Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ROCK Orgy: "Shake, Rattle, and Roll"

ROCK Sex is all about spurring each other to action.

I've given many examples of how one act inspires another. One more variation of this is the 'response song', where a dialogue breaks out in the advent of a hit. Sometimes folks are covering the song, arguing with the song, riding its popularity, or poking fun at it. This one has all of those.



BIG JOE TURNER is a king of the late 40's/early 50's Jump Blues that helped set the stage for Rock'n'Roll. Besides being the originator of "Honey Hush" and "Corrina Corrina", he broke out this crucial killer:

BIG JOE TURNER -"SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL" (1954)




During the same period, a Western Boogie bandleader had integrated more and more Rhythm'n'Blues into his country swing. BILL HALEY & THE COMETS helped set the stage for Rockabilly, and Bill paid tribute to Joe with this cover:

BILL HALEY & THE COMETS -"SHAKE, RATTLE, AND ROLL" (1954)


(It should be noted that Joe's original version has a few raunchy sexual entendres that both he and Bill had to smooth over for public performance.)


The song has a decidedly macho tone, which begged for a woman's response. THE PLATTERS recorded a flipside where the great Zola Taylor stepped up and said her piece (song plays at 2:43):

THE PLATTERS -"BARK, BATTLE, AND BALL" (1955)




That bopping hipster LOUIS PRIMA, with help from Keely Smith and Sam Butera, mopped up the dance floor with this response. (This was lately made famous covered by Brian Setzer.):

LOUIS PRIMA -"JUMP, JIVE, AND WAIL" (1956)



With everybody getting in on it, Joe must've felt he he had some more to say about it, hence this cool addition. (This was later covered by The Blues Brothers on their first album):

BIG JOE TURNER -"FLIP, FLOP, AND FLY" (1955)





After all that shaking and wailing, it's time for a break. Here's rockabilly swingers SID KING & THE FIVE STRINGS trying to get a breath:

SID KING & THE FIVE STRINGS -"SAG, DRAG, AND FALL" (1955)



Phew!

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