Who was 24-Carat Black?

Hosts Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell take a hard look at legendary tracks of the past and present, connecting the dots on the music they sample and the songs that inspired them. Join us for Season 3, where Riffs takes a deep dive into the tragic world of 24-Carat Black, the band everyone has heard, but nobody has heard of.

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Shooting Pains

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Every sporting event and arena in America has House of Pain to thank for its lasting contribution to hip-hop history with their 1992 crowd pleasing hit, “Jump Around.” Even movies like Mrs. Doubtfire to Black Hawk Down and Bridget Jones’ Baby, have utilized the energetic popularity to supplement their soundtracks. 27 years later we are all still jumping around to this jazzy-punk-hip hop mash-up of greatness. Joe and Toby discuss House of Pain members - Everlast, DJ Lethal & Danny Boy - and their musical connection to an American saxophonist and vocalist who recorded for Motown during the 1960s.

What we geek out over in this episode: Junior Walker and The All Stars, The Cosby Show theme song, Moonglows vs. Moondog, Record Producer and Singer Harvey Fuqua, “Harlem Shuffle” (1963) by Bob & Earl, 1950’s American Singer Thurston Harris, ToeJam & Earl video game, Chubby Checker’s “Popeye the Hitchhiker” (1962), DJ Muggs, and ‘Chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self’.

Bonus Material: Everlast and his success as a solo artist.

Shooting Pains

🔊“Jump Around”

Joe: Hello and Welcome to Riffs on Riffs, where we explore the collision of original and sampled tracks and the artists who made them. I’m your host, Joe Watson, and I’m here with my co-host, Toby Brazwell. What’s up Toby?
Toby: Not much man! Good to be here!
Joe: Together, we listen to the legendary tracks and the timeless — but sometimes not-so-well-known — songs they sampled from. Toby, what are we listening to today?
Toby: This is a track called “Jump Around” from House of Pain. Let’s hop in the Delorean and find out what track was sampled to produce this hit.
Joe: Rewind!!


🔊“Shoot Your Shot”

Toby: Joe, what are we listening to?
Joe: This is a song called “Shoot Your Shot” by Junior Walker and the All Stars. Let’s dig into Junior Walker’s history and find out how the All Stars got their start.
Toby: Autry Mixon Jr., aka Junior Walker, was born in Blytheville, Arkansas. He learned to play the saxophone and formed a band called the Jumpin Jacks. On occasion, Junior would also sit in with other bands. One of those bands was formed by his friend Billy “Stix” Nicks.
Joe: Billy’s band was called Rhythm Rockers and after some time Autry left his own band and joined the Rockers permanently. Soon after the band name changed from the Rockers to the All Stars.
Toby: The All Stars started to get noticed and were signed by Harvey Fuqua’s label, Harvey Records. Harvey Fuqua was a pretty accomplished artist in his own right. In addition to owning a label, he also had a group called Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows. Soon after signing with Harvey, Walker and the All Stars had one of the first signature hits, “Shotgun.” Let’s take a listen to the 1965 hit, “Shotgun:”


Joe: Legendary track! “Shotgun” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart in 1965. I love this track and, something about it takes me back to childhood nights around the telly.
Toby: If listening to this song makes you think of America’s most popular TV dad, you’re on the right track. Tenor Saxophonist, Craig Handy is credited for playing the Cosby Show theme song for the 6th season and the similarity between this song and “Shotgun” is undeniable. Let’s take a listen.

