Friday, September 16, 2016

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 849 Billy Ward & the Dominoes

'Pianist Billy Ward's band became famous or at least notorious, for making some of the lewdest R & B numbers of  the early fifties. But by today's standards, what sticks out from Sixty Minute Man isn't the lyrics (what's an hour among friends) but the lilting guitar, the thrilling high harmonies, and Bill Brown's wisecracking bass lead vocal. So you can't just dismiss the damn thing as a novelty even if its infamy - and its seventeen weeks at Number One on the Billboard R & B chart! - did provide grounds for antivulgarians to attack and discredit all of black pop. Closer listening is required, especially when you remeber that six years later, Wake Up Little Susie was attacked on the same basis, and thirty more years on down the line, Congressmen stood up to denounce Madonna's Like a Virgin. Proving that, even though squares never get the good stuff, the good stuff often galvanizes the opposition.'

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