The Five Keys, during their short stint with King Records, carried out three recording sessions between 1959 and 1960 that yielded two long-playing releases for the label. King would release both albums — the group’s self-titled album (King 688) and Rhythm & Blues Hits – Past and Present (King 692) — in 1960. Seventeen years later, the current owner of the Starday-King masters, Moe Lytle, would reissue King 688, The Five Keys’ first LP release — one that can fetch over $500 at auction! — on his Gusto label.
One song title in particular seems to call attention to itself – “Your Teeth and Tongue (Will Get You Hung)” — fittingly, the album’s final track. Could this be an attempt at social protest, not unlike Lowman Pauling & the Five Royales’ “The Slummer the Slum“?
The Capitol LP displayed in the YouTube audio clip below injects a bit of confusion into the mix: Is this version (as it appears to sound) the 1959 King recording, or could it be an earlier version from 1954 that would not see release until 35 years later?
“Your Teeth and Your Tongue (Will Get You Hung)”
The Five Keys (1959)
Production and groove sounds more like 1959 to me than 1954, wouldn’t you agree?
“Your Teeth & Your Tongue” was recorded August 18, 1959 at King’s Cincinnati studio. Blues musician and music scholar Ben Levin strongly suspects session musician Philip Paul to have played the drums on all of The Five Keys recording sessions, as discussed in greater detail here.