Various Artists: Teach Me to Monkey (Vampisoul/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Carol Ford: Your Well Ran Dry (1964)
Various Artists: Teach Me to Monkey (Vampisoul/Southbound)

Chris Kenner wasn't kidding when he wrote Land of 1000 Dances in '62 – which became a minor hit for Cannibal and the Headhunters, then the wicked Wilson Pickett and dozens of others.

In the early 60s it seemed like America was kicking up a new dance craze – the Monkey, the Pony, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato, the Watusi – every other week and teen magazines had pages devoted to teaching kids how to do them. The Twist – from the song originally by Hank Ballard and taken to international audiences by Chubby Checker – was probably the least great dance phase.

Ballard turns up on this fun collection which scoops up 20 thoroughly enjoyable old r'n'b dancefloor tracks from those years just before the Beatles changed the landscape.

Here is sax-driven, finger-snappin' black r'n'b-cum-pop from the great Little Willie John, The 5 Royales (with the peculiar The Slummer the Slum), Charles Brown, Freddy King, Willie Dixon, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson . . . and many of these haven't seen reissue for almost five decades.

Great singing, but also some staggering guitar playing throughout too.

A real ear-opener and party starter.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Shilpa Ray: Last Year's Savage (Northern Spy/Southbound)

Shilpa Ray: Last Year's Savage (Northern Spy/Southbound)

Perhaps because of her formative experiences as an outsider – her strict Indian immigrant parents forbade Western music and so she was secretly a Goth-punk in New Jersey – and... > Read more

Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Born, Raised and Live from Flint (Bloodshot/Southbound)

Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Born, Raised and Live from Flint (Bloodshot/Southbound)

If there's any honkytonk, rockin' country cliche missed by this post-Waylon longhair wildman, it's probably only the one about the dog up'n'dyin'. With his hard rockin' band recorded live... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP considers One Direction and the idea of the concert film

GUEST WRITER SUSAN EPSKAMP considers One Direction and the idea of the concert film

It’s official: One Direction will be seen in cinemas again. The English boy group released a video message to Digital Spy announcing their new film, featuring footage from the San Siro... > Read more

YOU BETTER NOT CRY by AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS: Christmas spirits

YOU BETTER NOT CRY by AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS: Christmas spirits

Ah Christmas: ‘Tis the season to be . . . despondent and predictable? It is the time to bemoan the commercialisation of a Christian festival, to listen as miserable souls announce “I... > Read more