🔊Cosby Show

Joe: Wow! That’s nuts. I see your factoid and raise you another. As we mentioned earlier, Harvey Fuqua had a group called Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows. One member of the Moonglows was the one and only, Marvin Gaye.
Toby: Wow, that’s a helluva backup!
Joe: Another interesting tidbit about the Moonglows: They were originally called the Crazy Sounds, but when they moved from Louisville to our home city of Cleveland, Ohio, they were taken under the wing of famed disc jockey Alan Freed. Besides coining the phrase Rock and Roll, Alan also renamed the Crazy Sounds to the Moonglows, after his dog, Moondog.
Toby: And to those of you Cleveland Cavalier fans out there, first of all, thank you for sticking around after Lebron left! Secondly, the Cavalier’s mascot is also named Moondog in honor of Alan Freed.
Joe: That is a cool tribute.
Toby: As it turns out, Fuqua had an for talent as well an eye for opportunity. After signing Walker and the All Stars he then sold the label to Motown Records. If you are connecting the dots, you can see how Fuqua is credited for introducing Berry Gordy to Marvin Gaye.
Joe: Yes, it helps that he was married to Berry Gordy’s sister, Gwen at the time. Man, to be a fly on the wall at those family dinners! And speaking of family, Harvey Fuqua has a nephew you may have heard of, Antoine Fuqua. He’s directed a couple of movies.
Toby: Yeah, you could say Antoine’s directed a couple of movies, including Training Day, which got Denzel a best actor Oscar. Pretty talented family indeed.
Joe: Ok, back to Junior Walker and the All Stars. After the success of “Shotgun,” they recorded a cover of Marvin Gaye’s hit “How Sweet it is to be Loved By You”. Let’s give that a listen:

🔊“How Sweet it is to be Loved By You”

Toby: And besides Marvin and the Junior’s versions, I think everyone is familiar with the 1975 cover from James Taylor — this one hit #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the easy listening charts. Let’s give that a spin:

🔊“How Sweet it is to be Loved By You” - James Taylor

Toby: There’s never a bad time to hear that song. I tell you what else is sweet… success! And that’s exactly what Junior Walker and the All Stars found in 1967 with their song called “Shoot Your Shot.” Let’s take another listen to that.

🔊“Shoot your Shot”

Joe: Shoot your shot made it to 33 on the Billboard Top 100 and 33 on the R&B chart. Junior Walker and the All Stars had another hit in 1969 with “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love),” which was also co-written by Harvey Fuqua.

🔊“What Does it Take (To Win Your Love)”

Toby: Junior Walker and the All Stars continued to release songs until they disbanded in 1979 as Junior decided to go solo.
Joe: As a solo artist, Junior Walker leant his stellar saxophone skills to Foreigner’s 1981 #1 rock hit, “Urgent.” Let’s take a listen to some of Junior’s sax work on that song:


Toby: There was another guest artist on “Urgent” playing synthesizer. This guy went on to have his own hit in 1982, “She Blinded Me with Science.” Let’s give that a listen:

🔊“She Blinded Me With Science”

Joe: That was Thomas Dolby, who some would say was a one-hit wonder as that was his only top ten hit, but he’s a respected session musician, producer, and educator.
Toby: “She Blinded Me with Science” was also sampled for Mobb Deep’s 2004 track, “Got it Twisted.” Let’s listen to how they put their spin on the Dolby track:

🔊“Got it Twisted”

Toby: So there’s another track that House of Pain sampled for “Jump Around.” Let’s check out the intro for the 1963 song “Harlem Shuffle” by Bob and Earl.

🔊“Harlem Shuffle”

Joe: That’s the same intro used for “Jump Around,” although they squished it a bit. So a couple of tidbits about Bob and Earl. First, the “Bob” in question is Bobby Byrd…
Toby: And in case y’all were wondering, this is NOT the same Bobby Byrd that sang with James Brown.
Joe: Correct my friend. This Bobby went by the stage name Bobby Day, and he had a #1 hit in 1957 with a little song called “Rockin Robin.”

