Westcoast tenorsax player ending up in Disneyland. Catchphrase first popped up during a Slim Gaillard session in Slim's Jam, also with Jack McVea. First popular novelty record generating a series of popular covers and answer songs.
Dusty Fletcher [coauthor; see footnote]
Count Basie [n°2 R&B; n°1 US]
Louis Jordan [who first mentioned Richard and his closed door in How High Am I ('44); n°2 R&B]
Three Flames [n°3 R&B; n°1 US]
For years black MC Dusty Fletcher performed this burlesque routine to entertain crowds in between acts, when McVea hijacked it for one of his tunes. And so Open The Door, Richard opened up as one of the most frequented novelty expressions. In the slipstream of Jack McVea's, Dusty Fletcher cut his own version. While claiming his own piece of the cake, a third party appeared: John 'Spider Bruce' Mason, a 1920s comic who claimed he introduced the Open The Door-expression long before anybody else. Then there's this endless list of follow-up versions like Jack McVea & His Door Openers [as The Key's In The Mailbox and as Richard Got Hitched], The Four Aces als Richard Ain't Gonna Open The Door, Dusty Fletcher [as I'm Going Back In There], Cedric Wallace Trio [as I Ain't Gonna Open That Door], Reedum & Weep [as My Name Ain't Richard] and even Cheech & Chong and their Dave's Not Here ('71), becoming a running joke in it's own right. There's Swedish, French, Spanish and Yiddish versions of Open The Door, Richard and even an opera version (by Risé Stevens and Lauritz Nelchoire). Also there's Benny's Coming Home On Saturday (Fisher/Roberts) by Ella Fitzgerald, dating back to '45. In his Basement Tapes song Open The Door, Homer ('67), Bob Dylan actually sings Open The Door, Richard. Manuel or Danko?