Gold Cup 0005 A US Year 1970
As a lot of Bo’s ventures go, it’s difficult to find specifics and particulars with so many scattered productions, and while I can’t tell you much about the Explosions in detail, what has come to light is that it was a teenage Juanita Brooks singing up front on Hip Drop!
Bo, who is responsible for such beastly funk jams as Hook and Sling, Pass the Hatchet and the irresistible Every Dog Got His Day, to name but only a very few, produced, wrote and released this gem on his own label Gold Cup in 1970. That same year he also released Check your Bucket on another imprint Bo Sound, and wasn’t a stranger to “going it alone” for publishing and producing by that time.
There were only two other releases on Gold Cup, which happen to be the only other three recordings that Explosions ever released, the elusive Jockey Ride and Garden of Four Trees flipped with Teach Me. Brooks was in fact mis-credited on the latter label when it was actually Marilyn Barbarin who sung up front on Four Trees, although apparently she was never an actual member of the Explosions. Obviously she is freakin’ amazing on that track!
Hip Drop is so damn funky and really should come with a booty shaking warning! And to make things even better, it’s a “2 parter”, so you get to come back for seconds. It’s perfectly raw as you’d expect from these great early 70’s Bo recordings, and cooks up with just the right amount of fat, dirt and “sassytude” (see what I did there…clever huh)!
Juanita Brooks, who came from a musical family, was also a great gospel and jazz singer and later performed for many years in stage and theater in New Orleans and off Broadway. Sadly she passed away at the age of 55 in September 2009. Eddie Bo died 6 months earlier on March 18, of a heart attack. But let us rejoice for this fist full of funk they both hit us hard with all those years ago which still gives the floor a good beatin’. And every time I drop it, I can always expect to get at least one punter asking “what the hell was that”!
Now some highly recommended “must read” sites for info and dedications…