70s Oldies Music

Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots and Their Disco Novelty Hit “Disco Duck”

Rick DeesIntroduction to Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots

Rigdon Osmond “Rick” Dees III is an American radio and comic personality best known for his 1976 novelty track “Disco Duck.” He had begun his radio career while still in high school, and after he graduated from university, Dees continued to work in the radio industry. It was during his employment at a local radio station in Memphis, Tennessee where Dees wrote “Disco Duck.” It eventually became an international seller, having lifted six million copies. Dees continued to promote with a tour (that included Disney World in its itinerary) that was billed as “Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots.” Dees would compose record and release a few more novelty singles but none of them were as successful as “Disco Duck.”

 

Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots’ career in a summary

The comedy/novelty group Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots gained popularity during the 70s music era with the smash single “Disco Duck.” It was led by the American radio personality, stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist Rick Dees. Born Rigdon Osmond Dees on March 14, 1950 in Jacksonville, Florida, Rick Dees attended Greensboro’s Grimsley High School while working at the local radio station WGBG. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dees eventually worked at North Carolina’s WXYC and several radio stations across the southeastern of the United States.

 

 

Dees’ “Disco Duck” craze

In 1976, Dees was working as a disc jockey on Memphis, Tennessee radio station, WMPS AM 680, when he wrote the song “Disco Duck.” The disco novelty hit was inspired by Jackie Lee’s 1965 hit “The Duck” and was released on RSO Records.

While being with WMPS, he was forbidden to play the song on air by the radio management, while rival stations refused to play it, never wanting to promote the competition. At the moment Dees announced on the air that his song was almost topping the charts but his own radio station wouldn’t play it, he was fired by the management, citing conflict of interest.

“Disco Duck” was now credited to Dees, who was billed as ‘Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots’.”  The song became a disco craze and a crowd favorite. It skyrocketed the Billboard Hot 100 at #1 and sold more than six million copies worldwide, and also earned a platinum disc and the People’s Choice Award as well. The monster hit also enabled Rick Dees and the Cast of Idiots to embark on several nationwide tours – and as you might expect it, they also played at Florida’s Disney World.

 

 

 

Rick Dees’ later years

Further recordings followed after “Disco Duck” such as “Dis-Gorillas” (1977), “Bigfoot” (1978), “Get Nekked” (1984) and “Eat My Shorts” (1984), but the success they were hoping for didn’t happen with these singles.

With Dees’ contribution in broadcasting and entertainment industry, he was given several citations from the Marconi Award, National Radio Hall of Fame, National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Grammy Governor’s Award among others.

Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots’ discography (may be impartial)

Fretone Records

(1975)

  • A: Page 602
  • B: National Wet-Off

 

RSO Records

(Aug 1976)

  • A: Disco Duck (Part I)
  • B: Disco Duck (Part II) Instrumental

(Dec 1976)

  • A: Dis-Gorilla (Part 1)
  • B: Dis-Gorilla (Part 2) Instrumental

(Feb 1977)

  • A: Barely White (That’ll Get It Baby) [Mono]
  • B: Barely White (That’ll Get It Baby) [Stereo]

 RSO Top Line

(1980)

  • A: Disco Duck (Part 1)
  • B: Barely White (That’ll Get It Baby)

 

Collectables / Back To back Hit Series

(1992)

Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots

  • A: Disco Duck

The Joneses

  • B: Sugar Pie Guy

 

Polydor Band of Gold Series

  • A: Disco Duck (Part 1)
  • B: Barely White (That’ll Get It Baby)

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