CHICAGO BOOGALOO


Lewise Bethune: Chitown Boogaloo
A.C. Reed: Boogaloo Tramp
From Chitown Boogaloo (Goldmine Soul Supply, 2006)

For all the time I’ve spent researching Latin boogaloo, I realized I wasn’t focusing enough on the original boogaloo craze – the one born out of Tom and Jerrio’s “Boo-Ga-Loo” in 1965, spreading quickly throughout the R&B world and lasting for the next few years. From what I can tell, the R&B boogaloo trend didn’t have the same kind of focused intensity as Latin boogaloo but it does seem to have shared some parallels, especially in being focused around the Chicago/Detroit corridor. My research is all preliminary but I am glad to have come across the Chitown Boogaloo comp which offers a tantalizing glimpse into a collection of tracks from that Midwest boogaloo craze. Suffice to say, more research is needed but you gotta start somewhere.

The Lewise Bethune was very interesting, not the least of which was because it’s basically Don Gardner’s “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” with new vocals thrown on top (but clearly nodding to Gardner’s original). It doesn’t outdo Gardner’s but this is a pretty fun cut regardless and I think it’s interesting how Bethune’s version actually lifts the “ooh” “aah” from Tom and Jerrio’s original “Boo-Ga-Loo” single that sparked this whole movement. The A.C. Reed is another 7″ I’ve owned for years but only recently came back to in the midst of my boogaloo curiosities: this one actually mashes up two different fads – the boogaloo and “Tramp,” the bluesy/funky classic by Lowell Fulsom. I like how terse and focused the rhythm section is here – the song sheds a lot of heat but keeps things close in and tight.

If anyone out there has more knowledge of the R&B boogaloo movement, holler. I need to get to reading this, no doubt.

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