Monday, February 6, 2012

New Oldies - Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Goodees

Today's New Oldie is both a Teener and an Answer Song, so you might say it's a "Double Shot" of MusicMaster Oldies goodies (Sorry). The Goodees are Kay Evans, Sandra Jackson, and Judy Williams. These three girlfriends at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee, were all interested in music. They sang together at school functions and local events, then finally entered a talent contest and won. The prize included an audition at Stax Records, which ended up getting them a recording contract. Stax put their records out on their subsidiary label, Hip Records. They covered several hits from the 1960's, including this one from the Swingin' Medallions. But, being girls, they had to adjust the lyrics a bit, turning it into an answer to the original song. The song was never issued on a single, but as a track on their only album, Candy Coated Goodees. Could Booker T and Steve Cropper be playing on this track?

Here's Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Goodees on Hip LP 7002 from 1969:

The Goodees were actual One-Hit Wonders, having made just one appearance on Billboard's Hot 100 with a song called Condition Red. It's clearly an adaptation of Leader Of The Pack by the Shangri-Las, but it's not bad. It hit the charts on Christmas week in 1968 and peaked at #46. It went to #38 on Cashbox, but did much better in certain regions, such as Chicago (#15) and Toronto (#10).

Here's Condition Red by The Goodees on Hip 8005 from the very end of 1968:

The Medallions got started in 1962 in Greenwood, South Carolina. They changed their name to the Swingin' Medallions in 1965. The original members included John McElrath on keyboards, Jim Doares on guitar, Carroll Bledsoe on trumpet, Brent Forston on sax and flute, Jimmy Perkins on bass, Hack Bartley on sax, Grainger Hines on sax, Freddie Pugh on sax, Perrin Gleaton on guitar, and Joe Morris on drums. All the members contributed vocals. The kind of music these guys make is commonly known as Carolina Beach Music.

Here's Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Swingin' Medallions on Smash 2033 from 1966:

Did you know there were two versions of Double Shot released by the Swingin' Medallions in 1966? Believe it or not, the lyrics were a bit too intense for some radio stations, so the guys had to cut a "censored" version. The fuss was all about the words "worst hangover that I ever had" which were changed to "worst morning after that I ever had." They also must have considered the words "loved me so hard" to be a bit too, er, hard, so they became "kissed me so hard" instead. The censored version was released to some radio stations, and even showed up in a few stores. You can find it on rare black-label pressings made in Canada.

Here's the censored version of Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by The Swingin' Medallions on Smash (Canada) 2033 from 1966 (with the changed parts slightly enhanced):

Now, you might have thought that The Swingin' Medallion's version of Double Shot was an original, but it's not. The song was actually recorded first in 1962 by Dick Holler And The Holidays. Dick was born Richard Louis Holler on 16 October 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1951 to finish high school and attend Louisiana State University, where he first started playing piano, writing songs, and organizing his own group.

Dick got into television on a local teen record rating show called Hit Or Miss. That show also featured a young Donna Douglas, who would go on to play Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. Future actress Elizabeth Ashley and future movie critic Rex Reed were also featured on that show. Dick formed his first band, The Dixie Cats, in 1956, featuring a yet-unknown kid named Jimmy Clanton. By May 1956 they'd become a four-piece band with Dick on piano, Jimmy Clanton on lead guitar, Mike Bankston on drums, and Ed Winston on tenor sax. Leonard Root would sometimes pick up a bass guitar and join the guys on stage. Various players would sit in with the band at times, including Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), Don Smith and Cyril Vetter (the guys who wrote Double Shot), and Johnny Ramistella (Johnny Rivers). On night after playing a gig the owner of the club convinced the band to change their name to Dick Holler And The Carousel Rockets, or just The Rockets for short.

(Top to bottom) Merlin Jones, Dick Holler, Don Smith

Dick Holler is best known for writing the Dion hit, Abraham Martin And John. He also hooked up with producer Phil Gernhard to rewrite one of Dick's original songs, turning it into Snoopy Vs The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen. Let's hear the original version of Double Shot, shall we?

Here's Double Shot Of My Baby's Love by Dick Holler And The Holidays on Comet 2152 from 1962:

Double Shot was written by Don Smith and Cyril Vetter (whose name usually appears as Fitter). The song was covered by several garage rock bands in 1966, such as The K-Otics, Mothers Of Soul, Spirits, and Eric And The Norsemen. The Tams did a soul version in 1968, but they weren't the first to do that. In 1967, two members of the Swingin' Medallions, Brent Fortson and Steve Caldwell left the band and hooked up with three former members of The Tassles, Jimmy Bumgardner, Irven Hicks, and Wally Wood, to form a new band called Pieces Of Eight. They cut a new version of Double Shot from a soul perspective.

Here's Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love) by Pieces Of Eight on Action 004 from 1967:

You'll hear all the different versions of this song on MusicMaster Oldies, along with original versions and cover versions of many other hit records from the 1950's and 1960's. You'd be surprised how many of the songs you know well from that period were first recorded by someone else. I'll dig up some more of them for you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Joe: Thanks for an informative and accurate history of "Double Shot." Don Smith was a great friend and talented man who was also a civil engineer and died tragically in a small plane accident in bad weather on the way to a job site in South Louisiana.
    We laughed and joked the whole 20 minutes it took us to write it (I describe it as the most productive 20 minutes of my life.) Don was always upbeat and his joi de vivre was infectious.
    The lead vocalist on the Dick Holler version of "Double Shot" was another huge talent from Baton Rouge named Lenny Capello. Lenny had a couple of regional hit singles on Joe Banashak's Ric/Ron label, namely, "Cotton Candy" and "90 Pound Weakling."
    Lenny was a mashup of Little Richard and Larry Williams and had Cosimo's studio rhythm section backing him, so his records were great.
    So thanks again for your thorough and accurate research on "Double Shot."
    BTW, a friend called me last night as I watched Drew Brees in the Dome go all Yoda, Jedi Master on the Carolina Panthers, to tell me that NBC used a sample of "Double Shot" in one of their commercial bumps.

    Cyril Vetter