They were equally adept at producing
jump tempo R&B dance records
and dreamy doo-wop ballads.
and as the Marathons.
Shady, I saw the Vibrations
on American Bandstand four
times. They appeared on the
program to promote their
latest records which included
"The Watusi," "Stranded in
the Jungle," "Let's Pony Again,"
a fun dance song that won me
over, and "Peanut Butter," the
first song in today's post.
"Peanut Butter" was a parody
of "Hully Gully," a 1960 dance
record by the Olympics. The
Vibrations recorded the song
in 1961 on Arvee Records
using the name the Marathons, this while already under
contract with Checker. The release became a top 20 hit
but resulted in a contract dispute. In order to make the
legal hassles go away the recording was reissued on
Argo Records with the print on the label reading:
"Vibrations named by others as Marathons."
Ron, no matter how you slice it "Peanut Butter" sticks to your ribs and pleases the palate. Now I've got one for you that might seem a little white-bread based on the title alone but, when when you listen to it, I'm betting you'll hear what I hear, a record that kicks serious butt. For decades I had a built-in bias against singer - songwriter Tommy Roe. I loved his early rockabilly material and his bubblegum pop, but I began to have a problem with Tommy when he started dabbling in lighter weight material aimed at the kiddie krowd - icky nursery rhyme ditties like "Jack and Jill" and "Dizzy."
Recently I changed my tune when I stopped
getting hung up on the title and lyrics and
started listening with a different set of ears.
For the first time I noticed and appreciated
the musicianship and groovy arrangement
and concluded that "Jam Up Jelly Tight"
is a great record. Here's our friend
Music Mike with the intro.
chart position #110)
Ron, I'm sure you and many
other readers remember the
mellow hit record "Mr. Blue"
by the Fleetwoods.
Vic Dana (March 1965,
highest chart pos. #10)
Shady, this next song is one that
I didn't know until the Delchords
started singing it frequently at the
Oaks in the early years. It's one of
the best of the Vibrations' earlier
classics. It was nice seeing this
performed live at the Raven on the
several occasions that the Vibes
appeared there always backed up
by the Magnificent Men, and
enjoying the Mag Men's sets while
they took breaks between theirs.
As I'm sure you know, Ron, girl names were used in the titles of many popular recordings released during the 1950s and 60s. Peggy Sue, Susie-Q, Denise, Donna, Sheila, Barbara Ann, Patti Ann, Judy, Sherry, Marlena, Dawn, Ronnie, Marianne, Carrie Ann, Bernadette, Tracy, Sally, Mary and Linda are a just a few that come to mind. I love to play seldom heard nuggets on SDMM and here's one of my favorites - "Linda Lu." It was recorded in 1959 by Ray Sharpe, a black artist who sounded white and performed rockabilly. Ray's oft covered "Linda Lu" made the Billboard top 50 and featured backing by the twangy guitar of Duane Eddy.
chart pos. #46)
Lenny Welch earned a top 5 hit with the romantic
pop ballad "Since I Fell for You." The Harptones
recorded another great version of the song and so
did The Vibrations, theirs a cool up tempo variation.
influences and one of their favorite groups. Locally
our Delchords also used to perform this Vibrations
called "Paradise," one of the earliest recordings
by the Temptations. "Paradise" was released as
the A side of a single (b/w "Slow Down Heart")
in late September 1962. It lasted just one week
on the Bubbling Under chart and then vanished,
reappearing in March of 1964 as a track on the
the similarities between your Vibes record
and this one by the Temps.
chart pos. #122)
sensational three-parter spotlighting
an outstanding 50s/60s vocal group,