and made them their own.
the Marathons aka the Jayhawks,
one of the best and most versatile
Shady, the Los Angeles
based group's biggest
hit as the Vibrations was
"The Watusi" in 1961.
That same year they also
released the hit record
"Peanut Butter" using the
name The Marathons.
The act got started in the
mid 50s as The Jayhawks.
They scored their earliest
hit on Flash Records with
"Stranded in the Jungle,"
the follow-up to their first
single release "Counting
My Teardrops" b/w
"The Devil's Cousin."
in the Jungle" was covered even more successfully by
the Cadets, another fine Rhythm & Blues group that also
released records under the alternate name the Jacks.
Here is the Jayhawks original which cracked the top 30
in the summer of 1956.
From the name Jayhawks it's only a hop, skip and a jump
to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Alice Cooper of the 1950s.
Hawkins was nicknamed a black Vincent Price for his ghoulish stage performances in which he emerged from a coffin and performed with macabre props that included a smoking skull on a stick and rubber snakes. As the story goes Hawkins and his band members were all drunk when they recorded "I Put a Spell on You." Regardless the studio session yielded Hawkins' biggest career hit and the record became a million seller even though it never appeared on the Billboard or Cash Box charts. Many radio stations refused to play the record because of its voodoo theme and because Hawkins' drunken grunts were considered sexually suggestive.
* TABOO THEME (CHECK)
* RECORDED WHILE IN AN ALTERED STATE (CHECK)
* ANIMAL SOUNDS THAT MADE THE CHURCH LADY
CLUTCH HER HANKY AND GRAB HER HEART (CHECK)
of the Vibrations' hit "The Watusi," was especially a favorite
at the Oaks. I like it as well, if not better, than the A-Side.
(March 1961, uncharted B side of "The Watusi")
Ron, I turned your
title around and I'm
countin' flowers on
the wall with the
Shady, the last single the
Vibrations waxed for the Checker
label was called "Dancing Danny,"
a great piece that our local
Delchords used to perform.
Ron, I'm thinking of
another Danny who's
struggling to hold back
his tears. Know why?
his little angel is getting married today.
We'll see you back here for
the Pt. 3 finale coming soon!