Mad Daddy’s Maddest Spins (Righteous Records)

Disc jockey Pete Myers, aka “The Mad Daddy”, worked in late-1950s Cleveland and 1960s-New York, known for his between-song raps and goofy hipster patois of beat rhymes and nonsensical phrases. Perhaps we’re living in more cynical times, but that kind of announcing wouldn’t fly today (see the 30-second snippet at the end of the record). Far more interesting is the music he played, and that’s why this album, derived from two Mad Daddy radio show playlists – one from 1957 and another from 1958 – is worth a listen. Among the Maddest Spins’ twenty-nine songs you’ll hear a fascinating variety of musical oddities and rock’n’roll outlaws playing whacked-out instrumentals, frenzied rockabilly, grunting r&b, demented doo-wop, and pretty much every other form of left-field musical exotica imaginable from that era. Essentially, this is the kind of music that birthed The Cramps, who even wrote a song called “Mad Daddy” as a tip of the hat to his influence on their aesthetic. A few familiar names are present (Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, and Link Wray), but most of these songs are by artists forgotten by all but the most ardent record collectors. Ever heard of Mel Smith & The Nite Riders? Probably not, but you should check out their absolutely jaw-dropping song “Pretty Plaid Skirt (and Long Black Sox),” which is about as wild and unhinged as 1950s rock could be. In fact, if the idea of hearing wild and unhinged songs from the ’50s piques your interest, then you should definitely pick this up. Highly recommended.
1. Thunderbird – Rene Hall’s Orchestra

2. The Greasy Chicken – Andre Williams
3. Service With A Smile – The Kuf-Linx
4. Rumble – Link Wray
5. Green Mosquito – Tune Rockers
6. Good Golly Miss Molly – The Valiants
7. Pickin’ On The Wrong Chicken – The Five Stars
8. Snake Charmer – The Puddle Jumpers
9. Apple Cider – Doc Starks
10. Blueberry Sweet – The Chandeliers
11. Don’t You Just Know It – Titans
12. Pretty Plaid Skirt (And Long Black Sox) – Mel Smith & The Night Riders
13. Sunglasses After Dark – Dwight Pullen
14. Rockin’ In The Jungle – The Eternals
15. (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
16. Twitchy – Rene Hall
17. Tornado – Dale Hawkins
18. Selfish One – Jackie Ross
19. Teen Age Machine Age – The Travelers
20. Melvin – Bobbi And The Beaus
21. This I Swear – The Skyliners
22. Unexpectedly – Rayburn
23. Slow Motion – Wade Flemons
24. Linda Lu – Ray Sharpe
25. My Own True Love – Jimmy Clanton
26. Oh What A Fool – The Impalas
27. What’d I Say (Parts 1&2) – Ray Charles
28. Thank You Pretty Baby – Brook Benton
29. Open The Door Richard – Billy Lee Riley