Another one of the 6-for-5-buck records i picked up at Second Hand Tunes a few weeks back. I have no idea who Pee Wee King is (or was.) Honestly, i just grabbed it for the title and the fact that the label was so cool looking (and the price, of course.) I took a chance. I was hoping it was going to be a blues record. Pee Wee King sounds like a blues singers name to me. I don't know- similar to B.B. King..? Anyway, a blues song this aint, but i'm definitely not disappointed with my purchase. Here we have a light and breezy string section and Mr. King singing the praises of living the free and easy hobo lifestyle. Ahh, simpler times...
A quick google search tells me that Dean Martin also did a rendition of this one. I could probably figure out which version came first if i cared, but i don't. Also, Pete Graves is listed as the songwriter. Peter Graves the movie actor? Who knows.
I was over my buddys house last night having a few cold ones and taking a dip in the pool. We heard Hot Smoke & Sassafras on the radio, and it damn near blew my mind. I don't think i've ever heard that one on commercial radio, like ever. Hearing it reminded me that even though i posted that song here a long time ago (here's a link to it) i never got around to this one, the flip side.
So here's another wild and fuzzy blast of vintage Texas psychedelia for you: The Bubble Puppy - Lonely. And follow that link for the top side. It's a good un.
When i picked up this record, i was hoping that it was going to be a version of this song:
It's quite a bit different, but technically the same tune. Sometimes you get lucky like that. It's a laid back sax driven instrumental by Elvis's bass player and his other band, or 'Combo' as they liked to be called.
The Delta Rhythm Boys version blows my mind every time i watch it. Those key changes make me dizzy when they come back down. Amazing. The B.B.C. version aint too bad either. As a connoisseur of different versions of obscure old songs, i'd highly recommend them both.
If i were the king of the world, this would be a required history lesson at rock and roll high school. It's the top side of one i posted a few days back. This one's been on plenty of 60's one hit wonder compilations, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a still great tune. And it's probably been a while since you've listened to it. So here you go.
And in case anyone was wondering- the German words at the beginning of the song are:
Achtung! Jetzt wir singen zusammen die Geschichte Über den schweinköpfigen Hund Und den lieben Red Baron
The direct English translation is:
Attention! Now we sing together the history About the pork-headed dog And the dear Red baron
I haven't necessarily been saving this record for a special occasion, but i also haven't been in any big hurry to get it up here. Until now that is.
Brian Williams just informed me that Eddie Kean, writer of the Howdy Doody theme and much of the shows content, passed away today. Since i'm a man who likes to keep aware of current events, i went straight to the internet to do my part. Here's a short OBITUARY for those who care to read about him. Me, i'd rather listen to...
Here's a nice laid back, white-boy blues. Kind of a low rent Animals sound on this one. A sincerely moving performance by a teenage garage band if you ask me. It's the flip side of the novelty hit Snoopy vs the Red Baron.
Every time i put up a post here i follow it up with a link to my JSJB fan page on Facebook. Which, if you are on the facebooks, you can check out by following THIS LINK. It's a good way for me to pass along my blogger posts to friends, family and other folks who might not see them otherwise.
Yesterday i got a message from my cousin over there and he was asking for the funk. So John, this ones for you. I just picked this record up the other day (See previous post) and i'm diggin it quite a bit.
The other day i found myself in Evanston, Il. and the wife decided that she needed to stop at this hot dog joint that she's heard about called 'The Wiener and still the champion' or some such nonsense. We pulled up in front of the place, and there's this little record store right next door called 2nd Hand Tunes. First thing i said was, "let's eat first, because we're going to be in there for at least an hour."
We had our lunch (top-notch Chicago style dogs, by the way) then headed next door. Jenny found ELO's greatest hits on CD for 3 bucks, and i dove head first into the 6-for-5-dollar 45 bins. One of the first worthwhile titles i found was R.B. Greaves' "Take a letter Maria" and i also ended up getting about a dozen others. A couple old rock and roll instrumental and/or garage numbers, another Johnny Paycheck tune, a couple TV themes, one pretty rare and one not-so-rare funk jams, and a Mormon Tabernacle Choir record that for whatever reason i could not say no to. Not bad for less than a buck each. All in all i'd say it was 14 dollars well spent on my part.
As soon as we got home, i fired up the turntable and immediately converted everything. Everything i picked up is great, only one or two dud sides in the lot, but the tune i think i dug the most was the flip side of Take a letter Maria. It's called "Big Bad City" and it's one hell of a righteous jam. Recorded with the house band at Muscle Shoals studio back in the day, it's no wonder that this songs got such balls. This one's in the running for my new favorite song as well.
Fun fact: The songs were recorded on August 19th (yesterday) in 1969. Happy belated birthday to a great two-sider!
"Big Bad City"
If anyone feels the need to hear "Take A Letter Maria" again, just turn on your local oldies station and wait a while. It'll come on eventually.... .
This tune is exactly the reason why i buy piles of scratchy old 45s at junk shops and antique malls, because once in a while i unknowingly uncover a rocker like this one. As i often say: I like discovering new old sounds. This record is just that- Old, but new to me.
I'm still hooked on that Manfred Mann tune from a few posts back, (Hear it here) but this one might be a close second for my new favorite song as of late.
'Love Is Good' is the flip side to the Mindbender's 1965 hit 'Groovy Kind Of Love.'
I was getting set to post a different song all together, but then our friend and neighbor Maria just showed up at the door to help us eat enchiladas and drink our beer. So i figured a song in her honor was in order.
It's the B-side of Roy's 1964 'Oh Pretty Woman' single. "Yo Te Amo Maria."
Some Cuban she is- I just asked her what the title meant, and she didn't know!
