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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

February 3, 2011
by

For weeks, possibly months (with the clear exception of the night I took my mother to see Jersey Boys), I’ve had UB40’s “Cherry Oh Baby” running through my head.

No good reason at all. I like the song, I like UB40, it’s all fine and dandy. But it’s not like this is a song that is life-changing. It’s not “Let’s Get It On” or “Louie Louie”, no “54-46 Was My Number” or “Bring It On Home To Me”. But there it is.

Turns out, “Cherry Oh Baby” was originally by Eric Donaldson, meriting #741 in Dave Marsh’s great book The Heart Of Rock & Soul (which you really must own — Marsh describes the “cascading yelps and yowls with which [Donaldson] concludes each verse”), and then was remade by the Stones (“Jagger bemoaning his lovelorn fate could never be anything but absurd”), but the version in my head is UB40 (and Marsh has nothing to say about that one).

Nothing to be done but lay back and enjoy it. Here’s both of the good versions (the Stones’ kind of sucks).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2011 9:22 am

    When I was a little kid, I used to beg my dad to play various 45s for me before he left for work. The Eric Donaldson version of Cherry Oh Baby was one of my very favorites — along with Ken Lazarus’s Ob La di (I can’t spell it, but you know what I’m talking about). Also, Mule Train. Loved that song!

    • Fat Al permalink*
      February 4, 2011 5:21 pm

      I assume Count Prince Miller and not the original Mule Train. Trojan Records, has you written all over it.

      I could stare at that record all day (okay, maybe I have).

      (And, can I add that if the Universal Fucking Music Group is so fucking offended by the posting of a video of one of their records spinning on a turntable they can, well, go fuck themselves. Fuckers.)

  2. raginrr permalink
    February 4, 2011 4:39 pm

    glad to see you mentioned e. donaldson…most have probably never heard of him…the stones cover was/is pretty lame…ub40’s was better…marsh’s book was a good read…gota dig out my copy…thanks for the reminnder…

    rr

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