Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bony Moronie b/w You Bug Me Baby

Larry Williams emerged from the gigantic shadow of Little Richard, the career of both artists often intertwined over the ensuing years. Both recorded for the Specialty and Okeh record labels and Williams produced two album for Richard during the mid 60's as well as serving as his musical director during this period. When Little Richard departed the secular music world in 1957, Williams was groomed as his successor, he may not have had the same flamboyant demeanour or piercing voice but he recorded a number of classic R&B singles from 1957 to 1960 before a three year jail stint robbed him of his momentum.

Bony Moronie is one of those classic New Orleans R&B songs, a great Earl Palmer backbeat that serves as the foundation for a pulsating rhythm, there is a great honking sax interval and an insistent repetitive groove built around the sax and piano. New Orleans was unique for it's R&B scene, it had a backbeat all of it's own that couldn't really be copied, it seemed that it was rooted in New Orleans and couldn't be transplanted anywhere else. Bony Moronie was Williams' second single to crack the U.S Top 20 in 1957 and would eventually sell a million copies, his second release on Specialty Short Fat Fannie was also a million seller and would become an R&B standard. The B side of Bony Moronie, You Bug Me Baby also charted it sounds like a straight ahead rocker but it has a similar start to Rockin Robin then it slips into a latin styled groove.

After his release from prison Williams continued his recording career, he also toured the U.K in 1963 with Johnny Guitar Watson with whom he recorded to classic soul albums for Okeh in 1966 and 1967. Those recordings didn't make a lot of headway when they were released but they are now regarded as classics. Williams continued to be dogged by drug problems into the 1970's and died in 1980 in what was ruled a suicide.

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