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Encyclopedia > Napoleon XIV

Napoleon XIV was the pseudonym of record producer Jerry Samuels (b 1938 New York City) who had moderate success with the song "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!", released in 1966 (reaching #4 on the UK Singles Chart that year). The song deals with mental illness brought about by the vocalist's dog running away: A pseudonym (Greek pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a persons true name. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC, City That Never Sleeps, The Concrete Jungle, The City So Nice They Named It Twice Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1676  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City... Theyre Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! is a 1966 novelty song by Napoleon XIV, re-issued by Warner Bros. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... The UK Singles Chart is currently compiled by The Official UK Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the British record industry. ... Mental Illness. ...

Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berserk? Well, you left me anyhow, and then the days got worse and worse, and now you see I've gone completely out of my mind!...

Napoleon XIV continued to release music after "They're Coming To Take Me Away", including an album of the same name (reissued by Rhino in the mid-80's). most of which continued with the mental illness theme (for example, the single "Bats In My Belfry" or the track "Split Level Head," featuring different vocal parts in each stereo speaker). While he did not achieve any further mainstream success, Napoleon XIV has remained a cult favorite to this day. Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label. ...

Samuels presently runs a business that books entertainment primarily for retirement homes.

Long before Napolean XIV donned the Mask of Anonymity, Jerry Samuels began as a songwriter at the age of 15. At 16, he'd written a song called "To Ev'ry Girl, To Ev'ry Boy (The Meaning Of Love)" that ended up being recorded by Johnnie Ray on Columbia Records (4-40252) in 1954. Initially he'd written the song by himself, but before the song was recorded, some changes were made by Sol Parker. However, label credit was given to Sol's father, Barry Parker, since he was already established as a writer. A second song for Ray was written soon afterwards by Jerry (and Parker), "The Only Girl I'll Ever Love", and released in 1955 (Columbia 4-40324).

In 1956, Jerry took the leap into the recording studio to record his own vocals, though not his own songs. "Puppy Love" was done in a style very similar to Johnnie Ray. Upon listening to it, you might even think it was Johnnie Ray. Released on RCA's subsidiary label, Vik (4X-0197), the song was paired with another song in tribute to Ray's distinct vocal styling, "The Chosen Few", but performed in more of a Frankie Laine kind of way. Jerry continued writing, something he was good at, and eventually had another of his songs recorded, this time by Ivory Joe Hunter. On the Atlantic label in 1957 (#1095) the song was called "That's Why I Dream". Another Atlantic side followed (#1163), this time by LaVerne Baker and a song called "Miracles".

By 1959, Jerry was up for recording another record. This time around it was for RCA-Victor (#47-7483) with two songs written by Herb Wiener and Cy Crane. The first side was called "Dancing With A Memory". The other side was "Dancing Partners". This latter side was a song previously recorded by the Platters about 3 years earlier as the flip side to their Hit, "The Great Pretender", but back then it was titled as "I'm Just A Dancing Partner". This was really a double tribute to the Platters, in that Jerry also chose to became a Great Pretender for the first time, changing his recording name to Jerry Simms. Promo copies of the record went so far as to show a picture of his face on the label, something Jerry wasn't even aware of as he much preferred his privacy (and still does to this day). Strangely enough, on the stock copies of the record, his name is shown as Jerry Sims.

Fortunately, Jerry still hadn't given up on his songwriting venture. In 1960, Adam Wade was fortunate enough to have recorded one of Jerry's songs, "Speaking Of Her", for the Coed label (CO-536). Jerry, however, still wasn't ready to rest his pipes. In 1961, continuing with the Simms moniker, he released a record on the newly formed Dual label (#501). Taking a salute to the original brothers of Flight, the Wright Brothers, Jerry launched his first take on the Novelty side of the business. Entitled "Good Luck Orville!", this was recorded more in the tradition of the Chipmunks meet Alley Oop. The other side allowed Jerry to sing one of his own compositions (finally!), "Treasure Supreme". Unfortunately, this side really wasn't one of his favorites. In fact, he wasn't even aware that it was even released.

