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Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

80s Forum: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"
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  1. #1
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    Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    I recently received an MP3 copy of this very hard-to-find song which hit #80 in 1981 (thanks to Dauterman) and I'm wondering what the story is behind it. I've heard of major record collectors who have had every rock single since 1955 except this one. I've also heard that it has a very high price in record collectors books and it's in a lot of peoples' want lists.

    So I'd like to know

    (1) Why is this song so much harder to find than other songs obscure songs from that period?

    (2) Does anyone have any information on who Shamus M'Cool was? An internet search turns up absolutely NOTHING about him.

    Thanks in advance,
    -Rich!

  2. #2
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    Dauterman got that mp3 thanks to me. I searched the internet over to find it. I sent an e-mail to Joel Whitburn asking him if he could copy it to a cassette for me. To my suprise he said yes, just to send a cassette in a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE). Joel has a fan in me for life (for those who don't know, Joel is the guy who writes almost all the Billboard chart books I own and has almost every single and album to chart since the 20's).

    As for why the song is sooo obscure I have no idea. Joel did tell me it was the hardest record in his collection to find (that is really saying something). He found it in a record shop in LA, where the clerk knew Shamus as a comedian.

    As for who Shamus M'Cool was, he was a stand up comedian from Los Angeles named Richard Doyle. He had a cable show in LA called "Comic talk". The b-side of the record was "American humor" which made jokes about the "new" president Ronald Reagan. Joel also included the b-side on the cassette for me. I searched all this info and came up with nothing. I even went to the online phone book for LA and looked upped Richard Doyle. I came up with 15 Richard Doyle's. I wasn't about to call them all Shamus M'Cool also charted on the Christmas charts at #11 in 1973 with a song called "Santa's little helper, Dingo". This record happens to be on Joel's wantlist.

    That is all I know about good old Shamus

    BTW, The song wasn't bad at all.

    you're dispicable!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info djdaffy1227. You've told us more than anyone could ever find on the internet about this guy! But I guess the mystery continues on why the record is so rare and valuable...

    Thanks,
    -Rich!

    BTW, You're right, the song is actually pretty good for the time period in which it was released.

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    If anyone has an mp3 or any other type of copy of Shamus McCool's Christmas record, I would be most grateful!

  5. #5
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Don't know if anyone will read this post, as the others were posted so long ago, but doing a google search, I was wondering what happened to my old friend Shamus M'Cool. I met Shamus when I was a bartender/restaurant manager at the Beverly Garland's Howard Johnson's on Vineland in N. Hollywood in the early 80's, 81 to 86 to be exact. Yes, he was a stand up comedian, but I never saw any of his shows. He used to work at the Ice House in Pasadena, as far as I knew, but he never wanted me to come see him, as the Howard Johnson's was his refuge from the world, or so he said. I never knew his name was Richard Doyle, and I even questioned him about his name, Shamus, but that's what he said it was. He was from Boston, and a big Celtics fan, and I was a Lakers fan at the time, so we had a lot of fun when the championships came around. Anyway, I think he was married once before, and even had some children, but he would never elaborate. I do know he was planning on getting married again to one of the waitresses that worked there, and now I can't even remember her name. Tragically she was killed in a car wreck. I had never seen someone grieve as hard as he did. He was truly in love with her. He was beside himself for almost a year.
    Shamus and I played golf on several occassions. He was quite good.
    He did show me a tape of his cable show, too.
    He was quite a funny man, and I thoroughly enjoyed his sense of humor.
    Somewhere I have a tape of country songs that he wrote and sang. I'll have to dig to find that, and I had no idea that he had that other song, Santa's Little Helper.
    I lost touch with Shamus when I moved to Germany to work for the Army, but I sure would like to know where to find him. He was a great guy, and fun to be around.

  6. #6
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Very interesting story Winston. By the way, I've seen someone on WinMX have a file of "Santa's Little Helper, Dingo." I tried to get it, but the queue was too high. So someone out there somewhere has it, and I'll surely keep trying for it. I'd love to find "American Humor" too. Haven't seen that one yet. DJDaffy, think I could get a copy from you?

    -Rich

  7. #7
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    To all interested in Shamus McCool,
    Shamus M'Cool (aka Richard Doyle) was born in RI & grew up in Providence.He died of a heart attack in Jan.'90 at the age of 49.He's buried at Forest Lawn Mortuary in North Hollywood,Ca.next to Ricky Nelson(who was his close friend).He was a very popular stand up comic & headlined at clubs all over the country.He even performed for JFK at the Whitehouse.He was one of the most intelligent , funny & loving people you could ever meet.
    The reason you can't find his music is that he released it under his own label,Perspective Records.When he passed away,so did distribution of his music.He released American Memories in the early 80's with the flip side being
    American Humor,which was about 6 minutes of his stand-up comedy recorded at the Playboy club.American memories went to the top 100.He also released a 45 with 2 Christmas songs,Santa's Little Helper Named Dingo and Lulabelle
    (Dingo's Girl friend).To my knowledge he was survived by 2 sisters,both who lived in the Boston area & they have all of his music including dozens of beautiful songs that were never released.Hope this answers some of your questions.He was a close friend & still missed.
    Last edited by NatM; 5-20-05 at 11:48 PM. Reason: date correction & typo

  8. #8
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories" My personal brush with him

    Here's my story of my brush with Shamus M'Cool;

    Back in July 1981 that song debuted at #90, I could never find it needless to say, I found articles in BILLBOARD with ads for it at that time with a PO Box, so I wrote letters and sent Money Orders to buy the 45 (a couple times I did this), The letters went unanswered.

