Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Present Day Jive Talker Refuses to Die!

From 1959, please enjoy guitar slinging Ray Sharpe...

...and his slyly infectious and verbally challenging "Linda Lu."

In last week's Listomania, both Sharpe and the song were name-checked by a lucky reader who had seen him perform it on a Dick Clark tour (also from 1959). I must confess I had never heard of either artist or record previously, but it turns out to be a genuine rockabilly cult classic -- the list of people who've covered it includeds The Flying Burrito Brothers, Delbert McClinton, The Kingsmen, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and Tom Jones.

Hell, even the Some Girls-era Rolling Stones took a shot at it.

It remains unreleased, however, although it's not bad at all.


Anonymous said...

Another great record by Ray Sharpe, which you can probably dial up on YouTube, came out around 1966 on the Atco label and it's called Help Me (Get The Feeling). It's basically Ray singing over a backing track, provided by his then-label mate King Curtis and Curtis' band. This backing track has such a wicked groove that Atlantic/Atco recycled it a couple of times, including using it behind Aretha Franklin a couple of years later for her song "Save Me", which is on one of her classic late-60s albums for Atlantic.
By the way, as noted by your poster last week, Duane Eddy IS

one of the guitarists on Sharpe's version of "Linda Lu"; they were label mates on Philadelphia's Jamie label at the time (1959).

J. Lag

steve simels said...

Is it Duane doing the solo at the end?

Doesn't really sound like his style, but that's not necessarily definitive....

B. Goode said...

My first exposure to Ray Sharpe was when I heard "Boat Dock" played by a Carolina Beach/Shag DJ.

Dave said...

I'm the lucky guy who saw Ray Sharpe at the Hollywood Bowl. J. Lag's reply is spot on. I'm guessing, if only because of the style and his close connection with Hazlewood, that the guitar solo is the great Al Casey.

Al Casey famously imitated Duane Eddy (and other guitarists) in his classic, "Surfin' Hootenanny (and it sure sounds like Darlene Love and the Blossoms doing background vocals). It was the template for Spyder Turner's's later "Stand By Me" where he imitated bigger-named singers:

Dave Feldman

Anonymous said...

pre-fame Hendrix is on the above-mentioned track (Help Me Get the Feeling).

a friend played with Ray on the rockabilly circuit a few years ago, said he's a great guy.

Anonymous said...

The Standells did a cover of this as well. It was a minor hit in Los Angeles circa 1964. It got played on KRLA alot.

I had one of those cheesy plastic radios in my bedroom. I'd blast it and become a pre-teen go-go mirror star who was celebrating the arrival of puberty.

The Standells were cool.

Vickie Rock