Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Smokey Joe's BBQ Cafe Ghost

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Legbamel Not-Pop

Once upon a time I listened to a lot of Minnie the Moocher. Then I got a record of Phil Alvin (the lead singer for The Blasters) performing with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Sun-Ra. I love people who are willing to sell me their bizarre vinyl.

But that was not my point. I wanted to tell you that apparently I completely missed the sequel to Minnie the Moocher. It's pretty rare that a song gets a sequel but, sheesh, Cab Calloway did both so I should have caught it. At any rate, on that album (although not this list because Grooveshark doesn't have it) was a song called Ballad of Smokey Joe which has been more commonly recorded as The Ghost of Smokey Joe, who happens to have been in love with poor Minnie.

But Smokey Joe seems to have gotten around a bit, to a doo-wop cafe, a southern-fried barbecue, and a Sixties girl group. And so I've included here seven songs about ol' Joe. If you only listen to one, make it Cab Calloway. I love his voice and this is such a great example of why. Oh, and did I mention that Smokey Joe's a coke-head? Even back in the 30s they knew it was bad for you.

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