Saturday, July 9, 2016

"The Curly Shuffle" by Jump 'N the Saddle

Song#:  1713
Date:  12/03/1983
Debut:  84
Peak:  15
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Novelty, Comedy

Pop Bits:  This country/pop band had been playing around Chicago since 1979 when one of its member, Peter Quinn, brought them a new song he was working up. The swing-style tune paid tribute to Curly Howard, aka Curly from The Three Stooges, and had Quinn mimicking Curly's famous lines from the old Stooges films. Apparently, the band hated it, but they rehearsed it anyway and began playing the song at their shows. Audiences ended up loving the tune. It became so popular that the band decided to recorded it for the local Chicago label, Acme. The single took off and it quickly became a regional hit. It got the attention of Atlantic Records who signed the group to a deal. The song was reissued nationally on Atlantic and began climbing the Pop chart. Standing out among the new wave and rock hits on the radio, the tune soon hit the Top 20 (#29 AC). It was helped along by a popular video that stitched together scenes from The Three Stooges movies. The band also released a self-titled debut album that featured a mix of originals and covers. But like a lot of artists who hit with a novelty song, they weren't able to follow it up and soon they were back in Chicago playing the local clubs. Their tribute to Curly would be their one shining moment on the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  I absolutely hated, hated, hated this thing when it came out. I wasn't a fan of The Three Stooges, I didn't like the basic swing tune, and the Curly imitation was especially grating. I'm sure this song holds some sort of nostalgic value for fans of the Stooges and Curly, but not for me. I still find this an incredibly irritating song. I could barely get through one listening of it. Is the song really that horrific? No. It's nicely recorded, performed well, and if there were different lyrics, it might pass as a fun old-time swing standard. But it's the theme of the lyrics and the awful Curly impression that makes me wanna slap someone's head or poke their eyes or throw a pie at 'em.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Atlantic was pleased with the results of this single and wanted to band to record a follow-up album. However, they wanted to choose a song for the band to record that would end up being the LP's lead single. The label selected the 1946 novelty tune "Shaving Cream" for the band to cover. That song, originally written and recorded by Benny Bell with vocals by Paul Wynn, became a surprise hit decades after it was recorded thanks to its popularity on the Dr. Demento radio program. The song was issued as a single and reached #30 in 1975. However, the band did not want to do the song. They ended up reluctantly recording it, but decided to add lyrics that skewered Atlantic. Of course, that did not sit well with the label and the band was let go.  2) As the song grew in popularity, it began to spread north into Canada. A group there, The Knuckleheads, decided to do their own version and recorded a single. It ended up besting the original on the Canadian chart reaching #29.



  1. I LOVE this song, I have the mp3 so it comes up regularly in my listening. A catchy song and a tight, tight band.

    1. I have friends who love this song too. It's nice that it works for a lot of folks, but I'm just not one of them. However, the band does do a great job. They were most likely a very hot live act.