BEEP BEEP (song)

Released 1958
Format 7″
Genre Pop
Length 2:20
Label Roulette
Writer(s) Carl Cicchetti, Donald Claps

Beep Beep (song)

“Beep Beep” is a novelty song by The Playmates. It describes an apparent competition between the drivers of a Cadillac and a Nash Rambler on the road, leading to a surprise revelation as to why the Rambler is racing the Cadillac. The driver of Nash Rambler asks by shouting to the driver of the Cadillac: “HEY, BUDDY, HOW DO YOU GET THIS CAR OUT OF SECOND GEAR?”. The song is noted for its unusual instrument that makes the beeping sounds. Some version feature an instrumental introduction with the refrain used before the first verse begins. The longer version is usually omits this due to the slowness of the first verse which is sung.

The song is an example of accelerando, in which the tempo of the song gradually increases throughout the song when the speed the cars goes faster on each verse until it hits 120 miles per-hour.

The song was on the Billboard Top 40 charts for twelve weeks, and peaked at #4. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The Playmates appeared on the Milton Berle Show televised December 3, 1958, at the height of the song’s popularity.

Concurrently with this song, American Motors (AMC) was setting production and sales records for the Rambler models. The “Beep Beep” song was also popular with the workers building the Rambler cars on AMC’s assembly lines in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Because of a directive by the BBC that songs not include brand names in their lyrics, a UK re-recorded version of “Beep Beep” was recorded for the European market replacing the Cadillac and Nash Rambler with the generic terms the Limousine and Bubble car.

Homage is made to the “Beep Beep” in the 1959 hit song “Jo Jo The Dog Faced Boy” with the line, “Where in the world was the little Nash Rambler?”. “Jo Jo The Dog Faced Boy” was sung by featured Mickey Mouse Club singer, Annette Funicello and written by Bob & Dick Sherman and Bob Roberts.

The song is sampled in the Marilyn Manson song “Misery Machine”, which appears on the 1994 album Portrait of an American Family.

In the Full House season 6 episode “Grand Gift Auto”, Danny plays his guitar while singing the chorus of the song (at a much faster tempo than the original) to D.J., Kimmy, and Steve in order to create a diversion while Joey and Jesse are completing repairs on D.J.’s birthday gift, a 1977 Pontiac Firebird.