With only two weeks to go until Halloween, the pool of videos for our Flashback ghost theme is starting to run dry. Remember the Squirrel Nut Zippers? Yeah, we went there. It was an award winning video after all.
The mid-nineties saw a swing revival, which -- fairly or not -- the Squirrel Nut Zippers got caught up in. With a much wider range of sounds, the Chapel Hill, NC group led by then-married couple James "Jimbo" Mathus and Katharine Whalen channeled everything from Delta blues and gypsy jazz to Cab Calloway and Tom Waits. The song "Hell", a single that peaked at number 13 on the Billboard charts, was a calypso knock-off that helped push the band into the heart of the neo-swing movement. Reaching the peak of their popularity in 1996 when they performed at both the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games and President Clinton's second inaugural ball.
But by their third full-length album, Perennial Favorites, the bands notoriety and novelty started to fade. They released one more original LP in Bedlam Ballroom before a best-of and eventual band split. Despite a luke warm reception of the album, the video for the lead single from Perennial Favorites, "Ghost Of Stephen Foster", was a hit with it's depression-era (yet all original) cartoon animation. Directed by Raymond Persi and Matthew Nastuk, the video even went on to win "Best Animated Music Video" at the 1999 Vancouver Animation Festival
"Ghost Of Stephen Foster"