This is episode sixteen of The GO Mechanism—an audio odyssey designed to shatter your fragile egg-shell mind. It is hosted by Phast Phreddie who develops it in the secret laboratories of Boogaloo Omnibus Productions somewhere in the Hudson Valley. The “G” stands for Groovy and it certainly is. The “O” stands for O’Rooney, a complex impulse that is incomprehensible to those possessing standard-issue precepts. If you have to ask, you will never know.
In order to achieve total comprehension of The GO Mechanism, the Boogaloo Bag reader is urged to seek out this episode’s corresponding audio presentation. After it airs on Luxuria Music as a Saturday Night Special program (this one on May 20), it will reside as a podcast on the Luxuria Music website for a few weeks before it is posted on the Mixclouds as well as below this posting. Look for the Saturday Night Special dated 5/21/2023
The GO Mechanism is produced whenever we feel like it, and incorporates exclusive copyrighted Vitaphonic, Ultra-sonic and Quasi-tonal methods in order to bring out a higher standard of standardness. Legacy GO Mechanisms may be found on the Mixclouds as well as here in The Boogaloo Bag.
An hour into The GO there will be a Science Corner. For this edition of The GO Mechanism, the producers have selected three karate records for the listener’s gratification.
Karate is a martial arts way of fighting that was developed in Japan. During the sixties and seventies, movies that featured karate fighting were popular in the U.S. and songs and even dances were developed in order to capitalize on its prominence. Dozens of songs were recorded at the time and we have presented three in The Science Corner: “Karate Boo Ga Loo” by Jerry-O, “Karate” by The Emperors and “It’s Karate Time” by Travis Wammack.
Jerry-O was Jerry Murray, who was a mover and shaker on the Chicago soul scene during the sixties; he was a songwriter, producer, owned record labels, presented shows and was a radio DJ. As part of the duo Tom and Jerry-O, he had a sizable R&B hit with “Boo-Ga-Loo” in 1965. A couple years later Jerry-O released “Karate Boo-Ga-Loo” on Boo-Ga-Loo Records before it was licensed to Shout Records. Other recordings were issued on White Whale and Bang. These are mostly party records, with Jerry-O and friends shouting dance names over funky backing tracks. Jerry-O Murray died in an automobile accident in the early seventies.
The Emperors were a vocal group from Harrisburg, PA. “Karate” was written by Tyrone Moss and Milton Brown, the drummer and organist, respectively, from the band that regularly backed The Emperors. The song was released in December 1966 and climbed to Number 16 on the Cashbox R&B chart early the next year. If the song sounds familiar to you, it is probably because Carlos Santana re-wrote the song as “Everybody’s Everything” and had a hit with it in 1971. Moss and Brown were properly credited and one would hope they were able to benefit from it. The Emperors would record an album and release two more singles. When the two follow-ups didn’t chart, the album was scrapped and not released until 2009. The Emperors would cut another single for Brunswick, “Karate Boogaloo”/“Mumble Shing A Ling,” but it failed to capture the magic of their first release and the group broke up soon after.
Travis Wammack is a guitarist who was born in Mississippi but made his mark in Memphis. He’s best known for a cool guitar workout instrumental called “Scratchy” from 1964. That song borrowed a bit from “Comin’ Home Baby” by Herbie Mann, which was written by Ben Tucker, Mann’s bassist at the time. “It’s Karate Time” is another cool guitar workout by Wammack. It is totally original, and, with the karate shouts, totally fun. Wammack cut a string of fabulous records during the sixties. Indeed, the flip side of this track is a haul-ass version of “Night Train” that may be heard in a future GO Mechanism. He was also a session player in Memphis and at the studio in Muscle Shoals. During the seventies and eighties he cut some southern country-rock albums. He is still alive and still performing.
GO Sixteen’s version of “Caravan”—a song heard in every GO Mechanism—is by Bill Haley and His Comets. It was recorded and released in Mexico. Haley had a string of hit records in the late fifties—the biggest being “(I Wanna) Rock Around the Clock,” which was Number One for eight weeks in 1955. By the end of the decade, his records stopped appearing on the Pop Charts. He moved to Mexico in 1961 in order to escape tax collectors and divorce lawyers. There, he learned Spanish, married a local woman and cut some records. The twist craze was starting up and Haley obliged the Mexican teens with a series of popular twist numbers, becoming Mexico’s King of the Twist. One of these recordings was “Caravana Twist”—“Caravan” with a twist beat. Since “Caravan” has a melody so sturdy you couldn’t hurt it if you beat it with a stick, it totally works—and, hey, you can twist to it. [ Further to Haley’s Mexican period, in January 1966, Haley and His Comets recorded an album-worth of tracks with Big Joe Turner, but only two EPs were issued, in Mexico only.]
