Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Thunderbirds - Thunderbird Twist

"I know you're kinda tired but I... I ain't quite satisfied!"

Oh, how I love this record! Discs like this are exactly why I wanted to start a blog. As far as I can tell, there's absolutely nothing about this platter posted anywhere on the net.

"Thunderbird Twist" is a wild, upbeat, r&b styled pounder that sounds like it owes a debt of gratitude to "What'd I Say". Indeed, it's the kind of thing that may have been dreamed up on the spot, maybe to fill the backside of a 45. Or perhaps these guys played this live to fill the dance floor. Even would'a worked on me, Mr. Two Left Feet himself!

The tune begins with the singer shouting "Hey Hey Hey" and then horns and a big drumbeat follow. The lyrics are pure dance floor stuff, for instance "Hold it, knock on wood, ahh you're lookin' good". Pure genius in my book.

I don't know exactly when this record was released, though given the title, I'd guess 1961 or '62. It's not a twist record really, just one of a million or so that used the popular dance craze in its title, twist or not. There have been loads of combos using the Thunderbirds moniker through the years. I have no idea whether this bunch of Thunderbirds made any other records or not. The only real clue about possible band members is that Wild Bill Robinson is credited with writing both "Thunderbird Twist" and its flipside, "Lady's Choice" a so-so r&b instrumental. The RCS website has listings for seven different Delta labels but not this New York based one. Given all I don't know about this record, obviously any additional information would be greatly appreciated.


Brian Marshall said...


This song sounds mighty familiar to a 45 I have by Rocker Roberts (better known as Rocky Roberts and the Airedales) on Roulette called "The T-Bird." He also does that "Hold it, knock on wood," line and the "twist" line gets changed to "stomp." There's also a clip that exists of the band doing this song on Hullabaloo.

Todd Lucas said...

Thanks for the info, Brian. It'd be interesting to hear your record and compare the two. Any chance that you could check the writing credits on your record?