From the Stacks

From The Stacks: ‘Copulating Rhythm, Volume 2’

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I never pass up compilations of dirty (or druggy) blues and jazz songs. Every generation has its shocking songs. For the Guys In Black Tee Shirts Who Jam it was tracks like KISS’s “Larger Than Life” (“My love is too much too hold”), Alice Cooper’s “Nurse Rozetta” (“I’m suddenly twice my size / My pants are all wet inside”) and Uncle Ted’s sweet shout out to all that “Nashville pussy” on Double Live Gonzo. My daughter’s generation gets “Smell Yo Dick” by Riskay, which seems like a downward trend to me, but that’s what parents are supposed to think.

Each generation thinks that it invented not only the dirty song but sex itself, but make no mistake: Grandma and Grandpa were getting down, and so were their Grandma and Grandpa, and on and on all the way back into prehistory when somewhere in the primordial ooze the first strains of “Smell Your Amoeba” were hummed.

Copulating Blues Volume 2 doesn’t go quite that far back, but who wants to listen to horny plankton anyway? Here we get the cream of the dirty talkin’ 1920s-30s crop, starting with Georgia White’s (aka Georgia Lawson’s) “Get ‘Em From the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)” and closing with the truly legendary Bessie Smith singing “I’m Wild About That Thing.” All in you get 16 randy tracks for your vinyl dollar, including:

1. Georgia White: “Get ‘Em From The Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)”
2. Blind Willie And Partner: “Southern Can Mama”
3. The Hokum Boys: “Let Me Pat That Thing”
4. Ethel Waters: “My Handy Man”
5. The Chocolate Dandies: “Six Or Seven Times”
6. James Stump Johnson: “The Duck’s Yas-Yas-Yas”
7. Miss Edith Wilson: “My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More”
8. Chicago Swingers: “I Wonder Who’s Boogiein’ My Woogie Now”
9. Blind Boy Fuller: “What’s That Smells Like Fish”
10. Red Allen & Victoria Spivey: “How Do They Do It That Way”
11. Memphis Jug Band: “Papa’s Got Your Water On”
12. Hattie North & Count Basie: “Honey Dripper Blues”
13. Bo Carter: “All Around Man”
14. Tampa Red & Half-Pint Jaxon: “Easy Rider”
15. Lonnie Johnson: “Uncle Ned Don’t Use Your Head”
16. Bessie Smith: “I’m Wild About That Thing”

We tend to forget how subversive slang can be when it’s fresh. Eventually terms are assimilated into the culture at large and they lose their shock value. “Boogie woogie” became the squeaky clean territory of the Andrews Sisters, the Honeydrippers an ’80s top 40 band, and Easy Rider (in the guise of Easy Reader) a children’s television star. Even the duck’s yas-yas-yas eventually sat la la next to Lee Dorsey on a hit record.

All 16 of these tracks are floating around the intergooglewebtubes, but where’s the fun in that? You can pick up your own copy of Copulating Rhythm Volume 2 for about twenty bucks and listen to them as they were intended to be heard: on a spinning black hunk of vinyl while you’re enjoying a tasty jelly roll. Happy hunting.

 

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