Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Joe Dodo and The Groovers: Groovy /Goin' Steady(RCA Victor 47-7207)

If you can picture this 45 being played at a go-go club with a well-endowed stripper shaking her gifts of nature, you ain't too far off. If it sounds like it could've been comped on one of the "Las Vegas Grind" series, that's because it is. (See www.cryptrecords.com for more info.) So why am I reviewing it? Because it's so delectably cheesy and fun.

It's weird seeing this on a major label, but it's true. This 1958 release opens with a piano intro that suggests Floyd Cramer, but soon something a bit more demented kicks in. A twangy guitar and a slow, but kickin' beat come in and then we get a sleazy sax riff that David Rose could've had in mind when he wrote "The Stripper," before a heavy female moan comes in and a low-down voice intones "Groovy!" Repeat sleazy sax riff, repeat heavy moan, repeat "Groovy!"

Then we get this chorus that goes "Groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy, groovy!" followed by another blast of sleazy sax. Then, the chorus repeats the groovies, followed by another sax bit and then a female voice sexually growls, "Groovy!" Then we go back to the sleazy sax riff and, well, you can guess the rest. There's also a blastin' sax solo to bridge things a bit.

Judging by the title, "Goin' Steady" sounds like it might be some ballad. But, no, it's another piece of weird rockin' dementia a la "Groovy." This time, it's got "Goin' Steady" repeated in goofy male vocals and chipmunky female vocals, plus a bit of "Baby, baby, babe, I'm goin' steady with you!" All of that is accenuated by similar guitar, sax, piano and drum mayhem, except that this time, it's opened up by a snazzy bass line.

Here come those words again: demented, sleazy, trashy, crazy, wild....but adjectives alone aren't enough to describe this thing. You'll just have to hear it for yourself, and realize just how lame the times we live in truly are.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to find who made this song since a friend of mine had it in a complilation tape that a friend made her like 10 years ago. I googled "groovy groovy groovy groovy groovy groovy" and finally found it on your site. Thanks. As I recall, it was one of the best songs I had ever heard. Now I apparently have to buy a turn table to hear it again...

Anonymous said...

I have loved this record since it was new, and have owned it almost as long. There is no producer credit on the label - it would have been a rare thing to have in 1957 or 1958, when this was new - but the sound of the record, right down to the rockin' sax player, sounds like Hugo & Luigi's "Cha-Hua-Hua," which was a huge hit on
Roulette (and inspired a west coast cover by The Pets on Arwin, another studio group). Of course, they were producers, not musicians, so my guess is that this is a bunch of New York studio guys that H&L might have produced. Another hint that it could be H&L: they bolted Roulette for RCA, where they produced The Tokens and many others, and "Joe Dodo" is on RCA. Maybe this was a "trial balloon" - does anybody know for certain?
Thanks for posting this gem - and if the girl looks like she sounds, can I get a date? (Oh, never mind - it's 53-or-so years after the fact....)
-- Country Paul

Seven said...

glad to know someone else in the world is familiar with this record too. My mother and grandmother both had a copy of this record. i used to play all of my mom's 45's and this one was a total fave. It was so much fun and so goofily weird. In my whole life I never knew anyone else who had ever heard of it. i still have the record. i also have another one by Joe Dodo titled "Elevator Operator". I loved that too. I used to make all my friends sing it with me. Its has these great great "bob-a-dop-bip-boop-bop" backgrounds. So, thanks for posting this!

Mark Kister said...

When I was in college in the 1980s a friend brought in his dads 45s. We had a blast playing them and "groovy" was our fave. I recently found a tape I had made, which had this on it. I always wondered about the band and the mysterious joe dodo. Thanks for the info.

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