Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jack Harris and the Arabians - Dog Wild

I went out looking for records last Friday in the town of Centralia, Illinois, about 40 miles north of here. I've been up there before, with moderate success. This time, I stopped by a couple of thrift shops that I hadn't seen before. I found quite a few good records and nothing cost more than 15 cents! Today's record is the cream of that crop, "Dog Wild" by Jack Harris and the Arabians. It's even on a label in keeping with the season.

Information on today's record is pretty scarce. I've seen it listed as a 1963 release but I'm not positive that's accurate. I can't dig up anything on Jack Harris or his band. This might have been their only disc.

"Dog Wild" is an upbeat, r&b screamer that begins with a vocal growl that will continue throughout the song. Horns join in to trade lines with the singer. All the while, the drummer is pounding away in the background. After the third verse, the singer let's out a yell and then we get treated to a wailing sax break. Then, the singer's back with the horns and drums to do several more verses and round out the song. And all of this concludes in under two minutes, as though it were a race against time.

Over on the flipside, there's another winner called "Son of A Twister". This one is more of a straight ahead dance tune. The horns are back and the vocal a tad more controlled. There's another sax break and it's also up-tempo, made for cutting the rug. You can't go wrong either way, making my 15 cents quite well spent.


Vincent the Soul Chef said...

what a value... I was hipped to a couple of thrift stores here in Baltimore, but I have yet to get to them. Hopefully next week I can pay them a visit and pick up some great bargains.

Todd Lucas said...

The thing about thrift stores is that you never know. Some of them have no records at all and some just crappy, picked over albums. Occasionally, you'll make a nice find or two, making the whole thing worthwhile.

In my experience, the best thrift store is one you've never been in before. That's especially true out here in a rural area where there aren't a lot of record collectors. Most thrifts around here will sit with the same records for months, meaning if there were any good ones, you got them already.

Brian said...

Looking at BMI.com, I noticed these two songs were listed this way:

Dog Wild - written by Robert C. Robinson, Jr.

Son of a Twister - written by Eddie Joe Guess and Don Clay.

The connection is that both are published under "Bill Erman Music" and Bill Erman was the owner of Witch/Cortland.

The only references I can find for Clay are that there was a Don Clay who sang "Rain From the Skies" and as a songwriter, co-wrote Jackie and Tut's "10-2 Double Plus", all of which confirm Chicago activity.

Brian Phillips

Todd Lucas said...

Brian, thanks for the additional information, which is greatly appreciated.

Frank said...

You continue picking up some fun stuff. Love the variety of it.
Sometimes, when there's a copyright sign with a year located under the label logo like here, it refers to the record company's logo and not to the song on the record.

Todd Lucas said...

Frank, yeah I'd certainly call this one fun. I really like it a lot. Good point on the copyright date, which I'm guessing here refers to the logo, a la those old Cameo label releases.

Devil Dick said...

15 cents? Oi Vey...

art said...

I love hearing about thrift store finds! Thrift stores were my main source of records from 1979 until
I stopped collecting in 2001. Now I collect (gulp!) CDs...You seem to be into the 2 styles that were always my favorites as well, soul/R&B and garage/psychedelic.

This is a great find, I get a kick out of both the song title and the label design.

Speaking of thrift stores, a style of music I stumbled across in my thrifting days was the song poem
record. This genre is sort of a universe unto itself, you may have run across a few of these as well.

Anonymous said...

Check SLCD 1169 "Black Huchia Cuthia", Track #25 is "J. Harris' Arabians - Tired, Tired, Tired" (MBS (IL) Acetate).

Most likely it is the same Jack Harris.

Other details are unknown. Cheers!