Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Song of the Week: "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)", Earl King

This song has had me flippin' like a flag on a pole ever since I caught Ron Silva and the Monarchs performing it in San Francisco last month. It's Earl King's original composition (but second recording of the song), Come On (parts 1 and 2) as recorded for Imperial Records in 1960. Many of you may know it from Jimi Hendrix's cover of the song as recorded for Electric Ladyland, or from Stevie Ray Vaughan's cover of Hendrix's cover. Or some hipsters may know the cool and mellow Alvin Robinson version. It doesn't much matter, they're all damn good.

I don't know all that much about Earl King other than he had a residency at the infamous Dew Drop Inn in his hometown of New Orleans and played with Guitar Slim and even played as Guitar Slim after Slim was temporarily knocked out of action by a nasty little auto accident. (Earl King also played with Irma Thomas who got some love from On The Flip-Side a few months back.) Earl King became a mainstay on the New Orleans stage for years until his passing in 2003.

Come On not only has an undeniable groove that will get your tail feather shaking and some wicked little guitar riffs (this writer is particularly smitten with the guitar riffs at 3:40), but this song also has some great lyrics. Lyrics like, "I love you baby like a miner loves gold", "you've got me flippin' like a flag on a pole", and "so many people live in make-believe/they keep a lot of dirt up their sleeve." I'm not even sure I know exactly what is meant by that last one, but I like it.

PS, turn your lamp down low, you know I love you so.


  1. Thanks for the mention. Our (Ron Silva & The Monarchs) cover is definitely based on Alvin Robinson's 1964 recording of the tune - with a slightly different arrangement that goes back to Ron's days with The Crawdaddys. That said, Earl King was a GREAT talent and his records (especially those he cut for Imperial) are well worth digging for. I must admit to first hearing it via Jimi Hendrix. In fact I covered his version in my high school garage band. Being a young, white, suburban, bookwormish-type - I was VERY confused how a Jimi Hendrix rocker was penned by the subject of a Goethe poem.

  2. Thanks for the comments Nick. I hope you stop by regularly.