Kid Congo Swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Kid Congo swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Kid Congo swings at WHAM-O WATUSI!

WHAM-O WATUSI is quickly becoming a welcome new addition to the heavy, heavy Reet Music Scene of North Brooklyn and surrounding areas. The WHAM-O is an evening of wild, rockin’ sound recordings, each with a diameter of seven inches and (most of them) rotating at 45 revolutions per minute. When it happens, it takes place at Bushwick’s Bootleg Bar, which has turned much of it’s weekend nights over to the playing of reet music (including nights hosted by our pals Drew Redmon and Josh Styles). This second WHAM-O featured the ultra-fine, ultra-hip record-spinning of ultra-beatnik Kid Congo Powers.


Many Boogaloo Bag readers will be familiar with Mr. Powers for his guitar-slinging prowess. He has played in several outstanding teen combos, including The Cramps, The Gun Club and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. His current outfit, Kid Congo and the Pink Monkeybirds, is as good as any band he’s ever been in. (Next time the band comes to your town, go see it—highly recommended by the Boogaloo Bag. The group often includes songs by The Cramps and/or The Gun Club… and why not? Who else has the pedigree to play these songs in an authentic rock’n’roll manner?)


The Kid is also a fabulous DJ. This guy hung out with Lux Interior and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, for chrisakes, so you know some good taste got rubbed off on Mr. Powers. Indeed, at WHAM-O WATUSI, The Kid played some fabulous tracks (some of them noted below) that delighting attendees who danced the night way with glee and ecstasy!

This was a reunion of sorts for The Kid and WHAM-O host Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. They have known each other since 1976, when the teen-aged Mr. Powers ran the West Coast Ramones fan club and the Phastman was trying to run his fanzine Back Door Man. They were introduced by one of the most fabulous human beings who ever walked this planet: Sue Sawyer. She was employed by ABC Records (distributor of Sire Records and The Ramones at the time). She wanted BDM to feature The Ramones (which it did) and she insisted Phast Phreddie meet the future Kid Congo Powers. Kid and Phast Phreddie have been pals since—perhaps not the best of pals, but they always appreciated each other’s endeavors and enjoyed seeing each other whenever fate placed them in the same room. Which, over the years, has not been often enough.

Here’s a story: During 1980, Phast Phreddie was a regular DJ at Madam Wong’s West in Santa Monica, CA. Sometimes, bands played in the room where he spun his records. Once, he was able to get The Gun Club a gig there. Lux and Ivy of The Cramps—as well as members of The Blasters and several other LA luminaries—attended the show. Soon after, The Kid was bangin’ guitar for The Cramps, that greatest of all psycho trash’n’roll bands!

Kid Congo and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus make WHAM-O WATUSI jump!

Kid Congo and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus make WHAM-O WATUSI jump!

On August 14, Kid and Phast celebrated their evening together by playing super boss records all night long, diggin’ each other’s scene and wowing each other as well as those in attendance at WHAM-O WATUSI. It was a total gas. Recently, Mr. Powers has moved closer to The City and so readers can expect him to make appearances in the Boogaloo Bag—and at WANG DANG DOODLE events—with more regularity.

Also, the Bootleg Bar folks were so enthralled with the WHAM-O WATUSI that it asked that it return on the fifth of September. Be there and dig the happening, with super guest DJ Todd-O-Phonic Todd!!!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus:

