“Oooh-Diga-Gow”: King-a-binghi

One can be forgiven for mistaking the heartbeat bass line and the off-kilter, syncopated hand drumming in this 2-minute heavy chant as being part of the Jamaican Nyabinghi tradition.  Note the special effect at song’s end — somewhat “high tech” for King in 1954:

“Oooh-Diga-Gow”     Cecil Young Quartet     1954

And yet, this King track by the Cecil Young Quartet, according to Michel Ruppli King Labels discography, was recorded December 7, 1953 in Cincinnati.  But where – given the live audience sounds – exactly?  We the listeners can only presume that stage movements and vocal inflections, designed to accentuate the “meaning” of the lyrics, are what’s eliciting periodic bursts of laughter.  To make sense of the laughs, it is imperative, given the lack of accompanying video, that the listener consult his or her inner oracle.

“Oooh-Diga-Gow” was originally a B-side that enjoyed release on 78 as well as 45.  Five years later, King would reissue the song on Audio Lab LP, Jazz on the Rocks.  One Ebay ad for this song (with no reference to the A-side) describes the music as “rare jazz exotica Yma Sumac,” while another seller would go even further.

Cecil Young - Jazz on the Rocks LP

King’s art department would turn out some delightful ‘cool jazz’ covers for Cecil Young and his crew during their short run with the label 1953-54:

Cecil Young - Cool Jazz Concert ICecil Young - Cool Jazz Concert II-cCecil Young Progressive Quartet EPCecil Young Quartet EPThese back cover notes serve as band biography:

Cecil Young Quarter - back cover story

 Photo courtesy Univ of Wash Libraries – from a 1951 concert available online

Cecil Young Quarter photograph

Auction prices for the Cecil Young Quartet on vinyl are not too shabby.

“Dogs Pt. 2”: Keith Moon’s Jukebox Joke

Back in the days when the jukebox was king, casual music fans often had not a clue that Top 20 hit “Pinball Wizard” happened to contain one of the nuttier B-sides (i.e., drum solo of sorts) that must have provoked, one must imagine, rather lively – and possibly angry – discourse when selected for play at a restaurant or drinking establishment:

“Dogs Part 2”     The Who     1968

Keith Moon‘s furious fills are a thing to behold on this hilarious and flip (literally) “sequel” to lesser-known 1968 Who single, “Dogs” — their last desperate run at the charts (“only” #25 in the U.K. while – according to The Who’s own website – this song would find “no release” in the U.S.) before 1969’s Tommy would prove to hit commercial paydirt.

Uncut’s “Track by Track Guide to The Who’s Greatest Hits” decodes the songwriter credits behind this manic drumming workout:

“A musically unrelated instrumental sequel, “Dogs Part Two,” later became the B-side of ‘Pinball Wizard’ [#4 U.K., #19 U.S.], credited to messers Moon, Towser and Jason; the latter two ‘composers’ being Townshend and Entwistle’s actual mutts.”

In case you are unfamiliar with the prequel to “Dogs Part Two,” note how musically dissimilar these two songs happen to be.

Love how this Malaysian 45 depicts 1965-era Who on a 1969 release

Pinball Wizard 45

Link to companion piece about The Who — posted one day apart!

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“Nosey Joe”: Where Version Meets Dub

[Note:  Third in a triptych of pieces about songs named Joe]

Technically, this near-instrumental is what’s known as “version” (as opposed to dub’s full-on, all-out adventurousness), though fortunately, this mix is enlivened by light dub treatments that follow the playful spoken word opening:

“Nosey Joe Version”      Niney All-Stars     

[Pssst: Click the triangle to play “Nosey Joe Version” by Bongo Herman & Faye Bennett.]

“Nosey Joe Version” is from the mixing console and recording studio of Niney the Observer, a.k.a., Winston Holness (née George Boswell), who replaced Lee “Scratch” Perry at Joe Gibbs’ studio in 1968 after Perry famously (and angrily) left to form his own musical enterprise.  Niney, a protege of Perry, would eventually end up collaborating with “Scratch” on 2001’s Station Underground Report.

Dennis Brown LP

Extra Credit:  Check out the original vocal version via Dennis Brown’s “Wolf & Leopards.”

“Clarence”: Lovable Lion from TV’s “Daktari”

Shelly Manne, the legendary jazz drummer, also did extensive film and television session work, including the music for children’s dramatic TV series, “Daktari” (Swahili for “doctor”).

Daktari LP

“Daktari” itself was based upon the 1965 film, Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, the subject of this particular track taken from the Atlantic album on which Shelly Manne “performs and conducts his originial music for the hit TV show”:

“Clarence”     Shelly Manne     1967

Wow — 15 cents

Clarence - TV Guide