Dig it! GO Mechanism Number Eight.
The GO Mechanism is the streaming radio show hosted by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. It swings periodically on the Luxuria Music website. Then it will be listed as a podcast also on the Luxuria Music website for about four weeks before it will be posted onto the Mixclouds, and then below this post here in the Boogaloo Bag. Phast Phreddie doesn’t back announce his records; it takes too much time away from playing music. Instead, all of the information a normal DJ may discuss while on the air, is posted here in the Boogaloo Bag. GO Mechanism Number Eight is scheduled to air on luxuriamusic.com on Saturday May 7, 2022 as a Saturday Night Special feature at 7:00pm on the West Coast, 10:00pm on the East Coast.
Here’s the dirt.
In the Science Corner we look at the past, present and future of a musical composition: “You Don’t Love Me.” This is a blues song by Willie Cobbs that has it’s roots in a Bo Diddley song, it became a blues standard and then an international reggae hit.
The Bo Diddley song is called “She’s Fine, She’s Mine.” The title is never sung during the song, which makes it confusing because Bo Diddley also had a song called “You Don’t Love Me (You Don’t Care),” lines that are contained in “She’s Fine, She’s Mine.” Other important elements of “She’s Fine” is the guitar riff and a wordless vocal. The song was first issued as the B-side to “Diddley Daddy.”
Willie Cobbs was born near Smale, Arkansas, a small town located between Little Rock and Memphis. In the fifties, he made his way to Chicago where he leaned to play harmonica from Little Walter and tried to establish himself on the fertile blues scene there. He befriended the pianist Eddie Boyd and by 1960 the two returned to Arkansas where they played in clubs. In 1961, Cobbs and Boyd recorded “You Don’t Love Me” in Memphis. The song contains a few lines from Bo Diddley’s “She’s Fine,” notably, “You don’t love me, I know” which became the chorus. Cobbs recording added more lyrics and cleaned up the guitar riff used by Bo Diddley and his harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold. By doing this, Willie Cobbs created a new song.
The record was originally issued on Mojo Records, a label that was at least partially owned by the rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley. The record started to make some noise in the Memphis area and it got picked up by several other companies: Ruler, Home of the Blues and Vee Jay, to name a few. The song was never technically a hit—it didn’t sell that many records—but it became a blues standard when so many others re-recorded it.
Before we get into other cover versions, let’s look at another issue. Billy Lee Riley—who claimed to have been the guitarist on the recording, though he is not credited in discographies—assembled a band called The Megatons and recorded an instrumental version of “You Don’t Love Me.” Riley retitled it “Shimmy Shimmy Walk” and took writer credit for it. The song was released on the Dodge label and picked up by Checker, a Chess Records subsidiary and the label that Bo Diddley recorded for. (It is this song that is used as the bed music for this edition of The Science Corner.) This fact is made even more interesting because it is Billy Lee Riley and The Megatons who appear on eight instrumental tracks on Surfin’ With Bo Diddley, though not credited as such; the whole album is credited as a Bo Diddley album, though he’s only on four songs. A re-recording of “Shimmy Shimmy Walk” appears on the album as “Piggy Back Surfers.”
Another Memphis rockabilly/pop singer named Tommy Ray Tucker cut a version of “You Don’t Love Me” under the name of Tommy Raye. It was issued on XL then Pen Records; both Memphis labels. This record, also, was not a hit. However, for some reason, many of the cover versions of “You Don’t Love Me” list Raye as its composer—including ones by Sonny & Cher (on their first LP), Gary Walker of The Walker Brothers who had a Top Thirty hit with it in England and The Starlets, a female garage band who cut it for Tower Records.
The song has become a blues standard—most likely because early on it was re-recorded by Magic Sam and Junior Wells. In the rock world, The Allman Brothers cut a nineteen minute long version of it for their Live at Fillmore album, Steve Stills and Al Kooper cut it for their Super Sessions album and the psychedelic L.A. band Kaleidoscope have it on its Beacon From Mars LP.
