Sunday, October 04, 2009
The Thunderbirds - Thunderbird Twist
Ah, reruns. Yup, that's what we have for you today at It's Great Shakes, a repeat of the very first record I blogged here. The good news is that we weren't wired for sound back in June of 2005, so this is the first time "Thunderbird Twist" will be heard here.
Four plus years later, this disc is still a favorite and I still know next to nothing about its origins. Here's what I originally wrote:
"Oh, how I love this record! Discs like this are exactly why I wanted to start a blog. As far as I can tell, there's absolutely nothing about this platter posted anywhere on the net.
"Thunderbird Twist" is a wild, upbeat, r&b styled pounder that sounds like it owes a debt of gratitude to "What'd I Say". Indeed, it's the kind of thing that may have been dreamed up on the spot, maybe to fill the backside of a 45. Or perhaps these guys played this live to fill the dance floor. Even would'a worked on me, Mr. Two Left Feet himself!
The tune begins with the singer shouting "Hey Hey Hey" and then horns and a big drumbeat follow. The lyrics are pure dance floor stuff, for instance "Hold it, knock on wood, ahh you're lookin' good". Pure genius in my book.
I don't know exactly when this record was released, though given the title, I'd guess 1961 or '62. It's not a twist record really, just one of a million or so that used the popular dance craze in its title, twist or not. There have been loads of combos using the Thunderbirds moniker through the years. I have no idea whether this bunch of Thunderbirds made any other records or not. The only real clue about possible band members is that Wild Bill Robinson is credited with writing both "Thunderbird Twist" and its flipside, "Lady's Choice" a so-so r&b instrumental. The RCS website has listings for seven different Delta labels but not this New York based one. Given all I don't know about this record, obviously any additional information would be greatly appreciated."
Since I wrote that, the song has been posted at another blog or three and I've learned of at least one other version of the song, namely "The T-Bird" by Rocker Roberts, which now resides in my collection. But "Thunderbird Twist" and the band that recorded it are still otherwise a mystery. Great record though, scratches and all. I hope that you enjoy it.