Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mighty Manfred and the Wonderdogs: Bo Diddley (Paris Tower PT-140)

Here's a pretty swell cover by a group that takes its cues from The Young Rascals. I'm assuming this group came from Florida judging from the label info saying it was recorded in Tampa. I'll also assume that this was their only single. If I'm wrong on any of this, you know what to do.

One thing I need to warn you about is if you want to avoid a painful experience, then I suggest you skip the B-side, a version of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" that suggests the Vanilla Fudge as a lounge band at your local Holiday Inn. Pass, pass, pass.

Stick with "Bo Diddley" and you'll do just fine. Think about The Rascals' cover of "Slow Down." That's what this is reminiscent of. They don't copy the Bo Diddley beat here. Instead, they just concentrate on energy. When the lead singer says "SMOKE IT!" at the beginning just as the guitar riff kicks in, smoke it is what they do. They even throw in a verse from "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover" for good measure. And like a cherry topping your chocolate shake, a fiery guitar solo just adds closure to the whole thing.

That's about it. Maybe not the greatest "Bo Diddley" cover in the world, but a stompin' cover worthy of the early Young Rascals. And that's nothing to be ashamed of at all.


Cassie said...

Hey Brian! It's Cassie...sorry it has taken so long for me to check out your blog...I was swamped with things to do this weekend...and then started feeling sick yesterday. The cold/flu etc. is definitely going around here, so I have a feeling that I'm just going to keep feeling worse :(
Anyway, I really like the blog, it's a cool idea!!


Larry Grogan said...

The group got their name from the cartoon 'Tom Terrific', which they used to show on Captain Kangaroo when I was a kid. Tom's pet was this lackadaisical dog named Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, who basically did nothing.

Omega83 said...

Hye came across your blog online.

My dad was the bass player in this recording. We used to have copies of the 45's aroun the house but the heat of nearly 40 years in a Florida garage has destroyed the vinyl.

Do you know where I could obtain a better copy? Thanks

my email is

Stuart Shea said...

I think this band had another 45, a cool one called "She" on Atco. (Tony 'The Tyger' Sanchez' comp "Come on Down to Earth" hipped me to it.)

JoAnn Boswell Dameron said...

I booked this band for Alan Lutz at the Haines City Florida Youth Center 1967. Early beginnings.