Thursday, May 11, 2017

Shorty Long - "Function At The Junction" (and the fictitious characters & real celebrities named in that 1966 R&B hit song)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases Shorty Long's 1966 R&B hit record "Function At The Junction". A sound file of this song is included in this post along with song lyrics.

Explanations about and background information about certain words in this song are included in this post, with particular attention to information about the fictitious characters and famous people who are named in that song.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Shorty Long for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.

SHOWCASE SOUND FILE: The Function At The Junction- Shorty Long- 1966

jameycruz2 Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

1966- Motown- Love It- Love It- Love It

(Shorty Long)

I'm getting ready for the function at the junction
And baby you'd better come on right now
Because everybody's gonna be there
We got people comin' from everywhere

We got Ling Ting Tong from China
Long Tall Sally from Carolina
We got 007, the private eye
And he's bringin' all the guys from "I Spy"

Come one, come all, we gonna have a ball
Down at the function at the junction
And baby you'd better come on right now

We serving egg foo yung and barbecue
Having chicken dumplings and kidney stew
Having heap big fun till the break of dawn
Gonna shake a tail feather shoot him 'fore he run

Hold a shotgun on the rooster, and dare him to crow
How could anybody sleep when they could get out on the floor

Tell him, tell them, tell one and tell `em all
Tell `em `bout the function at the junction
Tell `em that they'd better come on right now
Tell `em `bout the function at the junction
Tell `em that they'd better come on right now

Oh the soul brothers, Jitterbugs
Hip cats and fancy hats and
Pretty girls with pretty smiles
All decked out in the latest styles
And Farmer Jim and Guitar Slim and
Betty Boop and ooo-boop-e-doop
And Mohair Sam from Alabam
And Minnesota Fats from Hobo Flats
Breath-takin' Hip-shakin' give it now
Talkin' bout some fascinatin' demonstratin'

They all be gathering here, from far and near
For the Function at the Junction
Brother, you'd better come on right now
Tell `em `bout the function at the junction
Sister, you'd better come on right now
Talkin' `bout a function at the junction
Everybody you'd better come on right now


Here are explanations for certain words that are found in this song:

In the context of this song, a "function" is a relatively formal social event that includes eating and dancing. "Junction" is a reference for a place (in this case, either outdoor or indoor).

soul brothers = Black men

jitterbugs= Jazz dancers

hip cats = Jazz lingo for men who are up to date with the latest Black street culture

shake a tail feather = These words are lifted from The Five Du-Tones' 1963 R&B song with that name.
" "Shake a Tail Feather" (Otha Hayes, Verlie Rice, and Andre Williams) is a song originally recorded in 1963 by the Chicago-based group The Five Du-Tones.[1] (This version was featured on the soundtrack of the 1988 film Hairspray). A 1967 version by James & Bobby Purify reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]"...
"Shake your tail feather" means to "shake your butt"; "Shake your booty" (performing those motions while dancing)

Click for a sound file of the record "Shake A Tail Feather".

shoot em for they run = These words are lifted from Jr. Walker & The All-Stars' 1965 R&B song "Shotgun".
Click for information about that song and click for a sound file of that song.


Ling Ting Tong
Ling Ting Tong is the central character in a hit 1954 R&B song with that name by The Charms.

Here's the summary of that YouTube sound file:
["Ling Ting Tong" was] "Charted at #26 on Billboard Hot 100 in January 1955 and #5 on the R&B chart. Also #28 on the Hot 100 for the Five Keys in December 1954 (#5 R&B). A remake by Buddy Knox charted at #65 on the Hot 100 in March 1961. Written by Mable Godwin. B-side is "Bazoom (I Need Your Lovin')" which charted at #15 R&B. Released as a single in December 1954.

Long Tall Sally
"Long Tall Sally" is a rock and roll 12-bar blues song written by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, and Little Richard; recorded by Little Richard; and released in March 1956 on the Specialty Records label.

The flip side was "Slippin' and Slidin'". Both songs were subsequently released in the LP Here's Little Richard (Specialty, March 1957). The single reached number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart, staying at the top for six of 19 weeks,[1] while peaking at number six on the pop chart. It received the Cash Box Triple Crown Award in 1956.[2] The song as sung by Little Richard is #55 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3]

It became one of the singer's best-known hits and has become a rock and roll standard covered by hundreds of artists,[4] including the Beatles and Elvis Presley."...
Click of a Little Richard performance of "Long Tall Sally".

