Saturday, August 25, 2012

BOB & EARL - The Harlem Shuffle

"Spinning the biggest music videos of ALL time for all you nice folks on a Saturday afternoon here on that great non-fiction radio station show, the one and only "The Last Days of Multiply" here at doug's Site...and now that we are back after several minutes of words from our sponsors... and the request lines are wide's a treat from the back stacks, a request going out to Sabina in Bournemouth in the UK: a stone-cold 1963 R&B classic from Bob and Earl." ***************************************************
from the website Bob & Earl started out as one of several aliases under which Bobby Day (of "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Rockin' Robin" fame) and Earl Nelson (aka Jackie Lee) (born September 8, 1928) recorded together for the Los Angeles-based Class Records label. The two harmonized beautifully, with a smooth, unshowy, yet powerful sound that reflected Nelson's background in gospel, and they had four singles released under that name (in addition to other sides credited to Earl Nelson & the Pelicans, Bobby Day & the Satellites, and the Hollywood Flames) starting around 1960 (some sources have them using the name as early as 1957), of which the slow, impassioned ballad "That's My Desire" and its rocking, comical B-side, "You Made a Boo Boo," got the highest exposure, released twice. Nelson parted company with Day and later formed a new partnership with a singer named Bobby Relf, and the two continued using the name Bob & Earl. The second version of Bob & Earl made an indelible mark on popular culture in 1963 by recording the original version of "Harlem Shuffle" (produced by Barry White), which was a modest success in America and a major hit in England.


  1. Brilliant reminds me of school discos...along with Mercy Mercy by Don Covay and the Goodtimers .... a single I owned at that time after finding it in a privet hedge near where I lived....the guitarist on that single was the the very young Jimi Hendrix. This version of Harlem Shuffle occupies an adjacent place in my memory banks, from a time when I went to school dressed as Paul and Barry Ryan lol....thanks for memories Doug, this is a top grade classic I think!

  2. aaaah Aaran, you are sooo old lol

  3. Do you remember me showing a clip of an old Kiwi pop show Doug? This sounds a bit like something that might have turned up on there. Here's a wee Kiwi dance tune from the sixties

  4. Glad you enjoyed that one, AA. I should have checked the hedges growing up--who knows what musical treasures there might have been. :-)

    My own memory of finding good music in a odd places came from spotting a cassette by U2 along a little-used dirt road I was walking near the riverside civic park in the California delta town of Antioch.

    It was the "Joshua Tree" album from around 1980 I'm guessing. Hard to tell the date it came out because I got it when it was a bit "worn".

    I just checked my closet and I still have it! (Correction: I musty have spotted it there more like 1988 since the album wasn't released until 1987. The mind plays tricks after twenty-odd years. )

    I looked up Paul and Barry Ryan on You Tube. Good harmonies.

    Could that be the guys who inspired you to wear the "pencil pants" you mentioned ? I'll bet a lot of the guys who wore those in the 60's might not be able to get their arm into one of the legs today?

  5. I certainly do remember, Iri Ani.

    Thanks for the provocative (for its time) Dinah Lee tune. With that cute voice, she makes it a fun song!

    And "The Twist" cover is good, too.