Skipping onward to 1963, Jerry had written a song called "The Shelter Of Your Arms" (no co-writers on this one). Originally intended for Bobby Darin, Jerry passed him up on it when he found out that Bobby would only record it if he'd allow Bobby to publish it. Jerry wasn't about ready to give up his publishing rights. A second attempt was sought out to Andy Williams to record it, but he declined saying it wasn't the style he was looking for. It eventually came down to Jerry recording the song himself as a demo. Sammy Davis Jr. heard it and ended up recording it exactly the way that Jerry had done it. Released in September of 1963 on Reprise records (R-0216), it became one of Jerry's best known recordings up to that time. Sammy would go on to record two more of Jerry's songs, "Don't Shut Me Out" (Reprise 0322) in 1964, and "Courage" (Reprise 0416) in 1965.

During that time at Reprise, in 1964, Jerry was allowed to arrange a record by the Impossibles (Reprise 0305), "Paint Me A Pretty Picture" (a song which he'd also written), and "Lonely Bluebird" (written by Lou Adessa).

In 1965, the Chantels (the same group from the 1950's who'd recorded "Maybe", etc.) recorded one of Jerry's songs. On the TCF-Arrawak label (#123), the song was called "There's No Forgetting You". Co-writer on that was Sol Parker, who finally got the credit he deserved. Note that this is not the same song as a same-titled tune recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter for Smash Records in 1963. That song was in fact written by Joe Piro (Joseph J. Pirozzi). While still in check with Ivory Joe Hunter, it should also be noted that Jerry Samuels did not write Hunter's 1950 release on M-G-M (10733), "Gimme A Pound O' Ground Round". Even though it is credited to "Samuels", Jerry insists it wasn't him (he would have been only 12!).

Then, in 1966, Jerry adapted his familiar moniker (and Mask) in what could be taken as a sequel to his first recording of "Puppy Love" 10 years earlier, "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!". His intended anonymity was shortlived, however, when New York WABC DJ, Cousin Brucie Morrow, let it be known that Napolean XIV was in fact Jerry Samuels. For what it's worth, Jerry's favorite work of his own is "The Explorer"...

Fred Clemens


1956 "Puppy Love"/"The Chosen Few" Vik 0197 (as by Jerry Samuels)

1959 "Dancing With A Memory"/"Dancing Partners" RCA Victor 7483 (as by Jerry Sims/Simms)

1961 "Good Luck Orville!"/"Treasure Supreme" Dual 501 (as by Jerry Simms)

1966 "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!"/(flip side backwards version of other side) Warner Bros. 5831 (as by Napolean XIV)

1966 "I'm In Love With My Little Red Tricycle"/"Doin' The Napolean" Warner Bros. 5853 (as by Napolean XIV)

1973 reissue of Warner Bros. 5831 as Warner Bros. 7726


1985 (reissue of above on Rhino LP 816)

  • The Second Coming March 26 1996, Rhino / Wea, Rhino R2 72402

(Not to be confused with a different writer, Jerry Sims, who recorded for Buddy, Big Tyme, or other labels)


  • As Jerry Samuels, the first single he made was in the late 50s and was called "Puppy Love".
  • Samuels was co-writer of the Sammy Davis, Jr. song "The Shelter of Your Arms".
  • His name was a play on the names of two very famous Frenchmen- the Emperor Napoleon I and King Louis XIV.

This article is about the entertainer. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné) (September 5, 1638–September 1, 1715) reigned as King of France and King of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death. ...

External links

Jerry Samuels http://www.jerysam.com/ The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music owned by All Media Guide. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Charles XIV John of Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1215 words)
Charles XIV John ( Karl XIV Johan), born Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ( January 26, 1763 – March 8, 1844) was King of Sweden and Norway (where he was known as Charles III John ( Karl III Johan)) from 1818 until his death.
On the introduction of the Empire Bernadotte became one of the eighteen Marshals of France, and, from June 1804 to September 1805, he acted as governor of the recently-occupied Hanover.
In 1808, as governor of the Hanseatic towns, he was to have directed the expedition against Sweden, via the Danish islands, but the plan came to nought because of the want of transports and the defection of the Spanish contingent.
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