In 2003, Norton Records initiated a Rolling Stones cover song series of 45s. The label asked some of its favorite acts to record a song by the popular British Invasion band and each track was issued on split singles. More than thirty of these records have been issued to date, and all of them are cool. The Dirtbombs version of “No Expectations” is one of these tracks—and for our money, the best one. The Detroit group took the song and sang it to the music of “Sympathy for the Devil,” with a surprise ending. The utter genius of the recording is astounding.
Although there are several examples of soul and funk records about the evils of heroin, the hallucinogenic drug L.S.D. is rarely sung about in R&B music. The GO Mechanism presents Rex Garvin & His Mighty Cravers with “Believe It or Not.” Although Garvin wrote “Over the Mountain, Across the Sea” for Johnnie and Joe, which was a Top Ten R&B and Pop hit in 1957, he never achieved much fame for his accomplishments, even though his music career lasted from about 1954 to 1971. He and His Mighty Cravers released a series of singles on several labels through those years, and only one album to show for it. His recordings range from interesting to fantastic—such as the track played in GO Mechanism Number Nine. Garvin may be the subject of a future Science Corner.
Marty Balin’s “I Specialize in Love” was released around 1962. It is one of two singles he recorded before joining the Jefferson Airplane a few years later. The song reminds us of the kind of material that Ricky Nelson was singing at the time.
“Lost on Xandu” is a version (sort of in the Jamaican sense of the word) of an instrumental first released on The Fleshtones album Brooklyn Sound Solution that featured Lenny Kaye on guitar. Lenny wrote the jam and a few years later wrote lyrics for the song and wanted to put it out as a single. The Fleshtones’ Peter Zaremba then jazzed it up on the flip side for this spaced-out version. Not on any LP!
“My Quiet Village” is sung by Darla Hood. Yes, Darla of Our Gang fame. Turns out she had a pretty good voice and she does a swell job on this exotica standard. Maybe she should have sung at the Little Rascals talent shows instead of Alfalfa!
With the release of “Flying Saucers Rock ’n’ Roll” on Sun Records, Billy Lee Riley became a legend among rockabilly aficionados. It is one of the greatest records of all time. He cut some other records for Sun, including another rockabilly classic “Red Hot,” then recorded for a series of labels—some of them he owned. Perhaps we’ll go into more of Riley’s career in a future Science Corner, as it is very interesting. For now, suffice it to say, there’s not a lot of information available for this one record he cut for Atlantic, “Happy Man.” The song has a catchy soul-pop vibe that should have been a big hit in 1968 when it was released. Somehow it failed to click and after a few more releases that mostly sank without a trace, Riley was out of music.
One of the Greatest Records Of All Time is always presented at the end of a GO Mechanism. For this GO, we continue the theme of The Science Corner with a karate record, this one by Chubby Checker. In September 1960, Mr. Checker’s cover of “The Twist,” first recorded by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, became a Number One pop hit record. In January 1962, it became a Number One pop hit record again—probably the only recording to ever accomplish that feat. During the early sixties, Checker released dozens of dance records—some of them fabulous, some of them less so. By the middle of the decade he was cutting some good pop-oriented soul records that found some favor with British Northern Soul parties, such as “(At The) Discotheque,” “Everything’s Wrong,” “You Got the Power” and “You Just Don’t Know.” He also cut “Karate Monkey,” a fantastic record that will get you off your seat and dancing. Not only is it a karate record, but it is a monkey record, and one of the best! Without a doubt in anyone’s mind, Chubby Checker’s “Karate Monkey” is one of the Greatest Records Of All Time!
For some reason, three spoken word pieces presented in this GO Mechanism are by people that are actually acquainted with the GO producers: Danny Weizmann (a writer known to some as “Shredder”), Paul Body (drummer for the legendary Sheiks of Shake and The Love Supremes) and Pleasant Gehman (of The Screamin’ Sirens, Ringing Sisters and Disgraceland legend). During the early nineties, all three issued spoken word albums and we have extracted important tidbits from them for your edification. Danny speaks over a backing track by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band while Paul and Pleasant both speak over clips from jams by Miles Davis. Another of Shredder’s proclamations open’s the show.
