Monday, July 18, 2005

The Upsetters: Jaywalking/Steppin' Out (Fire 1029)

I'm going to assume that this is not to be confused with the Lee "Scratch" Perry outfit. I'm also going to assume that this was their only single. I know at least that it's from 1960 and this label's next release would be Tarheel Slim and Little Ann's classic "Security." But I've heard a few rumours that this group of Upsetters was actually Little Richard's backing band. Could someone enlighten me about this? Until then, let me tell you that "Jaywalking" is an interesting R&B instro rocker punctuated by a double sax riff and dirty funky guitar work. There's also a guy yelling things like "Shake it, baby!" and "It's good to me!" and laughing maniacially in a couple of places. But get this: there's a flute solo! That's right! A freakin' flute solo! And what's more, it actually works here! Kinda like adding a different kind of spice to an already cookin' instro. The B-side's a vocal number with a more "Stroll"-ish tempo and the singer going on about how tonight he's doin' what the title says he's doin'. My vote goes for the "Jaywalking" side, but either side's quite fine, so it's a win-win situation here. Now, who are these Upsetters, ehh?

8 comments:

Larry Grogan said...

This might be the Upsetters that backed up Little Richard...

Brian Marshall said...

I'm going to assume it is until someone says otherwise. I tried to do a Google search on this, but all I could come up with was loads of stuff on the Lee "Scratch" Perry crew. Figures.

Todd Lucas said...

There's an Upsetters discography at the Wang Dang Dula website that indicates these were indeed the Little Richard guys. They also had singles on Gee and Little Star and, in addition to Mr. Penniman, also backed up Don Covay, Dee Clark and several others on record.

Brian Marshall said...

Well, it just so turns out that I do have a 45 on Little Star called 'Tater Machine.' I've looked on the "Wang Dang Dula" website and can't find The Upsetters. Where did you find them, Todd?

Todd Lucas said...

Brian, here's the url.

http://koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/gradygaines.htm

b said...

Definitely Little Richard's ex touring band.
Some info on this record is in the sleeve notes to the Fire/Fury Cd set

Mike Atherton said...

Yes, this is Little Richard's band, led by tenor saxman Grady Gaines. They survived long enough to record a whole LP around 1990 for, I think, the Black Top label, as Grady Gaines & His Teaxas Upsetters.

Mike Atherton said...

'scuse the typo, TEXAS Upsetters!