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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Goodbye Slim Harpo

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ridin' with the Grumpy King: Broderick Crawford's 'Highway Patrol'


“Twenty-one-fifty to headquarters…What’s your ten-twenty?....Ten-four…Twenty-one-fifty by…”

If that numeral sequence is all Greek to you, you’re probably not familiar with the most utilitarian cop-show of all time. By comparison, Dragnet was high style, its dialogue sculpted like stanzas of Milton, Jack Webb’s Joe Friday a commanding presence every bit as authorial as Orson Wells. If The Untouchables was noir, Dragnet the boiled-harder reduction of a Forties radio drama, then Highway Patrol (1955-59) was the crime series that dispensed with all pretense and got down, most expediently, to the genre’s basic hood-bull transactions.

It helps that Broderick Crawford’s Lt. Dan Matthews is a gruff superior whose barked orders, issued from flapping jowls, betray nothing but an impatient drive to wrap the case pronto. Invariably, this means a quick trip to the wall map and a plan to “Put roadblocks here, here and here! Tell Twenty-one-ten to meet us there! I’m off to Centerville!” Matthews then hops into Car Twenty-one-fifty (a giant Buick) and burns rubber down open roads leading to Centerville and Capital City—which are, in reality, the palm-dotted country lanes of an as yet unsprawled San Fernando Valley.

The show’s thugs are generally great types: uncaring gunsels who’d just as soon plug a human obstacle as park illegally outside the gas station they’re robbing, and a fair amount of them are tough, good-looking dames who’d easily make a Miriam Linna bad-girls compendium. All, of course, are brought to justice, thanks to the unbeatable combination of roadblocks and Matthews’ bulky pursuit; Crawford’s weight doesn’t permit long chases, but he’s light on his tiny feet and has no problem hacking through the brush of a chaparral canyon in his dark suit and hard shoes if it means a brief shootout and swift apprehension of the perp.

Time constraints make mercy a luxury Matthews can’t afford. Wounded baddies are left to lie in the dirt, clutching exit holes. Victims are consoled with “Sorry about the loss of your husband and son, Mrs. Johnson. Now let’s get back to headquarters!” Nor is empathy or imagination wasted on the episode titles of the half-hour series: “Car Theft,” “Plane Crash,” “Released Convict.” An obvious promo tie-in with some SoCal aeronautics firm explains such riveting installments as “Desert Copter,” “Mountain Copter” and “Blast Area Copter.”

We’re talking functional, get-it-over-and-done TV. No brooding detectives, no smart-ass junior dicks, no quirky Goths manning under-lit crime labs. And each show closes with Crawford, anxious to get to his favorite after-work watering-hole, delivering a terse public-service announcement couplet—“If you care to drive, drive with care” or “Leave your blood at the blood bank, not on the highway…” Ten-four.

Now playing: on MGM DVD’s and the Antenna TV channel. Sample show:


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Slim Harpo LIVE!

David Kearns and Joe Drago recorded Slim playing live at the Sage Avenue Armory back in 1961.  The sound isn't the greatest, but it's all we've got.  Here's a sample.

Slim Harpo Live - "I'm A King Bee", "Got Love If You Want It" and "When The Saints Go Marching In"

Junco Partner

Tune it to Music To Spazz By tonight, when Dave the Spazz welcomes Lily Keber, the director of Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius Of James Booker.  Catch a screening Sunday or Monday as part of the Sound + Vision festival at the Film Society Of Lincoln Center then head to the Great Jones where WFMU DJ, Matt Fiveash will be serving up unlimited Abitas.  Also, don't miss Charles Bradley: Soul Of America, the story of Daptone's latest star, which opens the festival Friday at 6:30.  (Also streaming via itunes and highly recommended).


Monday, July 22, 2013

That's Alright Baby (Don't Start Cryin' Now)

Don't Start Cryin' Now (1961)

Slim Harpo

Blues Hangover (1960)
What A Dream 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are In-Laws Really Outlaws?

1 Art Linkletter: mother-in-law joke
2 Calvin Arnold: Mama-In-Law
3 Jimmy Witherspoon: Don't Ever Move A Woman Into Your House
4 Champion Jack Dupree: Mother-In-Law Blues
5 Bing Crosby: The Whistler's Mother In Law
6 B.K. Anderson: Mother-In-Law Cha Cha
7 Ernie K-Doe: Mother In Law (incorp. alt. & studio chatter)
8 Gary Paxton: Mother-In-Law
9 Ernie K-Doe: My Mother-In-Law (Is In My Hair Again)
10 Bo Diddley: Husband-In-Law
11 Jim Nesbitt: Husbands-In-Law
12 Charlie Rich: Hawg Jaw
13 Champion Jack Dupree wtih Mr. Bear: Lonely Road Blues
14 Jamo Thomas: Jive Mother-In-Law
15 Little Junior Parker: Mother-In-Law Blues
16 Kursaal Flyers: Monster-In-Law
17 Kui Lee: Ain't No Big Thing
18 Lee Perry: Mother-In-Law
19 Lucas & Mike Cotton Sound: Mother-In-Law
20 Jim Nesbitt: Mother-In-Law
21 Chiquita: Father-In-Law
22 James Spencer: In-Law Trouble
23 Marion Harris: Brother-In-Law Dan
24 Paul Peek: Brother-In-Law (He's A Moocher)
25 Peetie Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son-In-Law
26 The Nashville Teens: Devil-In-Law
27 The Blossoms: Son-In-Law
28 Louise Brown: Son-In-Law
29 The Satintones: You'd Make A Fine Son-In-Law
30 Edward Gates White: Mother-In-Law
31 Mack McQuire: Mother-In-Law Blues
32 Rod Bernard: My Old Mother-In-Law
33 The Allen Brothers: Mother-In-Law Blues
34 The Misfits: My Mother-In-Law
35 The Volumes: Oh My Mother-In-Law
36 Clarence Carter: Mother-In-Law
37 The Brochures: My In-Laws Are Outlaws
38 Sir Douglas Quintet: Are In-Laws Really Outlaws?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mondo Topless Radio Extravaganza

Thanks to my pal Phil for sending along these fantastic screen captures of radio shots from Russ Meyer's Mondo Topless

Thursday, July 11, 2013

James Moore aka Slim Harpo

Slim's first record was produced by Jay Miller for Ernie Young's Excello Records out of Nashville.  Jay claims it was his idea for Slim to have a gimmicky, nasal sounding voice.  "I'm A King Bee" b/w "I Got Love If You Want It" is a good place to start.

Friday, July 5, 2013

July Is Slim Harpo Month

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Freedom Wins Again

Thanks to Jim Blanchard for sharing this patriotic themed comp!

Get it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

AdiĆ³s, Black Belt Jones

From FUNKY CRIMES: A radio spot for BLACK BELT JONES (R.I.P. Jim Kelly), plus "Get It" by Wilmer & the Dukes.

Get it, Jim...