Bananaphone

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Bananaphone
Studio album by Raffi
Released September 27, 1994
Recorded March–June 1994
Genre Children's music, Traditional pop music, jazz
Length 49:24
Label Rounder
Raffi chronology
Evergreen Everblue
(1990)
Bananaphone
(1994)
Raffi Radio
(1995)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Bananaphone is a popular children's album[2][3] released by Raffi and Michael Creber[4] (father of actress, singer, and voice over artist, Michelle Creber) in 1994. The title track's lyrics describe the bananaphone. The song uses many puns such as "It's a phone with appeal!" (a peel) and nonce words like "bananular" and "interactive-odular" as Raffi extols the virtues of his unique telephone. The album was certified Gold by the CRIA in March 2002.[5]

Internet popularity[edit]

The title song became an Internet meme in the Spring of 2004 when an animated flash loop, featuring the song sped-up by six semitones, was posted on the web site cookiethievery.com. After this, a parody combining Bananaphone and Internet meme Badger Badger Badger was made by Lemonizer and dubbed "Badgerphone." The following week, "Banana Phone" by Dave Teatro was released on the web site Newgrounds. Since then, many fan-made music videos for the song have been created.

On September 4, 2007, "Bananaphone" received what is thought to be its first ever full play on a commercial radio station when John Warburton played it on his breakfast show on 96.2 The Revolution with the promise that it would cheer people up. A snippet of the song had previously been played on the show after being found by production assistant Jim Hall. Prior radio exposure of the song occurred in snippet form only and usually in a sped up version (in the manner of, for example, Alvin and the Chipmunks). This version became a staple in 2004 on The Opie & Anthony Show and recurred with less frequency in subsequent years. Another snippet of "Bananaphone" is occasionally used at the end of some segments of The Colbert Report and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

The sped-up version has been played during Cincinnati Reds radio broadcasts, in the event that the play-by-play team needs to take calls from the audience to kill time during rain delays.

The St. Lucie Mets play the sped-up version while showing a slide show of celebrities using the banana phone when teams call in a change of pitchers.

It is played at the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars' home arena, while the officials decide upon the call for any goal under review. The song has become a popular component of the streamed match broadcasts of the Melbourne Ice in the Australian Ice Hockey League during intermission breaks, with the song regularly requested by viewers.

The song has also been featured in Potter Puppet Pals, a popular YouTube series consisting of a combination of live-action puppets and animated cartoons.

Bananaphone can be heard periodically in its sped-up version on the Fan960's sports radio program show The Rob Kerr Program, hosted by Bob Kerr. The song is used for pranks and spoofs.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Bananaphone" (Creber, Raffi) 3:12
  2. "Shake a Toe" (Creber, Raffi) 2:20
  3. "The World We Love" (Creber, Raffi) 3:23
  4. "Slow Day" (Creber, Raffi) 3:25
  5. "The Changing Garden of Mr. Bell" (Hubbard, Silversher) 4:07
  6. "Naturally" (Creber, Raffi) 3:04
  7. "Spring Flowers" [instrumental] (Raffi) 2:40
  8. "C-A-N-A-D-A" (Connors) 2:50
  9. "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" (Traditional) 3:25
  10. "First Peoples" (Creber, Raffi) 4:37
  11. "Dee Myth" [instrumental] (Raffi) 2:59
  12. "Cowlit Night" (Raffi) 3:21
  13. "The Gorilla Song" (Knowles, Knowles) 2:10
  14. "Simple Gifts" (Traditional) 2:15
  15. "Down by the Riverside" (Traditional) 3:13
  16. "The Shmenge Polka" [instrumental] (A Tribute to the late John Candy) (Raffi) 2:07 [6]

Popular culture[edit]

A "banana phone" foam cover has been produced to give a mobile phone the appearance of a banana in reference to this song.[7][8]

"Bananaphone" is the name of a musical instrument, "a synthesizer played with touch sensitive bananas."Szczys, Mike (2012-05-17). "Bananaphone lets you use fruit and other things as switches". Hack A Day. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 

Radio personality Rucka Rucka Ali references Bananaphone in the beginning of his song "I'm a Korean".

Cover versions[edit]

Bananaphone has been covered in several different musical genres, examples include several heavy metal versions,[9][10] a dubstep version[11][12] and a bluegrass/country version by Rhonda Vincent released on the album Sing Along with Putumayo released by Putumayo World Music.[13][14][15]

The Chilean children's show Cachureos released a cover of Bananaphone called "Teléfono" on its 1996 album, "La Mosca".[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  2. ^ Lynch, Sheri (2007). Be Happy or I'll Scream!. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-34234-0. 
  3. ^ Briggs, Diane (2007). Preschool Favorites. Chicago: American Library Association. ISBN 978-0-8389-0938-6. 
  4. ^ "About US - Creber Music Corporation". Creber Music Corporation. April 2003. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  5. ^ "Gold & Platinum Certification – March 2002". Canadian Recording Industry Association. March 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  6. ^ "Rounder Records". Rounder.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  7. ^ Rupley, Sebastian (2006-09-13). "Me And My Banana Phone". PCMag.com. Ziff Davis, Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2012-01-15. "You'll find this foam-banana phone cover at Cellfoam.com [sic.]" 
  8. ^ Molloy, Fran (2010-01-13). "The Banana Phone Cover". fadgetry.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-01-15. "Cellfoam have come up with the Banana Phone. It’s not a phone – it’s a phone holder. [...] With the Banana Phone song by Egyptian Canadian children’s entertainer Raffi now an all-time sensation on YouTube, the Banana Phone Cover is the perfect foil for those wielding a less-than-trendy so-last-year mobile phone." 
  9. ^ "Bananaphone(Hard Rock)". Poetv.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ 00:00 / 00:00 (2010-05-09). "Bananaphone | BUILDER". Builderbeats.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  12. ^ "Banana Phone Dubstep Remix by Builder - First Drop Ever!!". YouTube. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  13. ^ "Sing Along with Putumayo". Putumayo.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  14. ^ "Rhonda Vincent - Bananaphone". YouTube. 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ "Cachureos 96 - ¡Ring,Ring,Telefono!". YouTube. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2012-01-15.