Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Dee Dee Sharp - "Do The Bird"
Sorry that it's been such slow going around here, lately. Call it summer doldrums, being busy or whatever, I'm glad to have the chance to make an entry today. And today, I thought that I'd post a record that's been getting spun since I found it back in March, "Do The Bird" by Dee Dee Sharp. Sharp had a string of hits for the Cameo label, beginning with "Mashed Potato Time" in 1962. Her records from the period are mainly dance floor numbers that range from good to excellent, always fun and sometimes heavily borrowed from the sound of other artists. Today's disc is the best that I've heard from her.
"Do The Bird" is an up-tempo swinger, that shows off Dee Dee Sharp's rather young voice. She was only 17 when it hit the charts in early 1963. She sings at a near shout, with lots of pounding drums and clashing cymbals. The other instrumentation is hardly noticeable, except for during the cool sax break. There are also handclaps off and on throughout the song. But boy, her voice is what really propels the tune. While some of her other numbers are a tad laid back, there's nothing of the sort here. And the song has a fine hook, as well.
As a bonus of sorts, the flipside of the record is also pretty good. "Lover Boy" is taken at a bit more leisurely pace but is no slow weeper. Stylistically, it reminds me a lot of a certain huge hit by the Marvelettes, the one where they're waiting for a letter, whatever it's called (sarcasm). Sharp's voice is again in fine form here. It's not as good as the hitside but certainly worth a listen.
Prior to a few months ago, Dee Dee Sharp wasn't really on my radar. I knew who she was but hadn't heard much of her material. Despite several big hits, oldies radio has largely forgotten her. Her records are usually around for cheap though. And, so far, this one is my strongest recommendation.