🔊“Rockin Robin”

Toby: Love this song, and thankfully we are sneaking up on springtime in this part of the country. Hopefully we’ll see some robins out and about. But this is not Bobby Day’s only hit. He wrote and recorded the song “Little Bitty Pretty One” in 1957 as well. Let’s give that a listen:

🔊“Little Bitty Pretty One” - Bobby Day

Joe: This track was covered by singer Thurston Harris that same year, and for whatever reason, Harris’s version charted much higher, reaching #6 on Billboard Best Sellers and #2 on the R&B chart. Let’s give that a spin:

🔊“Little Bitty Pretty One” - Thurston Harris
Toby: Thurston Harris was originally in a band called The Sharps, who backed him up on “Little Bitty Pretty One.” They changed their name to The Rivingtons and in 1962 unleashed this epic entry into the English lexicon:

🔊“Papa Oom Mow Mow”

Joe: This wasn’t the only deep and lyrically dense song they created. Who could forget the existential classic Bird is the Word?

🔊“Bird is the Word”

Toby: That’s so weird, because I always thought Grease is the word. That you heard. It’s got groove, it’s got meaning.
Joe: Funny you should mention Grease, because the song Summer Nights from that soundtrack lyrically samples “Papa Oom Mow Mow.” It’s tucked in there, but let’s take a listen to the background singers here:

🔊“Summer Nights”

Toby: This isn’t the only song to famously use these catchy lyrics. Joe, do you remember a certain gothic clad woman from the 80s with big hair and equally large … personality?
Joe: I believe you are referring to the Mistress of the Dark, Elvira? Why do you ask?
Toby: I am indeed. I only bring her up because of the 1981 Oak Ridge Boys song of the same name. Which was not about the woman Elvira, but about a street in Tennessee. Actually, this was a cover of the 1967 Dallas Frazier song, but it became a huge crossover hit for the Oak Ridge Boys, reaching #1 on the country charts and #5 on the Billboard 100. Let’s listen to “Elvira.”


Joe: And there it is. More “Papa Oom Mow Mow.” Giddyup! I love tunes that rock bass vocals. Reminds me of the “Walrus of Love.”
Toby: Funny you should bring up Barry White, because he co-arranged the Bob and Earl song “Harlem Shuffle.”
Joe: He did, and he’s not the only other star tied to this song. The Rolling Stones covered “Harlem Shuffle” on their 1986 album Dirty Work, and took it all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts. Let’s listen to that.

🔊“Harem Shuffle” - Rolling Stones

Toby: You’re right, the star power on this track is crazy. Besides the Stones, we have Ivan Neville, Tom Waits, Patty Scialfa, and even Beverly D’Angelo — I had no idea she did some singing when she wasn’t on vacation with Clark Griswold.
Joe: Nor did I! So many connections to Bob and Earl, including our featured track, “Jump Around” by House of Pain. But Toby, I have a question.
Toby: Hit me.
Joe: You and are about the same age. Did you play video games back in the day? Do you remember the Sega Genesis and early Playstation consoles from about the time we were in college? There was a game called ToeJam and Earl
Toby: Yessir! And that game had a great soundtrack. Funky. Please tell me we have a little sample of some game music.
Joe: I got you buddy, here you go:

🔊ToeJam and Earl

Toby: Thank you for that visit to planet Funkotron. We have certainly circled the musical universe these last few minutes, what do you say we dive deeper into our second featured track, “Jump Around?”
Joe: Let’s do it! House of Pain is a hip hop group that featured Everlast as the main MC, Danny Boy as the hype man, and DJ Lethal. Before creating House of Pain, Everlast was signed to the Warner Bros label and released an album entitled Forever Everlasting. The album was produced by MC and actor Ice T.
Toby: Let’s take a listen to the first single released from that album, called “Never Missin’ A Beat.”

