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Jungle Hop (Remastered)

Don & Dewey

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Album Review

Man, is this stuff great! So why don't you already have this in your collection? Perhaps you haven't heard of it yet, or perhaps you've just heard of Don & Dewey — a pair of high school friends who started performing as a duo after playing in the Squires together — who recorded many sides for Specialty Records in the late 50s. They never had hits on their own, but they wrote and recorded songs that others brought to the charts, including the Sonny Bono-penned "Koko Joe," and the originals "Big Boy Pete," "Jungle Hop," and the perennial garage rock classic "Farmer John." That alone suggests that they were first-rate songwriters, but their talents run deep; these may be the standouts, but their other singles and the songs not issued until this 1991 collection are uniformly excellent. And that's just one side of the group. Just as importantly, they were dynamite musicians, rocking hard (Dewey Terry played a mean guitar, and Don "Sugarcane" Harris wasn't a slouch himself on the instrument, though his violin talents weren't fully appreciated here.) Supported by the Specialty house band (the same band that played on Little Richard's records) and singing delirious tag-team vocals make this sound insanely alive with life. There isn't a bad track here; and even if they didn't have hits and are still a cult item, they left behind a hell of a legacy, as evidenced by this necessary disc.

Biography

Formed: 1957 in Pasadena, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s

Wailing in tandem like twin Little Richards, Don & Dewey cut numerous blistering rockers for Specialty from 1957 to 1959 without registering a single hit, only to see other acts revive their songs to much greater acclaim. Don Harris (b. 1938) and Dewey Terry (b. 1938) were born and raised in Pasadena, CA, joining a group called the Squires and recording for Vita before branching off on their own. Their Specialty output included the savage rockers "Jungle Hop," "Koko Joe" (written by Sonny Bono),...
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Jungle Hop (Remastered), Don & Dewey
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