Click for a pancocojams post on three Little Richard songs: "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally", and "Lucille".

"The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, eight other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelizations...

The character has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip, video games and film...

Ian Fleming created the fictional character of James Bond as the central figure for his works. Bond is an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond is known by his code number, 007 (pronounced "double-oh-seven"), and was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander."...
"private eye" = private investigator (detective)

"I Spy"
"I Spy is an American television secret-agent buddy adventure series. It ran for three seasons on NBC from 1965 to 1968 and teamed US intelligence agents Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and Alexander "Scotty" Scott (Bill Cosby), traveling undercover as international "tennis bums". Robinson poses as an amateur with Scott as his trainer, playing against wealthy opponents in return for food and lodging. Their work involved chasing villains, spies, and beautiful women."...

Farmer Jim
Probably refers to Texas governor "Pa Ferguson", by Anne Dingus, JUNE 1998
"OUR OWN TRICKY DICK, James Edward Ferguson was the only Texas governor ever forced out of office for wrongdoing. The same confidence that made him rich inspired him to run for the state’s top office—in his first political campaign. He won, twice, before revelations of financial transgressions brought him down. Loath to part with gubernatorial privilege, Ferguson then presented his wife, Miriam, as a substitute candidate, promising two governors for the price of one (one bumper sticker countered, “No Ma for me—too much Pa”). Not surprisingly, her administrations were equally corrupt...

Born on August 31, 1871, he was raised on a farm near Salado. At age fifteen he was expelled from school for chronic misbehavior.

When he was 26, after no formal study, he received his law degree without being tested because the chairman of the bar-exam committee had known his father.

Ferguson won the governor’s race of 1914, thanks to farmers, whose votes he had targeted by championing agricultural issues. (They nicknamed him Farmer Jim.)


Pa Ferguson died on September 21, 1944."...
Since it was mentioned in that article, "Tricky Dick" is a nickname for 37th United States President Richard Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) , who resigned from the presidency rather than face almost certain impeachment and removal from office. Click for information about Richard Nixon.

Guitar Slim
"Eddie Jones (December 10, 1926 – February 7, 1959),[1] better known as Guitar Slim, was a New Orleans blues guitarist in the 1940s and 1950s, best known for the million-selling song "The Things That I Used to Do", produced by Johnny Vincent for Specialty Records.[2] It is listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.[3] Slim had a major impact on rock and roll and experimented with distorted overtones on the electric guitar a full decade before Jimi Hendrix.[4]"...

Betty Boop
"Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick.[2][3][4][5][6][7] She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop film series, which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in comic strips and mass merchandising....

she became one of the best-known and popular cartoon characters in the world."...
Read this excerpt about Baby Esther for information about the inspiration for the Betty Boop character:
Baby Esther

Esther Jones, known by her stage name "Baby Esther", was an African American singer and entertainer of the late 1920s, known for her "baby" singing style. She performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Theatrical manager Lou Walton testified during the Fleischer v. Kane trial that Helen Kane saw Baby Esther's cabaret act in 1928 with him and appropriated Jones' style of singing, changing the interpolated words "boo-boo-boo" and "doo-doo-doo" to "boop-boop-a-doop" in a recording of "I Wanna Be Loved By You". Kane never publicly admitted this. Jones' style, as imitated by Kane, went on to become the inspiration for the voice of the cartoon character Betty Boop.

When Kane attempted to sue Fleischer Studios for using her persona, the studios defended themselves by arguing that Kane herself had taken it from "Baby Esther" Jones. An early test sound film of Baby Esther's performance was used as evidence"...

"Mohair Sam"
A fictitious character in an "R&B-inflected novelty-rock number" recorded by White American Charles Allan "Charlie" Rich. "[Mohair Sam] "became a top 30 pop hit"...

Minnesota Flats
"Minnesota Fats, or George Hegerman, is a fictional pool hustler created by American novelist Walter Tevis. The character appears in Tevis' novels The Hustler (1959) and The Color of Money (1984). Jackie Gleason portrayed the character in the 1961 film adaptation of The Hustler, a performance that received several awards and nominations.

The character was an original creation of Tevis, though a real pool hustler, Rudolf Wanderone, who began calling himself "Minnesota Fats" in 1961, claimed to be the inspiration. Tevis denied Wanderone's claim, though Wanderone capitalized on it for years."...

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