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"Duke of Earl"
Single by Gene Chandler
Released January 13, 1962
Recorded 1961[1]
Genre Soul, doo-wop
Label Vee-Jay Records
Writer(s) Gene Chandler, Earl Edwards, Bernice Williams

"Duke of Earl" is a 1962 number-one song, originally by Gene Chandler. It is the best known of Chandler's songs, and he subsequently dubbed himself 'The Duke of Earl'.

"Duke of Earl" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 13, 1962, and held the number-one spot for three weeks. It was on the Hot 100 for a total of 15 weeks.

Contents

Cover versions

Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders released a cover version in 1964. Another cover was recorded by the UK based doo-wop outfit Darts in 1979. It reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart.

Cornell Campbell did a reggae version on the Trojan Records label.

Sha Na Na, a rock and roll revival band, performed Duke of Earl live at the Woodstock Festival of 1969.

The Beach Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers have also played their version of the song whilst on tour. Cypress Hill sampled "Duke of Earl" into one of their own hit songs, "Hand on the Pump", on their 1991 self-titled album.

The song has also been sung by The Nylons, The Four Tops, New Edition, and the Van-Dells.

In 1983, Youth Brigade also covered "Duke of Earl" on their critically acclaimed debut album Sound & Fury.

Pop culture references

In his song "Keeping The Faith", Billy Joel sings "I thought I was the Duke of Earl / When I made it with a red-haired girl in a Chevrolet".

Reference is made to the Duke of Earl as being a friend of Wolfman Jack in The Guess Who's song, "Clap for the Wolfman".

In the Hall & Oates' song "Diddy Doo Wopp (I Hear the Voices)" from the album Voices, Daryl Hall sings, "Charlie liked the Beatles / Sam, he liked "Rich Girl" / I'm still hung up on the Duke of Earl".

In the film, Carry on Behind, Ernie (played by Jack Douglas) can be seen wearing a Duke of Earl T-shirt.

In the film The Man with Two Brains, a prostitute (Randi Brooks) sings the song (described it as her "favorite") revealing her unexpectedly unpleasant and squeaky voice (she pronounces it "Dook, Dook, Dook, Dook of Oil..."). This is also possibly contributed to the name of the modern-age Green Arrow villain, the Duke of Oil.

In the film King Ralph the titular character played by John Goodman sings the song as the end credits roll.

In the film The Wrong Guys, John Goodman plays the character Duke, leader of the Earl Gang, who are wanted by the FBI.

The song was performed by the rock and roll comedy group Sha Na Na as part of their set at Woodstock Festival in 1969.

In the Magnum P.I. episode "Going Home", Magnum and a friend are seen singing a drunken a cappella of the song.

The 'Duke of Earl' is mentioned in the Men Without Hats song "Pop Goes The World".

Datamation humor columnist Chris Miksanek titled his "Over the Edge" online weblinks companion "The Duke of URL" which ran from 1998 until 2001.

In the Don Henley song "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming", he sings "No place for sentiment, no room for romance" / "Bring back the Duke of Earl".

In the episode "Kelly Does Hollywood" of the show Married... With Children, Al Bundy attempts to get on Kelly's show by performing a dramatic reading of the song.

A reference to this song is mentioned in an episode of My Name is Earl entitled "Burn Victim".

In his song "Window On The World", John Hiatt sings "The Queen of Sheba meets the Duke of Earl".

In The Dead Milkmen song "Punk Rock Girl", her father is referred to as the Duke of Earl (as well as the Vice President).

The song is parodied in the show The Critic referring to Duke Phillips and sung by parodies of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.

The song was parodied in a 1990s commercial for Hellmann's Dijonnaise ("Di-di-di-Dijonnaise").

At New York Ranger hockey games at Madison Square Garden, the song is usually played on the arena organ after the opposing team scores a goal.

The song was also parodied from the late 1980s through to the early 2000s for a commercial in Australia for a hair care company called Decore.

Steely Dan use the lyric "If you grew up in Amsterdam, then I'm the Duke of Earl" in the song "Slang of Ages" on their 2003 album "Everything Must Go"

References

External links

Preceded by
"Peppermint Twist - Part I" by Joey Dee and the Starliters
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 17, 1962 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Hey! Baby" by Bruce Channel
Preceded by
"I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" by Barbara George
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
February 17, 1962 – March 17, 1962 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Twistin' the Night Away" by Sam Cooke







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