28 songs time-64:17
This installment from Koko Mojo Records is devoted to obscure dance music and songs about dance crazes that never made it. An interesting and enjoyable collection of rhythm & blues oriented tunes it is. It’s crazy and at times wacky fun.
“St. Louis Sunset Twist” by Benny Sharp & His Orchestra is a short but lively instrumental romp featuring horns and bluesy guitar. “Louisiana Twist” by June Bug Bailey is another case of bands jumping on “The twist” band wagon back in the day. Its’ just ok. Celestine’s “Shake Baby Shake” is a worthy R&B effort. Here’s a blues dance craze that never took hold…Mabel Franklin’s “The Wiggle”. With her rough vocal and crude blues guitar, it’s no wonder it never took off.
“The Twirl” by Little Luther” is pretty much a dud. “Charles Walker Slop” by none other than Charles Walker is a fine harmonica and guitar based blues instrumental. “The Coffee Grind” by the creator of “The Twist”, Hank Ballard is no great shakes. We get another pretty cool blues instrumental in “Slim’s Twist” by Binghampton Blues Boys. Hank Ballard penned “Cha-Cha Twist” performed here by Brice Coefield, a song that doesn’t fare much better than Hank’s own effort.
Bill Doggett & His Combo offer up a tasty instrumental in “Pony Walk”, a “B” side release. Bill’s claim to fame was the immortal “Honky Tonk”. “The Whip” by Billy The Kid Emerson contains clever lyrics describing what he would do to other dances. Seems like J.J. Jackson is obsessed with nonsense words as in “Oo-Ma-Liddi”, a truly wonderful slice of musical joy. “Double Freeze” by David Dean’s Combo is an instrumental with a talking narrative that borrows a bit from “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie”. A cool sax bopping tune.
George Young’s screaming vocal has him sounding a bit like Little Richard on his “Can’t Stop Me”. The Coasters-like “Go Go Gorilla” by The Ideals is an upbeat fun fest. A “The Freeze” again, this time a single one by Fention & The Castle Rockers. A great instrumental with biting blues guitar and the ubiquitous sax. A male-female conversation takes place over an upbeat groove on “Topless” by Rolls Royce & The Wheels, a song about convertible cars.
Little Sonny And His Band deliver a harmonica-guitar-piano blues instrumental “The Mix Up” that is…well, nifty. Finney Mo’s “Shake That Thing” is a classic fifties rocker. “The Boogie Twist, Part 1” by Cal Valentine & Texas Rockers is just that, a boogie instrumental. A good one at that. “Move On” the title track by Jeanette Washington curiously is a dance song without a mention of dancing in the lyrics.
Koko Mojo Records has done it once again, offering up obscure songs that are for the most part delightfully entertaining. It’s fun uncovering these gems that you never knew existed, at least by me.