Wal-ly! Wal-ly!

Wally George

Rhino Records, 1993




Before there was Rush Limbaugh, Morton Downey Jr. and even Jerry Springer, there was Wally George. Quoting from the liner notes:

"Wally is a true American, speaking up for what he believes in, even if that means not letting the other guy speak at all. And now you can hear Wally at home, including the WAL-LY! WAL-LY! chant that thousands of youthful Americans scream whenever he appears in public... A cross between Archie Bunker -- without bigotry, and Joe Pyne -- but with more flair, Wally George is in seventh heaven with Ronald Reagan in the White House. He never backs off from a topic, including the mind bending powers of rock 'n' roll, so we asked him to to do this album, to show the punks, degenerates, and heavy metal sickos what rock music should really sound like. He'll have even you yelling WAL-LY! WAL-LY!" (written by Steve Ray)

In 1984, George's show was seen syndicated on UHF television stations, where you just couldn't help watching the strange guests (as controversial as they were, just like Wally George, the host). His audience was truly a highlight of the show, just as Jerry Springer's, where the audience would chant out "WAL-LY! WAL-LY!" whenever Wally George starts heavily criticizing his guests. It's just like when Springer's audience reacts the same way, by chanting "JER-RY! JER-RY!" when Springer lashes out at this guests concerning a particular view of opinion.

In Springer's case, his guests were the main target. It was the same with Wally George's guests too, yet George would also hold his own monologues regarding various topics of the day. Topics in which Rush Limbaugh would later take on: Politics, the "why Republicans are much better than the Democrats," feminists, and homosexuality. Wally George would also lash out on heavy metal music, being the devil's music, and how it also inspires drug use in the rock and roll world.

Rhino Records released a 4-song EP, called Wal-ly! Wal-ly! (This was before Rhino Records became much popular as they are today, in releasing re-issues and compilations of musical talents from the past.)

All four songs pretty much carry the same idea, according to Wally George: "What makes this country so great, and the many rights and wrongs there are in this country."

The opening song, "WAL-LY, WAL-LY!" is a parody of The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie." All it is, is George singing about what his "Hot Seat" TV show is all about: Exposing the liberal conspiracy, feminists, and knocking heavy metal music.

"Say Wally" has questions regarding the issues of the day. A person asks, "Say Wally, what do think of ______" The topics include Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden (Fonda's husband at the time), Walter Mondale, feminists, Wally George running for President (1988), Democrats, no Russians in the Olympics, gays, Jesse Jackson running for President again, and heavy-metal. Heavy-metal music starts playing towards the end, driving Wally George crazy, as he forces this kind of music to stop. The song ends with the familiar "WAL-LY! WAL-LY!" chants.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Wally Rap" features Wally George discussing people's rights, heavy metal, legalization of drugs, pro-life, and religion, with some bouncy music in the background.

"America, Why I Love Her" is the most serious of the four songs on this album. It's similar to Red Skelton's version of "The Pledge Of Allegience." (By the way, is Skelton's version available on CD anywhere?) It's just a simple song about the beauty of America, and why it is so beautiful. It has no reference to George's common lashes; he speaks about the common popular monumental sites throughout the United States.

Wally George's daughter, Rebecca DeMornay became a famous actress. It is known that she was not in favor of her father's character on television. Her major recognition was in the Tom Cruise movie, Risky Business. Some felt the role of her playing Cruise's prostitute was perfect, being the opposite of what Wally George talks about on his TV show. But DeMornay has gone on to play much better and accomplished roles.

As for Wally George, his show was cancelled from syndication in the late 1980s, yet his show is still seen locally on KODC Channel 56, Anaheim, California, Mondays through Saturdays at midnight. I'm sure his show is just like any other talk show host's -- controversial, strange, but entertaining in its own right.

The only thing about this EP, is that there should have been more. Maybe more songs, (which by the way, Wally George never sings on any of the four songs contained here, he just talks the lyrics.) Or maybe this EP could of been extended with some highlighted moments from his TV shows.

I don't know if his "Hot Seat" show is still in syndication somewhere (it's doubtful), but his shows were unique. They were like Morton Downey Jr.'s shows, back when Downey was screaming and yelling at everyone, with his controversial issues. When Downey's show was cancelled, he returned as a more relaxed, less-than-controverisal talk show host, as he mellowed out.

"Hot Seat" is a mix of the old Morton Downey Jr. and Jerry Springer. Put those together and you get Wally George, who, like other talk show hosts, may have been ahead of his time just a bit.

Two other controversial talk show hosts come to mind, yet they were popular on radio. And, they were both on the air at the same time as Wally George.

One was Alan Berg, a very controversial Denver talk show host, who was murdered by The Order (a group of Neo-Nazis) in 1984. His life story was written by Stephen Singular, The Murder of Alan Berg and the Rise of the Neo-Nazis). The book also inspired the Oliver Stone film Talk Radio , starring Eric Bogosian. (An excellent film; I highly recommend it.)

For those who live in the Illinois area, there was another controversial radio talk show host by the name of Warren Freiberg, where his television fame came when he appeared on an "Oprah Winfrey" show. Her guests were contained several controversial talk show hosts. In an argued debate, Freiberg angrily went to one of the other guests, and poured soap at him. Some say what he did was planned, because his radio station, WLNR-FM 106, was soon changing its radio format to all-black music. His show was cancelled, and later on, he was hired, along with his wife, Libby Collins, on WCGO-AM 1600. Freiberg is now retired, his wife is heard weekly on Indiana's WJOB-AM 1230 every morning.

However, George paved the way for these talk show hosts on syndicated television, as it also brought out other future controversial right-wing talk show hosts. Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and maybe some controversial talk show host in your local area maybe getting a lot of exposure, they should all thank Wally George. His name may not be a household name, yet he probably never got the credit he rightfully deserved.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rhino Records, and is used for informational purposes only.