Mention of Jim Ford and Joe South recently reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write something about Dallas Frazier, who is another one of those artists who was adept at blending country and soul. Frazier is the man who wrote “Mohair Sam,” which was a big hit for Charlie Rich.
This is the record that is part of Rock Lore, because the time the Beatles met Elvis, he was obsessed with it and supposedly played it constantly during their visit, even playing along on the bass. I’d never seen this clip before today, but here’s Rich singing it on Shindig in 1965:
He looks so uncomfortable there, but here is singing it again during his ’70s phase.
He was one of the biggest stars in Nashville at that time, and he’s gotten much less stage-shy. Nice shirt.
I’d never heard of this guy, but I knew a few of these songs. I love that beat he lays into in just about every song you’ve posted. Did “Mohair Sam” or “She’s About a Mover” come first? Surely its an accent from some kind of American folk music I don’t know real well (like an exaggerated version of the accent driving Chuck Berry’s “Memphis”). Anyhow, it’s hard to write a turd based around that heavily accented beat.
Funny I’d never made the connection To She’s About a Mover till I was putting this together today. The beginning of Just a Little Bit of You is a dead ringer for its rhythm, down to the way the ride cymbal sounds. Both were from 1965, and they were recorded in different states so I don’t think there’s any influence one way or the other. And SDQ has the Tex Mex organ, while Rich has the New Orleans style piano — the piano licks that open She’s a Yum Yum and Mohair Sam are totally Professor Longhair/Dr. John — so they take that beat in different directions.
Excellent work Big Steve — my mom was a big Charlie Rich fan\ and those cuts brought back some warm memories. It’s also inspiration for me to dig deep and break out the old Brinsley Schwarz this weekend.
Some of that stuff was pretty cool but that Elvira song is:
a) horrible, and
b) a direct rip of Searchin’ by the Coasters
Mission accomplished then. Listening to Brinsley Schwarz is never a bad thing.
Hey, BigSteve — this is awesome stuff, and you have my sincere thanks for posting it. The knowledge that there’s a Smash-era Charlie Rich comp out there is enough to make my day. Thanks again!
All this is getting me so pumped up for Ben Vaughn. Ya know what I mean.