Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Musical Evolution

This is what happens when I'm stuck indoors because it's raining on Memorial Day weekend. Heh, heh! I was reading the comment thread on an article by a Gather friend regarding a very oddly-drawn old postcard, and some in the comment thread decided to pen captions for the thing. One of the commenters put in the words to "Wild Thing", and later I commented that I wondered if I had an mp3 version of that. I went to look; I don't. But it got me to wondering, and I did a YouTube crawl to see what I could find.

Of course, many of us old fogies remember when this hit the charts sung by The Troggs back in 1966 (yes, chillun', we're going back to ancient times!):

A year later Jimi Hendrix created rock 'n' roll legend with his performance of the tune at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival:


Do you know who originally wrote the song? Hmmm... I didn't think so. His name is Chip Taylor, the stage name of James Wesley Voight. Yup, Jon Voight's brother. As Chip Taylor he's had quite a career as a songwriter. Not only did he write "Wild Thing", he also wrote "Angel of the Morning" (I fell in love with Merilee Rush when she sang this and made a hit of it) and a slew of Country hits sung by people like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Juice Newton, and Emmylou Harris. He also had a sort of performing career, but it really kicked in later in his life, when he met vocalist and fiddler Carrie Rodriguez at the 2001 South by Southwest in Austin, TX. And that brings us to the last video. This is Chip and Carrie, along with bassist Alan Bradbury, performing "Wild Thing" with a bit of a Cajun twist at The Louisiana Musicians Hurricane Benefit Concert, November 13, 2005 at historic Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI. Yup, right up the road from me, but I wasn't there. Sadly. Anyhow...

I hope you've all enjoyed this little musical archaeology excursion!


  1. "Wild Thing" is on that list of songs that I can't help but like but I can't for the life of me say why.

  2. My first thought was, "I hope he mentions mentions Hendrix." I shouldn't have worried!

    I did not know that Chip Taylor wrote "Wild Thing." That is definitely one to store in my music data base portion of what is left of my brain.

    BTW, Carrie R.'s new CD is excellent. She doesn't play much violin -- it's more about her singing and song writing.

  3. I did enjoy, thank you! I did the same kind of thing once with "Winchester Cathedral" - couldn't get it out of my head and went searching the YT - so many versions!

  4. ...awesome post and thanks for the history. I loved every rendition. Musically talented people always amaze me. (One of my all-time favorite songs.)

  5. Every performing songwriter has to wish they had a song like "wild thing" in their back pocket - especially helpful i imagine when closing a show. Chip Taylor is quite simply an amazing, world-class songwriter. Hanging out & writing with him certainly must have taught young Carrie something. She hasn't had his level of songwriting success yet - but it certainly seems like she's on her way.