Somehow the song got on a boat to Jamaica where the producer Coxsone Dodd recorded a rocksteady version of the song by Dawn Penn. Her version became popular on the island around 1967 or so. By the end of the sixties, Penn was no longer singing. However, in the early nineties she was coaxed out of retirement and she re-recorded the song in a more modern dance hall style and it became a pretty big international hit. Dawn Penn took writing credit for the song.
But it doesn’t stop there. Penn’s version of the song inspired contemporary R&B singers Rihanna and Beyoncé to also record the song. Talk about a song with legs! The Boogaloo Bag writers are unsure who Beyoncé credited as the songwriter, but the Rihanna album credits both Willie Cobbs and Elias McDaniel aka Bo Diddley.
For the spoken word portion of the program, we have asked the New York musician Oweinama Biu to recite some poems that were written during the First World War: “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen, “I Have a Rendezvous With Death” by Alan Seeger and “Grass” by Carl Sandburg. The producers of The GO Mechanism felt it was important that these poems—and others like them—are heard during this time of strife in the world.
“Headless Heroes” was written and recorded by Eugene McDaniels. This is the same person who, as Gene McDaniels, had several pop hits during the sixties: “Tower of Strength,” “A Hundred Pounds of Clay,” “Point of No Return.” By the end of the decade, he concentrated more on writing songs, mostly those that are socially aware. One of them was “Compared to What,” which was first recorded by Les McCann for his 1966 album Les McCann Plays the Hits. McCann and his group—with guest Eddie Harris on tenor saxophone—performed it at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969, which was recorded and released on the LP Swiss Movement. This version became very popular and increased the awareness of McDaniels as an important songwriter. The song has since been recorded countless times. Indeed, a reggae version of “Compared to What” is included later in this edition of The GO Mechanism. That version was recorded by Jerry Jones, an American singer who recorded in Jamaica.
The melody of “My Generation” is hardly recognizable in this instrumental version by Manfred Mann. Those guys knew how to re-arrange a song, that’s for sure.
Guem was an Algerian percussionist. The producers of The GO Mechanism are fond of people who bang on shit!!
There are well over one hundred recordings of “Caravan” by Duke Ellington—usually with his orchestra. We’ve included one here, a live version where the Duke introduces some of the band members at the beginning; the bass player and members of the horn section who provided some percussion activity.
One of The GO Mechanism producers’ favorite on-line radio shows is that of Dennis Diken, the drummer for The Smithereens. His show, called Denny’s Den, airs on Wednesdays on the WFMU Rock and Soul stream (2pm to 4pm East Coast time). His show bears witness to his intelligence, humor, and excellent taste in music. He closes his show each week with “Hot Tips” by Jon Thomas—a fantastic R&B organ workout. However, Diken uses it as bed music as he ends his show—he talks over it. The track is presented here without any talking.
Jon Thomas was a Cincinnati musician who played on many studio dates for King Records; it is he on the piano for Little Willie John’s original version of “Fever.” Thomas’ song “Heartbreak” was recorded by Little Willie John, James Brown, Dee Clark and Thomas had his own minor hit with it. Jon Thomas made several cool records, but his greatest achievement is most likely the cover for his album, Big Beat on the Organ, which contains “Hot Tips.”
Wganda Kenya was an Afro-Funk group from Colombia that was popular during the seventies and eighties. The group’s song played on this installment of The GO Mechanism is misspelled on the Mexican pressing; it should be “Tifit Hayed.”
The one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the great bass player and composer Charles Mingus took place on April 22, 2022. In his honor, we will hear a portion of his extended composition “Cumbia & Jazz Fusion.” Released in 1978, this is proof that Mingus was still composing great music up until the time of his death in 1979. Included is the first eleven minutes of the twenty-eight minute track.
“La Mano” by Dámaso Pérez Prado comes from an unknown source. Sorry.
