Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Sitting Here on a Tongue”: What’s a Grodeck Whipperjenny?

Six of the eight songs on the debut album by The Grodeck Whipperjenny were recorded in Cincinnati’s King Studios on February 5, 1970.  “Sitting Here on a Tongue” is the album’s kick-off track:

“Sitting Here on a Tongue”

The Grodeck Whipperjenny (1970)

Jimmy Madison – Drums
Michael Moore – Bass
Kenny Poole – Guitar & vocals
David Matthews – Piano, organ & trombone
Mary Ellen Bell – Vocals
Ron Lenhoff & David Matthews – Producers

The Grodeck Whipperjenny were led by David Matthews, bandleader and arranger for James Brown, who issued the group’s one and only album on King Records imprint, People Records.  Matthews would later go on to become staff arranger for Creed Taylor‘s CTI Records.  According to one Discogs contributor —

Often referred to as a sister album to James Brown Plays And Directs The James Brown Band – Sho Is Funky Down Here, which was released on King in 1971 and included heavy output from David Matthews. According to him, both albums were recorded a month apart at Starday-King Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Album reissued in 2019

Grodeck Whipperjenny LP

Billboard “Soul Sauce” columnist, Ed Ochs, filed this report in the March 20, 1971 edition:

Believe It or Not Dept:  King Records is rushing out a new album by, that’s right, James Brown, titled “Sho Is Funky Down Here.”  The result of a jam session with a Cincinnati-area rock-blues group, Grodeck Whipperjenny, the disk features Brown instrumentally on organ and harpsichord.  It will be aimed additionally at the underground market, with the title track leading the way.  Brown’s recent trip to Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia was so successful that the man, through his voice, might go on poppin’ forever . . . .

Cash Box

March 20, 1971

An all-out promotion is being formed by Bob Patton of Starday-King Records to be co-ordinated through James Brown Productions

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