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Open the Door Richard

Open the Door Richard Social Lubricators Busy Beaver Button Museum
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Open the Door Richard back Entertainment Busy Beaver Button Museum
Dusty Fletcher clipping Billboard January 18, 1947
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A man knocking on the door to an outhouse begging the person inside to open up. The text is green colored with a yellow background and a green outer edge. 

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Dusty Fletcher first performed “Open the Door Richard” as a vaudeville act at theaters like the Apollo in New York. The skit involved Fletcher “drunk,” dressed in rags and attempting to climb a ladder. He would continually fall off the ladder and perform comic monologues in between his attempts. The musical version of this skit was created by Jack McVea and his “honking” saxophone. McVea and his band stumble home “drunk” and try to get Richard the “sober” band mate with the key, to let them in. This song was recorded in 1946 and reached the Billboard bestseller chart in early 1947.

Many artists covered the song after McVea, including Count Basie, The Three Flames, and Louis Jordan. The phrase “Open the Door Richard” was also adopted by the Civil Rights Movement and appeared in routines by Jack Benny, among others. Jimmy Durante and Burl Ives also both recorded versions of the song. The phrase also appeared in a couple of Looney Tunes cartoons in the late 1940s. 

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