Sunday, June 09, 2013


Mistakes...can become intentional. Stuttering, stumbling all around, playing with spoonerisms or just plain mumbling…if a vocalist accidentally makes an audience laugh or stays in the act! There probably are some long forgotten cylinders and 78's that sold because nobody bothered with a re-take and the result was a "novelty." No wonder the music world soon began to see deliberate screw-up songs like "K-K-K-Katy" and...many decades later, "Mumbles Blues," recorded in 1957 by Bobby Lewis. Yes, the Bobby Lewis who had that big hit years later with "Tossin' and Turnin'"

"Pure Sound" and the joyful noise...not such a big part of music anymore. From Big Band idiocy ("The Hut Sut Song") to doo-wop, to the scat singing of Ella Fitzgerald and Roger Miller, to Chipmunks novelty songs...there was always a place for frisky sound effects and sing-alongs. Now? Well, there's a farty pastime called "beat boxing," but can you think of two more sinister and unpleasant words? A "beat boxer" is no entertainer, just a spitty show-off, the exact opposite of a warm, giving, ebullient performer such as Bobby Lewis.

Lewis is now about 88 years old, living in Newark, and mostly blind. But he can still get on stage if asked, and if given the opportunity to do more than the "hit single," he probably could do a wonderful job on "Mumbles Blues."

Maybe Clark Terry is the most famous "mumbler" of all time, but this IS a nice one. Some song lyrics don't need much analysis. As for Bobby's sound effects, he's doing a nice job of both mumbling AND stuttering. Mumbles you killin' me! Just download it for some fun….

Tossin, Turnin…. MUMBLIN and STUTTERIN'

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