🔊“Never Missin’ A Beat”

Joe: I can hear some Roger or Zapp in there.
Toby: Right you are my friend. Zapp has a song called “Doo Wa Ditty” that was sampled for this track along with James Brown’s “Funky Drummer.” Pretty cool how all the connections are being made.
Joe: Agreed. Everlast’s debut album didn’t sell well, despite collaborations that featured Ice T and the beautiful voice of N’Dea Davenport (lead singer from the group Brand New Heavies). But there was one good thing that came out of it.
Toby: That’s right, he met DJ Lethal. DJ Lethal’s real name is Leor Dimant and he met Everlast through a mutual friend.
Joe: Apparently Leor was a pretty good beat boxer and after hearing him, Everlast asked him if he wanted to be his DJ. Leor was 16 at the time and decided to Carpe Diem, drop out of high school and go on tour with Everlast, Ice T and Rhyme Syndicate.
Toby: After the tour was over Everlast asked Daniel O’connor, aka Danny Boy to join their new group House of Pain as a 2nd rapper and hype man. So here’s a question for you Joe. Do you have any idea on how the group got their name?
Joe: From what I understand it’s from a book right?
Toby: Yes sir. It’s from the HG Well’s The Isle of Dr. Moreau.
Joe: I’ll have to go back and read that one. It certainly seems like someone was paying attention in English class.
Toby: Shout out to all the English teachers out there. So House of Pain was formed around 1990 and released their first album House Of Pain: Fine Malt Liquor on July 21st, 1992. Our second featured track was the lead single. Let’s take another listen to “Jump Around.”

🔊“Jump Around”

Joe: This song reached No. 3 in the US, No. 6 in Ireland and No. 8 in the UK. Besides “Shoot Your Shot,” one of the other samples used on this track is Chubby Checker’s “Popeye the Hitchhiker.”

🔊“Popeye the Hitchhiker”

Toby: I had no idea Popeye was a hitchhiker. I always thought he was just a sailor man.
Joe: I am surprised as you are, though according to Chubby Checker’s lyrics, no one picked him up. Maybe that’s why he took to the high seas.
Toby: Well, I don’t think we can pass up Chubby Checker without playing one of his twist related classics. Joe, would you rather Twist, or Twist Again?
Joe: Let’s twist again. You know, like we did last summer. Ahh, those were good times my friend, good times.

🔊“Let’s Twist Again”

Toby: Music has started so many dance crazes over the years, with The Twist being one of them. And if you can’t dance? Just “Jump Around.”
Joe: To say that “Jump Around” has lasted the test of time is an understatement. It’s definitely played at every sporting event. You would think that some might get tired of it.
Toby: Well I know I don’t — and I’m not alone. Guess what Mrs. Doubtfire, Happy Gilmore, Blackhawk Down, Parks and Recreation, My Name is Earl, and American Dad all have in common?
Joe: What is: they are all syndicated?
Toby: They are movies or tv shows that have featured “Jump Around.” Imagine the royalties!
Joe: Speaking of royalties, there is some debate as to where that squealing sound that is so prominent in “Jump Around” actually came from. While most folks attribute it to our first featured track, Junior Walker and the All Stars “Shoot Your Shot,” there are those, including Questlove, who say it’s actually a Prince sample, and that House of Pain won’t acknowledge that because they don’t want to pay the royalties. Let’s have a listen to Prince’s epic scream in “Gett Off:”

🔊“Gett Off”

Toby: Everlast has explicitly stated that it’s a horn sample and not Prince, and others have dissected and rebuilt the sample and determined that it is indeed Junior Walker, but one could certainly see how that Prince scream might be the sample. Ironically, there’s some debate as to whether that’s actually Prince on that scream — some say it’s Rosie Gaines, keyboardist and vocalist for his band the New Power Generation.
Joe: And to add one final layer of intrigue, DJ Muggs is the name of the producer who crafted this sonic loveliness. He claims that it is neither Prince nor Junior Walker that was sampled. I guess we’ll never know. DJ Muggs is part of the hip hop group Cypress Hill and is responsible for a ton of hits inside and outside of the group. He has produced for the likes of Xzibit, Ice Cube and Funkdoobiest. With such a talented producer there’s no way that House of Pain could just settle for just one track. Here’s another DJ Muggs produced track from House of Pain’s first album. This is “Put Your Head Out” featuring B Real from Cypress Hill.

