Little Ole Man

Album: Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings (1967)
Charted: 4

Songfacts®:

  • What on Earth is Bill Cosby doing here? In the Billboard Top 10? He was just as shocked as you are. Just look at the expression on the cover of his comedy album (which also includes this song) 200 M.P.H.: he has that look like he's sayin' "What have I gone and done now?"

    Actually, when you come down to it, Cosby is less singing and more telling a story joke that builds throughout the song, with backing from a band and chorus. The song is actually another version of Stevie Wonder's Uptight (Everything's Alright)." But he did sing on some of the other tracks on the album, most of which are blues-standards-type songs.
  • Cosby was the first really famous comedian to have a Billboard-charting single, although many novelty songs charted by performers who certainly had "comedian" on their resumés. Another famous funnyman to hit the charts is Steve Martin, who cracked the Top-20 with "King Tut."
  • Even in 1967, Cosby was already a household name in entertainment. He had been in the TV series I Spy since 1965, and had released numerous comedy albums. He also was a regular guest host of The Tonight Show and annual specials for NBC.

    Over the next few years, he would make a mark in the musical realm as well, not only with this song, but also with the chart hits "Hooray For The Salvation Army Band" (#71, 1967), "Funky North Philly" (#91, 1968), and the spoken-word track "Grover Henson Feels Forgotten" (#70, 1970). Cosby also co-wrote the theme to the TV show Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and wrote the song "Hikky-Burr" with Quincy Jones as the theme to his 1969 TV show.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Dean Pitchford

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."