Tuesday, July 26, 2011
ROLLS ROYCE and THE WHEELS - TOPLESS
"Rolls" Royce was actually Royce McAfee, a jazz/R&B organ player from Texas who had his own combo in the early 60s (cutting "Cairo Twist" on the Gayla label). He later went on to promote many local artists in the Dallas area, and reputedly hired a young Teddy Pendergrass to play drums in his band in 1965 (and cut "Afro-Au-Go-Go" for the Ara label). In 1964, the biggest rage in swimwear fashion was the one-piece topless bathing suit out of France - everyone talked about it, though very few women dared to wear it. Early that summer, Royce had a chance to record a dance tune he'd written, "The Frog", and needed something for the flip side. Royce's wife, Judy, was at the session, and suggested they do a tune about the risque piece of beachwear everyone was talking about. Royce and the band laid down a backing track, and then Royce, Judy, and another woman (possibly his sister-in-law) recorded a spoken dialogue about the topless bathing suit.
The result was absolute genius. You can actually hear the leer on Royce's face when he sees a woman wearing a "topless". The two women react with hostility at first, but one of them begins to come around to Royce's way of thinking, saying, "well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Which causes the other woman to retort, "if you can't join 'em, BEAT 'em!!" Sage advice, indeed.
"Rolls" Royce and The Wheels - Topless (Constellation 133) - 1964