“Cool Jerk”: Starday-King Goes Boogaloo

What a revelation to learn that The Coasters, along with producers Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, collaborated with Fania recording legend, Larry Harlow, on five tracks that were recorded in Autumn, 1971 – the highlight being a fresh boogaloo take on “Cool Jerk“:

Click on this link to play “Cool Jerk” by The CoastersCoasters - Cool Jerk

Recording session info below thanks to Claus Röhnisch‘s excellent Coasters website –     it would seem to be saying that tracks recorded at the Starday-King studios were then mixed and edited in NYC:

Marty Sheller, arranger; Larry Harlow,director; Mike Stoller, possibly on piano; Taco Meza, flute; probably Thomas Palmer, guitar; unknown second guitar; unknown orchestration.  Dave Palmer, engineer; Leiber & Stoller, producers.  Mixed & edited at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, late 1971.

(Starday) Studios, probably. New York City – Autumn, 1971
K-13959   Cool Jerk               2:56       King LP 1146; King 6389
K-14176   Good Lovin´           ?:??      (unissued – only instrumental track exists)
K-14177   Mustang Sally        3:38       King LP 1146
K-14178   On Broadway         2:30      King LP 1146
K-14179   The In Crowd         2:55      King LP 1146

Note:  “In Crowd” is essentially a ‘dub’ version of “Cool Jerk” that features Taco Meza’s flute playing.

Starday-King in the Lieber-Stoller Era

Says Claus:  In the autumn of 1971 Leiber and Stoller purchased and remastered all Date/Columbia tracks. They overdubbed and edited some tracks from the 1968 session, produced the new recordings above, and reissued all Date singles (with K-master numbers used) on Starday-King, newly bought up by Leiber, Stoller, Freddy Bienstock, and company president, Hal Neely.

“Guarare”: ¡Viva La Ronco!

PBS’s excellent 4-hour documentary – Latin Music USA – did a wonderful job of pointing out just how little I knew about Latin American music and its history.  Thanks to Will Hermes and his sweeping new history of the NYC music scene during a crucial 5-year period, 1973-1977, I have an even better appreciation for how the city’s rich fusion of Latin cultures – Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican and Columbian – created an exciting new popular dance music, salsa (on August 26, 1971 at NYC’s Cheetah Club, to be precise).

I am a little embarrassed to admit that my recent purchase of a 1976 Ronco hits LP, Sound Explosion, resulted in my first and only recording (though certainly not last) on legendary salsa label, Fania – Ray Barretto’s “Guarare” from his 1975 album, Barretto:

“Guarare”     Ray Barretto     1975

Check out the sloppy typo on the cover: Ronco's Sound Explosion

First Latin Crossover Pop Song?

In 1961 Ray Barretto recorded “El Watusi” – a Top 20 hit and the first Latin song (according to thousands of web pages, although I find this hard to believe) to enter the Billboard charts.  You can find this tune on Barretto’s 1962 Tico album, Charanga Moderna.