Classic smut from the Hot Club (Nov. 2012)

this is a repost of a lost item …

High point of the Hot Club of Cowtown’s show in Leeds, as they know it will be, and enjoy as much as we do, is what they call The Pussy Song, their essential contribution to one’s Classic Smut collection. 

The Light Crust Doughboys got away with the original release of Pussy Pussy Pussy,  in 1938, because it could be about a hunt for a missing cat.  In fact, if anybody asks, it is about a missing cat.

According to an online extract from what sounds like an essential book on Texas Swing, The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air, by John Mark Dempsey and Art Greenhaw, one of the boys insisted in a radio interview much later: “There was nothing wrong with the words. It’s about a little girl who lost her pussy cat and wanted the boys to help find it. The last cat they found, I say (in girl’s voice) ‘My pussy hasn’t got stripes. Besides, it ain’t ever smelled like that.’ It meant they found a skunk.”

And you could hear it just like that. But that didn’t stop a lot of people enjoying it in unofficial ways. 

It’s hard to believe the Doughboys didn’t know exactly what they were doing. But whatever they meant, they delivered a very funny performance and a great rocker of a record and it was a dancehall favourite for  years, although it didn’t get much radio play. Hear it at http://tinyurl.com/2cdamf9/ 

You can find the Hot Club doing it on YouTube, too, but I can’t see newer than a 1996 version – from their first year as a trio – and they are doing it five times better now. In fact, let me bet the house, it was as good as the Doughboys when they delivered it at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Nov. 16 2012, supported by a good crowd – and not all of us there to recall the 1950s as the beginning of the end. 

Most of us would be content with the 2003 version on their album Continental Stomp. They had it pretty good by then. 

In Leeds, they also did a wild-as-new version of Orange Blossom Special as immortalised by Bill Monroe.  Doing it, Hot Club fiddler Elana James showed off some gypsy tricks which reminded me of Sid Page’s spooky fiddle on I Scare Myself, by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks – http://tinyurl.com/887oeye/ 

I am reminded of what my son says – you want to hear the black guys really play, buy funk; you want to hear the white boys do it, go country. It took the Hot Club 16 years hard practice to get to play The Brudenell on a wet Thursday in Leeds.  You wonder how they feel watching We’ve All Got the X Factor, or whatever, and seeing what we buy. 

The band formed in San Diego but moved to Austin, Texas, the connoisseur’s alternative to Nashville. 

They remain essentially a retro circuit good-time act, specialising in swing, boogie and bluegrass covers, and fronted by what has become every impresario’s finishing touch, a sexy girl with a violin. But in a showdown of either strings or sauciness,  I’d bet Elana James against anything in an evening gown. Even so, she has to go some to keep up with Whit Smith on guitar and Jake Erwin slapping bass.

 

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