Junk food junkielarry grocewritten by larry grocereleased by warner bros. records in 1976; playing time, 3:03was groce's only hit, making it as high as #9 on the _billboard_ hot 100you know i love that organic cookingi always ask for moreand they call me mr. naturalon down to the health food storei only eat good sea saltwhite sugar don't touch my lipsand my friends is alwaysbegging me to take themon macrobiotic tripsyes, they areoh, but at night i stake out my strongboxthat i keep under lock and keyand i take it off to my closetwhere nobody else can seei open that door so slowlytake a peek up north and souththen i pull out a hostess twinkieand i pop it in my mouthyeah, in the daytime i'm mr. naturaljust as healthy as i can bebut at night i'm a junk food junkiegood lord have pity on mewell, at lunchtimeyou can always find meat the whole earth vitamin barjust sucking on my plain white yogurtfrom my hand thrown pottery jarand sippin' a little hand pressed ciderwith a carrot stick for dessertand wiping my facein a natural wayon the sleeve of my peasant shirtoh yeahah, but when that clock strikes midnightand i'm all by myselfi work that combinationon my secret hideaway shelfand i pull out some fritos corn chipsdr. pepper and an ole moon piethen i sit back in glorious expectationof a genuine junk food highoh yeah, in the daytime i'm mr. naturaljust as healthy as i can bebut at night i'm a junk food junkiegood lord have pity on memy friends down at the communethey think i'm pretty neatoh, i don't know nothing about arts and craftsbut i give 'em all something to eati'm a friend to old euell gibbonsand i only eat homegrown spicei got a john keats autographed grecian urnfilled up with my brown riceyes, i dooh, but folks lately i have been spotted with a big mac on my breathstumbling into a colonel sanderswith a face as white as deathi'm afraid someday they'll find mejust stretched out on my bedwith a handful of pringles potato chipsand a ding dong by my headin the daytime i'm mr. naturaljust as healthy as i can bebut at night i'm a junk food junkiegood lord have pity on me------------------------------------------------------------------------------from _the wacky top 40_ by bruce nash and allan zullo (holbrook, mass. : bob adams publishers, 1993) this silly song about addiction to such goodies as corn chips, moonpies, and twinkies was written and performed by a self-confessed junk food junkie. "that's the way i always ate when i was a kid," admitted larry groce."no matter how hard my mother tried, i ended up eating a peanut buttersandwich and fritos and drinking dr. pepper. that was pretty much thestaple." groce, who sang folk songs at coffeehouses, was eating junk food on theroad when he conjured up the song in the mid 1970s. "i wrote it in myvolkswagen bus as i drove from west virginia to boston to do a job," herecalled. "i knew i wanted to write a song about junk food. so i got theidea to use the character of a junk food junkie who was kind of a jekylland hyde. the words came fairly quickly. i actually stopped on the side ofthe road, took out the guitar, and made a tune for it so that by the timei got to boston, it was pretty well written." groce sang the song in his act on the coffeehouse circuit and received a strong positive reaction. "i thought of 'junk food junkie' more as asatire than a novelty song. i performed it to poke fun at both the junk food culture and the health food culture. everybody identified with it." his best reception came from the audience at a new york coffeehousecalled the focus, where he played regularly. "it turned into a health food restaurant. i saw the irony of going from the junk food culture of my childhood to the hip new york health consciousness where brown rice was the staple." his manager, randy nauert, tried to secure a record deal. but when there were no takers, nauert decided to put it out himself on his own label, peaceable records. he sent several hundred copies to radio stations around the country. "the song sold itself," said groce. "disc jockeys had so much fun with it that it took on a life of its own." dr. demento featured it on his syndicated radio show, and in a weekly phone-in contest on denver's ktlk, "junk food junkie" soundly trounced all comers. the song finally caught the attention of warner brothers, who cut a deal with groce and re-released it on their label. only then did it become a national hit.noteworthy noteso the song was recorded live at mccabe's--a los angeles guitar shop that still stages acoustic concerts right in the store.o groce didn't even realize that his song was being recorded for a single."i wasn't aware they were recording it because at the time i hadn't planned on releasing it as a single," he said.o the audience's applause was sweetened for the record, "but not too much," groce said.o groce's was the first song in history with lyrics that mentioned both 19th century poet john keats and kentucky fried chicken founder colonel sanders.o michael jackson once sand "junk food junkie" on the jackson five's network tv show.platter patter warner borhters records feared there would be costly backlash from the junk food companies who were mentioned by name in the song. "there was a fear," said groce. "i was in the publicity department at warner brothers and they were worried because they heard that local outlets of mcdonald's and kentucky fried chicken had put some heat on the local stations to drop the song from their playlists., "although there were a few local franchises who were upset with the song and thought it was an insult, the home offices understood that every time their name was mentioned good things happen." after the song became a hit, groce was a guest on a radio show along with the creator of twinkies, who believed any kind of publicity was good publicity. "he said that every time archie bunker mentioned twinkies on 'all in the family'--whether he was making fun of them or not--sales went up," said groce. "we made a call to the p.r. office of dr. pepper and the guy there said they were in the company of some other good brand names [mentioned in the song] and they were happy about it." actually groce was a little disappointed that more companies weren't angry. "i was hoping someone would give us grief because that would have created a david and goliath scenario that could have helped the sales of the record. but i think most of the companies were smart enough to realize that poking fun at their product was in good fun. "the anti-junk food council thought it was great because the song pointed out the dangers of junk food. i know a lot of people think junk food isn't nutritious--but i don't know anyone who doesn't agree that it tastes good."follow ups and downs none of groce's follow-up songs made it on the charts. among them were: "the bumper sticker song," "we been malled," and "turn r />on the tv." rock on larry groce, who lives in a 120-yeard-old farmhouse in west virginia, has recorded seven albums of his own folk songs and ballads as well as hymns. he's also made nine albums of children's songs for walt disney records, five of which have gone gold and three platinum. in 1986 he began hosting "mountain stage," a national radio show which features top recording artists from all styles of music. in 1991 groce starred in a low-budget made-for-video feature called _paradise park_. "it's a humorous story of a trailer park in west virginia," said groce. "i play a teacher who lives there and everyone is an oddball but me."