blatantly bad 70s songs: playground in my mind (clint holmes),

when you think vegas, you think elvis. you think wayne newton. you also might think clint holmes.

ah, vegas – the bastion of people who probably had their better days before them. anytime americans go off on britons for allowing mull of kintyre — perhaps the sappiest song ever put forth by my beloved secret boyfriend paul mccartney (and which, admittedly, i’ve grown fond of in my addle-brained old age) — to chart at the top for weeks and weeks, i merely have to point out our dirty little american secret: playground in my mind.

in 1973, bastion-of-vegas clint holmes struck it big with this nursery crime rhyme of a song, in which he duetted with the young son of his producer (a little boy who is now about the same age as i am.) to put things in perspective, 1973 produced a bumper crop of unadulterated musical crap (some of which you’ll read about soon); it also managed to produce such amazing classics as my love, you are the sunshine of my life, crocodile rock, stuck in the middle with you, let’s get it on, and one of my guiltiest of pleasures, will it go round in circles.

but perhaps the creme de la creme de la crap from that year would be this song. even then, as an eight year old, i knew this song was awful; and i recall making up awful words to it. probably not as awful as i do now, of course, thanks to years of maturity. things involving michael, who had a nickel… bag. and cringing at cindy, whose highest aspiration in life is to get married, have a baby or two, and let them visit their grandma.

yes, cindy said, sighing, you kids go visit your grandma. keep her away from her crack pipe, willya?

somehow, holmes parlayed this song into a las vegas career, including a room named for him at one of the hotels.

(no, i am not making this up.)

on the bright side, what went to vegas stayed in vegas and never bothered the rest of us again.

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29 Responses to “blatantly bad 70s songs: playground in my mind (clint holmes),”

  1. oh good, I’ve been hoping for a good post to leave this comment: “Betcha Bygolly, WOW!” (not THAT is a song title) This Clint Holmes song is just creepy.

  2. Head. Hit. Keyboard. Make it stop!

  3. UGH…it was just mildly awful until the little kid joined in singing and then it became absolutely unbearable.

    My ears…they hurt.

  4. This song was the fucking bane of my entire childhood. Guess who else’s name was “Michael?” And didn’t like that song any better than my quick-witted classmates or teachers? Ugh.

  5. Back in the early 90’s a friend and i were comped tickets in Atlantic City to see the comedian Alan King(who was great btw). Clint Holmes was his opening act. I remember going back and forth with my friend trying to figure out where we heard of this guy before and neither of us could figure it out. Then “poof” he launched into this song and the bell went off. We immediately shrunk down in our seats hoping nobody we knew would see us in the theatre… I still have nightmares…

  6. Now I remember this awful song… and it will probably be running through my head all day!

  7. Wonder how many number one hits you have? Oh that’s right, you don’t have any. By the way, how’s your bank account looking compared to Clint Holme’s? Somebody likes his act because he is fairly rich. I saw his show in Vegas and it’s tremendous–including Playgrounds in My Mind.

    • Er, Mr. Holmes has exactly as many #1 hits as I do. None. According to the Billboard chart, that putrid song only got to #2. So if you’re going to try and insult someone, at least check your facts so you don’t come across as an even bigger fool then you already do for paying money to see such a horrifyingly BAD song performed in person!

      • I also like the song, I played this song on guitar to my sons when they were small and it always brings back great memories.

        If you want to hear some bad music just turn on your radio.

  8. thanks for visiting, mister plummer. i’m glad you enjoyed holmes’ act. i’m sure it appeals to some. just not me. and as this is my blog, i’m allowed my opinions.

    thanks for asking about my bank account. it’s not bad, despite the times. always remember: just because one doesn’t dress vegas-style (oxymoron alert) doesn’t mean one can’t afford to do so.

    btw, the possessive of Holmes is Holmes’.

    • Actually writer, the possessive of Holmes is Holmes’s, the s’ is used only when denoting possession in the plural: the many teachers’ classrooms

  9. Brian Scott Cook Says:

    Even people like you are entitled to your opinions, however off they may be.

  10. Just plain bad, or so bat that it’s good; I can’t decide. I’ll bet they play it on the plane when they run those special “weekend getaways” to Thailand.

