Monday, January 28, 2008

Lee Diamond

The first time I heard "Bony Maronie," it was not by Larry Williams, but by Johnny Winters and I was in my early teens, stoned, and trying to learn the riff on guitar in my friends basement. The first time I heard "Hattie Malattie" by Lee Diamond, I was sure it was some record company guy at Vee-Jay trying to come up with a "Bony Maronie" type of thing to get a hit. I wasn't stoned, but I was wrong. It does bear a resemblance to "Bony Maronie," but it turns out Lee Diamond is actually Wilbert Smith, part of Little Richard's tenor section in The Upsetters, and Lee Diamond's band is The Upsetters lumbering on after Little Richard gave up Rock and Roll and joined the ministry with Lee/Wilbert stepping up to the microphone. It's a pretty great record, as is the b-side "Mama Loochie." Both songs have unusual introductions that never reappear in the song. Wilbert can also be heard on "Why Do You Do Me" the b-side of James Brown's first Federal single, "Please, Please, Please" and on some of Little Richard's best Specialty sides, including the insane sonic attack of "Ooh!, My Soul."


"Hattie Malattie" mp3
by Lee Diamond, 1958.
available on Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection

"Mama Loochie" mp3
by Lee Diamond, 1958.
out of print

"Bony Maronie" mp3
by Larry Williams, 1957.
available on Here's Larry Williams


"Ooh! My Soul" mp3
by Little Richard, 1958.
available on The Georgia Peach

"Why Do You Do Me" mp3
by James Brown, 1956.
available on The Singles Volume 1: The Federal Years 1956-1960

"Bony Maroney" mp3
by George Jones, 1965.
available on Live at Dancetown U.S.A.


Anonymous said...

The Upsetters have to be the best Rock And Roll band of the 50s. Their Specialty cuts were the epitome of what Rock is all about. allmusic wrote, "The Upsetters were one of the hottest, yet sorely undervalued and poorly chronicled, bands in R&B and rock history."

Richard ended up cutting a few singles with them in the early 60s.

Ted Barron said...

Thanks, and I absolutely agree. All the ensemble bands in the New Orleans Studios at that time are pretty great.

Which records were they on in the early 60's?

Anonymous said...

The Upsetters

Little Star 123 - Every Night About This Time / I'm In Love Again - 1963 (featuring Little Richard on vocals)

Little Star 128 - - Valley Of Tears / Freedom Ride - 1963 (featuring Little Richard on vocals)

Mystic Valley 551 - Every Night About This Time / Yes It's Me (I'm In Love Again) - 196? (featuring Little Richard on vocals)

Ted Barron said...

Thank SNUH!

(that's a bad pun)

Mothy! said...

have you heard carcon cilicon?

Anonymous said...

That James Brown song is awesome! Thanks.