Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Slim Harpo
Song:I'm A King Bee
Album:The Best Of Slim Harpo
Because he was never a full time musician and he died prematurely, bluesman Slim Harpo is somewhat forgotten today. But if you're a blues fan and want a taste of the Louisiana swamp, he's the guy you want to listen to. His influence is much greater than his fame. He was born James Moore Jan. 11, 1924 in Lobdell, LA near Baton Rouge. He was the oldest of an orphaned family. While working as a longshoreman, he performed in Baton Rouge clubs as Harmonica Slim usually with his brother-in-law Lightnin' Slim. Lightnin' Slim was already recording for producer Jay Miller so when Miller started Excello Records in 1957, he signed Moore and named him Slim Harpo because there was already a Harmonica Slim on the west coast. After using him as a sideman for a while, Harpo released his first single I'm A King Bee. Like most of his songs, Harpo wrote I'm A King Bee with his wife. The song was an R & B hit but his 1961 song Rainin' In My Heart was an even bigger hit in 1961. Then when The Rolling Stones covered I'm A King Bee in 1964, Harpo followed that with Baby, Scratch My Back in 1966. It topped the R & B charts and was his biggest hit to date. Then he reunited with Lightnin' Slim and started touring together. And he continued to run his own trucking company. Slim Harpo toured Europe and was headed to London for a recording session when he died suddenly of a heart attack on Jan. 31, 1970 at age 46. This comp from Hip-O is a perfect intro to his music. Here's a video of I'm A King Bee by Slim Harpo.