Songs About Los Angeles: “Pico And Sepulveda,” by Felix Figueroa And His Orchestra

April 28, 2009 at 10:00 am in Music

“Pico & Sepulveda,” as performed in 1947 by “Felix Figueroa and his Orchestra” (stage name for Freddy Martin and his band) is perhaps best known for being a mainstay of the Dr. Demento radio shows I grew up listening to when radio fucking ruled on KMET way back when 94.7FM was a rock ‘n roll station with DJs and stuff, and not whatever wispy background thing it has been so successfully since.

What makes the song even more notable is that it was co-created (with Eddie Maxwell, a longtime comedy writer and lyricist) by Jule Styne, a prolific songwriter whose name might not ring a bell but some of his more than 1,500 creations  you’ll undoubtedly recognize, such as: the Oscar-winning “Three Coins in a Fountain,” “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Make Someone Happy,” “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You,” and “People.”

What’s to say about a 62-year-old novelty song? It’s got a good ‘n catchy beat, but other than that, not much — except I like how it seems to wax wonderful about the westside until punking listeners with the tar-pitted kicker line: “Where nobody’s dreams come true…” (complete lyrics after the jump).

Here it is below as a number in Richard Elfman’s surreal 1982 film “The Forbidden Zone,” about a family that moves into a Venice house with a mysterious door that opens to a freakfest. Featured are Richard’s brother Danny as Satan, various other Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and “The Love Boat’s” “Fantasy Island’s” Herve Villechaize as King Fausto of the Sixth Dimension (but neither Danny nor Herve are in this clip, dangit):

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“Pico and Sepulveda”
Performed by Felix Figueroa and his Orchestra (Freddy Martin and his band)
Composed by Eddie Maxwell and Jule Styne
Ambassador Records, 1947

(Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
(Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
Doheny, (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
Cahuenga, (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
La Brea… (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
…Tar Pits (Pico and Sepulveda)
(Tar Pits!)

La Jolla, (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
Sequoia, (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
La Brea… (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
…Tar Pits (Pico and Sepulveda)
(Tar Pits!)

You can keep Alvarado,
Santa Monica,
even Beverly Drive.

Vine may be fine,
but for mine
I want to
feel
a-
live
and settle down in my
La Brea… (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
…Tar Pits (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)

Where nobody’s dreams
come
true… (Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)
(Pico and Sepulveda, Pico and Sepulveda)

[Repeat as needed]

This is just one of the awesome series conceived by Julia Frey.
For the latest list check out: LA Metblogs Series: Songs About Los Angeles.

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  1. LA Metblog Series: Songs About Los Angeles
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  3. Hotel Figueroa
  4. Pico & Sepulveda: The Video
  5. Catching Cinematic Orchestra at the El Rey