Thursday, August 25, 2005

Willie White: 99 Beef Steaks (Shaw 45-104)

Whenever I go looking for 45s at shows or flea markets or used record stores, sometimes I'll find an item that looks interesting or looks like something I might like. I'll pick it up and take it home and play it once, maybe twice, and if it doesn't strike me right off, I'll file it away either to get rid of it or discover it later and find that I like it after all.

That's what happened when I found this 45. I can't begin to tell you how long it sat around in my collection. One day, as I was looking for stuff to get rid off, I pulled this out and played it. To my big surprise, I really dug it. In fact, it became an immediate fave. Therefore, it remains a proud addition to my 45 library to this day.

I don't know anything about the artist at all, but it sure sounds like there's two singers on this record, as the song has got a call-and-response nonsensical vibe of sorts. Let me see if I can illustrate:

Singer #1: "Hey-nanny-ninety-nine-beef-steaks"
Singer #2: "Hey-nanny-ninety-nine-beef-steaks"
Singer #1: "How-many-ninety-nine-beef-steaks"
Singer #2: "How-many-ninety-nine-beef-steaks"
Singer #1: "I said, eeeny-meanie-gypsy-weenie"
Singer #2: "Eeeny-meanie-gypsy-weenie"
Singer #1: "Ooh-mah-cum-bah-le"
Singer #2: "Ooh-mah-cum-bah-le"
(can't make out the part that goes here)
Singer #1: "Baby, won't you treat me right?"
Singer #2: "Baby, won't you treat me right?"
Singer #1: "Girl, you ain't doin' right."
Singer #2: "Girl, you ain't doin' right."
Singer #1: "I"
Singer #2: "I"
Singer #1: "Love"
Singer #2: "Love"
Singer #1: "You"

Okay, well I hope you get the idea. The accompaniment is a steady little Northern Soul (I really hate that phrase, but I can't think of any other way to describe this, so bleahh!) groove with blasting horns, swank bass pound and a cool guitar break to top it all off. Check the archives on Dave The Spazz's "Music To Spazz By" show on WFMU (, as he has played this several times. Otherwise, do whatever you have to do to seek this little dandy out. You may be surprised.

The moral of this story is: sometimes you don't know what you've got until you're about to throw it out.

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