Happy Birthday to the co-writer of another of my “desert island” records, “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell and The Drells.
Or, as the song said, “Archie Bell of The Drells, from Houston Texas…”!
And in the spring of 1968, that (like the song said) “new dance called the Tighten Up” was good enough for Houston, Detroit, and everywhere else in the country; hitting Number One on both the Pop and R&B charts. Good enough for Rolling Stone Magazine to name #270 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time.
In case you’ve forgotten, Archie and The Drells, (like the song said) could “dance just as good as we walk”.
Archie and the band recorded “Tighten Up” before he was drafted and sent to Vietnam, where he was wounded in action. Archie was recovering in an Army hospital when the song went to Number One-and he spent most of his convalescence trying to convince anyone who would listen that that was him singing on the record!
Archie, by the way, came from a talented family. Brother Jerry was the lead singer of The Dazz Band. And brother Ricky, was an All-American running back at USC who lead his team to a Rose Bowl win over U of M in 1977; and later tormented Lions fans, wearing the creamsicle colors of the “Bucco Bruce-era” Tampa Bay Buccaneers.