    I called Joel Whitburn, (whom I met in the late 70s due to the fact that he had a Lake Cabin Summer cottage right next door to my aunt and uncle.) in February of 1982, in regards to this record, he said that he just recently got it. Unlike DJ DAFFY's stroy, Joel told me that a guy that worked for BB knew where Shamus lived (Van Nuys, CA), and went over to his apartment to get a copy for Joel.

    This met with some resistance, with Shamus balking, and bitching saying that he was trying to have a hit record etc.

    This record apparently was never in a record store (LA or otherwise), if it had other collectors would have it? They would've bought it at the time, and copies would be floating around by now. This record never made it out of his apartment apparently.

    Anyhow Joel copied the song and the B-side (American Humor) on to a cassette tape (we didnt have CDs or MP3s in 1982 LOL), and a photo copy of the record. There I saw a phone # on the label. Finally! I thought a link to the record. I called the #, got an answering service, left my name and # and gave permission to call collect.

    Later that night, the phone rang, and operator came on saying they had a collect call, when they asked who was calling, he wouldn't identify himself until he knew I was going to accept the charges, and the operator told him he'd have to so I could accept the call. He then identified himself has Perspective Records. I said "By all means will I except this call".

    I then found it was Shamus M'Cool himself, I told him that I'd been looking for this record for months, sent MO's to the PO box etc, apparently he never received them, and couldn't figure out why I would send MO's, in which I replied "To BUY and OBTAIN the record!!)

    He was pissed about the record just like Joel had told me, like he was cheated out of a hit record etc etc The reason? He was pushing the record locally in LA that Summer of '81, and Programmers had promised to play it and added it to their playlists (thus why the song charted, as being added to a playlist in a major market (LA, NY, CHI), would get you charted regardless of elsewhere). However these PD's went on vacation and such (around July 4th, summertime etc), and the record slipped through the cracks. Added to a playlist by not really played or worked.

    This is why he was pissed as he was promised by PD's to work the record and it went by the wayside.

    Anyhow he said he'd have his Agent mail me a copy of the record, Frantically waiting for the mail the next few weeks the record never arrived ,as of 2005 I'm still waiting for it LOL

    Looking back when it didn't show up in a couple weeks, I should have called back. So I made a couple money orders plus fees, a couple stamps, and a collect call for no record.

    This is why you have computer airplay to what's really played as radio playlists could be doctored and fixed.


    Thanks for letting me share this painful "American Memory"
    Last edited by city5705boy; 5-21-05 at 12:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Thanks for sharing those "American Memories" about Shamus

    It looks like we've finally uncovered the man behind the song. If anyone reading this ever gets any of his old records transferred to mp3 (besides "American Memories" which of course I already have), please consider e-mailing me a copy

  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    I have Santa's little helper on an MP3 but need AMERICAN MEMORIES...LETS TRADE EH? michaelrich@sbcglobal.net
    Last edited by INSTIGATOR; 1-15-06 at 02:55 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Thanks "INSTIGATOR"!!!

    This thread is turning out to be THE definitive Shamus M'Cool information source on the internet! Keep it coming! If anyone has any other Shamus recordings, I'd be interested in hearing them. So far I have "American Memories" and "Santa's Little Helper, Dingo."

    Thanks,
    Rich

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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Santa's Little Helper Dingo by Shamus M'Cool is on e-bay with a picture of him as of today.

  13. #13
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    American Memories auctioning on e-bay as of today

  14. #14
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    The current bid is $2,000. I wish I had that kind of money to bid on it. Nice record!!!

    you're dispicable!
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    There is a listing on ebay right now for santa's little helper Dingo.bidding starts at 499.99.this one is as rare as the other from what ive seen on popsike more rare than American Memories.there has been 4 of those surface in the last 4 years and only one of santas little helper dingo.

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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    Shamus also had another record that he put out also in 1988 on the perspective label tuesday night in texas/we got love.it is on ebay right now as of 6/20/12

  17. #17
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    Re: Shamus M'Cool - "American Memories"

    I know this thread is years old but check out the article on Joel Whitburn I found. Look at the picture of the 45 he says is the most valuable in his massive collection. http://www.jsonline.com/business/joe...254272691.html

    you're dispicable!
    Did you get that thing I sent ya?
    I'm not who I was.
    founding father of the ove club

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