Lowell Fulson: Tramp (1967)

 |   |  <1 min read

 Lowell Fulson: Tramp (1967)

Written by singer/guitarist Fulson and pianist Jimmy McCracklin who were soul brothers in California, this short slice of soul-funk blues appeared on the Kent label, although the boss there Jules Bihari apparently hated . . . until it went top five on the r'n'b charts.

It provided the title track for Fulson's album and even crossed over into the lower reaches of the pop charts, then Otis Redding recorded it with Carla Thomas for Stax a few weeks later and it went top 10 in the UK.

For a song which on an initial hearing seems pretty minimal, it is freighted with social division and Fulson – who sometimes was billed Fulsom or Fullsom – gets away a tasty guitar solo and comes out the winner in the final verse.

The song, because of the funk and beat, was much sampled when it was transfigured into a reggae version The Champ by the Mohawks.

The original was also sampled . . . but we here defer to this slightly sleazy, barbecue funk-blues original.

For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

PJ Proby: Lonely Weekends (1965)

PJ Proby: Lonely Weekends (1965)

One of the most pressing problems facing big voiced balladeers of the mid and late Sixties -- PJ Proby, Tom Jones, Solomon King, Engelbert Humperdinck and John Rowles among them -- was a lack of... > Read more

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Unless you follow Latin pop then La Camisa Negra/The Black Shirt might be the biggest hit you never heard by a global star don't even known about. Juanes from Colombia has sold 15 million... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters (Epic/digital outlets)

Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters (Epic/digital outlets)

This one of the best albums released so far this year, and we'll get back to that. But first, this . . . When music writers offer reference points for an album, they can fall at a couple of... > Read more

SURVIVORS, REVISITED (2014): A television series from past about the now-future

SURVIVORS, REVISITED (2014): A television series from past about the now-future

One of the more smug, not to say stupid, comments on television recently came from an expert speaking about the likelihood of the Ebola virus in West Africa making it to New Zealand. The essence... > Read more