Fabulous Thunderbirds – Wrap It Up / Tuff Enuff

I couldn’t pick between these two songs from The Fabulous Thunderbirds so I thought we would have two songs today. I love the riff that kicks off Wrap It Up. It was a minor hit for The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1986. The band featured Jimmy Vaughan on guitar who was the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan. This band helped a blues revival in the 1980’s that included Robert Cray and SRV.

I must admit when I heard these songs for the first time I liked them a lot. I thought the band would have more hits.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds didn’t just hit out of nowhere. They formed in 1974 with original members Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson (singer), Keith Ferguson, and Mike Buck. Austin vocalist Lou Ann Barton also performed occasionally with the group during its early years.

These two songs were on their 5th album Tuff Enuff, produced by Dave Edmunds. The album peaked at #13 on the Billboard Album charts, and eventually went platinum. It was their breakout album and one they could not duplicate.

Tuff Enuff and Wrap It Up received heavy airplay on MTV. That was the secret of success in the 1980s…if you have MTV pushing… you would probably be alright.

Tuff Enuff peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1986 and Wrap It Up peaked at #55 in the Billboard 100.

They are still touring today with Kim Wilson (lead singer) the only original member left. Jimmie left the band in 1990 to work with his brother. Stevie and Jimmie made an album together that was released in 1990 called Family Style. It was released on September 25, 1990, and Stevie died a month before on August  27, 1990.

Art Honoring Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan Planned for Dallas –  Billboard

Stevie Ray Vaughan talks about his older brother Jimmie:

“Jimmie would leave his guitars around the house and tell me not to touch ’em. And that’s basically how I got started. I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn’t have any drums. So I just go into what was available to me at the time.”

“I was little brother, especially then” 

“What happened was he was moving ahead a little faster than me and I guess I was dragging it down a bit, so that didn’t work out too well. But I think with any brothers there’s a period of time when the little brother always gets in the way. That’s just brother-to-brother shit. It wasn’t anything between us that lasted. Hell, now we can’t see enough of each other.”

After being told that Jimmie brags on him in interviews Stevie said…”Well, I think he’s the better guitar player – so there.”

Eric Clapton just announced a tour with Jimmie Vaughan later this summer in the US.

Wrap It Up

I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Well no more will I shop around now baby
I know I got the best thing in town now baby
I’ve seen all I want to see now baby
Bring your lovin’ straight to me now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Well I’m gonna treat you like the queen you are
Bring you sweet things from my candy jar
You’ve got tricks you ain’t never used
Give it, give it to me, it won’t be abused

I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Wrap wrap
Wrap wrap
Wrap

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Chantays – Pipeline

The Chantays, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dick Dale, Anthrax, and Lawrence Welk. We will tie all of these artists together by the end of the post. 

I thought I might as well continue the surf music theme that was started Thursday and ride the wave into the weekend. 

This is one cool classic instrumental. Pipeline was originally the B side and the A side was a song called Move It. As with a few other singles through history…the B side took off and the A side became a trivial question.

Dick Dale also recorded this song with no other than Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1987. They really rocked up Pipeline for the movie Back to the Beach. You want variety? This song was covered by Lawrence Welk and Anthrax (video below). I would be willing to bet not many songs would be in that rare club.

I always wondered what “pipeline” meant…being a Tennessee guy I would not know that first hand. The title “Pipeline” refers to a term in surfing slang, in which a wave closes over your head while you ride it horizontally, so it looks like you’re in a rolling pipe made of water. This maneuver is also sometimes called “shooting the tube.”

Some odd trivia about the Chantays…they were the only rock and roll band to perform on The Lawrence Welk Show (something tells me Anthrax would not have been invited if they would have been around then). The Chantays were also honored on April 12, 1996, by Hollywood’s Rock Walk ,that was founded to honor individuals and bands that have made lasting and important contributions to music.

The song peaked at #4 in Billboard 100, #11 on the R&B Charts, and #16 in the UK in 1963.

From Songfacts

This was surf-rock group The Chantay’s only charting Billboard Top-40 hit. However, it is considered today one of the staples of the surf-rock genre. It was actually the B-side of a single; the A-side, “Move It,” never charted.

The unique sound of this track is partly due to its composition, which is inverted from standard practice. The bass and rhythm guitars are at the fore, while the lead guitar, keyboard, and drums are in the background. Also it was recorded in stereo even though it was going to be released in mono as the typical 45-RPM single record of the day.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that surf-rock tends to have a lot of instrumental work? That’s because it started out as strictly an instrumental form, where speed and precision playing was highly valued. In a way, it fathered the speed metal genre. We have The Beach Boys to thank for bringing vocal harmonies to surf music.

Dick Dale, who earned the title “King of the Surf Guitar,” recorded a new version of “Pipeline” with Stevie Ray Vaughan for the 1987 movie Back To The Beach. The movie reunited Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello 24 years after they starred in one of the first beach movies, Beach Party, which featured Dick Dale’s music.

Dick Dale with SRV

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Willie The Wimp

In 1984 Willie M. ”Wimp” Stokes Jr., described as a Chicago underworld figure who was gunned down on the steps of Roberts Motel at 79th Street and Vincennes Avenue. Such a violent death was not unheard of in Willie the Wimp`s social circles-but the style of his funeral was.

Willie’s dad, Willie Morris “Flukey” Stokes gave his son an extravagant goodbye. He was in the same line of work as his son.

 

If you want to see the coffin with Mr. Stokes inside… you can go to here “Willie The Wimp and Cadillac Coffin.” I didn’t really want to post that.

Bill Carter and Ruth Ellsworth wrote the song after seeing a newspaper column about the story. Bill Carter released his version on his 1985 album Stompin’ Grounds. Stevie Ray Vaughn started to play the song in concert and it was released on his live album Live Alive in 1986.

Stevie was in the upper echelon of guitar players…right along with Hendrix and Clapton.

Willie The Wimp

Willie the Wimp was buried today,
They laid him to rest in a special way.
Sent him off in the finest style
That casket-mobile really drove ’em wild
Southside Chicago will think of him often
Talkin’ ’bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin,
Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin

That casket, it looked like a fine Seville
He had a vanity license and a Cadillac grille
Willie was propped up in the driver’s seat
He had diamonds on his fingers and a smile sweet
Fine red suit had the whole town talkin’
Talkin’ ’bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin

Oh, Cadillac to Heaven he was wavin’ the banner
He left like he lived, in a lively manner
With a-hundred dollar bills in his fingers tight
He had flowers for wheels and a-flashin’ headlights
He been wishin’ for wings, no way he was walkin’
Talkin’ ’bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
Yeah, Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin