Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Z.Z. Hill - Tomble Weed/You Were Wrong

Z.Z. Hill was a Texas born blues/r&b singer who suffered a premature death in 1984 at the age of 48. He made lots of records for various labels, including Kent in the 1970's and Malaco the following decade. Today's record, recorded for his brother Matt's M.H. imprint is from 1964 and is, I believe, his very first release.

Surprisingly, Hill's initial offering, though recorded for a small label achieved a measure of success. "You Were Wrong", listed as the b-side on my copy, made the lower rungs of the national top 100 on both the Billboard and Cashbox pop chart. The song is mid-tempo r&b that cuts a bit of a groove, with a fairly smooth vocal, a good sax break and some bluesy guitar near the end. It's a very nice tune.

"Tomble Weed" starts with Hill saying "Hey everybody, let's do the tomblin' weed". Then a drumbeat leads us to the first verse where Z.Z. further intones the virtues of his new dance. He sings, "You tomble to the left, then you tomble to the right" and "When you start to tomble, you'll wanna tomble all night". The song has female backing singers and some pretty good guitar. It has a lo-fi sound, like all of those Gary (U.S.) Bonds records. Yet another entry in the annals of dance records.

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