Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Johnny Jenkins: Bat-Friendly

Zero to 180’s tribute to the world’s only flying mammal continues into its second day with a B-side from Johnny Jenkins — “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats“:

Blind Bats and Swamp Rats

Johnny Jenkins (1970)

Written by Jackie Avery

“Blind Bats and Swamp Rats” can also be found on Jenkins’ 1970 LP, Ton-Ton Macoute, one of 50 albums – according to Rolling Stone – that “every country fan should own.”  Music blogger, Stuck in the Past, laments how Johnny Jenkins’ musical career was sidetracked twice by a “distracted” Phil Walden of Capricorn — first, due to Otis Redding (who got plucked from Jenkins’ band by Walden for a solo career) and second, due to the burgeoning success of the Allman Brothers, a number of whom individually backed Jenkins on Ton-Ton Macoute but then left to form their own band.

Music blogger, Darius, has a bit more to say about this 1970 landmark LP — most intriguingly, that Ton-Ton Macoute was “originally intended as a Duane Allman solo album.”

Ton Ton Macoute

Musician & Engineering Credits

Johnny Jenkins:  Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
Duane Allman, Paul Hornsby, Pete Carr:  Slide Guitar, Lead Guitar
Berry Oakley, Robert Popwell:  Bass
Butch Trucks:  Drums
Jai Johnny Johanson, Robert Popwell:  Timbales
Eddie Hinton, Johnny Wyker, Tippy Armstrong:  Congas, Percussion
Paul Hornsby:  Piano, Organ
Johnny Sandlin:  Producer, Engineer, Bass, Drums
Jim Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson, Larry Hamby, T. Manning, T. Compton:  Engineer


In the US, “Blind Bats and Swamp Rats” would serve as the B-side for “I Walk on Guilded Splinters.”

France – 1970

musical misspelling

swanp rats

Derek Trucks, when asked in the October 2013 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine if he uses any vintage Gibson SG guitars, gave the following reply:

“I have a really nice ’61 that I love, and not too long ago I got Johnny Jenkins’ old SG, the one he played on Otis Redding’s ‘These Arms of Mine.’  He broke its headstock at the Atlanta Pop Festival, and I think Capricorn Records bought the guitar from him, had it fixed, and it was in Savannah, Georgia, for years.  It’s a pretty amazing guitar.  He took a soldering iron and wrote his name in cursive on the front – really beautiful script.  It’s part of the Allman Brothers/Capricorn/Duane/Otis Redding lore.  It lives in the studio.”


LINK to Bats in Popular Music on Zero to 180

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