So what’s in this week’s five pack of scratchy 45’s? From the top we find somebody with the catchy nome-du-disque of The Creep on the Oakridge label, both unknown entities to me, The tune is a snappy little rocker called Betty Lou’s Got A New Tattoo. It’s basically a take off on Bobby Freeman’s Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes, but better, and dumber. In her time Betty Lou might’ve seemed like quite a gal but nowadays it’d be harder to find a Betty Lou without a tattoo. The tune might be familiar as it’s been in the A-Bones set for several decades. Maybe they should find something to rhyme with “Betty Lou got her labia pierced….” as a way of making it more timely.
Another unknown group are Pat & the Satellites who cut this wild rocker, Jupiter C, for Atco in the early sixties. This was on the very first cassette Bob Quine ever made for me, and since that fateful day it has been one of my favorites. Like I said last week, I just love rockin’ instrumentals and this sits near the very top of what Phil Schaap would call “the pantheon of sides”. I think that means it’s a good ‘un.
Mr. Wiggles was a pimp from Norfolk, Virginia. A good place to be a pimp since it’s basically one big Navy port and full of horny sailors (it was also something of a hotbed of rockabilly, Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps, Janis Martin and the Rock-A-Teens all hail from the area). Herr Wiggles issued this homage to his bad self on his own Golden Triangle label– Homeboy. What a classic– I love his anti-materialistic stance stated over the fade– “I don’t want no Cadillac, all I need is a mule….”.Mr. Wiggles also issued a strange LP about the Clifford Irving/Howard Hughes scandal in the early 70’s, I almost sold my copy on Ebay, luckily the buyer never sent the cash and while I was holding on to it for him an article on Mr. Wiggles appeared in Living Blues magazine with the Howard Hughes disc pictured prominently. Some day I’ll play the damn thing. I got to find it first, it’s in a stack of unfiled LP’s in the basement somewhere.
Bob “Froggy” Landers’ Cherokee Dance first entered my life on the old Specialty Doo-Wop LP that Dr. Demento compiled in the early 70’s. Long out of print, every tune on it is a classic, although some titles like Roddy Jackson’s “Moose On The Loose” (see the “Call Of The Wild” posting back in Oct.) are pretty far from doo wop. Anyway, I eventually tracked down the 45 and it has improved my quality of life considerably. That’s Willie Joe Duncan playing his Unitar (a one string guitar) that gives the record its distinctive, almost fuzz tone sound. Willie Joe played on Chicago’s Maxwell Street with Jimmy Reed before heading for the coast and briefly ending up in Landers’ band the Cough Drops. He’s featured on the b-side- Unitar Rock, a tune that was re-recorded by the under rated guitarist Rene Hall who brought Willie Joe back into the studio and issued the title (also on Specialty) as Twitchy. See if you can tell the difference in the two versions. Landers cut another disc– River Rock Part One b/w River Rock Part Two for Ensign, an early Herb Albert/Jerry Moss (of A&M fame) label, but something’s missing— the Unitar!
Had they kept Willie Joe in the group the second single would have also ended up in the aforementioned P.O.S. (pantheon of sides), but instead it resides in the ‘for Froggy Landers completists only’ category.
Winding up this week is a platter from the Santa Clara, California label Blue Moon, one of the coolest labels of all time. They released such uber-classics as Johnny Amelio’s Jugue (what be a Jugue? my guess is he’s saying Juke and the person in charge of typing the record label messed up), and Linda & the Epics’ Gonna Be Loved and our current topic: Cecil Collins & the Fretts’ Rock’n Baby (as another aside they also were the first label to release Jimmy Bowen’s I’m Sticking With You which became a hit when leased to Roulette, it was the label’s only real hit). The Fretts’ disc made today’s list because I just got it yesterday. I like everything about this record from the primitive guitar chords that open the disc to the honking sax solo. I even love the way off key girl’s harmony voice comes in right at the last verse as if she had gotten to the session a verse late. Oddly enough, this one was picked up by the jazz label Verve for distribution. Perhaps they were preparing the promo department for their future signing– Velvet Underground?