Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post showcases two sound files of Red Saunders & His Orchestra With Dolores Hawkins & The Hambone Kids's "Hambone" record (1952, 1963).
Information about Red Saunders is also included in this post along with information about The Hambone Kids
The lyrics to the 1963 version of this record are also provided in this post.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to Red Saunders & His Orchestra and Dolores Hawkins and The Hambone Kids for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.
This post is part of an ongoing series about the "Hambone" song and percussive body patting activity.
for a 2011 pancocojams post on Hambone (pattin juba) beat and body percussion.
Click the tag below for other pancocojams posts that are also part of an ongoing series on "Hambone".
INFORMATION ABOUT RED SAUNDERS & HIS ORCHESTRA
"Theodore Dudley "Red" Saunders (March 2, 1912 – March 5, 1981) was an [African] American jazz drummer and bandleader. He also played vibraphone and timpani...
Saunders remained in control of the Club DeLisa house band until the club closed in 1958, apart from a hiatus between 1945 and 1947 when he led a smaller band at other venues in Chicago. Among his sidemen were Leon Washington, Porter Kilbert, Earl Washington, Sonny Cohn, Ike Perkins, Riley Hampton, singer Joe Williams and Mac Easton. Among the arrangers he employed were Johnny Pate and Sun Ra.
He made his first recordings as bandleader for Savoy Records in late 1945, and later accompanied such rhythm and blues performers as T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner, Sugar Chile Robinson, Rosetta Tharpe, Willie Mabon, Little Brother Montgomery and LaVern Baker (then credited as "Miss Sharecropper") on sessions. He continued to record under his own name with relatively little commercial success for several years, until early 1952 when his recording of the traditional children's song "Hambone" on the OKeh label, with Dolores Hawkins and the Hambone Kids (who included Dee Clark), reached some R&B charts. In 1956, he recorded with Guy Warren on Warren's album Africa Speaks—America Answers! Despite his regular gig and disinclination to go on the road, Saunders also played with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Woody Herman. He continued to lead a band at the Regal Theater in Chicago into the 1960s, and played with Little Brother Montgomery and Art Hodes at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in the 1970s."....
INFORMATION ABOUT THE "HAMBONE" RECORD BY RED SAUNDERS AND HIS ORCHESTRA WITH DELORES HAWKINS & THE HAMBONE KIDS
From http://www.somanyrecordssolittletime.com/?cat=2010 Hambone / Red Saunders & His Orch. with Delores Hawkins & The Hambone KidsSUNDAY, JULY 8TH, 2012
"Red Saunders found his first successful footing in the depression era Chicago clubs. His endless singles, on many labels, seemed to finally reach an early doo wop/RnB mix of ghetto wildness, a frenzy evident here.
First released in February 1952, the record was accompanied by large display ads in Billboard showing The Hambone Kids performing in front of Red Saunders and his drums. The originally issued take of ‘Hambone’ included Dolores Hawkins’ whistling but lacked her vocal interjections that appear on this version; it also included a brief passage for the full band and a tenor sax solo. The Kids’ rhythmic practice was known as hamboning or patting juba: slapping various body parts as a substitute for drumming. Dee Clark, one of those Hambone Kids, also loudly stamped his heel on the 2nd and 4th beats.
Peaking at #20 on the Billboard RnB chart, it was, like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put A Spell On You’, a consistent seller. By ’63, parent company CBS decided to reissue ‘Hambone’ as Okeh 7166, pictured here. And then again in ’67 (Okeh 7282). These reissues used an alternate take running 2:13, in which The Hambone Kids and Dolores Hawkins are accompanied throughout by guitar, bass, and drums only; the rest of Red Saunders Big Band / Orchestra contributing only shouts of “Hambone!” at the beginning and end of the piece.
There are many versions of ‘Hambone’ floating around this earth, as was the case with all big selling black records in the 50′s, endless vanilla white artists watered them down for middle America consumption. This here is the real deal though."
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RECORD
From The Virgin Encyclopedia of The Blues by Colin Larkin[Google books, page 1879]
"He [Red Saunders] recorded on Sultan, Savoy, and Supreme before securing a contract with OKed. The featured vocalist on his 1950/1 session was "Jumpin' Joe Williams, some years and a coat of polish before his stint with Count Basie. Sanders also claim to fame was a ramshackle 1952 novelty hit 'Hambone'. 'The Hambone Kids', Sammy McGrier, Ronny Strong, and Delecta Clark (who grew up to become Dee Clark), patted 'juba', slapping their bodies in syncopated rhythms, between singing childish verses that anticipated Bo Diddley, while Dolores Hawkins ejaculated 'Yeah!' at the end of each stanza."
"Re-popularized in the early 60s by NYC kids host and former radio actor Sandy Becker on his show on WNEW Channel 5 in NY. He developed a character called Hambone [dressed in a bizarre marching-type uniform, pith helmet with huge feather and 6"-long "glasses"] and would strut and stride around on camera while the song played, and would also put up words on signs on a board to form a witty saying. Becker was also a cartoon voice actor (Go Go Gophers, others) and is fondly remembered by kids of the 50s & 60s from the NY area. The 1952 release was re-released in 1963 due to the popularity of Becker's character, and was a re-edited take with Becker squealing "Yeaaaahhhhhhh!!!" in character over the original record. Among the Hambone Kids was a young Dee Clark, who would later have hits such as "Raindrops", a staple of oldies radio."
SHOWCASE SOUND FILES:
Example #1:Red Saunders - Hambone (Original Version)
Michael McKenna, Published on Feb 15, 2013
This is the first version of Red Saunders' "Hambone" from 1952 - released as OKeh 6862 - which has a saxophone break in the middle of the song - does not have the drawn-out "YEAH!" exclamations found in the later version - and does not have the "false fade"prior the the last exclamation of "Hambone!". The later version was issued with "Rumble Mambo" by Link Wray on the reverse side as OKeh 7166 in 1963 and OKeh 7282 in 1967.
Example #2: Hambone - Red Saunders and his Orchestra with the Hambone kids - HQ
jrocuts, Published on Aug 14, 2010
LYRICS: HAMBONE (Version #2)
Have you heard?
Papa’s gonna buy me a mocking bird
And if that mocking bird don’t sing
Papa’s gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring don’t shine
Papa’s gonna take it to the five and dime
Hambone, Hambone, where you been?
Round the world and I’m goin' again
Hambone Hambone, where's your wife?
In the kitchen cookin' rice.
Look at him holler, look at him moan*
He always called for his hambone.
We he get it he eat it fast
That ole hambone just wouldn't last.
Yeah! Yeah! Ah Yeah! Ah ha!
This is my transcription of this song from that sound file. Additions and corrections are welcome.
*I can't decipher what is said in this line. I got those words from this version of "Hambone" which is partly attributed to Red Saunders