Thursday, August 04, 2005
Calvin Arnold - Mini Skirt/Mama-In-Law
Here's a record that I acquired a couple of months ago. It's sort of been running through my head the past day or two, so I thought it'd be a good time to write a bit about it. Per usual, I don't know much about the artist, outside of the fact that Calvin Arnold made a handful of 45's for the Venture label in the late 1960's.
"Mini Skirt" is an uptempo, dance floor shaker. I guess that some might refer to it as mod soul. It has a guitar, drums and horns. And in it Calvin is sweatin' but not because he's dancin'. He sings, "Calvin can't stand it, the way you girls make me sweat/You know you'll be lookin' your best, dressed up in your mini dress". My favorite part is his count off of sorts, "First it went one inch above the knees/Then it went two more - it did please". He ends up at six and even says "Give 'em just one more minute, they'll have 'em up over their head"!! Wishful thinking, yet a fitting tribute. And who knows, it might even get you up outta your seat too.
On the flipside, there's a neat, midtempo tune called "Mama-In-Law". Arnold isn't exactly in uncharted waters here (see Ernie K-Doe) but manages to update the theme a bit. It opens with mama telling her daughter what a no good guy she married. Calvin interjects a "Shut-up!", thus inciting his wife. He proceeds to educate his young bride, singing "When I married you, seems I married your mama too", among other pearls of wisdom. He does concede that he doesn't mind mama-in-law comin' 'round - five or six years apart. At least his distaste has its limits. All of this served up over a bed of guitars, drums and the occasional back up vocal. Another winner.