Saturday Odds & Sods: Wang Dang Doodle

Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence.

We’re not playing hurricane dodgeball this week in New Orleans. It had to happen. In fact, we’re experiencing what some observers insist on calling a “cold front” but I call a cool front. As always, it’s likely to lead to an orgy of overdressing by locals desperate to wear non-summer clothes. My coats will remain in the closet. I might, however, be daring and wear a long-sleeved shirt. That’s as rad as I’m gonna get for now. It will be back in the eighties next week.

Willie Dixon wrote Wang Dang Doodle some time in 1959 or 1960. The chronology is almost as fuzzy as with this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour tune. Here’s how the songwriter described what the title of  this rollicking song means:

 In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”

We have four versions of Wang Dang Doodle for your listening pleasure: the original recording by Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor’s hit version, the Pointer Sisters, and the good old Grateful Dead who performed the song 96+ times. All night long, all night long.

Now that we’ve pitched a wang dang doodle, let’s jump to the break.

After four versions of a Willie Dixon tune, it’s only fair to post Willie singing one of his own songs:

Before beginning our second act in earnest, some Willie Dixon trivia. He co-wrote this Los Lobos song with Cesar Rosas:

Olivia Nuzzi Goes Trumping: Ms. Nuzzi is a native New Yorker who has great sources inside the Trump regime. She puts them to good use in her current job as New York Magazine’s White House correspondent.

She’s written two entertaining and informative recent pieces about life in the Trump camp that I highly recommend:

First, an insider account of Trump’s illness: The Entire Presidency Is A Superspreading Event. I resisted the temptation to add an asterisk; that’s my thing, not hers. I, of course, stole it from Charlie Pierce. I only steal from the best.

Second, Nuzzi went to Philly with Rudy Giuliani for a Columbus Day event. He spent the day trying to whip up Italian Americans with attacks on Joe Biden as a bad Catholic among other loathsome things. The thrice divorced Rudy is a good Catholic? Who knew? What does Caroline Rose think?

Let’s stay in the gutter with our next segment. I’ll let the Mother Jones link thingamabob serve as the subject header.

I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book

I hate talking on the phone so I thought Leland Nally’s strenuous efforts should be rewarded with a link. Besides, this was a helluva clever idea.

The last word of our second act goes to 10cc with the ultimate telephone tune:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Another one from The Comey Rule. This time it’s Brendan Gleeson playing the Impeached Insult Comedian.

That coupling could also be called profiles in malakatude.

I thought Gleeson’s performance was stellar. He declined to do a Baldwin-style impression, emphasizing instead Trump’s menacing side. His hair is, of course, better than Trump’s which resembles a dead nutria pelt. I think I *may* have said that before…

The Classic Movie List:  Director Anthony Mann’s career trajectory was similar to that of Robert Wise. Both started out with low budget projects and eventually worked with movie stars and glossier subjects. Both did their best work in their early days. So it goes.

Mann was best known for his film noirs and Westerns with film noir flair. Both genres are well-represented below. He also did seven movies with Jimmy Stewart two of which made the list.

My Top Ten Favorite Anthony Mann Movies:

  1. The Naked Spur
  2. Raw Deal
  3. The Furies
  4. T-Men
  5. Side Street
  6. The Tin Star
  7. Winchester ’73
  8. Border Incident
  9. Desperate
  10. The Fall Of The Roman Empire

Saturday GIF Horse: I’ve had the great FX crime show Justified on my mind ever since the plot to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer was exposed. It sounded like something out of an Elmore Leonard novel. The Detroit mob were key players in several seasons of Justified. Hence the connection however tenuous.

Here are three Justified GIFs featuring three of my favorite characters: Raylan, Boyd, and Art, Raylan’s long-suffering boss.

The great Dave Alvin wrote a song for the series. That’s how I justify inserting it here:

If you’re like me and Kasper Gutman you like talking to people who like to talk. Apparently, so does Bonnie Raitt.

Weekly Vintage Music Video: Speaking of movie-tie-ins, this song was featured in the 1995 movie, Something To Talk About with Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid. It was released four years before that film flickered to life.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: Inspired by our theme song, I went on a Koko Taylor album hunt. Wang Dang Doodle is not on this 1975 album but it’s chock-full-o good stuff. I’m cuckoo for Koko.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to Dennis O’Keefe, Marsha Hunt, and Human Claire Trevor in Anthony Mann’s Raw Deal.

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