Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Gee – Challenge #176

‘Gee’ by The Crows was released in June 1953, and many times this song is given credit for being the first bona fide rock and roll hit by a rock and roll group.   Doo Wop was the most popular style of rhythm and blues in the early 1950’s, and many people feel that vocal group style of singing was rock and roll, and therefore this vocal group singing, came to be the first music to be called “rock & roll” and it was also the favorite music that teenagers listened to and disc jockeys played.  The Crows were a doo-wop group, so other people say that since this is a doo-wop song, it can’t be the first rock and roll record but this argument will have to take place in a different post.  ‘Gee’ was written by William Davis and Viola Watkins, and recorded by the Crows on the independent label, Rama Records, at Beltone Studios in New York City in February 1953.  It charted in April 1954, one year later, as it took a year to get recognized on Your Hit Parade, an American radio and television music program, which faded when rock and roll arrived.  Your Hit Parade ended in 1953 and five years later the Billboard Hot 100 chart made its premiere on Aug. 4, 1958.  Prior to the creation of the Billboard Hot 100Billboard Magazine published multiple singles charts each week.  ‘Gee’ landed #2 on the rhythm and blues chart and went to #14 on the pop chart.  It became the first 1950s doo-wop record to sell over one million records, and it was one of the first such R&B records to crossover to the wider pop market.

The Crows formed in 1951 as a typical street corner doo-wop group and were discovered at Apollo Theater’s Wednesday night talent show by talent agent Cliff Martinez, and brought to independent producer George Goldner who had just set up tiny new independent Rama Records label.  They were a typical street corner doo-wop group that the first group to be signed and were also the first to record on this label.  They started off as back-up singers for the singer and pianist Viola Watkins.  ‘Gee’ was the third song recorded during the first session and it was released as a B-side to their song ‘I Love You So’, but radio stations were soon turning it over to play ‘Gee’ with Daniel “Sonny” Norton, Harold Major, Bill Davis, Gerald Hamilton, and Mark Jackson in the group.

DJs in Philadelphia and New York and Los Angeles began playing the B-side of the record.  West Coast DJ “Huggy Boy” Hugg started played it to win back a girlfriend who liked the song.  When Dick Hugg first heard this song, he decided that he didn’t like it so he gave it to his girlfriend, who really loved it.  One night they got into a fight and, to make up, Huggy Boy played the song over and over on the air for her.  For some reason, that episode triggered an explosion of sales in LA.  Kids who were lukewarm to the song when they heard it once in a while, went nuts for it when it was played non-stop.  ‘Gee’ caught on, and George Goldner a behind-the-scenes figure in the history of popular music, promoted it nationally.  

The Crows are one of a long series of groups that had bird names, The Falcons, The Feathers, The Flamingos, The Larks, The Orioles, The Penguins, The Ravens, The Robins, The Swallows, and The Wrens, long before the Byrds and The Eagles.  The absolute gem has incredibly infectious backing vocals and it was an original piece with a quick dance beat, great harmonies, which included lots of doo wop style syllables.  It also has a surprisingly jazzy guitar solo with some piano accompaniment.  The solo comes courtesy of Tiny Grimes, a noted jazz guitarist who died in March 1989 in New York City from meningitis at the age of 72.  Even though ‘Gee’ walked in on in the spring and summer of 1953, and became a huge hit in early 1954, a year after it was recorded, the Crows were a one-hit wonder, as none of the follow-up records released had any chart success.  The group broke up a few months after ‘Gee’ dropped off the Hit Parade.

Jerry Garcia’s older brother Tiff was a big influence on him and got him listening to the rhythm and blues station KWBR, where Jerry heard the Crows ‘Gee’, which he said was music that actually started to become rock & roll and ‘Gee’ was sort of the borderline, being basically black music, but he loved that stuff.  Frank Zappa and Paul Simon have also mentioned this song being an influence on them.  The video shows Tiny Grimes on guitar and Viola Watkins on piano.  It was recorded in the 1964 movie Kitten with a Whip which is a crime drama featuring John Forsythe driving a Thunderbird and Ann Margaret dancing. 

