Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Georgia Slop!

Big Al Downing - Georgia Slop

"Big" Al Downing was truly one of the most diverse musical acts of his time, having started out doing rock 'n' roll and rockabilly in the '50s and early '60s before switching to country soul later in the decade, having disco hits in the '70s, and then closing out his career as a country artist with a few Billboard chart hits and appearances at the Grand Old Opry. I'll defer to the official Big Al Downing website for Al's bio, discography and more (check out Al's "disco" pictures from the '70s). Although Al never reached the level of stardom his talent warranted, his recordings are probably only second to those of Ray Charles in their breadth. Perhaps on this blog I will feature tunes stretching across Downing's long and varied career (assuming, of course, that you, my readers, don't bail out when I put a country song on here!)

Today I'll start with one of his most popular rockin' R&B cuts of the '60s. "Georgia Slop" was a cover of a Jimmy McCracklin tune that was released on Columbia in (I believe) 1963. This is white-hot rock-n-roll here, with the rushed beat, harsh guitar and Downing's pounding away at the keys. Downing's vocal is full of warmth and good cheer, alternately belting out the story of the party at Peg Leg Lee's (gotta love the names of the characters that populate songs of this type) and then almost sensually giving dance instructions over the stop-time portions of the tune. It's fast, furious and fun - get on down with it!

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