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♫Shake A Tamborine Go An’ Git’cher Sef A Whistle…!

In Film, Music Education, Popular Music, School Daze, Songs On Saturday, Thats' Life on March 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Hellooooo… Everybully!

And once again to this week’s edition of Songs on Saturday!

Gotta lub . I mean I was listenin’ to some’a Her real old, OLE skool stuff and was just kickin’ it wit:

Shake a tamborine go an’ git’cha Sef a whistle and blow!

BOL! I decided I was gonna do SOS this week on Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-Go.

See, back in the day, any musician worth his hoppin’ john had a title that clearly and succinctly characterized his musical style. James Brown was the Godfather of Soul. Aretha Franklin was the undisputed Queen of Soul, (not Tina Turner, Beyonce, you dumb @&%$!) David Ruffin was “The Voice.” I don’t know what Diddy Dirty Money means. Do you? But any hoo…

NPR beat me to the punch! NPR’s listener’s also rated Cee-Lo Green‘s F@ck You #25 on the years best list of 2010, best new artist. The commentator, Carrie Brownstein, actually mentions the banned expletive on the air!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to soldier through an ad at the top of the clip, then after that, drag the play counter to then further endure Ms Brownstein characterize F@ck You, clearly a pop tune, as a “soul song.” A soul song! Now I never graduated from no fancy college, nor do I work fur the venerable NPR, but Ms Brownstein needs to listen to David Ruffin or Bobby Byrd, or James Brown or Chuck Brown. And maybe watch PBS’s Eyes On The Prize.

NPR got it right about go go music, though. When most People think of Go-Go, they generally think of scantily clad white women in vinyl, white, fringed boots, gyrating in cages or on raised platforms.

But if you were black in the 1970’s and early 80’s and you were in DC or anywhere close to it (She was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA), you were grinding at basement parties or at The Rathskeller to the tight, brassy horns, relentless funk rhythms and call-and-response, syncopated hand claps and step-dancing beats of Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers. Whooooo! You’d be leapin’ straight outta your seat on the one with this, Her personal favorite and mine, 1974’s Blow Your Whistle! Take a listen:

Talkin’ to the kids and the bicycle riders
Talkin to the hippies and the Watergate hiders
Talkin’ to People gittin’ down at the go go
Shake a tamborine go an’ git’cher Sef a whistle an’ blow!
Shake a tamborine an’ blow
Any kine’a whistle let’s  blow
Sock it to your whistle now blow!
Better get diploma from the hippest school y’all
Better get religion don’t you be nobody’s fool y’all
Whoever’s got a dollar’s got more than me
I just wanna holla when my soul feels free now blow!
Git’cher Sef a whistle an’ blow
Sock it to your whistle  now blow
Git’cher Sef a whistle now blow
Just blow (Hit it)
Sock it to your whistle now blow
Let’s blow
Now blow (hit it)
Talkin’ to the People in the breeze overseas now blow (Hit it)
Sock it to your whistle an’ blow (Hit it!)
Git’cher Sef a whistle an’ blow
Git’cher Sef a whistle an’ blow
Any kine’a whistle an’ blow (Hit it!)
Let’s blow
Shake a tamborine an’ blow
Sock it to your whistle an’ blow
Hit it!!!!
Shake a tamborine an’ go an’ git’cha Sef a whistle an’ blow!

Git’cher Sef a whistle an’ blow

Any kine’a whistle just blow
Talkin to the People in the breeze overseas just blow
Hit it!
Sock it to  your whistle
Let’s blow (Hit it!)
Let’s blow
Blow Blow Blow
Just blow
Better get religion don’t’cha be nobody’s fool now blow!

That just gets all up in your kidneys, doesn’t it? It’s a grrrreat tune. Pawfectly produced, nothing over done, even the vocal interjections feel unforced and spontaneous, not overdone (yeeah yeah yeah), repetitive (yeeah yeah yeah) and ridicules (yeah!).  And the punch and power of the horn punctuations– Are– KICKIN’ IT!!!

The bongo’s ROCK! The jam is slammin’! You just wanna jump up and dance. Even today, some 30 years later! The music makes you feel good, too, and the still fresh, intricate, interestingly wrought instrumentals keep your ear curious. Fun, fun, fun!

Chuck Brown’s go go style clearly influenced the dance track, Da Butt (by EU or Experience Unlimited) in  Spike Lee‘s 1988 feature film, School Daze. 1979’s Bustin’ Loose, while I enjoy the tune, fur me it was a skosh less interesting. It was probably one of his most commercially successful tunes and it still rocks the slammin’, signature pow effect of the horns and the African-Latin Caribbean influence of the bongo drums. Many People mistakenly associate the tune with the 1981 Richard Pryor film of the same name. Take a listen:

Brown’s formidable vocals commingling with the warm, familiar patina of gospel preacher is both powerfully authoritative and sexy. I could listen to Chuck Brown’s vocals fur hours, and believe me, livin’ with Her, I have!

So if you feel like goin’ back– way back–  kickin’ it ole skool and  your  musical appetite has been whetted just a bit, you’ll give a listen to some vintage Chuck Brown. 

Click on the image here to sample Chuck Brown’s music at Learn about what Chuck Brown is up to musically today! Visit his website fur concert dates, merchandise and more: Now go go and  DANCE!

This has been ThatOne fur Songs On Saturday. See you next week. Until then…

Goodwill Energies I project
Upon each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life today.


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