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

Little Pictures: Owl + Owl (Lil' Chief)

Little Pictures: Owl + Owl (Lil' Chief)

Electropop married to slightly whimsical faux-naivety isn't an easy call and I have no doubt some will recoil from this bedroom music -- and when this Wellington duo quivers through the awful Tips... > Read more

Gareth Edwards: Nowhere To Go Nothing To Do (garethedwards.co.nz)

Gareth Edwards: Nowhere To Go Nothing To Do (garethedwards.co.nz)

Although few -- actually none -- would hail UK-born singer-songwriter Edwards as an exciting new voice in New Zeaand music, his unpretentious and often rather simple take on country-rock and pop... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Stan Getz Quartet: Getz at the Gate; Live at the Village Gate, Nov 26, 1961 (Verve)

The Stan Getz Quartet: Getz at the Gate; Live at the Village Gate, Nov 26, 1961 (Verve)

And here's another gift and “lost” jazz album from the vaults in the manner of last year's Charlie Haden/Brad Mehldau live album, Coltrane's studio session and live recordings of... > Read more

TARANAKI WOMAD 2017: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

TARANAKI WOMAD 2017: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

As regular readers of Elsewhere will know, we have had a long tradition of writing about world music here. In fact we sometimes boast that we are the ony place which regularly gives coverage to... > Read more