  • The Bikinis–Crazy Vibrations (Top Rank)
  • Jack Costanzo–Barracuda (Liberty)
  • Coo-Coo Rachas–Track Down (Capitol)
  • Ronnie Isle & the Yo Yo’s–Hassie (OKeh)
  • Theresa Blake–I Quit My Knockin’ (Excello)
  • Jaycee Hill–Bump! (Epic)
  • The Blind Boys of Alabama–Satisfied With Jesus (Gospel)
  • Bob Landers with Willie Joe and His Unitar–Cherokee Dance (Specialty)
  • Lowell Fulson–Can She (Checker)
  • Bo Diddley–Do the Frog (Checker)
  • The Dappers–Chicken Twist (Foxie)
  • The Satellite Band–Party at Vern’s (Delcro)
  • The Midnighters–Work With Me Annie (Federal)
  • Rick & the Ravens featuring Ray Daniels–Henrietta (Aura)
  • Chris Montez–No, No, No (Monogram)
  • The Campus Queens–Do the U.T. – Part I (Gone)
  • Sorensen Brothers–Do the Ska (With Me) (Tip)
  • The Jesters–Do the Twirl (Al-Stan)
  • Little Joe & the Thrillers–Let’s Do the Slop (OKeh)
  • Vince Taylor and his Playboys–Jet Black Machine (Palette; UK)
  • Larry Williams with Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson and the Stormville Shakers–Slow Down (Decca; UK)
  • Johnny Jay–Sugar Doll (Mercury)
  • Pat Hunt–Why Do You Do Me Like That (Grand)
  • Boots Brown y Sus Blockbusters–Cerveza (RCA Victor; Mexico)
  • Ruth Brown and her Rhythmakers with Orchestra–Mambo Baby (Atlantic)
  • Joe Liggins and His Orchestra–They Were Doin’ the Mambo (Mercury)
  • The Frantics–The Whip (Dolton)
  • Cannibal and the Headhunters–Nau Ninny Nau (Rampart)
  • R. Sayre – The Vacant Lot–Don’t You Just Know It (LTD.)
  • The Night Caps–Keep on Runnin’ (Arc)
  • The Teemates–Moving Out (Audio Fidelity)
  • King Coleman–The Boo Boo Song (Part 1) (King)
  • J.J. Jackson and the Jackaels–Oo-Ma-Liddi (Prelude)
  • Trini Lopez–Sinner Not a Saint (United Modern)
  • Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads–The Goo Goo Muck (Audan)
  • Sammy Lee and the Summits–Hey Joe Where You Gonna Go? (Rampart)
  • Las Moscas–Vamos a Nadar (C’mon and Swim) (CBS; Peru)
  • Los Rockin’ Devils–Gritos (Shout) (Orfeon; Mexico)
  • Los Johnny Jets–Fiebre (CBS; Mexico)
  • The 4 Seasons–Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Vee Jay)
  • Fat Daddy Holmes–Where Yo Is (Jet)
  • The Invictas–The Hook (Sahara)
  • Wanderlea–Vou Lhe Contar (CBS; Brazil)
  • The Yardbirds–I’m Not Talking (Epic)
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs–Go-Go Girl (M-G-M; Greece)
  • Link Wray and His Ray Men–Jack the Ripper (Swan)
  • The Primitives–The Ostrich (Pickwick)
  • Ambertones–I Can Only Give You Everything (Rayjack)
  • Dave Clark Five–All Night Long (Epic)
  • Dick and Libby Halleman and Their Society Orchestra vs Tom and Ray–Pizza Sure Is Good (Summit)
  • Little Richard–Jenny Jenny (Specialty)
  • The Dave Clark Five–Don’t Let Me Down (Epic)
  • The Wailers–Dirty Robber (Golden Crest)
  • The Panics featuring Sonny Richards–Bony Moronie (Chancellor)
  • Billy Ward and His Dominoes–Have Mercy Baby (King)
  • Chuck Berry–Reelin and Rocking (Chess)
  • The Dartells–Hot Pastrami (Dot)
  • The Uptowns–Loud and Clear Part II (Shangri-La)
  • Jerry Palmer–The Ice Cream Man (Gaiety)
  • Tony Valletta Trio–Garbage Man (Fantasy)
  • Sam Butera and the Witnesses–She’s a Kookamunger (Nice Talkin’ to You Baby) (Dot)
  • Bill McElhiney & His Orchestra–Tequila (M-G-M)
  • The Who–I Can’t Explain (Decca)
  • The Troggs–Lost Girl (CBS; UK)
  • The Sonics–Don’t Believe in Christmas (Norton)
  • The Dave Clark Five–Any Way You Want It (Epic)
  • The Premiers–Annie Oakley (Warner Bros.)
  • Nat Kendrick and the Swans–Dish Rag Part – 2 (Dade)
  • Bobby Davis–Damper Down (M-Pac)
  • Joe Penny–Bip a Little Bop a Lot (Federal)
  • The Beatniks–Beatnik’s Blues (Roulette)

None of these records are for sale. The following photos are of some of the records played by Kid Congo Powers at WHAM-O WATUSI. Click on them and they will big-o-fi via an exclusive electronic process:


Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy "Jeannie" Gardner swings as Kid Congo spins a rocker at WHAM-O WATUSI!

Boogaloo Bag photographer Nancy “Jeannie” Gardner swings as Kid Congo spins a rocker at WHAM-O WATUSI!

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