🔊“Put Your Head Out”

Toby: I wasn’t familiar with that track but I was very familiar with the track that he did for Ice Cube’s Predator album. Let’s listen to “Check Yo Self.”

🔊“Check Yo Self”

Joe: That was Ice Cube’s Check Yo Self produced by DJ Muggs. Some of our listeners might be more familiar with the remix of this song that was produced by DJ Pooh. Let’ take a listen to that.

🔊“Check Yo Self” - Remix

Toby: Great song! Love the way Pooh used the sample from Grand Master Flash’s classic track “The Message.” We could reminisce all day but I do want to circle back to House of Pain. Following up on the success of their first album, they released their 2nd album entitled Same As it Ever Was in 1994. It didn’t get nearly the type of reception as the first album but it did go gold.
Joe: There’s a lot of energy that goes into recording a successful album and the fact that Everlast had to record around a gun charge.
Toby: Yeah I hate coming to the studio if I have a sore throat or a sprained ankle. I can’t imagine recording with an ankle bracelet and being under house arrest.
Joe: Well, things got worse and eventually the group broke up after their 3rd release entitled Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again in 1996. On the day that the album was released, Everlast announced that he was going solo.
Toby: Impeccable timing. after disbanding, Danny Boy founded an art company, DJ Lethal joined Limp Bizkit, and Everlast went on to a very successful solo career. House of Pain did reunite for reunion tours in 2010, 2011, and 2017, so apparently they all still get along just fine.
Joe: You mentioned Everlast and his solo career. What do you say we dive into that for this episode’s bonus material?
Toby: Good plan, let’s get it. So after leaving House of Pain, Everlast released his second solo album, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, in 1998. That album sold over 3 million copies, went double platinum, and got him a Grammy nomination for the single “What It’s Like.” Let’s listen to that.

🔊“What It’s Like”

Joe: In addition to the Grammy nod, “What It’s Like” reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart and #13 on the Hot 100.
Toby: Everlast was asked by the legendary Carlos Santana to contribute a song to the album Supernatural, which was released in 1999 and went on to become one of the best selling albums in the world with over 30 million copies sold.
Joe: Everlast contributed the song “Put Your Lights On” and recorded it with Santana for the album. It reached #8 on the Mainstream Rock Charts and went on to win the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Let’s give that a spin.

🔊“Put Your Lights On”

Toby: Everlast wrote this track while recovering from a heart attack and has has referred to it as one of the most personal songs he’s ever written.
Joe: Everlast brought things full circle in September of 2018 with the release of his seventh solo album, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. The album debuted at #21 on the American/Folk Album charts, which is an interesting placement.
Toby: While the title of the album is an obvious reference to his former band, House of Pain, he’s stated it’s a way to represent everything he’s ever done, and to sum it up with “that’s all that’s left.”
Joe: And that’s all the time we have left my friend, time to wrap up another episode. So what all did we cover today?
Toby: Our first featured track was “Shoot Your Shot” by Junior Walker and the All Stars, and our next featured track was “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
Joe: Good stuff. What do we have lined up for our next episode?
Toby: Well, there are a lot of factors that go into the success of any relationship. And when things don’t work and that person becomes an Ex Factor, you might just have to Be Careful.
Joe: It’s true, sometimes you just can’t go back to The Way We Were. But on the opposite side of the spectrum, we love the relationship we have with our listeners. Please interact with the show on Instagram @riffsonriffs and on Twitter, @riffsonriffsyo. You can find Toby on social @heiku575, and I’m @sonowats. Hit us up with feedback on the show, episode ideas, or just say hi. And If you dig the show, please leave us an iTunes review, it really helps. We will take you out with a track from Everlast’s latest album, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain. This is a song called “The Culling” and gets bonus points for use of the word troglodytes. We’ll catch you next time on Riffs on Riffs. As always, thanks for listening.

🔊“The Culling”

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