My pal Lynn brought this to my attention while she was here on a recent visit. The Aug. 4, 2015, installment of the comic strip Classic Peanuts shows my fellow hound dog Snoopy lying on top of his dog house in three identical frames. In the fourth frame, he lifts his head and wonders:
Indeed! But old Snoop left Lynn, Mike and me puzzled. To what song was my hound dog idol referring? We figured the tune must be fairly well-known for Charles M. Schulz to use it as a punch line, but none of us could hum this melody.
An Internet search led first to the pop-rock trio Emblem3, whose 2013 chart single “Chloe (You’re the One That I Want)” is allegedly about reality TV star Kloe Kardashian. We thankfully ruled that song out when Lynn discovered this “classic” Peanuts strip initially ran in newspapers on Aug. 6, 1968, when the members of Emblem3 were not even gleams in their parents’ eyes (they come from nearby Sequim, WA, no less!).
Also too late to inspire a 1968 comic strip would be the 1981 song “Chloe” by Elton John, with lyrics not by longtime partner Bernie Taupin but Gary Osborne, a B-list British songwriter who briefly collaborated with Sir Elton on The Fox, one of his poorest-selling albums, which included this song. Here’s a sample verse:
“How you handle what you live through
I can never hope to learn
Taking all the pain I give you
Loving blindly in return
And I need you more than ever
I will always be your friend
Sounds like romantic drivel to me. Two stars, at best.
Our next candidate was a Louis Armstrong recording from the 1930s, although how “Chloe (Song of the Swamp)” would register with Charles M. Schulz in the late Sixties is anybody’s guess. Here’s the chorus:
Someone’s calling, no reply
Nightshade’s falling , hear him sigh
Empty spaces meet his eyes
Empty arms outstretched , he’s crying.”
The song must have been fairly popular in its day, since it was recorded not only by Armstrong but many other jazz and pop bands and vocalists. Listen to this high-spirited 1941 version from Dinah Shore with NBC’s Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.
If any of my loyal readers have any other ideas about Snoopy’s reference to a song named after me, Chloë, let me know. Charles M. Schulz won’t be talking.