We've mainly been talking about Joe's recordings here on Inchiban, but today what we have for you is the best video and audio evidence available for his legendary status as a live performer. This video was recorded for a TV Special in Scandanavia in 1969, post Happy Soul, and it is 20 minutes of excellence. Great picture and sound quality, with spectacular dancing, singing, and an incredibly cooking band. Even the camera work is passable. Seriously - there are not many better live videos on YouTube than this.
Almost everything that makes JT my favorite soul guy is right here - the only thing missing is a slow "Hold What You've Got" style sermon. Check out that 1000 mph version of "Show Me"! And do not miss the workout on "Papa Was Too", where Joe defies gravity with the microphone stand.
"Man That's Your Baby", an extremely funny satire about delinquent baby daddies, is from Happy Soul. A whopping three songs from Country Soul (tune in tomorrow!) make up the bulk of the set, including the classic original, "I'll Never Do You Wrong". I love the sweat glistening on his forehead while he earnestly deadpans "I hope a sore come on my elbow/I hope a rock fall on my big toe./I love my toe/and my elbow/so you know I'll never do you wrong." Unassailable logic, that.
It all caps with a jive talkin' "Skinny Legs and All". Stick around past the credits for the best mic trick yet.
Unfortunately, the only "live" recording of Tex that's been officially released, Live and Lively, is a studio + overdub job. It's not a bad record, parts of it are, in fact, great - but it certainly isn't close to that video footage above. I can't help but think a real live album would put JT's rep up there in the highest tier, like he deserves. But, oh well. That's Life!
And what the heck - here's a crummy rip I made a couple of years ago, for my own devices, of that version of "Show Me" that leads the Joe Tex Show. Use it for your own devices.