What’s that hiding in that mutilated sleeve?
As promised here is another 45 I was very happy, and surprised, to find at a local boot fair recently. A lady was selling a few boxes of singles at 3 for a £1. I bought £3 worth, including this one. The boxes contained a very unusual and eclectic mix, certainly not something you normally find at boot sales. It transpired her husband works for a local second hand record shop, one in fact I rarely visit now as, in my experience, I have rarely found anything worth buying and they seem to be equally rarely willing to buy anything off me! (I am not alone here either, and I wonder where they get their records from!).
Anyway, by offloading at a boot sale I think they missed a trick with this one. None other than Mr Allen Toussaint had a lot to do with this record. The credits tell you he arranged it, they also tell you he wrote it – Toussaint often used his mother’s name, Naomi Neville, in writing credits around this time – and he is undoubtedly playing piano on it. The ALON label was a vehicle for much Allen Toussaint output in the early to mid Sixties. Hold a mirror up to the label name and of course NOLA appears. (Try and scan it though and the results are not good – as Ana-B has already pointed out).
The record sounds somehow familiar to me. It’s possible I suppose that I have heard it before here. Back in 2006 I was relatively new to the blogging game and Home Of The Groove was an early destination for me. Reading the post (again?) and its comments I learned that this track, or at least its basic form, was originally used as the backing track for Benny Spellman’s “The Word Game”.
It is a very difficult to categorise this record by The Stokes. To me it sounds like it would not be out of place as background music to a TV series of the time, something a bit tongue in cheek or a bit skewed - The Avengers for example. Hey! maybe, that’s where I heard it before? Anyway, I like it a lot and I think I will file it under “whimsy”. The sleeve it came in sort of lives up to the whimsical tag too!