Thursday, January 27, 2011

She can do the jerk better than anyone else in town...

So, what do ya get when you let Jimi Hendrix play the riff to "Gloria", add horn charts/production by none other than King Curtis, and then top it all off with vocals by rockabilly singer Ray Sharpe?

That's whatcha call a rhetorical question, but personally speaking, the term "momentous event" comes to mind. More than that, I can honestly say I'm glad the earth didn't crack in half during this session.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

[Btw, if anyone needs more info on Ray Sharpe, you can find it here.]

[Update: As far as I know this is the first use of the basic track King Curtis later re-cycled into "Instant Groove". It is also the basis for Aretha Franklin's, "Save Me", issued a year later.]


  1. "INSTANT GROOVE" Oh yes!!! Thank you...

  2. C. Von Grumpy, indeed.

    I really should have mentioned Instant Groove in the post. I just like this version so much better that I think of it as definitive. And in a way, it is. This 45 was released in 1966, which is a couple of years before Instant Groove, right?

    It's also essentially the same song as Aretha's "Save Me" from 1967, which Curtis got co-writing credit for.

    In the end though, it all comes down to those three chords from "Gloria"

  3. The presence of Hendrix has only ever been speculation based on Ray Sharpe's memory. In fact Sharpe probably overdubbed his vocals on a band track. Its true that Hendrix was in NY, and had probably joined KCs band by the recording date (November 21, 1966) but note that long time guitarist Cornell Dupree is the the way Parts 1 & 2 are really one long continous track, with an overlap of 23 seconds. Cheers Roy Simonds (

  4. Roy, thanks a bunch for the info. I generally take Hendrix "sightings" with a grain of salt, so I'm not at all surprised it's probably a myth. And yeah I definitely noticed Cornell Dupree's involvement.

    Funny thing is, I'm usually much more skeptical in general, but I was having trouble thinking of something to write so I thought, "what the hell, I'll just cough up some nonsense". I actually love it that you called me out, because it means my more usual jaundiced view is, in it's way, probably closer to the truth.

  5. According to this, Jimi said it was Jimi:

    But it is a little complicated - this same backing track got used AGAIN with ANOTHER vocalist, and that's the one Jimi ID'ed. At least that's what that link says . . . . the session info given there credits both Dupree and Hendrix as playing in this. WTFDIK?

  6. Jer....that's very very interesting. I happen to have the Owen Grey recording. To my ears it sounds like a second guitar playing the "Gloria" riff was added to the Ray Sharpe version in order to beef up the sound. Maybe that why there's confusion, because it could be that what you hear is actually two guitarist playing the same riff, one overdubbed over the other?

    Interesting also because I'm not sure that the backing on Aretha's "Save Me" isn't a totally re-cut track. Certainly I think the guitar was either re-dubbed or that one of the earlier guitar tracks was eliminated. It just sounds a lot sparer than either Sharpe's version or Instant Groove.

    Anyway, thanks a bunch for the info....and yeah it does sound like Jimi copped to playing on the track.

  7. I never thought Aretha's was the same backing track myself - I don't think there is a stereo version of the Owen Grey/Ray Sharpe/Instant Groove track, is there? Of course it could all be remixes from a multitrack session master, Tom Dowd was slick like that.