Don Covay passed away a few days ago, on January 30. Some of you may know him from his more popular songs, "Mercy Mercy", "Sookie Sookie" and so on, or his work with the Soul Clan, the short lived semi-super group that included Solomon Burke, Joe Tex, Ben E. King and Arthur Conley. He also wrote a bunch of songs you've heard by others, including Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools".
Before all of that, he was a singer in the Little Richard Revue road show, moonlighting as Richard's chauffeur. Richard produced his first solo 45, "Bip Bop Bip", released in 1957 under the pseudonym Pretty Boy. Given that he was backed by Richard's band, the Upsetters, and the vintage of the song, you can guess what it sounds like. It's a raw over-the-top old school skull scraping rocker. To wit, it opens with guttural yelps and a scream. And it sounds like it was recorded in the red. And it lasts under two minutes. So...yeah, crack your knuckles and dig in.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Pretty Boy - Bip Bop Bip mp3 at Rocky 52 1957
Pretty Boy - Rockin' the Mule mp3 at Rocky 52 1958
Don Covay - Believe It Or Not mp3 at Rocky 52 1959
Don Covay - Mercy Mercy mp3 at ATumblr (?) 1964
Don Covay - See Saw mp3 at Northern Soul Music 1965
Don Covay - Sookie Sookie (streaming) at YouTube 1966
Soul Clan - That's How it Feels mp3 at Urban Mogul Life 1966
Don Covay - Five more songs at Boogaloo Time Including a heretofore elusive "Sookie Sookie"mp3!
Sookie Sookie covers:
Tina Britt - Sookie Sookie mp3 at Dos Rios (?)
Grant Green - Sookie Soookie mp3 at DJ No DJ
Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie mp3 at Shades of Tracy
Don Covay at Wikipedia
Don Covay - Fan Page