'Undercover Man' is the flip side of 'Frankenstein.' It's on the 'They only come out at night' album which i'm a fan of, but it's cool hearing this tune out of context after not hearing the record for a long long time. It sounds great all on it's own.
Dig the heavy metal backing vocals in the outro: "I'm your under (Under!) cover (Cover!) maaaan (Under cover man!) Love it.
Just got back from Michigan and burned about a dozen 50 cent 45s i bought at an antique mall while i was there. I took a few chances and came away with a few really great tunes that i'd never heard before.
I don't know much about Johnny Paycheck Records, but i couldn't resist buying a tune called "Me & The I.R.S." from the guy who gave us the classic 'Take this job and shove it.' It seemed like a no-brainer to me. The song ended up being exactly what i hoped it was going to be.
I've been a huge fan of The (Danzig-era) Misfits since day one, and someone told me a long time ago that their version of Ratt Fink was a cover, but i had never heard it until i found this record. I was pleasantly surprised at this discovery to say the least. It's the B-side to the Allan Sherman classic: "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh." ...Who knew?!
I got a comment from an anonymous reader about how the download link on the original post of this one was broken, so i figured i'd post it again. It's a funny song, and it's now buried in my archives... Why the hell not. There are no rules here.
Shit like this is the reason i prefer vinyl records to CDs. Would i have bought a whole CD by "The Reefers" because it had one funny song title that i had never heard..? Not a chance- But a 45... Sure, why not. I didn't hesitate to spend the four bucks, i'm no cheeapskate. Unfortunately, this is a promo disc, so it's the same song on both sides, mono and stereo. I've included the mono version for your downloading pleasure.
There is absolutely no information on who "The Reefers" were on the mighty interwebs. Obviously they were a legitimate band backing up whoever the lead vocalist is on this live recording. But who they actually were will remain a mystery forever. Most likely they took the name "The Reefers" for this record, and this record alone. It's all just speculation here, but that's my theory and i'm sticking to it. Sometimes you can't ask too many questions anyway, you just gotta enjoy what you got. We got "My Mama Smoked Marijuana" and she's a keeper.
Around about 1998 or so i saw Question Mark perform live at the Middle East club in Cambridge MA. At the time i was friendly with one of the bouncers there and i asked him beforehand if i could meet Question Mark and/or get an autograph. The night of the show came around i showed up armed with a firm handshake, a silver paint marker, and a vintage copy of 96 tears on 45. Question Mark was super cool and happily agreed to sign my record. When i showed it to him he said: "Wow- I don't even have a copy of this one!" Meaning the Cameo records pressing(?) Which was a surprise to me since i actually had two copies which i picked up for next to nothing, and he's the guy that sang the fucking thing... I almost wanted to just give him the damn record the way he went on about it.
My idea was to have him sign the actual vinyl with the silver paint marker. What i failed to do was test how a paint marker would actually write in the grooves of a record before having him do it. The rsults were a bit disapointing to say the least. The marker was very faint, and bled into the grooves pretty badly making the autograph barely legible. Not only that, i wanted him to sign the "96 Tears" side, but since he was talking and not paying attention he signed the flip...
All in all, nothing to complain about really. I got to meet one of the greatest rock and roll showmen since, like forever. Got his autograph. And on top of it all- he (and his band) were all really cool down to earth dudes, we even talked about having my band at the time open for them the next time they were in town (Which never happened)...
...But here comes the tragic part of the story. It was a late night, and i'd had a few beers. The whole night i had been carrying the record around in the front pocket of my hooded sweatshirt. I have no idea what happened, but when i got in the cab to go back to the good side of the Charles river, the record was broken- In three pieces! I couldn't fucking believe it. I just got this autograph a mere three hours before, and i had already trashed it... I was not happy about this at all. No sir.
I still have the pieces. I actually tried to glue them back together at some point and made an embarassing mess of the whole thing. I'm not including a scan because its too sad, and i'm about 300 miles away from my scanner and my records at the moment. I will, however, do a follow up post when i get home (I'm thinking the other side of this record) with a scan of Question Mark's business card that he gave me that night.
The whole broken record things not a huge deal since i have met him twice of the five times i've since them perform since then. But it still sucks.
I'll catch him next time they come around and have him sign the label of my other copy of 96 Tears-- And i'll be real careful with it this time....
Here's one of Question Mark's other fine offerings. A little number called: "I need somebody"
So here i am again way up north in the wilds of northern Michigan, and haven't been on the interwebs at all for the past several days. I've been on a total technology vacation. My phone battery died a few days ago, and i don't care. I've been sitting on the beach strumming the ukulele. That's all the technology i need while i'm here. Tonight is the first night that my computer has even come out of the case since Thursday morning, and as soon as i'm done writing this bit, it's going right back in. I'm just giving myself an hour or so to check emails and such...
I'll spare you the details- The short version is that i'm up here with the wife's extended family. There was a wedding, lots of people i didn't know, in-laws, bad dogs, screaming babies, long drives, and a wonderful lake that is just about the most beautiful place i have ever been in my sweet short life.
I picked up a great record at a yard sale the other day, but since i'm still here, i can't listen to it or convert it yet. It's one i've wanted for a long time, especially since i started posting goof ball songs on this blog. Stay tuned, it;s a good un...
Until then, here's one i ripped a few days before i left. I was going to post "Going up the country" since the country is where i am right now, It's a great song, but everyone's heard that one before. Here's the B-side instead. For no other reason other than the fact that i like it, and it's already in my i-tunes:
"Aside from pornography, stalking ex girlfriends, tv commercials from my youth, and new and interesting ways for me to ignore my family- this blog has to be the best thing on the internets." -E.S.U. III
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