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

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Pink Floyd: The Endless River (Sony)

Because Pink Floyd have been around so long and went through various phases and stages, it's probably helpful for any reviewer of this album – identified by guitarist/prime mover David... > Read more

Link Wray: Early Recordings (Ace/Border)

Link Wray: Early Recordings (Ace/Border)

When we recently wrote about Link Wray it was to draw attention to an unexpectedly interesting double disc compilation 3-Track Shack. It brought together three of his albums from the early... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Knack: And How To Lose It

The Knack: And How To Lose It

Okay, this is how I remember The Knack and its lead singer Doug Feiger, but it was a long time ago so the memory may be dodgy. It was August 13, 1979 to be exact and the ads boasted "biggest... > Read more

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY shoots Thurston Moore. Again.

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY shoots Thurston Moore. Again.

On January 17 1989, Sonic Youth played their first show in the southern hemisphere at the Powerstation in Auckland. I went along hoping to hear at least some songs from their earlier records,... > Read more