Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chicago Cool Breezin'

The Five Du-Tones - Outside the Record Hop (Trying to Get In)

The Five Du-Tones' crazed 1963 hit "Shake a Tail Feather," although covered more famously by artists ranging from James & Bobby Purify to Ike & Tina Turner to Ray Charles (whose version is a highlight of the soundtrack to the immortal The Blues Brothers), set the ball rolling for the Chicago group, who made a series of great recordings for George Leaner's One-Derful! label. Unfortunately, the group never reaped the benefits that "Tail Feather" should have earned them, and despite a strong live show (they were part of the Five Du-Tones Revue, which included the female group the Du-Ettes ("Please Forgive Me") and soloists Johnny Sayles and Stacey Johnson) the group would disband within a few years, with Du-Tones singers and musicians later forming other acts (two of the Du-Tones and some of the musicians would form the Southside Commission, which would have a disco hit with "Free Man"). Today's selection was the group's last single, which was released on One-Derful! in 1966. "Outside the Record Hop" has more of a 1963 than a 1966 sound, with its bluesy groove and swinging singing, but the tune builds steam as it goes along, and by the time the song reaches its happy ending it's enough to make you want to do the Jerk, Slop, Twine, and Barracuda just like the lead singer is doing!

A quick postscript - Retro-soul singer-guitarist Eli "Paperboy" Reed and his band, the True Loves, feature "Outside the Record Hop" in their newest recordings. Reed and his band are doing to '60s soul what Sharon Jones and similar artists do with '60s and '70s funk - check out his website and see and hear for yourself!

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