records before them, CD's had become affordable for anyone to make, and the Zacherle fan was planning to sell CD's over the Internet. This strategy also appealed to Mr. Zwerling, and the more he looked into it, the more it appeared that he had found a way to have the complete control over his music that he had always wanted."
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:06 PM on October 7, 2013

It looks like it might be available on iTunes? (I'm on an android at the moment and can't confirm)
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:11 PM on October 7, 2013

Response by poster: ...how in heaven's name did that elude me?

I'll check iTunes when I get home. Thank you both!
posted by Shmuel510 at 4:14 PM on October 7, 2013

I have no idea what this is about, but it may be a lead.

Andy Zwerling
Album: Somewhere Near Pop Heaven
Release Date: May 01, 2001
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:17 PM on October 7, 2013

Best answer: If none of the normal channels for hunting down the song pan out, it looks like Andy Z and Leslie both have current websites. I suspect that at least one of them would send you an mp3 if you asked politely, even though they seem to have gotten out of the music game.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:03 PM on October 7, 2013

Response by poster: I have gotten home! It turns out the iTunes link doesn't work. On the one hand, rats. On the other hand, it is a slight comfort to learn that I didn't miss something that obvious.

On the third hand, I have an official title and artist to work with now, and I might try contacting them directly if nothing else works. Once again, thank you!
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:22 PM on October 7, 2013

Response by poster: On looking more closely, I think the linked Andrew Zwerling is a different Andy Zwerling, despite their both being lawyers on Long Island; based on the NYTimes article, they went to different law schools in different years. (And there are other differences in their career trajectories, putting aside the music.) My guess would be that they're cousins.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:51 PM on October 7, 2013

Leslie is the real deal, though; having done jewelry at least since the CD reissue days. If anyone strikes up a report with her, feel free to invite her over to this thread. I'll happily buy her an account on the off chance that we might get to experience this song.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:41 PM on October 7, 2013

Shmuel510, please do report back on how your search goes.

It appears that Andy Zwerling has a Facebook page.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:08 AM on October 8, 2013

Response by poster: Okay. I have paid Facebook the dollar it wanted to send Andy a message and not have it be shunted to the "Other" mailbox that nobody checks. (Well played, Facebook?) We'll see what happens...
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:19 AM on October 8, 2013

Definitely let us know how it goes. Now I want to hear the song, too, and I'd buy a CD to do that. Especially after listening to this NPR bit on the guy, which features a song of his and does happen to mention that he's a lawyer.
posted by diamondsky at 1:39 PM on October 8, 2013

Response by poster: Andy replied!
"Bloodbank" is on our "Somewhere Near Pop Heaven" compilation. I have to move the old OpRock site info to andyzwerling.com. I also have to add "Somewhere Near Pop Heaven" to cdbaby. When I get a chance, if I can figure out how, I will put an mp3 link on facebook. If I can't, I'll find another way to get it to you.
Meanwhile, it turns out that andyzwerling.com exists. Also, he has a MySpace page, on which you can listen to a few songs from his 2008 album, "Hold Up the Sky."
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:09 AM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Woo hoo! Thanks for the update. I hope the song remains as good as it is in your memory of it. Props to Andy Zwerling for his prompt reply, too.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:01 AM on October 9, 2013

Response by poster: "Overdrawn at the Blood Bank" isn't available for sale yet, but hopefully soon...

In the meantime, have my favorite Zacherle song, Happy Halloween. (Zwerling was not involved in this one; I think he was 5 years old when it was recorded.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:07 PM on October 29, 2013

Best answer: This is now available from Amazon. What a fun song! Thank you so much, Shmuel!

posted by diamondsky at 7:45 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ooh, and it's now on iTunes as well, though I didn't know that until I saw your comment, diamondsky. Very welcome, and thank you! :-)
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:15 PM on December 13, 2013

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