We’re returning to one of the classics for this week’s selection, however I guess this version may not be that familiar to some of you. Written by the legendary father of New Orleans Soul, Allen Toussaint, the original release (in 1965) was by another icon of the N’Awlins scene, Mr Lee Dorsey. Toussaint cut his own version and it was to gain tremendous popularity among many 60s bands including garage rockers The Leaves & The Kingsmen as well as The Doors, Iron Butterfly and even Gerry Rafferty.
Today’s take on it comes by way of Wilmer & The Dukes – a New York R&B band formed in 1957 comprising 3 white members and the black bandleader, Wilmer Alexander Junior. In the late 50s/early 60s, this was quite a unique line-up and ensured that the band stood out from their peers of the time.
The group mainly operated as a covers band performing many Motown hits by artists like The Four Tops & Junior Walker & The Allstars. This led to a very loyal following when they appeared at various clubs around the New York/New Jersey area and afforded them the opportunity to support Wilson Pickett & Sly & The Family Stone. After a number of years on the circuit the chance arrived for the band to cut their first single called “Give Me On More Chance” in 1968. A number of singles quickly followed including one whose b-side featured a cover of The Rolling Stones “I’m Free” (which was to be covered by The Soup Dragons around 20 odd years later).
This version of Dorsey/Toussaint’s classic was cut in ’69 and had no chart success whatsoever. What I particularly like about this record is the saxophone and the heavy drum break in the middle. Enjoy!!