"Leatherjacket" - 16 leather clad jumpers and jivers from 1944-1966


In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE204
"From Tallahassee to Kansas City and St.Louis one can twist to the blues in the night with the man with the golden arm in St. James Infirmary..."

1. leatherjacket cowboy - charles wolcott

Charles Wolcott and the MGM Studio Orchestra (after he left the Walt Disney Studios) recorded this instrumental in 1960 as B-side for "Ruby Duby Do" from the movie Key Witness. He was already 54 years old during these sessions.

9. st-james infirmary - josh white

This EP was released in 1965, although it was recorded in 1944, when he was 30 years old. This black blues singer and guitarist was also a civil rights activist. One of his many pseudonyms was The Singing Christian. You can't but love this torching version of a song that was written in 1927 as "Gambler blues". In 1946 he also recorded it as "Free and equal blues" as a reaction to the segregation rules of blood transfusion for WWII victims.

2. kansas city - rocky curtiss & the harmony flames

I can't but love this excellent version of a song that was in 1952 still known as "K.C. loving" and performed for the first time by Little Willie Littlefield.  It was Little Richard who gave it back its original title of Kansas City in 1955. And suddenly, in 1959, it was one of the most covered songs, including this fine rendition by this unknown rocker. I wonder... were these Harmony Flames the same band that gave us the "Big river" EP in 1960, also released on Fontana?

10. tallahassee lassie - rocky curtiss & the harmony flames

On the same EP that gave us his tremendous "Kansas City" rendition, you can find this version of another Bob Crewe creation which became a big hit for Freddie Cannon in 1959.

3. the man with the golden arm - the link eddy combo

Elmer Bernstein wrote this movie theme in 1955. One of the many versions is this menacing sax leading instrumental from 1961 by Link  Eddy who recorded it for Reprise Records.

11. big mr c - the link eddy combo

Big Mr C is Ray Charles. And this instrumental is nothing else than "What 'd I say" with a real orchestra as if it were a film score. And yet it works. It's a terrific rendition. Still I prefer the flipside "The man with the golden arm".

4. come on and dance - clarence frogman henry

The Frogman recorded many great tunes (including the legendary "Ain't got no home"), and the best appeared as a B-side, like this 1962 r&b stomper on Funckler. There were also releases on Argo and Pye International.

12. big boy pete - the pirates

Don and Dewey recorded their original in 1959; the Kingsmen recorded it as "The jolly green giant" and Goliath & Ses Philistins as "Le joyeux géant vert". This 1966 UK rendition is a completely different yet funny version. See also vol 200.

5. mr twister - connie francis

The early sixties were the twistin' years; even pop singers like Concetta Franconero were avid fans of the twist. She recorded this ode to the twister in 1962 for MGM.

13. blues in the night - brook benton

Benjamin Peay from South Carolina became Brook Benton in New York, a big name in the 60s. In 1962 he recorded this fast r&b song for Mercury.

6. don't mention my name - the shepherd sisters

This 45 often pops up at popcorn parties and even northern soul deejays dare to spin this 1963 tune. The song was written and produced by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio (known for their Four Seasons work).

14. baby please don't go - big bill broonzy

This split-EP issued in 1965 by Bravo Records contains this 1955 version of blues standard "Baby please don't go". The other artist is Josh White. They already shared an EP in the 50s. Broonzy, born in 1893, was one of the major Chicago blues artists in the 1930s and 190s. In 1935 the first version was recorded by  Big Joe Williams, written by Mary Signifying Johnson. In the 60s the song changed completely thanks to Van Morrison and Ted Nugent.

7. in your eyes baby - icky renrut

Although it is Ike Turner (Renrut=Turner), the singer is Jimmy Thomas (no, not the "Rockin' Robin" guy). The blasting A-side "Jack Rabbit" can be found on many compilations. A 1959 R&B tune on Stevens Records.

15. st louis sunset twist - benny sharp

Exciting jump blues instrumental from the mid-50s by an artist I know nothing about. Also the record label Mel-O is completely unknown to me. On the A-side his orchestra is backing Little Miss Jessie doing "My baby has gone".

8. ooby dooby - matt lucas

Starting as a drummer in Narvel Felts' band he moved over to  the vocals and had a big hit with his version of "I'm movin' on", but I prefer this cover of Roy Orbison's debut "Ooby dooby". A 1963 Smash/Philips release.

16. elle a dit:mmm - the cousins

And I end this volume with a vocal track by top Belgian outfit from Brussels, The Cousins who gave us classics like "Kana kapila" and "Kili watch". It's a French version of Johnny Otis' "Mumblin' Mazie" in a translation of Georges Aber. A 1962 Palette release.