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Rolling Stones songs: Tallahassee Lassie
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Well, she dances to the bop, cha-cha rag-a-mop/ Dances to the blues, rocks the bunny hop, woah, woah…
Written by: Slay/Crewe/Picariello
Recorded: EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France, Oct. 10 1977-March 2 1978. Overdubs by Mick at Le Fork Studios, Pocé sur Cisse, France and La Fourchette (Mick’s homestudio) in Sept. 2011 and by Keith at Electric Lady Studios, NYC and Berkeley St. Studios, Los Angeles, Sept. 2011
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This was the first of eight US Top 40 hits for Freddy Cannon, whose most memorable song is the #3 “Palisades Park” from 1962. Cannon was nicknamed “Boom Boom” for the big bass drum sound on his recordings.
Cannon spoke with Paul Russo of Cool Scoops ice cream parlor, who tells this story about the song: “In November 1958, Bob Crewe and Frank Slay booked a session for Freddy Cannon and the band at Boston’s Ace Studio. Even with Slay on the piano, the session didn’t go well. Determining that Freddy’s guitar playing wasn’t good enough, Kenny Paulson, who had formerly been with Dale Hawkins, was brought in to play lead. After 50 takes and still unhappy with the results, the producers and musicians called it quits. The sound on the demo was decided to be too crude for commercial release. This was confirmed when every New York label they approached turn them down.
A few months later, Slay played it for a New Jersey deejay that thought it was great. They then offered it to Philadelphia based Swan Records, which was partially owned by Dick Clark. Clark liked the song, but suggested the vocal bridge, the part that begins with the pounding bass drum that begins “She dances to the bop” be repeated. Clark’s instinct’s were right in seeing this as the songs true hook. Unwilling to try and re-record the song, they simply spliced a copy of the bridge on the end, and that’s the way the record was released.”
Cannon’s mother Mimi Picariello wrote this song. She got the songwriter credit along with Bob Crewe and Frank Slay. The lyrics were originally a poem that Mimi Picariello had written called “Rock and Roll Baby.”
This song was influential on a number of 1960s bands, especially the Rolling Stones. “Brown Sugar” was directly inspired by Mick Jagger’s repeated playing of this song.
Although it is actually a post-’78 tour/early Emotional Rescue outtake, The Rolling Stones released their cover of the song for the Deluxe edition of Some Girls in 2011. Mick Jagger explained: “This is a song made famous by Freddy Cannon. The original version we did at the time of Some Girls sounds like it was recorded in a wind tunnel. It now sounds like we’re coming towards the end of the tunnel. Quite funky. I left it alone. Didn’t do anything new, except add some handclaps – which is very close to the feel of the original.
(Ref. tallahassee lassie)
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