Monday, February 25, 2008

It's All Elvis' Fault

I love calypso music. Over the last several years, I've come around to the way of thinking that says that, at least in its original Trinidadian form, calypso may be the most perfect style of music ever developed by humans.

Today's example is not part of the Trinidad tradition, and by its subject matter, quite clearly comes from the great mid-1950's revival of calypso. It's also more cute than it is "great" or "perfect".

What little I can find out about this group, which went by the rather unweildy moniker of "The Fabulous McClevertys", is that this was in fact, the family name, and that the band was, for a time, the backing combo for the little known Calypso performer "The Mighty Charmer", a violinest and singer who later abandoned music and became better known under the name Louis Farrakhan.

Each side of the record fits one of Calypso's typical subjects, with the A-side being quite topical, and the B-side being about one aspect of (as a great Calypso compilation once described it) "the human condition".

I was rather surprised to find that this single was on Verve, a label associated at the time (1957 or 1958) with some of the best Jazz being made, and additionally, a bit later, with cutting edge comedy.

The A-side: "Don't Blame It On Elvis":



And the B-Side: "Tickle, Tickle":



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