Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Down The Road Apiece

The Rolling Stones No.2
Side 2, Track 1
"Down The Road Apiece" (Don Raye) – 2:55

Who is Don Raye? Glad you asked. From wikipedia:

Raye started his career as a dancer, going on to win the "Virginia State Dancing Championship." He started work in vaudeville as a "song and dance man" often writing his own songs for his act. In 1935 he started work as a songwriter, collaborating with composers Samuel Cahn and Saul Chaplin, and Saxophonist Jimmie Lunceford.

Okay, that's fine and everything, but this is the good part:
His great success with "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" caused Raye to write the follow-up songs, "Scrub Me Mamma, with a Boogie Beat," "Bounce Me Brother, with a Solid Four," and "Fry Me Cookie, with a Can of Lard."
They don't write 'em with titles like that anymore! Anyway, the part we're after:
He also composed the song "(That Place) Down the Road a Piece," one of his boogie woogie songs, which has a medium bright boogie tempo. It was written for the Will Bradley Orchestra, who recorded it in 1940, but the song was destined to become a rock and roll standard, recorded by The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Foghat, Amos Milburn, Harry Gibson, and countless others.
(Much more about Don Raye at the Big Band Database.)

If I had to guess, the Stones picked the song up from Chuck Berry, who was a huge fan of big band music. This may be the only time in the history of Rolling Stones music that the rhythm section actually swings, making a fairly generic tune interesting. Keith throws in his usual ace Chuck Berry solo (the third chorus kicks some ass), and Mick sits out most of the tune, presumably dancing the Charleston around the studio with some flapper.

Image courtesy of Caption reads
One or two famous names from the world of pop music photographed together after a concert in 1965. They include Mick Jagger and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones who had just started down the road to international superstardom. A young Dusty Springfield with the DJ Jimmy Saville, Tom Jones, the legendary Welsh crooner and at his side Priscilla White (or Cilla Black as we know her now).