Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.68 - Charlie Bop Trio – Mr Big Feet

Charlie Bop Trio – Mr Big Feet
Capitol F4100

This slab of rockabilly goes out to the king of the Weston-super-Mare boppers, Keith “Mr Big Feet” Wilkinson and his lovely lady Nicki. I don’t know much about the Charlie Bop trio other than that two of the trio are Charles Johnson and lead singer Jimmy Kersey. The single came out on Capitol in November/December 1958 and was backed by Tokyo Queen. Like most people this side of the Atlantic, I didn’t hear until the rockabilly revival when it was released on the Capitol Rockabilly Originals vinyl lp in 1977. I bought the album in the early ‘80s and was knocked out by the likes of Ferlin Huskey (Slow Down Brother), Farmer Boys (Slow Down Mame) and Bobby Trammel (You Mostest Girl). But it was the Charlie Bop trio and Mr Big Feet that blew me away. What an opening to a record – “Hello there man, what’s your front name?” – “They call me Big Feet”. Eat your heart out Tin Pan Alley, this is hillbilly Leiber and Stoller. According to Bear Family nothing is known about the band other than the record was recorded on 6th October 1958, and if Bear Family drew a blank that’s pretty much it. We might not have the details, but we’ve got the music. It’s got a driving rockabilly shuffle beat with call-and-response vocals, sax and piano solos and great lyrics. Check out the youTube clip below and you’ll see the back of the ’77 album. If you can’t find a copy of the single or the vinyl album, your best bet is the Bear Family’s 1993 CD, That’ll Flat Git It Volume 3 or the Disky CD, A Rockabilly Party Vol.2 (2000). Go, go, go, Mr Feet – that’s what you hear them hepcats say.


lesvb said...

That's a nice post (as usual), and
it's interesting to me that your
experience with that Capitol
Rockabilly album does parallel
mine in some ways. I had moved to
Los Angeles from England right
around the time this compilation
was released, and I was blown away
by the selections (especially the
one you've highlighted). Soon
after, I found a copy of the Rose
Maddox single at -- where else but
-- the swap meet that used to take
place in the parking lot of the
Capitol Records building. But the
whole album's fantastic, one of a
slew of great rockabilly
collections that came out during
that (roughly) five year period.

Jan said...

That was a nice article on Charlie Bop Trio. Jimmy Kersey is my grandfather and he still occasionally speaks of those songs that he wrote. Jimmy, Charlie Johnson and Freddie Anderson made up the trio.
Thank you again!
Janas Kersey