Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Vocal instrumentals

"Pengosekan"
Zeroto180

The “Monkey Chant” in Pop

[Note:  Piece updated on February 15, 2019 – see special coda at the tail end] Zero to 180 is intrigued to discover that today’s featured song is the sole composition attributed to Vic Coppersmith-Heaven [whose impressive audio engineering CV includes Cat Stevens, The Rolling Stones, Billy Preston, and even Stanley Kubrick] on Discogs.  This

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"Oooh-Diga-Gow"
Zeroto180

“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

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“Rum Bum a Loo”: $300 Reggae

I’m a little surprised more ink has not been expended on a snappy early reggae 45 from 1970 on the Doctor Bird label that can command up to £200 [i.e., $300ish] at auction: “Rum Bum a Loo”     The Message     1970 “Rum Bum a Loo” was produced for the UK market

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“Grits & Corn Bread”: Watts 103

Zero to 180’s musical salute to Georgia ‘s Official Prepared Food continues with a song, “Grits & Corn Bread,” that listeners can enjoy at a variety of playback speeds (I’m partial to the medium speed): “Grits and Corn Bread”   The Soul Runners     1966 This debut 45 from The Soul Runners, who

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“Uh Oh”: Jet Age Moderne

ABC once broadcast a 4-part television special in 1960 called The Frank Sinatra Timex Show:  Welcome Home Elvis.  This was to be the hip-swiveler’s first television appearance in three years since being discharged from military service. Poster Art by Al Hirschfeld? At one point, Elvis threatens to get upstaged by

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"Guns Fever"
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‘Sticky’: “Guns Fever” Vocalist?

Thanks to Harry Hawks‘ biographical portrait of master percussionist (& sometime vocalist) Uzziah ‘Sticky‘ Thompson for Reggae Collector’s Artists Hall of Fame, we learn that (1) ‘Sticky’ gets a shout-out in the intro to Baba Brooks’ “Girls Town Ska” from 1965 [Q: “Hey Sticks, where you going tonight?”  A: “I’m

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“Sticky”: Mouth Percussionist

David Katz‘s biography of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, People Funny Boy, provides some very useful biographical details about master percussionist, Uzziah ‘Sticky‘ Thompson: “For the rest of [1967], Perry worked closely with a variety of artists for [Joe] Gibbs, including future percussionist, Uzziah ‘Sticky’ Thompson, then a popular deejay known as Cool

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Felix & His (Cash-in) Guitar

“Cerveza” by Boots Brown (see previous post about rock/pop’s Latin roots) was only one of the more obvious attempts to cash in on the runaway success of “Tequila” by The Champs in 1958.  “Chili Beans” by Felix & His Guitar also does a great job of appropriating that familiar riff

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“Accroche Toi, Caroline”: Hang Tight, Caravelli Advises

This boss near-instrumental from 1967 simply attributed to “The Paris Studio Group” features a mean harpsichord – something right out of Lurch from The Addams Family: “Accroche Toi, Caroline”     The Paris Studio Group     1967 As NME informs us:  “Main title theme as used on Tony Hart`s UK TV

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“Sky and Sea”: 5D’s Jazz Vocal Instrumental II

Two years following sunshine pop’s progressive peak, The 5th Dimension would once again explore wordless vocal jazz – “Sky and Sea” from 1972’s Individually and Collectively, their fourth album for Bell: “Sky and Sea”      The 5th Dimension     1972 This song – arranged by Bob Alcivar (no surprise)

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