It is impossible to listen to Save the Bones for Henry Jones (above) – especially as delivered by Reggie Houston — without smiling at this gentle teasing of vegetarians. This is how it starts:
Today we’ll have a party.
We’ll eat some food that’s rare.
And at the head of the table,
We’re going to place brother Henry’s chair.
Invite all the local big dogs,
We’re gonna laugh, gonna talk and eat.
We’re gonna to save the bones for Henry Jones,
You see Henry, he don’t eat no meat.
For what essentially is a novelty, the song has an impressive resume. It was written by Johnny Mercer and performed by The Pointer Sisters and Nat King Cole. Here is a very different but also great version sung by Cole and Mercer. The first time I heard it, I believe it was sung by Lou Rawls, Ray Charles and perhaps a third star.
Here is the start of Houston’s Wikipedia Bio:
Houston was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Ralph Houston, a pianist and acoustic bassist, and Margarete Houston, who was both an educator and social activist. At the age of 10 Reggie Houston began studying the saxophone. His first professional gig came at the age of 12 when he joined the Batiste family band, The Gladiators, widely considered to be one of the pioneering bands of funk.
Houston continued to perform with The Gladiators throughout high school and while home on holiday from his undergraduate studies at Southern University and Xavier University University of Louisiana. Although performing jazz, blues and funk throughout New Orleans during this time, it was forbidden to practice these musical styles in any African American university in the United States. (Continue Reading…)
I had no power for eight days because of the hurricane, but TDMB is back. Did anything interesting happen in the news in the meantime?
The site has a news item today that reports the American Pop Music Hall of Fame is seeking input from the public on which group or performer should be in the inaugural class. The story the item is based on has a link to the entire list of candidates.
Paul Anka, The Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Tony Bennett, Chuck Berry, Pat Boone, the Carpenters, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Chubby Checker, the Dave Clark Five, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, the Four Seasons, Connie Francis, Elton John, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, the Monkees, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Patti Page, Les Paul & Mary Ford, the Platters, Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Smokey & Miracles, The Supremes, Three Dog Night, Bobby Vinton, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder.
I wanted to feature one of the acts on the site in addition to the news item. So I took a pen, closed my eyes and pointed to the screen. The Everly Brothers was the closest.
Ray Charles’ I Can’t Stop Loving You was the top song on the charts during this day in 1962. It held the spot for five weeks, from May 27 to June 30..
Other notable songs that year were The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Twist, Peppermint Twist (Part 1), Duke Of Earl, Soldier Boy, Roses Are Red (My Love), Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, The Loco-Motion, Sherry, Monster Mash, He’s A Rebel and Big Girls Don’t Cry.
Check here for the artists and how long each song held the top spot. Two of the songs also held the top spot for five weeks. Can you name them?
That’s a lot of genius to pack into two minutes and twenty seconds. Here’s a later version of the same song. It isn’t clear if it is the same version of the Raelettes. Other videos of note – among the dozens of good ones at YouTube – are What I’d Say, Georgia on My Mind and America, the Beautiful.
His website has a lot of material, including a biography and discography. Finally, here is a link to the IMDb listing for the very good 2004 biopic Ray, which starred Jamie Foxx. They had the good sense to have Foxx lip sync the music.