Martin Lampen's Bubblegum Machine

Street Corner Hustler/World of Trouble - Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls
The best thing about this tune - from Chicago crooner Lou Rawls - is the introduction monologue - part Damon Runyon, part Theme From Shaft.

I was ill last week. I spent 18 hours vomiting isotonic energy sports drink into a beige Addis washing up bowl. My voice sounds like Jack Rolfe, the gruff boat yard owner - and British Ken Kercheval - from TV's Howard's Way, gargling hedgehog fur from a rusty tankard...

Despite this, my vocals still aren't half as husky as Lou Rawls. But at least Lou tempers his huskiness with some silky soul stylings (like Lee Marvin gargling semi-melted Kinder Bueno from a velvet hip flask).

> Listen to this

Mighty Mighty - Baby Huey & the Babysitters

Fancy some 'Lord, have mercy's'? How about a few 'good-God almightys'? I'll even throw in some 'are you feelin' goods?' and assorted other bits of boogaloo soul gibberish.

Baby Huey was a big man. Baby Huey was a soul man; 350 pounds of soul in a chiffon shirt. It was down to a glandular condition and many, many deep-fried chicken steaks.

Give the big guy a break; no one knew about trans-fatty acids in 1969.

Shortly after they signed a recording contract, the Babysitters went psychedelic, donned day-glo dashikis wholesale and acquired heroin habits. Huey's weight ballooned and he died not long after.

As with many 'live' soul records from the late 60s and early 70s, Mighty Mighty wasn't recorded at a gig - it was a studio record with some overdubbed hand-clapping, street slang ad-libs, out of synch call-and-response band/audience banter and - in the tradition of BBC sitcom studio audiences from the same era - one audible, hysterical woman on the laugh/crowd track; a women given to the kind of crazed, shrieking laughter that, in a less enlightend era, would have resulted in the forced removal of her thyroid and indefinite exile to an asylum or attic.

> Listen to this
Roger Miller
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Friday: the eagle flies

Written and Illustrated by Martin Lampen

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"[Lampen is] the bastard child of Delia Smith and Mike Leigh... a writer of wit and warmth whose book is a joy." - The Times
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© Martin Lampen 2011