The art that decorates this GO Mechanism is by a fellow named Mike Tempo. We know him, too, but not that well. We first met him as the percussionist for the exotic rhythm and rock band The Bonedaddys, which features the talented saxophonist Jay Work. Mr. Tempo also bangs on things for the Mark Leggett Quartet, Greg Sutton & the Sunday Salvation Band and other acts in the Southern California area. His motto is, “Have bongos, will travel!” He posts his art on the Facedog from time to time and we finally asked him if we could borrow an image; thus it is above these notes and below in the digital poster. Dig his work here: https://miketempoart.com
Once this GO Mechanism initially airs on the Luxuria Musics—on the evening of May 20—it will be available as a podcast for a few weeks on their website. Look for the Saturday Night Special dated 5/21/2023. Soon after it will be posted on the Mixclouds and below here in The Boogaloo Bag. Luxuria Music is a hep cat daddy music dispersal organization that deserves support from swingin’ cats and kittens such as those who dig The Boogaloo Bag. Support them with some loot! Find out how here!
All of the tracks played in GO Mechanism Number Sixteen:
- Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In
- Bud Powell—52nd Street Theme (Blue Note)
- Charlie Parker—Chasin’ the Bird (Savoy)
- Sonny Stitt—Fine and Dandy (Prestige)
- Takeshi Terauchi and the Bunnys–Let’s Go Shake (Seven Seas; Japan)
- Busters All Stars—Summertime (Prince Buster/Rock A Shacka; Japan)
- Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band—Old Fart at Play (instrumental) (from album Grow Fins; Revenant)
- Bill Haley y su Cometas—Caravana Twist (Orfeon; Mexico)
- MIles Davis—Great Expectations (severe edit) (from album Complete Bitches Brew Sessions; Columbia/Legacy)
- The Party Brothers—Do the Ground Hog (Revue)
- The Mighty Sparrow—Calypso Boogaloo (RA; West Indies)
- Michael Olatunji—Soul Makossa Part 2 (Paramount)
- Miles Davis—The Little Blue Frog (alternate version, edited) (from album The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions; Columbia/Legacy)
- The Surfaris—Scratch (from LP Hit City 64; Dot)
- Los Corraleros—Pajarillo Montañero (Discos Fuenes, Colombia)
- Les Brown, Jr.—Swingin’ & Surfin (GNP Crescendo)
- Rolly Polly—Blue Rhumba (from LP Mad Drums; Capitol)
- Boris Gardner—Melting Pot (Jaguar; Jamaica)
- Leche—El Samurai (Steady Beat)
- The Carnations—Scorpion (Tilt)
- The Mighty Hannibal—Jerkin’ the Dog (Shurfine)
- Los Lobos & Money Mark—Pepe & Irene (from album El Cancionero: Mas y Mas; Rhino)
- Woody Herman—Hush (Cadet)
- Joe Quijano and His Orchestra—Saboo (Wobble-Cha) (Date)
- The Dirtbombs—No Expectations (Norton)
- ———Science Corner
- Jerry-O—Karate Boogaloo (Boo-Ga-Loo)
- The Emperors—Karate (Mala)
- Travis Wammack—It’s Karate Time (Atlantic)
- Zombie Rev—funkyelectricguitarsv2 (bed music for Science Corner)
- Jun Mayuzumi—Tsumi Na Hito (Capitol; Japan)
- Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers—Believe It or Not (Like)
- Yusef Lateef—8540 Twelfth Street (Savoy)
- Marty Balin—I Specialize in Love (Challenge)
- The Fleshtones with Lenny Kaye—Lost on Xandu (version) (Yep Roc)
- Enoch Light & the Brass Managerie—Theme from “Shaft” (Total Sound Stereo Project)
- Darla Hood, Fabulous Modesto Orchestra—My “Quiet Village” (Ray Note)
- Paul Horn Quintet—Eight Miles High (from album Monday Monday; RCA Victor)
- Tapper Zukie—Man Ah Warrior (Stars; Jamaica)
- La Sonora Clenaguera—La Piojosa (from album Cumbias Y Gaitas Famosas; Discos Fuentes; Colombia)
- The Congo Kid—Trinidad Swing (Bull Dog)
- Billy Lee Riley—Happy Man (Atlantic)
- Marvin Gaye—It’s a Bitter Pill to Swallow (from LP M.P.G.; Tamla)
- The Soul Machine—Twitchie Feet (Pzazz)
- Andre Williams—You Got It I Want It (Ric-Tic)
- Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (special Boogaloo edit; Curtom)
- Danny Weizmann—For Jack Jones (from album Jazz Speak (New Alliance)
- Paul Body—Prologue (from album Love Is Like Rasputin; New Alliance)
- Pleasant Gehman — Way Out West (from album Ruined; New Alliance) (over Little Blue Frog)