  11. Kevin Chouinard Says:

    I was 13/14 when that song played. Played by itself, the song was cheesy yet catchy in it’s lyrics and tune (I confess I bought the 45). But, considering that this was played along with Heartbeat, It’s A Lovebeat (Tony DeFranco & The DeFranco Family), One Bad Apple (Donny Osmond), Paper Roses (Marie Osmond) and a children’s choir singing to Sing, Sing A Song (the Carpenters), it was fitting for its time. And, bad song or not, one has to give a lot of credit to Clint Holmes to have the patience and willingness to lay his career on the line singing with an 8 yr old. It worked for him, I guess. I didn’t even know he became a Vegas act. :-))

  12. […] who probably ought to get better hobbies rather than arguing with me over the idea that the song playground in my mind has redeeming qualities start lively discussions. it’s a lot of fun, and i make a lot of new […]

  13. […] who probably ought to get better hobbies rather than arguing with me over the idea that the song playground in my mind has redeeming qualities start lively discussions. it’s a lot of fun, and i make a lot of new […]

  14. As a kid growing up in the 70s, I remember hearing this song, but it even back then struck me as kinda corny. In other words, laughable. But now being in my 40s, after listening to it with the mindset of today, I understand how many people consider it to be something it is not. The guy wrote it to be a kind of escape, that’s all. If you start thinking perverse thoughts, then that is on you. Not sticking up for either side, just speaking the truth.

    • luisa ogilvie Says:

      RIGHT ON! Unlike you, I am taking sides. I always understood it, even back then, and LOVED IT! Along with all those other songs that some people are making fun of.

  15. WHEN I WAS A KID GROWING UP I WAS VERY IN TUNE TO SONGS ON THE RADIO IN THE 1970’S. I STARTED PLAYING DRUMS AT AGE 7 AND LOVED MOST MUSIC . SOME SONGS LIKE ” I’LL BE AROUND” BY THE SPINNERS OR “EVIL WOMAN ” BY ELO OR “SUMMER BREEZE” BY SEALS & CROFT MADE ME FEEL GOOD TO BE ALIVE AND HAPPY WITH THE WORLD AROUND ME . THEN THERE WAS THIS FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT SONG . I REMEMBER IT ANTAGONIZING ME TO THE POINT OF VANDALISM . I WOULD JUST START BREAKING SHIT WHEN THAT LITTLE BASTARD KID STARTED SINGING MY NAME IS MICHAEL . I WAS LIKE ONE OF THOSE POOR LAB RATS THAT JUST HAD THE FLOOR OF ITS CAGE ELECTRIFIED AND STARTS CHEWING THE SHIT OUT OF ITS SELF. THIS STUPID FUCKING SONG MADE ME WANT TO PUNCH HOLES IN WALLS AT A VERY EARLY AGE .

  16. Ewww, I just heard “Playground in my Mind” on Internet Radio…lol!! The 70’s song I ALWAYS HATED: ‘CROCODILE ROCK’ – that is the stupidest song ever!!! If I hear it starting, I can’t turn the radio station fast enough. Come to think of it, ALL Elton John songs are stupid: “Yellow Brick Road”??? …UGH…. “Benny & the Jets”???…blah…. Was the world so desperate for music that it made him a Ba-Jillion-Aire!!!

  17. Thought of this song yesterday and tried to explain it to my husband, and now that I’ve found it on you tube, I haven’t the stomach to play it. I was a working girl when “Playground of My Mind” was on the radio. Pleeeeeze make it go away! (No, “Make the World Go Away” is a whole ‘nuther issue.)

  18. luisa ogilvie Says:

    I LOVE THIS SONG! I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED IT! AND STILL DO! I am a baby boomer, and it reminds me in a good way of my earlier years. What is there not to like about the song? Stop making fun of it. I also like the name CLINT HOLMES and his voice!

  19. Norman Stanley Says:

    Always liked Johnny Ashcroft’s Version of Playground In My Mind Better

  20. Minnipearl Says:

    I am 50 years old so I was about 9 when this song came out. For some reason this song got stuck in my head today. I googled it and found your blog. I laughed my ass off. It made my day and I couldn’t agree with you more. May I also say that Shannon by Henry Gross was just as idiotic. Who writes a song about a dog drowning. That’s just weird.

  21. Thomas Bower Says:

    Yes that song was obnoxious but I disagree with what you said about “stuck in the middle with you.” That is still a good song in my book. What I couldn’t stand back then was “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks…..seriously overplayed and obnoxious. BTW the little boy who sang in Playground in my mind I believe passed away in 2009.

  22. Billy Don’t be A Hero, was pretty bad (kind of rude his girlfriend throwing the letter away), The Night Chicago Died also pretty cheesy. Convoy and Kung Fu Fighting, the song About Mohamed Ali being the black superman, pretty gross. Ooga Chaga, what was that? Having said that, I actually liked all these songs. And yes, there are some pretty horrid ones now, anything by Adel, for instance.

  23. playground in my mind….need more be said. probably one of the most genius lines ever.

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