Usually at home on low-budget LA labels, the summer of '54 saw honking Hollywood sax man Chuck Higgins in the relative splendour of Specialty, working with pianist HB Barnum and future James Brown guitarist Jimmy Nolen. A carefree tale of high times and squandered riches, Broke is a brazen celebration of skintness--"Now I'm a low down dirty bum/ Right back where I started from!/ Broke! Broke! Broke!" Backed with I'll Be There's rocking doo wop, it's the perfect single for the end of the night, when the money's all gone but no one's going home.
Availability: Pachuko Hop Specialty/ Ace CD
19. SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOHS: Wooly Bully/ Lil' Red Riding Hood (1965)
"Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro!" It takes only this daft polyglot count-in to cheer up anyone familiar with the great Wooly Bully. The work of Domingo Samudio and his Memphis-based ensemble, it's one of the most remarkable Nuggets-era 45s for two reasons: firstly, it doesn't just ape a British Invasion sound but has its own Tex-Mex flavour; and second, it's not about long hair, groovy chicks or acid. In fact, it's not about anything the rest of us can fathom, making it the best bit of nonsense in all of rock'n'roll.
Availability: Nuggets Rhino 4-CD Box Set