Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Flip`s Instro gems #5 - Bill Black`s Combo – Do It - Rat Now

Flip`s Instro gems #5 - Bill Black`s Combo – Do It - Rat Now

Bet ole Sarge Presley was tickled pink n black (not) when he saw Smokie,Pt 2 and White Silver Sands by his old compadre Bill Black climbing both the pop and r n b charts in 1960, the auld slapper had been reduced to session work and working in an appliance store before his Hi records started selling like hot cakes, very popular in all the jukebox markets, appearances on Dick Clark, a teen movie slot (Teenage Millionaire) and another Ed Sullivan show all quickly followed. Before the formula became lick by numbers the Combo cut some shit hot boppers like Movin` and a slinky Don`t Be Cruel, later Little Queenie became a northern soul dance floor fav in the Uk (off the great BBC plays Chuck lp) and the touring version of the Combo even opened for the Beatles on their first major US tour. Perhaps that`s why that Bill`s original slap bass now resides in casa McCartney (a birthday gift from his late wife Linda apparently,sadly not a penny went to the Black`s as the bass and many other momentos vanished from the studio after Bill`s early death from a brain tumour in 65)

Anyhow this little quirky cracker is one of my favs mainly because I bought the sheet music for it back in my piano lesson days and later I found out that the author of Do It - Rat Now and keyboard man is non other than Jerry Lee`s cousin Carl McVoy. Now according to JLL`s oldest sis Frankie Jean older cousin Carl was the most talented of all the cousins. Carl recorded briefly for Sun, HI and a few small labels but his greatest success came with this track and his time with the combo of Black. He still worked in construction and Bobby Emmons would cover for him when he couldn`t get time off work

Despite several big pop hits, top selling albums and tours, Bill did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of his Hi success (Joe Coughi had even given him a good royalty deal and a publishing deal, Lyn Lou named after his daughter Nancy`s nickname of Linda Lou, he also had a small label named Louis after his son and the great song Lover Please penned by young Billy Swan appeared on it by Denis Turner,later covered by Clyde Macphatter no less)

On one of my Memphis trips I visited Bill`s grave to pay my respects, it was during Elvis week and by evidence not many other El fans had bothered to go and see it, perhaps if Elvis and Gladys graves had stayed in their original spots then some fans would`ve searched Bill`s out. I love Elvis to bits but I always reckoned both Bill, Scotty and to a lesser extent DJ deserved more financial reward for their important part of the greatest story ever told

This band should be in the hall of fame

1 comment:

peterrocker said...

Hi Hound
You sure are correct about the lack of financial reward that Bill, Scotty & DJ received for their contribution to the success of E.P.
From what I can gather it seems to be a combination of Parker's dislike generally of musicians, his natural tight fisted disposition & Presley's lack of courage to stand up to him on behalf of his band.