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If You Can't Be Good, Be Careful!

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Album Review

Like the vast majority of Pigmeat Markham's albums for Chess, If You Can't Be Good, Be Careful captures the comedian live at Chicago's venerable Regal Theater, and his delivery channels the energy of the crowd to potent effect, galvanizing material that might seem hokey in the hands of a lesser talent. Markham's all over the map this time out, eschewing thematic consistency for a series of self-explanatory routines like "The Preacher," "The Bachelor Apartment" and "Court Session," the latter another extension of his signature "Here comes the judge" bit. As always, few have played the fool quite so brilliantly.


Born: 1904 in Durham, NC

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Pigmeat Markham was far better known as a comedian than a musician, but in the 1960s he cut a series of novelty records in which he delivered his rhythmic, rhyming routines over frantic backdrops of bluesy funk that not only anticipated hip-hop by at least a decade, but landed him on the pop charts in the process. Born in Durham, NC, on April 18, 1904, as either David Markham or Dewey Martin (he was known to use both, and biographical sources disagree as to his true name), he began his career as...
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If You Can't Be Good, Be Careful!, Pigmeat Markham
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  • $5.94
  • Genres: Comedy, Music
  • Released: 1966

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