musicology #385


Modernist #13

(Gene Chandler – You Threw A Lucky Punch)

After two days of rest themusicologist is coming down the home straight for the Mod/ernist theme this week so I’ve decided to fly by the seat of my pants , (so to speak), and lay down some cuts that might not have been played in the critical years, (1961-1963), but I’m sure would have been if known about. As the theme has unfolded and due in part to the dialogue I feel like I am tuning in to the pace of the music that moved the crowd. As Tony Blue said ‘Shout & Shimmy’ was too fast whereas all the commentators have, (independantly), identified some of the key sounds and what has emerged is that they are all of a certain tempo. No surprise really as my own experience of the various scenes that I have been privliged to have been involved in over the years have all marched to one special beat, (whatever that may be), seems like the ‘biggest’ cuts of the theme so far are all what I would call Mid Tempo…or to put it another way…the ‘Perfect Beat’. Not too fast or too slow but just the right pace to make your feet move without forcing them to. The Cats know the beat of which I speak….the one that would ‘raise the dead’ and compel them to throw whatever ‘shapes’ were in their bones. Of course there are some whose sense of timing and natural rhythm is a joy to behold but even their best is brought out by the same beat that seems to catch all of our dancing feet and moves us onto the floor. Today’s cut is, (for me), in that groove and is also the original to the Mary Wells cut ‘You Beat Me To The Punch’, (musicology #376), sung by none other than the ‘Duke Of Earl’ himself, Gene Chandler whose name, (or if not name then certainly his musical contribution), should be known to Mod/ernists everywhere. Recorded for and released on the Vee Jay label in the magic year 1962.

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6 thoughts on “musicology #385

  1. your right about this being the right groove, the perfect beat to jive to, certainly in the early ’60s…..my parents went to the Lyceum in the late 1940’s and they danced a fast jive that they called the jitterbug, my older cousins jived to a fast rock n roll beat in the 50’s…but this mid tempo was ‘ours’..it allowed quite fancy footwork and intricate armwork whilst looking ‘cool’ and unruffled which was ofcourse the ONLY way to look ! I dont remember this song being played, but I certainly remember Gene Chandlers magical Duke of Earl..huge at the Lyceum.

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  2. Tempo. Beat. Sound. Dancing. That’s it.

    Words came later!

    And this one by Gene Chandler, like Chris Kenner’s Land Of 1000 Dances, was up there amoung the main “blagging” numbers at one of my regular, local(?), obscure, haunts. The Name Of The Place? Greenlands. Camden Town.

    “Come on, let me tell you where it’s at,
    Oh come on, let me tell you where it’s.
    The name of the place is I like it like that……… “

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    1. You’re right there Steve..looking at the 45 it was written by Smokey Robinson, Ronald White, (who penned the Mary Wells), and Don Covey so no doubt that Mary Wells was the original and The Duke answered it !!

      so you live…so you learn…

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  3. On “blagging”.

    Blagging : to blag. Also pulling : to pull. A term used among Mod boys denoting their “murky” intentions with a certain member of the opposite/fairer sex i.e. “I’m gonna try an’ blag that sort/bird (girl)” and, if successful, “I blagged it” or, if unsuccessful, *”nah, she cocked a deaf ‘un”…. hahahaha.
    (please note the the derogatory “it”. Sad, demeaning, but true; true in as much as it was commonly used in male company).
    It’s also a term not to be confused with the precursory “chatting up” of said same “bird”. And, by the way, a term that had nought to do with robbery (not unless the thought/intention of “de-flowering” was a crime that is)

    *nah, she cocked a deaf ‘un translated means “no she blanked me”…. any the wiser?

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