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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Yakety Yak"

The Coasters - "Yakety Yak" (1958)

"/...and when you're finished doing that./Bring in the dog and put out the cat./"

I sort of  made reference to this song back in January when I talked about "Is That All There Is?". I did link to it, as well as to several other recordings of tunes written by Leiber and Stoller. It was one of many hits they had in the 50s that were termed 'playlets' by the writers. It refered to the fact that it was a short story or play, set to music. In this case the plot is simple: parents want child to do chores, child responds with sass and the parents respond. It is a story so timeless that the song continues to be well known more than 50 years after its release. Children and parents, some of whom used to be those same children, have identified with the song and its simple lyrics. This song may be the bands only #1 pop hit, but they had several top ten hits, and this has lasted longer than most other early Rock and Roll tunes from the 50s. The sax solo is by King Curtis, an all around saxophone virtuoso who performed on countless hits from the 50s to the early 70s. He has already appeared once in this blog, as the saxophone soloist on Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and he is sure to show up again.

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