Jul 122013

Please note:  they were also Rockin'.

Please note: they were also Rockin’.

Greetings, seekers of good, cheap music! I come before you with a couple of songs gathered from local thrift stores that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Both are good examples of the kind of music I pick up just because the title appeals to me. And who could pass up the opportunity to give a spin to a tune called “Don’t Fool With Fu Manchu”? Here it is, as performed by Boston garage crossover artistes The Rockin’ Ramrods.

01 Dont Fool With Fu Manchu

I swear, I have the best luck when I buy stuff just because the title sounds interesting. Money isn’t the only — not even the main — reason I do this, but a year or so ago I found a busted-down single in a thrift store. It was on the Dixie label (never heard of it), and it featured “Hangover Blues” on one side, and “Satan’s Wife” on the other. I had to buy it, despite the fact that it looked like it had been run over by a lawnmower. Turned out the damn thing was worth hundreds of dollars (well, maybe not in the beat-up condition my copy was in) — and with good reason; “Satan’s Wife” is a great song. Here’s Jesse Floyd performing the number for you. Please join me in imagining that Jesse and his gang of drunken hillbillies recorded this huddled around a Sears & Roebuck tape deck in the lantern-lit living room of a Tennessee mountain shack; the Internet tells me that the Dixie label was an offshoot of a larger concern that devoted itself to small-run vanity pressings for country folk who had home-grown tapes they wanted the world to hear.

01 Satans Wife

As always, I look forward to your responses.



  5 Responses to “Thrifty Music: Song Titles Matter”

  1. cliff sovinsanity

    There’s something beyond the amateurish, Louie Louie recycling that the “Rockin” Ramrods song lacks from achieving that classic nugget quality.
    Meanwhile, I could listen to the Jessie Floyd song all day. The band is really cooking and besides there’s nothing better in country or Appalachian music when somebody is moaning about their “Old Lady” or in this case Satan’s Wife.

  2. The Rockin’ Ramrods’ song started out as great as its title promised. The “Hang On Sloopy” verse was less satisfying, but then it gets back to the good parts. How can you go wrong with a title like that?

    “Satan’s Wife” lived up to its good title. I’m curious to hear “Hangover Blues,” as well. That’s not a bad title in itself.

  3. misterioso

    The Ramrods…umm, what were they crossing over from, what were they crossing over to?

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    They were a Boston band that tried to break out of the garage thing into mainstream pop success. They actually opened for the Stones on their ’65 tour. Here’s a snippet from an interview with their keyboardist about the experience:

    I remember the first time I saw the Stones was in Montreal. I remember thinking how small they were. They were larger than life in my mind. The first night of the tour there was huge riot. We all had to hide and take cover from the Stones’ fans. It was the first of many nights like that as we came down from Canada and worked our way across the states from east to west. Satisfaction had just been a monster hit for them and Get Off My Cloud was just out.

    Mick and Keith really kept to themselves. Brian Jones was still in the group then and was really a great guy. Bill and Charlie were really friendly and they were always listening to old blues records. We had a chartered plane but the Stones really had to be hidden and brought into places where there were no crowds. Sometimes we had to be decoys for them, which was fun for me. Also on that tour was a group called The Vibrations, and Patti LeBelle and The BlueBells who had a hit called I Sold My Heart To The Junkman. Of course Patty went on to become a superstar and two of the girls had success of their own also.

    The Stones tour was a great experience. I think everyone, including the Stones, was somewhat overwhelmed by all the success and screaming fans. The Stones were very protected from the public by their management and did not have a lot of personal freedom at the time.

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