This Week in Music History | October 17-22

This Week in Music History | October 17-22

This week in music history, we did the mash. Wait, which one? 60 years ago this week, the “Monster Mash” began its two week stint at the top of Billboard’s singles chart. In October 1962, the novelty song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and The Crypt-Kickers grew in popularity as the Halloween season approached. At this time, the kitschy and childish aspects of the holiday were just hitting the mainstream in America. 

In a timeline provided by, when Halloween came to the U.S. via European immigrants in the 1800s. It mostly focused on autumnal celebration, but many rigid Protestants did not celebrate the holiday. By the turn of the century, the American version of the holiday wanted to focus less on the witchcraft and chaos that came from other countries. Superstition and more ghoulish aspects were replaced with more tame community celebration, with an emphasis on children. By the middle of the century, trick-or-treating and costumes became the hallmark of the American version of Halloween. With the holiday heavily watered down and commercialized, we needed one absolutely amazing novelty song about having a graveyard smash.

The song also takes influences from early Hollywood horror flicks, with Pickett taking inspiration from the original Frankenstein actor, Boris Karloff. After it caught on in a flash, this song is still a mainstay of the Halloween season six decades later, being played at practically every spooky event one could think of. So in the name of music history, celebrate the season properly.

~Madison Reinhold


This week in music history, rap icon Chief Keef inadvertently caused thousands of dollars in property damage. While the event occurred only four years ago, the severity of the damage and injuries makes it notable to this day. Chief Keef released Back from the Dead 2 on Oct. 2, 2014. One of the album’s hottest tracks, “Faneto,” was played at a Clemson University frat party on Oct. 20, 2018. “Faneto” was written and produced entirely by Chief Keef — which is probably why it goes so hard. While partygoers jumped and danced to the track, a video posted to Twitter shows the dance floor collapsing beneath them. At least 30 people were injured in the incident according to XXL, but no injuries were life-threatening. Besides a few broken bones, this story definitely gave the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity a legendary reputation at Clemson University.

On Oct. 17, 1972, music would change forever. Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. Mr. Mathers is known as a founding father of modern rap, having been raised near the heart of the blossoming Detroit rap scene. His 2002 film 8 Mile tells his story of how he came to enter the rap game and change the course of history. This film also earned him an Oscar for Best Original Song with the classic “Lose Yourself.”

His lyricism has been widely criticized over the course of his career, from his days in D12 to his time as Slim Shady. His storied career is rife with controversy, with a heavy emphasis on the graphic subject matter of his earlier work. His more recent projects seem to show change in this aspect, namely the album Recovery made under his current stage name. This album, made after his rehab stay in 2008, shows a man willing to get better for not only his art, but for his children as well. Nevertheless, the king of 8 Mile celebrates his 50th birthday this week. Here’s to many more, Mr. Mathers.

~Norene Bassin


This week 19 years ago we were introduced to arguably the most iconic eyeliner in pop culture with the release of Amy Winehouse’s debut album, Frank. Seeping with style reminiscent of the album’s eponym Frank Sinatra, each track provides its own story. Whether or not Frank is of any personal importance to you, this collection of songs brings such a powerful atmosphere that any listener can feel. 

Winehouse’s experiences with men, UK nightlife in the early 2000s and her life as a young woman create an incredible tracklist that has inspired some of today’s most influential female artists; this includes Florence Welch, Adele, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey. The list continues to grow as we watch the music scene evolve.

Some of the most known songs on Frank include “Stronger Than Me” and “What Is It About Men,” but I hope that you decide to give this album a listen and discover some new favorites. I’m personally a huge fan of what I will refer to as, for a lack of profanity, “the one about the pumps.” Here’s to another year of Amy. 

~ Gracie Oldenburg