And it's all the fault of running across this record cover. I don't even remember where.
Lou Christie? Hmmm. A half-remembered name, one that went with the pompadour and greaser expression. The Tammys? Now that's odd. Egyptian Shumba? What the Hell?
So I did some of the usual digging around.
The Tammys, it turned out, were falsetto crooner Lou Christie's attempt at creating a girl group. They were two sisters, Margaret Gretchen and Catherine Louise Owens, and their friend Linda Jones. They met Christie after one of his shows at a Moose Lodge in Franklin, Pennsylvania. The rest is history.
Soon they were his backup vocalists, and after a while he had them make a couple of records on their own. They're solid, plaintive, slightly nasal ditties ("Take Back Your Ring", "Part of Growing Up"). They had some modest local success, charting in Erie, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, for example.
It's pretty clear that when it came to presentation, The Tammys could have benefited from Motown's legendary charm school.
But then - and this is probably where you should decide, now, if you want to read on and take a chance, or skip to the next posting and keep your wits about you - then came what, if this were a Criswell narration (and it might as well be) would be called That Fateful Day: November 1, 1963. A great nation is poised, unknowing, on the brink of enormous change - and in New York, The Tammys, under the close supervision of Lou Christie, record their magnum opus, a pop song truly unlike any other before or since.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:
The Egyptian Shumba.
Listen at your own risk. And don't say you haven't been warned.
I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be having dreams consisting mostly of "Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Shy-Yi Meece-E-Deece" for the next few weeks. And loving them.
Not much else happened for The Tammys, but this, certainly, was enough to gain them a little spot of immortality, no?