The following is the not-so-abridged story of the show
Tom Cat and One Hand Monkey go back to before they can even remember. But then again, One Hand Monkey can’t even remember how old he is; he even forgets his name sometimes. His birth name is Monkey Doodle Doo Jones Dolenz Nezmith Tork. Although Tom Cat and One Hand Monkey have been inseparable for many years, no one can really say how he lost his right hand and his left ear, tore his suspenders, or even got that chip in his lip; but they both agree it was probably due to an over abundance of love.
It is not clear when Tom Cat started in radio but documents indicate that he was present when Lee DeForest invented the sewing machine. Tom Cat worked for practically a century at KCFV in Florissant Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. In fact, Wolfman Jack got his start in radio under the tutelage of Tom Cat. Johnny Rabbit and Cousin Brucie claim that Tom Cat taught them everything they know. One Hand Monkey was right there with him the whole time.
In September 2006 Tom Cat loaded up the car and headed north on I-55 towards Whitewater Wisconsin. Somewhere around Peoria he discovered One Hand Monkey under a carry bag asleep with a banana in his mouth. While at a rest stop, they started chatting mostly about music with a tall, slender fella with a down yonder accent. They all agreed that Hank Williams was one of the greatest musical poets of all time. The man introduced himself as Clem Picklehoeffer,. They all quickly became friends and Clem joined Tom Cat and One Hand Monkey on their journey north. While at a little diner near Bloomington, they had the idea to start an oldies radio show. Not just any oldies show playing the same 20 songs in a 20 year radius played on 20 radio stations in every city in every state for the past 50 years, no, their idea was to dig into the record vault and uncover the great music that never gets played. Their goal was to transport the listener, metaphysically, to another year in time.
As they were discussing the idea, an older rather straight laced gentleman wearing glasses, a tweed suit, and red bow tie approached their table and introduced himself as Walter Max Murrow, an out of work newsman. He said he couldn’t help but overhear their conversation and politely insisted that the show needed a news segment. Although he wasn’t exactly asked to join, no one seemed to object and it was assumed that this rather odd man was now a member of their cavalcade.
The four of them couldn’t help but notice that their server was having a terrible time juggling trays, water glasses, and coffee pots; he was very irritable. It was also glaringly obvious that he was, in fact, half man half alligator. He introduced himself (and not at all in a pleasant tone) as Jake. He appeared very unpleasant, not surprisingly, since he was half man half alligator.
Not much is really known about the history of Jake the Alligator Man. It is believed that an alligator ate his mother before he was born. Other sources suggest that his mother actually was an alligator and his father a Cajun hermit. According to various sources, Jake had a number of different jobs: an attraction at a circus sideshow (there’s a shock), a doorman at a Las Vegas strip club, a pornographic movie director, a respected author and noted psychiatrist, a minor league baseball star, and curator of Marsh’s Free Museum, Long Beach Washington.
In a fit of frustration, Jake threw down his apron exclaiming, “I QUIT” and sat down with the group evidently joining them, albeit uninvited.
So the diverse little group all climbed into Tom Cat’s jalopy and merrily headed north until they reached the beautiful city of Whitewater. They were surprised to discover the tallest building downtown was all of 2 1/2 stories. They also learned that residing in Whitewater was none other than poet laureate Percy Dovetonsills. All being big fans of poetry (and laureates) they quickly became friends, (not to mention the fact that his lovely personal assistant makes a mean Cyclops Gin martini).
He introduced them to his dear friend, the lovely and talented Stomper Room Lady. She was the moderator of a children’s storybook show and amazed them all with her Magic Mirror. She also happened to be out of work at the moment.
They approached world famous radio station WSUW, located on the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus (U-DUB-DUB as they call it), with their idea. The station was so excited to have Tom Cat and his staff that they quickly signed them to a lucrative, long-term contract and history was made.
While working on a promo for the show in the production studio, a shaggy and lanky cool dude popped in sat down with bongos in hand and started talking incoherently with the bunch. No one was quite sure if he was a professor or a student. They also couldn’t decipher if he was a beatnik or a hippy or exactly what he was but he said his name was Mr. Dogdigitty. Through his ramblings they realized that this dude had an incredible knowledge of music. They would have asked him to join their show, but it appeared he already had.
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