"Misty" - Vibrations (November 1965, highest chart
Dell Rat Ron's back and today we're
kicking off a 3 part salute to the Vibrations,
an R&B vocal group that influenced bands
and delighted fans all over Central PA.
Starting in the mid 50s and continuing through
the 60s, the act produced hit records using three
different names: the Jayhawks, the Marathons
and the Vibrations.
Ron and I are going to have some fun with this and play tag team. For every VIBRATIONS record that Ron plays I'll spin one or two that SHAKE. Confused? Don't worry. You'll catch on.
Here's my first one, a shakin' song by a Brit Merseybeat group that looked and sounded a lot like that other famous English combo whose name escapes me at the moment.
THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS
"Hippy Hippy Shake" - Swinging Blue Jeans (April 1964,
highest chart position #24)
CHAD ALLAN & THE
THE GUESS WHO
Now, here's one of my favorite shakin' songs performed
by a Canadian group originally known as Chad Allan &
the Expressions. They changed their name and became consistent hit makers n America as Guess Who?
Quivers down my backbone
I got the shakes in my thigh bone
I got the shivers in my knee bone
Shakin' all over
"Shakin' All Over" - Guess Who (June 1965, highest
chart position #22)
See how it works?
Now that we've established the ground rules it's time to
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL!
Ron, I'm pickin' up GOOD VIBRATIONS.
Did I say good? I mean GREAT!
Shady, the Vibrations were
equally as popular as the
original O'Jays with the
local bands and their
followers. Their recording
of "Misty" was the one the
Magnificent Men covered.
The Mag Men also per-
formed with and backed
up the Vibrations at the
Raven and other venues.
When the Magnificent Men
sang "Misty" on their set
(I believe after asking the
Vibrations if they minded),
the Vibrations had nothing
but approval for them.
This group originally
recorded under the name the Jayhawks and had a hit with
"Peanut Butter" using the name the Marathons. Every band
did the original "My Girl Sloopy" the way the Vibrations
created it. Dick Biondi, late night DJ from WLS in Chicago,
won me over night after night with this. It did well on the
charts. I think this original version is just so much funkier
than the monster hit the McCoys had with it a year later.
I'd like to dedicate this song to Sue Work, a Dallastown
graduate, and dear friend with whom I experienced much
of this music.
"My Girl Sloopy" - Vibrations (May 1964,
highest chart position #26)
AND JO JO BENSON
Ron, Shady's next shake song is an up tempo goodie by Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson, an R&B duo that sounded like Ike and Tina. In a post a year ago I featured another of their hits, "Picking Wild Mountain Berries." This time around there's more bounce to the ounce with "Soul Shake."
"Soul Shake" - Peggy Scott and Jo Jo Benson
(February 1969, highest chart position #37)
Tag, Ron.....you're it!
Shady, this next song is the first the Vibrations recorded on Atlantic before "My Girl Sloopy". They only released two 45s
for that label. The Delchords used to sing this and I believe
Buddy sang the lead on it as he did on the Mag Men's ver-
sion of the Vibrations' arrangement of "Misty" later on. This
is one of the sweetest ballads ever recorded. As in "Misty"
Ricky Owens sings lead here. The Vibrations broke up when
Ricky left the group to join the Temptations.
"Between Hello and Goodbye" - Vibrations
(January 1964, uncharted)
Ron, I WANNA TESTIFY. While Peggy and Jo Jo were up there doing a "Soul Shake," P-Funk architect George Clinton, creator of the Parliament-Funkadelic empire, was down here asking the burning question "Do Fries Go With That Shake?" This video was a frequent fryer (sorry about that) at the MTV style television station where I worked. A sizzler in the spring of 1986, Clinton's cookin' clip begins by sampling that year's hot new singing star Janet Jackson performing in her hit music video "What Have You Done for Me Lately."
"Do Fries Go With That Shake" - George Clinton
(May 1986, highest chart position #13 R&B)
Shady, in 1961 the Vibrations released a sweet ballad
called "Stop Right Now." The B-side of that single was
"All My Love Belongs To You," another sweet ballad.
"All My Love Belongs To You" - Vibrations
(August 1961, uncharted)
JR. WALKER AND
THE ALL STARS
Here's one I'm sure
you remember from
the Dell, Ron.
Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. took the stage name Jr. Walker and became an architect of the Motown Sound. In the spring of 1965, Walker's signature song, "Shotgun" went top 5 pop and #1 R&B. Junior and his band The All Stars followed with the top 40 hit "Do the Boomerang" and capped off the year with the top 30 entry "Shake and Fingerpop."
"Shake and Fingerpop" - Jr. Walker and the All Stars
(September 1965, highest chart position #29)
The Vibrations waxed "The Watusi"
for Checker and the Delchords and
other groups frequently performed
"The Watusi" and the B-Side,
"Wallflower" at the Oaks and other
dance halls. The reunion groups in
Pennsylvania still do "The Watusi".
"The Watusi" - Vibrations (March 1961, highest chart
I got an answer for that, Ron!
THE FIVE DU-TONES
As I'm sure you recall, one of the highlights of John Waters' original 1988 Hairspray movie was when Baltimore's TV teens performed
a bitchin' line dance to "Shake a Tail Feather," a black chart hit
by the Five Du-Tones.
Go Amber Von Tussle!
"Shake a Tail Feather" - Five Du-Tones (June 1963,
highest chart position #51)
Let me squeeze in one more, Ron.
Johnny Rivers was the first artist to appear regularly at the famed Whisky A Go Go nightclub on the Sunset Strip. Johnny and his gaggle of singing, squealing, shouting go-go girls took the hit song made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis and turned it into a killer of their own!
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" - Johnny Rivers
(from the 1964 album Here We A Go Go Again)
PLEASE STAY TUNED!
Ron has more
good great VIBRATIONS
in Parts 2 and 3 of our series coming soon!
in Parts 2 and 3 of our series coming soon!
Have a Shady day!