Saturday, August 22, 2009

Doctor Horse and the Coasters: Tales of Sartorial Splendor...And Sorrow

As inseparable as the two masks of classical Greek thee-ater, so are the highs and lows of the Dandy. One day Beau Brummell's polishing his boots with Champipple, the next he's takin' it on the lam to avoid the debtor's prison.

So it goes, High and Low, with the following two records.

First, former elevator operator made good as one of Doc Sausage's Five Porkchops, Al "Dr. Horse" Pittman tells us about the good life, about a man named Bobo and his fine-as-wine thousand dollar vines in "Jack, That Cat Was Clean," a solo outing recorded in 1958 for Bobby Robinson's Fire label.

Then, in the Coasters' "Shoppin' For Clothes," from 1960, you get more insight into the sorrows of the poor boy surrounded by unattainable luxury than you would from 500 sociology dissertations. Mm-mm, my heart's in pain.

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