Work It Out

Nathaniel Mayer - Work It Out

mp3: Nathaniel Mayer - Work It Out

Nathaniel Mayer was a singer from Detroit. Along with his Fabulous Twilights, he scored a big hit on the Fortune label with Village Of Love in 1962. Work It Out was released a year later as a b-side and is cut from a similar mold. Impassioned, raspy vocals, a doo-wop setting and a solid beat; it's a winning combination. I actually met the man once in the lobby of a Holiday Inn in New Orleans. It was the day after I saw him perform at the Ponderosa Stomp and he was checking out. Sadly he checked out for good a few years later, but we have his records and we can work it out.

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Where's My Radio?

I was joined in the NTS radio studio this week by Sister Cookie. She's got a new single coming out, her first, called Where's My Money, so we played a whole hour of songs that pose a question. This isn't the place to come looking for answers, we're just interested in the where, what, why and who of the situation.


Shortnin' Bread and Nicotine

Paul Chaplain - Shortnin' Bread Paul Chaplain - Nicotine

mp3: Paul Chaplain - Shortnin' Bread
mp3: Paul Chaplain - Nicotine

I always thought that Shortnin' Bread was a traditional song, but apparently not. According to my sources (Wikipedia) it was written by poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1900. Sixty years later, Paul Chaplain and his Emeralds released their version on Harper Records and almost 60 years after that I present it here for you today. It's got a tough-as-nails garage-rockabilly sound, which creates quite the juxtaposition with the nursery rhyme alike lyrics about baking bread. Maybe that's the whole idea; Shortnin' Bread did make it into the national charts, peaking at #82. Nicotine, the title of the flipside, seems like a more appropriate subject matter for this rockin' group from Webster, Massachusetts.

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Link Wray's Swag

Link Wray - The Swag

mp3: Link Wray - The Swag

This is the flip to the Linkster's magnus opus, the 1958 game-changer, one of the few instrumentals ever to be banned from the radio, the song that invented the power-chord - you know the tune I'm referring to, right? Anyway, The Swag has its own, erm, swagger. Nowhere near as outwardly menacing as its big brother a-side, The Swag saunters into the room with a smirk on its face before slitting your throat with a switchblade. Don't ever turn your back on a Link Wray record.

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Gone to 7-11

Gone All Stars - 7-11

mp3: Gone All Stars - 7-11

This rock'n'roll version of Perez Prado's Mambo #5 made it to #30 on the pop charts in 1958. I'm not sure where the name 7-11 comes from. Perhaps it's the time signature, I know nothing about that kind of thing. Maybe it was the date it was recorded. For me, 7-11 represents a chain of convenience stores that I made fairly frequent and reasonably regular late-night visits to in my early twenties. The Gone All Stars were a studio band led by Buddy Lucas on tenor sax. They played behind many artists on both Gone Records and its sister label End.

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The Royaltones - Seesaw

mp3: The Royaltones - Seesaw

I posted a The Royaltones' single about two years ago. So, since I've already covered a few of the important factoids surrounding this instrumental group from Detroit, I won't repeat them. Seesaw was released in 1959 on Jubilee Records. Despite being an interesting sounding, swinging instrumental, the fickle record buying public didn't take to it, so Seesaw failed to reach the chart heights it probably deserved.

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I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter

Lazy Lester - I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter Lazy Lester - Sugar Coated Love

mp3: Lazy Lester - I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter
mp3: Lazy Lester - Sugar Coated Love

Here's another double-hitting rockin' blues record, this time from Lazy Lester. A musician from Louisiana, Lester's mainly known for his singing and harmonica playing, but he also made recordings on guitar and even dabbled in percussion. I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter and Sugar Coated Love were produced for the Excello label by Jay Miller, who also produced some of Slim Harpo's best known records. Today's selections were recorded in 1958, six years before The Kinks covered the humorous I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter on their debut LP. There's been many versions of both sides since then. But, unfortunately, even though Lester claims to have written both songs, the credit went to Miller. A little over ten years ago, a Lazy Lester song gave its name to the incredible Ponderosa Stomp music festival in New Orleans. I've definitely seen Lester play at that festival and have a vague memory of meeting him there too.

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