Do You Know Poughkeepsie’s Unofficial Song & the Story Behind It?
When I got my very first job here at WPDH a very long time ago, I actually worked with a local celebrity. One of the guys who worked at WEOK, our sister station, was none other than Don Rauf. You might not recognize the name, but I’m telling you, he was kind of a big deal.
What made Don a local celebrity? He was in a band called Batteries Not Included, and they had a “local hit” called Poughkeepsie City of Sin. It’s a funny and catchy song, and for years, maybe even decades, we kicked off the WPDH top 1015 with Poughkeepsie City of Sin. You’ve never heard it? Lucky for you I’ve included it in this article.
I don’t remember the last time I saw or talked to Don Rauf. Until recently, that is. I saw him comment under a former coworker’s Facebook post and I sent him a friend request. Don is still making music. He’s in a band called Life in a Blender, and they are based out of and perform in and around New York City. And they actually performed Poughkeepsie City of Sin when they performed in Poughkeepsie. How could they play in Poughkeepsie and NOT play it?
Don told me they wrote the song because they were going to compete in a ‘Gong Show’ at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, which was the Last Chance at the time. It was 1977 and Don and his Batteries Not Included band mates were only 16. The ‘Gong Show’ was actually put on by WPDH and they won. The prize was $101.50. They made a 45 record shortly after that, and became hooked on entertaining.
Don asked me if I’m keeping the song alive. I’m trying my best, and this is a good start. If you have never heard the song before, give it a listen. It will definitely give you a chuckle. And if you’ve heard it but forgot all about it, do yourself a favor and listen again. It’s goofy and kind of accurate at the same time.