Do do-do do, do-do do, do-do do-do-do
Do do-do do, do-do do, do-do do-do-do
Do do-do do, do-do do, do-do do-do-do do
Love that girl

Oh Gee, my oh Gee, well o-o Gee
Why I love that girl, love that girl

Oh please, listen to me, hear-hear-hear my plea
Why I love that girl

Hold me, Baby, squeeze me
Never let me go
I’m not takin’ chances
Because I love her, I love her so

Oh Gee, yes I love her, Yes I need her
Why I love that girl, love that girl

Hold me, Baby, squeeze me
Never let me go
I’m not takin’ chances
Because I love her, I love her so

My-my oh Gee, well o Gee, my-eye oh Gee
Why I love that girl, love that girl

Oh please, listen to me, hear-ear my plea
Why I love that girl, love that girl

Why I love that girl

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday Dylan Hughes will be here on February 26 with her First Line Friday and she will provide the first line for your post and then you get to write whatever comes afterward, with the length, genre, and structure being completely left up to you.  I will be back on Friday, March 5 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Your Song’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and permit everyone to read your post sooner that way, and then follow the directions that are given. When you click the Mister Linky widget, another screen will pop up that will look like this screenshot below, with two empty boxes, one for your name and the other containing the web address where your post can be found, both ready for you to fill in.  You must check the box below, for your post to go through.

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another early 50s song, like a song by Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley or Frank Sinatra, then go with that.  You could also go with another Doo Wop song or a song that has something to do with loving a girl, or a song that you like from one of the many bird groups.  Maybe you could write a post about taking chances, or never letting someone go.  If you are familiar with the movie Kitten with a Whip, then you could write about that, or you could write about John Forsythe or Ann Margaret if you like.  The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about the Billboard Hot 100, if you like.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday Dylan Hughes will be here on February 26 with her First Line Friday and she will provide the first line for your post and then you get to write whatever comes afterward, with the length, genre, and structure being completely left up to you.  I will be back on Friday, March 5 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Your Song’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and permit everyone to read your post sooner that way, and then follow the directions that are given. When you click the Mister Linky widget, another screen will pop up that will look like this screenshot below, with two empty boxes, one for your name and the other containing the web address where your post can be found, both ready for you to fill in.  You must check the box below, for your post to go through.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

6 comments on “Gee – Challenge #176

  1. newepicauthor
    February 19, 2021

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Members of the crow family, are known as corvids, and they are among the smartest birds in the world. Some are capable of using tools, playing tricks, teaching each other new things, even holding “funerals.” Yet there’s still much we don’t know about these fascinating, sometimes confounding creatures, however this post is about the Doo Wop group from Harlem who achieved commercial success in the 1950s. The group was fronted by Daniel “Sonny” Norton on lead vocals and also included Harold Major (tenor), Bill Davis (baritone), Gerald Hamilton (bass) and Mark Jackson (guitar). Two of the group’s members died at an early age; Hamilton in 1967 at the age of 33 and Norton in 1972 at the age of 39. They formed in 1951 when R&B vocal groups seemed to be springing up on every street corner, alleyway, and subway station in the city and they disbanded in 1955. They sang the hits of the day, adding enough of their own style to give them an edge in the regular vocal battles with other neighborhood aggregations. By January 1954, the Crows had a big hit with their song ‘Gee’, which sold 100,000 copies.

  2. Pingback: Go With God – A Unique Title For Me

  3. Pingback: Friday Music Challenge (MLMMC) | sparksfromacombustiblemind

  4. Melanie B Cee
    February 19, 2021

    Interesting prompt selection today Jim! Here’s mine (which I will also share on your blog post). https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2021/02/19/friday-music-challenge-mlmmc/

  5. Pingback: 1942- A Love Story – Reena Saxena

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