Edited by Azizi Powell
This post presents information about The Hucklebuck as well as two sound file of that Jazz tune and five videos of that Rock and Roll song & dance.
The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
INFORMATION ABOUT PAUL HUCKLEBUCK WILLIAMS, AND INFORMATION ABOUT "THE HUCKLEBUCK"
"Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams (July 13, 1915 – September 14, 2002) was an American blues and rhythm and blues saxophonist and songwriter. In his Honkers and Shouters, Arnold Shaw credits Williams as one of the first to employ the honking tenor sax solo that became the hallmark of rhythm and blues and rock and roll in the 1950s and early 1960s.
After performing with Clarence Dorsey and King Porter he formed his own band in 1947. He was best known for his 1949 hit, "The Hucklebuck", a twelve-bar blues that also spawned a dance craze. The single went to number one on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. He used the billing of Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers thereafter. Charlie Parker had four years earlier used the same riff for his "Now's the Time".
Williams' recording was covered by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra, as well as by R&B artists Roy Milton and Lionel Hampton, but Williams' Savoy recording was still the best-selling rhythm and blues song of the year. Shaw points out that "The Hucklebuck" was an early example of crossover from R&B to mainstream popular music. The Paul Williams version sold half a million copies by some estimates. In later years, during the rock era, in 1960, Chubby Checker peaked at number fourteen with his version of the song, while in 1963 Brendan Bowyer and the Royal Showband became the first Irish artists to top the Irish singles chart with their cover, staying at the top for seven weeks.
British Rockabilly band Coast to Coast reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in 1981 with a cover called "(Do) the Hucklebuck". In 2010, Crystal Swing had a hit with the song...
Do the Hucklebuck, do the Hucklebuck,
If you don't know how to do it, boy, you're out of luck,
Push your partner out,
Then you hunch your back,
Start a little movement in your sacroiliac,
Wiggle like an eel, waddle like a duck,
That's the way you do it when you do the Hucklebuck"
"...On February 20, 1948, the band played their first engagement outside of the Detroit area and broke all house records at the Royal Theater in Baltimore. It was Paul Williams’ cleverly reworked treatment of the 1928 Andy Gibson song, “D-Natural Blues,” that changed a whole generation of music, dance and Williams’ life. That tune, renamed “The Hucklebuck,” was a phenomenal success. It was recorded in December of 1948 on the Newark-based Savoy label, and it became an important precursor of rock ‘n’ roll. It hit number one in February 1949 and remained on the charts for thirty-two weeks. While the pop swing bands of the war years were disbanding or playing little more than background music for pop vocalists, “The Hucklebuck” sparked a dance craze and brought a danceable beat into the publics awareness. It was a shuffle-blues instrumental built around the sound of a furiously honking saxophone, it helped give impetus to the raucous variant of rhythm and blues that evolved into rock ‘n’ roll. It also gave Mr. Williams an identity: from 1949 until the end of his career, he was billed as Paul Hucklebuck Williams."
Here's a link to lyrics to "(Do The) Hucklebuck" as sung by Chubby Checker: http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/chubby_checker/the_hucklebuck.html
I gather from reading online posts about The Hucklebuck that how this dance is done has changed from a very risque partner dance to a line dance with usually very fixed steps. Here are links to articles about how The Hucklebuck was danced and is now danced, although I don't vouch for the authenticity of the contemporary instructions.
http://wfmu.org/LCD/26/huck1.html Do The Hucklebuck!
http://www.ehow.com/way_5300839_hucklebuck-dance-steps.html Hucklebuck Dance Steps
Here's a link to one of several YouTube videso of the Hucklebuck being performed as a fixed line dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCTWSySXnOY Huckle Buck
Also, a comment in a 1963 video of the Gospel group, The Clara Ward Singers, mentions that members of this group were doing a Holy dance step that reminded the commenter of a "Holy Ghost huckle buck". The commenter referred to the "dancing" at 1:38 of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhrJ8qITUUs
Clara Ward - Swing Low Chariot [And Let Me Ride]
Example #1: Huckle Boogie - Paul Hucklebuck Williams
Uploaded by PaulHucklebuckWms on Oct 8, 2010
The song Huckle Boogie appears on one of three album recordings. Paul Williams The Complete Recordings Volume 1 1947 - 1949, Paul Williams The Complete Recordings Volume 2 1949 - 1952, and Paul Williams The Complete Recordings Volume 3 1952 - 1956.
Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread:
"The saxophone playing in this song is great. There is a second version of the song on Paul Williams The Complete Recordings Volume 2 1949-1952."
Example #2: Pinetop Perkins - The Hucklebuck.wmv
laercon, Uploaded on Dec 21, 2009
Pinetop Perkins - The Hucklebuck - Montagem feita em cima de um desenho antigo da Betty Boop
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinetop_Perkins for information about Pinetop Perkins.
Example #3: Chubby Checker - The Hucklebuck
Uploaded by OpDePlanken on Oct 7, 2008
Live On Stage
Example #4 CHICK WILLIS EXCLUSIVE How To Do The Hucklebuck (Remix)
Blues Hunter, Uploaded on Nov 17, 2010
… taken from CD, "The Best Of So Far"
I’m particularly interested in the music and the vintage dance films that are included in this video, though I’m unsure if any of them were of people dancing the Hucklebuck.
Although these next three videos aren't by Black performers as per the overall mission of this blog, they certainly are a noteworthy part of the Hucklebuck culture. And I believe that visitors to this blog will enjoy watching them, as I have.
Example #5: Hucklebuck
Ron R, Uploaded on Feb 1, 2009
Norton teaches Ralph how to dance
Here's information about that version of The Hucklebuck:
Regarding the version that was used in the Honeymooner episode:
"It was done by Kay Starr….The version played on the show was a slightly different version than the one that actually came out…
posted by powbangzooom0, 01-08-2007, http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=13910
Example #6: Coast To Coast - (Do) The Hucklebuck (1981) HD
BadCovers0815007, Uploaded on Aug 11, 2010
Example #7: Crystal Swing doing huckle buck on late late show
jryantime, Uploaded on Jul 6, 2011
Crystal swing gets the crowd going by doing the huck bckle on the late late show. The huckle buck was made famous in the showband era by brendan boyer
Click this link to a page of my Jambalayah cultural website that features a compilation post of other Rock and Roll dances (dances prior to 1970): http://www.jambalayah.com/node/1142
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to the composers of these songs, and all of the musicians, vocalists, and other performers in the featured videos. My thanks also to the authors of the articles that are quoted in this post, and the uploaders of these featured sound files and videos.
Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.
Visitor comments are welcome