Wednesday, February 10, 2016

the last book I ever read (Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, excerpt five)

from Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello:

The Joe Loss Blue Beats—a horn-led nonet—cut “Patsy Girl” for HMV Records. It was a novelty song that my father wrote, inspired by a Jamaican woman who used to make tea at band rehearsals. People would probably take offense now at the West Indian accent that my father affected, by in ’64, “Patsy Girl” was just regarded as harmless fun and had a great tumbling trumpet coda played by Vic Mustard.

The B-side was more topical. It was a lover’s plea delivered in the style of the then named Cassius Clay, called “I’m the Greatest.”

Neither the A- nor B-sides sounded anything at all like any real ska records and the record sank without a trace.

Except, that is, in Germany, where “Patsy Girl” became a Top 10 hit almost two years later.

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