Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Miss Ann Littles: I Wanna Squeeze Your Lemon (USA 830)

This one's rather unusual. It's a blues/soul record on a label most collectors normally associate with garage rock. Evidentally, USA also dabbled in the soul market as well. The things we learn.......

Anyway, the "Plug Side" of this is something called "I Will Be Got Dog," which is basically a female answer to Marvin Gaye's "I'll Be Doggone." It's okay, but not too earth shaking.
"I Wanna Squeeze Your Lemon," however, is another matter entirely. It's as raw a piece of blues as I've ever encountered.

Backed up by a band that includes a thundering organ, hammering guitar, blastin' sax and pounding drums in 3/4 time, Miss Littles' rough vocals sing out the following wish: "I wanna squeeze your lemon, baby, until I make your love run down." YEE-OUCH! You can imagine this playing during your favorite hardcore XXX loop. How this got to even be the back of a single intended for mass consumption is beyond me. But I'm sure glad it did, because it's a guaranteed blues smoker!

Another mystery is who Miss Ann Littles is or was. Once again, Google proved futile. (Most of the matches thought I was looking for dolls and doll clothes!) Any of you experts out there know?


Anonymous said...

brian i kno her daughter leave an contact info so we can reach u she was very pleased with ur story

Anonymous said...

Miss Ann Littles was born Carrie Ann Owens on April 20, 1933 on the Owens plantation in Rossville, Tennessee. Carrie was a beautiful light-skinned girl partly because one of her great grandfathers was a white Owens boy who refused to stay away from a pretty colored gal.
Carrie sang gospel music at churches and in the cotton fields of Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas. Carrie was good at mental math and penmanship, but dropped out of high school in the 9th grade to get married. Carrie and her sisters Roberta and Juanita formed a gospel singing group as teenagers and rehearsed regularly after moving to Memphis in the 1940s. Carrie’s father was Lucius “Jake” Owens who personally mentored BB King on the front porch of his little house in Memphis (circa 1955). Jake Owens was talented enough of voice and on the guitar to have been nationally famous, but he rarely left his front porch.
When Miss Ann Littles left Memphis (in 1960) she headed up North to Gary, Indiana where she continued to sing. She wrote a very racy and controversial song titled “I Wanna Squeeze Your Lemon”. She managed to get it put to instrumental music (which she composed herself by humming out the instrument parts to a super-guitarist she hired), and got USA Records to press a hundred or so 45rpm records. A local radio station in Gary was brave enough to air her record for a couple of days, but it proved to be too translucently sexual in meaning to pass censorship.
In 1967 Miss Ann Littles moved on to Chicago where she opened her own restaurant and bar which she named “Wrinkle City” (after the super-clean chitlins which she picked, cooked and served to her mostly male patrons). She later renamed her bar “Miss Ann’s Velvet Glove Lounge” and regularly featured the best local blues singers and instrumentalists in Chicago. Her bar sported an above-ground swimming pool out back which was situated on what must have been the loveliest backyard on the Southside of Chicago. Miss Ann served food and drinks, but she also sang in the same shows which she organized for the best “unknowns” the world has never discovered.
Miss Ann operated her bar for over 20 years, but finally could not recover financially from a crippling burglary wherein all of her liquor stock and personal belongings were stolen by junkies. She lost her building to a mechanic’s lien (for not paying for the replacement of the doors destroyed by the burglars). Miss Ann’s fame never extended beyond Gary, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. She didn’t quite get to witness the millennium because in 1998 Miss Ann succumbed to liver failure and a broken heart.
(This article was authored by Alaska’s Own Killer Jones (b. 1951) who happens to be Miss Ann Littles’ only son. Miss Ann’s daughters Edna, Marie and Gwen (along with best friend Charlene Gray) sang on stage at Grant Hall in Gary, Indiana concurrently with the not-yet-famous Jackson Five.)

Anonymous said...

Can I please buy this record from you, I will pay $300 for a clean copy.

Thanks, Jesse (