Y’know, it’s a cryin’ shame when ignorance stands in the way of a good, danceable record and some serious airplay.
For example, when The Five DuTones recorded their hit, Shake A Tail Feather, some Bible belt radio dropped them from their playlists because they didn’t think “Bend over, let me see you shake your tail feather” was nicety-nice … and thought the lyric hook was a slang word for a certain … er, female anatomical part!
But, if ya listen closely, you’ll find that particular word is actually a build-up into the word “WaaaaaaTU-SI!”, a popular dance craze at the time in which the female dancer, er, “bends over and … shakes her tail (feather)!”
And these same cats ripped the first big hit of soul artist Brenton Wood (the Oogum-Boogum song) because, again, they said the last lyrics into fade were slanging that anatomical part (geez … do these cats obsess or what?).
WRONGGGGGG! Look … courtesy the Relic, here are the actual words that Brenton ends the song with:
“I just says, Who got the boo, says, Who got the boo, says. Who got the boo, now, Castin’ your spell on me. Now I says, Oo ga ka boo, says, Oo ga ka boo, says, Oo ga ka boo, now, Castin’ your spell on me.”
Remember — the dude’s under a spell, and, if ya read the last line, you’ll see she’s “castin’ (her) spell on (him)”. He’s repeating her spell, so the listener can know what she’s doing! That’s all …
Of course, the most famous of the alleged “red label” songs is the late Richard Berry’s hit as first recorded by the Kingsmen: Louie Louie. For years, many have thought it had some sexual meaning behind it.
Hey … the truth is, it’s a song about a guy at sea! No more, no less. He’s wantin’ to get back with his girl, who’s waiting for him. Simple — no muss, no fuss, no bother (PS Didja know there's no comma between the two "Louie"s? That's one thing that ticked Berry off about the tune ...).
Today, we’ve got sexy, we've got nasty ... we've even got, er, other words woven into the fabric of rock. From P!nk's new single to C-Lo Green's "F--k You" (which, in itself, is a shame, 'cause C-Lo has a great act!), there's stuff blaring from stereo speakers that'd make these other songs look like children's songs. And radio is happily eating it up!
Yet, terrestrial "oldies" stations still seem to shy away from the songs I listed a moment ago. One airmeister told me that "listeners from that era had a different set of morals and standards. If we air those songs, we're more likely to get negative feedback than from fans who tune in today's music."
Oh. Glad he cleared that up.
He also said that, with the FMs leaning more to "classic" rock, they're preferring more of the album "heavyweights" (LZ, Cream, Rolling Stones (post-1969), Stevie Wonder, etc.) over the lighter, bouncier hits of the Fifties to mid-Sixties (in one air-head's words, "We now play classic -- not 'jurassic'!").
Sure, I disagree with their reasoning - and, apparently, so do other former mike-siders, because some of them have revived their old AM stations to accommodate the reviving fanbase that's clamouring for all oldies -- all the time (hey, FM -- have ya checked yer Arbitrons® lately?).
But, at least now the lyrics of the songs-in-question are given their props (hey … check ‘em yourselves, okay? Google all ya want!). And, if this "AM" revival catches on, chances are we'll finally be able to hear them and most of our faves back on the radio dial before we know it ...
Stay tuned ...