Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Mighty Hannibal - Fishin' Pole

"You get a feelin' from rockin' and reelin'"

Ah, an entry for Mr. James T. Shaw, a.k.a. The Mighty Hannibal. He's an It's Great Shakes favorite. And today we have one of his funkiest and very best, a tune called "Fishin' Pole".

The Mighty One's recorded legacy goes back to the late 1950's. His first single, "Take A Chance On Me"/"Big Chief Hug-um An' Kiss-um" was released on the Concept label in 1958 under the name Jimmy Shaw. Since, he's recorded variously as Hannibal, The Mighty Hannibal and King Hannibal. His records range from pretty easy finds, such as today's selection, available on either the Shurfine or Josie label, to downright difficult to come by. Thankfully, Norton Records released Hannibalism!, an excellent CD career retrospective in 2001. It's highly recommended listening.

"Fishin' Pole" is a song about a dance craze by the same name. Lyrically, it's pretty common dance floor stuff, with The Mighty Hannibal tellin' you "wind it up tight" and "if you got to troll, do the fishin' pole". Common or not, I still dig the words. But what really makes the record is Hannibal's gritty vocal delivery and the ultra-funky guitar running all over the place. Given those and the pounding beat, just try and stay in your seat.


guapo said...

"Jerkin` the dog" and "Get in the groove" are my favorite movers by the Hannibal!

Phil said...

"Jerkin' the Dog" is excellent and was played a lot on the legendary WLAC in '65-'66.