Who Is Slim

29313456_1645667978802311_3168440368260561021_n.jpg

Heath Bowen Drums  **  Ed Meredith Bass

Peter O’Hare Guitar ** Erroll Woodward Harp/Vocals/Percussion

Automatic Slim is a character borrowed from “Wang Dang Doodle” a blues song written by Willie Dixon. It was first recorded by Howlin’ Wolf in 1960 and released by Chess Records in 1961.

From Wikipedia:

“Wang Dang Doodle” was composed by Willie Dixon during the second part of his songwriting career from 1959 to 1964. During this period, he wrote many of his best-known songs, including “Back Door Man“, “Spoonful“, “The Red Rooster” (better-known as “Little Red Rooster“), “I Ain’t Superstitious“, “You Shook Me“, “You Need Love” (adapted byLed Zeppelin for “Whole Lotta Love“), and “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover“. In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”. Rowe writes that Dixon’s song is based on “an old lesbian song” – “The Bull Daggers Ball” – with “its catalog of low-life characters only marginally less colourful that the original”. Dixon claimed that he wrote it when he first heard Howlin’ Wolf in 1951 or 1952, but that it was “too far in advance” for him and he saved it for later. However, Wolf supposedly hated the song and commented, “Man, that’s too old-timey, sound[s] like some old levee camp number:

Tell Automatic slim, to tell razor totin’ Jim
To tell butcher knife totin’ Annie, to tell fast talkin’ Fannie …
We gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long

Howlin’ Wolf recorded the song in June 1960 in Chicago during the same sessions that produced “Back Door Man” and “Spoonful”. Backing Howlin’ Wolf on vocals are Otis Spann on pianoHubert Sumlin on guitar, Dixon on bass, and Fred Below on drums. Freddy King has also been identified as possibly a second guitarist. In 1961, Chess issued the song as the B-side to “Back Door Man”, however, neither song appeared in the record charts. Both songs are included on Howlin’ Wolf’s popular 1962 compilation album Howlin’ Wolf, also called The Rockin’ Chair Album and many subsequent compilations.

download

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s