Lou Courtney (real name: Louis Pegues) was a soul singer, songwriter and producer who is a favorite around the Boogaloo Bag Headquarters. He’s a legendary fellow of sorts, who rarely cracked the Top 40 R&B charts but made some fabulous records while attempting to do so. He also wrote songs that other folks recorded, such as “Do the Freddie” by Freddy & the Dreamers. There’s a guy on the Youtubes who presents a pretty good overview of his career. For this edition of The GO Mechanism, a song from Courtney’s album Skate Now/Shing-A-Ling called “Psychedelic Shing-A-Ling” has been selected. This stereo version sounds to our ears as if it is an American version of the Jamaican dub music. The track on the mono LP has a lot less echo. Perhaps that version will be presented in a future GO Mechanism.
The program closes with a timely song by reggae musician Lloyd Parks. He got his start in the rocksteady vocal duo The Termites. Parks was a bass player who became very active with session work but found time to cut solo records, including an album called Girl in the Morning, which included the song “Stop the War.”
Here is a complete track listing of all the records played in this edition of The GO Mechanism:
• Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In (King)
• Eric Dolphy—Gazzelloni (Blue Note; from LP Out to Lunch)
• Benny Poole—I Can Dig It (Cascade Sound)
• Eugene McDaniels—Headless Heroes (Atlantic; from LP Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse)
• Manfred Mann—My Generation (His Master’s Voice; UK ; from LP Soul of Mann)
• The Mighty Duke—Racial Segregation (Mace; from LP Caribbean Carnival)
• Oliver Nelson—Alto-Itis (New Jazz; from LP Screamin’ the Blues)
• Living Guitars—All Day and All of the Night (Camden; from LP Teen Beat Discotheque)
• 101 Strings—Karma Sitar (A/S)
• The Yardbirds—Hot House of Omagarashid (Epic; from LP Over Under Sideways Down)
• Guem—Racine (Le Chant Du Monde; France; from LP Percussions)
• Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra—Caravan (Verve; from LP Soul Call)
• Dave “Baby” Cortez—Hula Hoop (Roulette)
• Jerry Jones—Compared to What (Studio One; Jamaica)
• Jon Thomas—Hot Tips (Mercury; from LP Big Beat on the Organ)
• Wganda Kenya—Tipit Hayed (Peerless; Mexico)
• Johnny Harris Orchestra—Lulu’s Theme (Warner Bros.; Canada)
• Charles Mingus—Cumbia & Jazz Fusion (Atlantic; edit from LP Cumbia & Jazz Fusion)
***Bo Diddley—She’s Fine, She’s Mine (Checker)
***Megatons—Shimmy Shimmy Walk (Dodge) [Science Corner bed music]
***Willie Cobbs—You Don’t Love Me (Home of the Blues)
***Dawn Penn—You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No); (Coxsone; Jamaica)
• Keith Mansfield & His Orchestra—Boogaloo (Epic)
• Dámaso Pérez Prado—La Mano ()
• Vivian Reed—Shape of Things to Come (Epic)
• Lou Courtney—Psychedelic Shing-a-ling (Riverside; from LP Skate Now/Shing-a-ling)
• Titanic—Sultana (Epic)
• Horace Silver Trio with Art Blakey—Message From Kenya (Blue Note; from LP Message From Kenya)
• Chris Powell & His Five Blue Flames—I Come From Jamaica (OKeh)
• Menahan Street Band—The Duke (Dunham)
• The Mothers of Invention—Hungry Freaks Daddy (Verve; from LP Freak Out)
• Ralph “Soul” Jackson—Sunshine of Your Love (Atlantic)
• Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (Boogaloo edit—Curtom; from LP Superfly)
• Lloyd Parks—Stop the War Now (Trojan; from LP Girl in the Morning)
• Bonzo Dog Band—Slush (United Artists)
Spoken word poems were recited by Oweinama Biu. These were all written as a response to World War One. They are:
“I Have a Rendezvous With Death” by Alan Seeger
“Grass” by Carl Sandburg
“Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen
We thank the Luxuria Music People for the opportunity to present The GO Mechanism whenever it becomes available. Luxuria Music is a listener-supported affair and The GO Mechanism producers and the Boogaloo Bag writers strongly suggest that they are supported. This edition of The GO Mechanism will be available as a podcast soon after its initial air-date of May 7, 2022 as the Saturday Night Special broadcast 5/8/2022. After about three or four weeks, it will magically appear in the Mixclouds and right here…