Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Vee-Jay Records: Boom Boom

When I think of John Lee Hooker’s 1961 recording of “Boom Boom,” the movie “The Blues Brothers” comes to mind, as Hooker appears singing the tune while Jake and Elwood Blues get ready to enter the Soul Food Café. Released in 1962, the original charted both on the R&B and Hot 100 charts. On the R&B side, it peaked at #16; however, it failed to make it into the Top 40 by only peaking at #60.

The sidemen that accompanied John Lee Hooker’s guitar and vocals are a veritable who’s who of session musicians. The Funk Brothers of Motown Records’ fame provided the backing. Included among the band were the following musicians: Joe Hunter on piano, James Jamerson on bass, Benny Benjamin on drums, Larry Veeder on guitar, Hank Cosby on tenor sax, and Mike Terry on baritone sax.

Hooker said that he was inspired to write the song from a female Detroit bartender. Since Hooker was frequently tardy for his gigs at the Apex Bar, the barkeep would say, “Boom, boom – you’re late again.” Hearing the phrase enough, he was inspired to write the song.

Cameo in The Blues Brothers

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