Sunday, March 28, 2010

Drop and give me 10 (songs), jarheads

Chuck Zangus and Howie Snider are "The Captains", apparently a couple of Marine aviators who got bitten by the folk-singing bug. Though there is no indication on the album of specific military support of the recording (other than in the liner notes: "they are sometimes accused of being 'singing recruiters'") some basic Googling indicates that Howie was an Information Officer in the Marine Corps (as well as, later, a Shakey's restaurant owner, subject of a film about Muncie, IN, and a Ball State teacher) so my suspicion is that this LP might have had some clandestine armed forces support.

The Captains In Pensacola

Marine Corps Aviator Folk Song
Astronaut Jarhead
Marine Green
Look Her In The Eyeballs
Teen-Age Marine
CNABATRA (pronounced sin-a-ba-tra)*
Ballad Of Papa Don
Give Me Back That Rib**
The Captain's Song

* Chief Of Naval Air Basic Training (Rear Admiral Daniel F. Smith, Jr., in this specific case)

**DO NOT play this for any woman with whom you wish to remain on good terms

A portion of the liner notes:

Here are 'The Captains' at last on record with some of their most popular songs.
This pair of comical lyricists, Chuck Zangas and Howie Snider, are known throughout the country for their ability to create songs and tailor parodies to suite their many varied audiences. They have now brought their accordian (sic) and guitar into the studio to give posterity and shut-ins an opportunity to laugh with them (or at them) as they gaily exercise with some of the less esoteric selections from their repertoire.

Some of The Captains' repertoire is oriented toward the military audience. As a result, they are sometimes accused of being "Singing Recruiters." Whether or not you are, have been or will be in some way affiliated with the armed forces, we think you will get a kick out of The Captains' original and spirited examination of the lighter side of military life. And certainly everyone will enjoy their commentaries on such universal subjects as topless bathing suits and disc jockeys.


Blogger Die Anyway said...

I have this album... purchased in Pensacola at the time that it came out. My dad was a Marine so the songs had special meaning. Also, I spent many evenings listening to Pappa Don on the radio and it was pretty much like in the song.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a signed copy of this album, how much is it worth?

8:40 AM  
Blogger senormedia said...

They appear to sell on Ebay for under 10 dollars.

12:50 PM  
Blogger senormedia said...

The Ball State Daily News - Renaissance Man, 3 Mar 2004 [cached]
Journalism Instructor Howard Snider was almost born in a toilet.
"[My mother] misinterpreted her labor pains and thought she had to go to the potty," Snider, 72, said.
Growing up, Snider didn't see a lot of his father due to his involvement with World War II.Without a father figure around much to guide him, Snider said he turned to his pastor, Father Bob, at St. Mary Parish for a role model.
Snider spent his high school years attending Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Lake seminary schools as a direct result of his relationship with Father Bob.
However, Snider dropped out after his senior year. He said he wanted a family and that would not be possible if he continued down the path to priesthood.
Snider said he wanted to attend college, but he did not have an accredited high school diploma.Snider and a fellow classmate hitch-hiked to Fort Wayne and asked the Fort Wayne Bishop to give them a diploma.Snider officially graduated from Huntington Catholic High School, a school he has never seen.
Once Snider had his accredited diploma he chose to attend Ball State.But while he attended to study journalism, Snider's mind was elsewhere.
"[I studied] the girls.I had been at seminary school for four years, it's like a monastery!"Snider said."As a result of studying girls and fraternity life, I did very poorly as a student," he added.
The United States began drafting men for the Korean War during his time at Ball State.Snider dropped out and joined the military in 1952, after his sophomore year.
The Marine Corps
Snider was accepted into the Naval Aviation Cadet program in 1953 but instead joined the Marines because he might earn his wings earlier than in the Navy.
Snider said he wanted his wings early so he could marry a girl he met during flight training in Pensacola, Fla..They met while dragging the main on Palafox Street.
"Today they call it cruising, back then they called it dragging the main," Snider said.
However, Snider didn't receive his wings early.He and Judy married before he got his wings, while he was still a cadet, even though cadets were forbidden to do so.
During his 20 years of military service, Snider has been stationed in Japan twice.During his station in Iwakuni in 1961, an officer named Chuck Zangas visited the officers' club while Snider was entertaining the crowd with his ukulele and made-up songs.
Snider and Zangas recorded "The Captains' in Pensacola" in1964.
"We made 2,000 (LPs), sold 200 and gave out 800," Snider said."I gave away 200 (to students) last semester."
He keeps the remaining 600 records in his garage.

12:53 PM  
Blogger senormedia said...

In 1963, he entered a Freedoms Foundation contest for the most patriotic speech. Snider was one of three participants who tied for first place, one of whom was J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Snider retired from the military in 1972 after he learned he would be sent to Japan for a third time, this time in Okinawa.
"(I was) not wanting to go oversees without my family again," Snider said.
Snider earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State during his service in the Marines.The military sent Snider to Ball State to complete a graduate program after he retired.
However, Snider never completed his master's work.
The plan was for Snider to finish his degrees and teach but also help his friends run Shakey's.
Snider was forced to take over Zangas' role and run the pizza parlor.He left graduate school two classes short of two master's degrees.
Snider ran Shakey's Pizza for 14 years, never finding the time to finish up his remaining two classes.
"In Indiana you have to complete your master's work within seven years or you lose all your credits, so that's what happened to me," Snider said.
However, Ball State offered Snider a part-time position teaching journalism in 1981.
While Snider was running Shakey's Pizza, he was contacted by a film crew conducting a field study of Muncie in the winter of 1980.They wanted to film his family.
"We agreed to let them come into our lives.They spent two months with us; we gave them carte blanch access," Snider said.
"We signed a contract with Henry Winkler to make a TV series; that didn't work out," Snider said."We signed a contract then with Larry Brezner to do a movie, but it never did happen."
When it was obvious there would be no deals, Snider said he decided to close Shakey's.
What is he doing now?
After closing Shakey's, Snider asked Ball State to hire him as a full-time instructor and they offered him a contract.He no longer needed the master's degree because the university offered him the full-time position based on merit.
Snider said his teaching career at Ball State is like a song:
"Part-time, full-time, part-time, full-time.Here we go again," he sang.
Snider said that he has retired three times, only to return at Ball State's request.He currently teaches journalism for the School of Extended Education.
Looking back
Out of all he has done, Snider considers being named teacher of the year at Ball State, as chosen by the students, his greatest achievement.
"I never was so excited as I was when they told me that I was one of the top teachers in '94," Snider said." I entered into teaching with a fever.To be honest with you, I had walked through the Student Center and saw those pictures of professors of the year that very first year I started teaching, and I set that as a goal."

12:54 PM  

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