Too Biga Eat
:: Take Life A Little Easier ::
:: World of Love ::
I know, these songs appear on various 70s cheese comps, and the record's been covered by other high minded bloggers who beat me to the punch, but maybe you've missed all that, so to you, this is brand new! Maybe you're too young to know who the heck Rodney Allen Rippy is. Ok, I'll tell you: He was a lucky kid who, at age 5 in the early 70s made a series of television commercials for the Jack In The Box chain of fast food restaurants. In the ads, Rodney would be seen attempting to eat a "Jumbo Jack" hamburger, but the sandwich proved too large for wee Rodney to wrap his mouth around, at which point he would utter, "It's too biga eat!". I don't know if Jumbo Jack sales skyrocketed, but Rodney became a household name overnight.
Of course everyone in the child exploitation business sat up and took notice, including the grown ups behind this record. Yes, I'm sorry to say Rodney Allen Rippy did not write the songs, or play all the instruments on this record. Nor did he engineer the recording or produce it. I'll even go so far as to assume this whole "let's make a record" thing was not even his idea in the first place. More than likely some adults in "the business" decided there was some additional cash to be made by putting this undeniably cute kid's mug on a picture sleeve to be displayed on a shelf in a Wallach's Music City near you. It would be a waste of energy for me to comment on the quality (or lack there of) of the music, or Rodney's singing, so I'll let you figure that part out. I will say though that I think it's a little weird for a little kid to sing a song advising weary, overworked adults to "Take Life A Little Easier" by heading for the hills to do a little fishin'. Whatever.
I remember going to the Auto Show with my parents in about 1974 at the LA Convention Center, and seeing Rodney there with his parents and an older brother (as I recall). Rippy was there to make a personal appearance (promoting either hamburgers or Chevy's or Fords or some kinda shit) and I remember thinking how normal his family looked, and how confused little Rodney looked by it all. I'm sure he didn't understand what was happening to him, I can only hope it didn't affect him too negatively. From what I can tell via a little internet research, the kid turned out ok , and he's doing his bit to help out with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as well as lending his name to other positive social movements.
So maybe, just maybe, this kind of child exploitation is not always bad, or maybe in this case, Rodney was just too good so it all rolled off his back. He did say that a 15 year old Michael Jackson befriended him when he was about 5, but that Michael "lost interest" in him a few years later, which proves that Michael Jackson is every bit as fickle as the hamburger consuming public.