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What Would National Ooga Chaka Day Sound Like?

Al Peterson decided to find out

1970 photo of the members of the band Blue Swede
Blue Swede, shown circa 1970, had a hit with “Hooked on a Feeling.” (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Al Peterson dropped me a note a while back; I wanted to share it sooner but the crazy NAB Show season got in the way.

“Here’s how I spend my time in retirement,” Al wrote, attaching an audio bit he’d done for WMBG(AM/FM) in Willamsburg, Va.

“One day in January, I caught myself mumbling the ‘Ooga Chaka’ chant from Blue Swede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling” in rhythm with the Beatles’ “Birthday,” and marveled at how well they fit together. I tried it with other songs and realized I could have some on-air fun with it.”

Al, who goes by Alan Darsen on air, frequently devotes time on his show to novelty holidays like National Buy a Cupcake Day.

“I decided it was time to invent a holiday of our own. So I edited together nine entire songs with the chant, declared January 23 as National Ooga Chaka Day, and ran with it.”

You can enjoy the results for yourself below. (“Thank God for digital editing,” Al added. “Could not have pulled this off with tape.”)


Al is a former technical editor and columnist for Radio World; he retired last year after 18 years at Radio America Network, where he was national production director and weekend program coordinator.

[Read more about Al’s career in our 2022 story about his retirement.]


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