Monday, March 21, 2011

Gary U.S. Bonds

Gary U.S. Bonds Not all rock and roll is party music, and not all party music is rock and roll, but when the two worlds intersect, you get Gary U.S. Bonds. Everything he did, (all his hits, anyway) is about non-stop dancing, drinking, pass the punchbowl, let’s have a good time. And it all sounds like it’s coming from a cheap transistor radio; it doesn’t matter how good the sound system is.

All this comes from a single LP called Greatest Hits and credited to U.S. Bonds, no “Gary” credited anywhere. And Gary is the only part of his name that’s real. It looks to me like this album was realeased c early 1962, as it has all his hits up to that point, and then it was reissued with a slightly changed track listing, including a track from 1967. So it’s all a bit weird.

Gary U.S. Bonds:

New Orleans – Party central, to hear Gary sing it. When did they move the Big Easy to Mississippi? Oh wait, no it’s down “the” Mississippi, not down “to” Mississippi. Sorry. And it’s not easy typing “Mississippi” so many times. From the fall / winter of 1960. Neil Diamond had a crack at this during his tenure with Bang Records.
Not Me – Who then? A hit for The Orlons, not for Gary.
Quarter To Three – Perhaps the ultimate party record. One assumes we are talking about AM, as in time, not radio. This bears no small resemblance to the musical refrain in Runaround Sue by Dion. The rhythm here isn’t frantic, but there’s a syncopation going on that makes it hard to resist. Went to number 1 in the summer of 1961.
School Is Out – The ultimate celebration.. This has none of the destructive glee of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. From late summer / fall of 1961.
Dear Lady Twist – Notice it’s not Twist Baby, it’s “dear lady,” an allusion, no doubt, to the popularity the twist had won among “adults.” From the winter of 1962.
Havin’ So Much Fun – See? It’s what it’s all about…
School Is In – He celebrates the end of school, he celebrates the start of school. There is no contradiction. But what happens at exam time? From the fall of 1961.
Twist Twist Senora – This is what Chubby Checker spent his entire career aiming to achieve…From the spring of 1962.
I Dig This Station – Let’s turn on the radio… and party!!!!
Mixed Up Faculty – A bit of fun at the teachers’ expense.
Workin’ For My Baby – A bit off topic…
Gettin’ A Groove – That’s what it’s all about…

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