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"Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
Single by Lloyd Price
Released April 1952
Format 7" single
Recorded March 1952
Label Specialty
Writer(s) Lloyd Price

"Lawdy Miss Clawdy" is a song by Lloyd Price.[1] It was first recorded by Price at the New Orleans recording studio of Specialty Records in March 1952. It was released under the Specialty label in April and was number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart for seven weeks and stayed on the chart for six months. An 8-bar blues with a rolicking piano backup, with the words written by Price, but the melody adapted from the older Junker Blues (Champion Jack Dupree, 1941), it became the biggest rhythm and blues hit of the year and sold over one million copies by crossing over to the white record-buying market. It was the first hit from New Orleans to be accepted into rock and roll.The word lawdy means Lord.[2]

Contents

History

Art Rupe, founder of Specialty Records in Los Angeles was looking for new talent in New Orleans where Price turned up at an audition. Rupe liked "Lawdy Miss Claudy" so much that he is said to have canceled his plane ticket home to stay and record Price's song.[3] Since Price did not have a band, Rupe hired the band of Dave Bartholomew which included Fats Domino and drummer Earl Palmer to arrange the song and back him up in the recording session.[2]

Song

The recording begins with some characteristic Domino rollicking piano triplets as the drummer sets down a heavy New Orleans backbeat. Price's vocals are gritty yet relaxed as he begins:[2]

Oh now lawdy lawdy lawdy, Miss Clawdy,
girl you sho' looks good to me

Cover versions

In 1956, the song was covered by Elvis Presley and stayed on the charts for ten weeks.[2].

The following list contains some of the many cover versions of this song.

In popular culture

The song appears in the TV mini-series Elvis, where Elvis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) performs the song during his 1968 comeback special.

Notes

  1. ^ Shaw, Arnold (1978). Honkers and Shouters. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 188–189. ISBN 0-02-061740-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d Jim Dawson, & Steve Propes (1992). What Was the First Rock'n'Roll Record. Boston & London: Faber & Faber. pp. 108–111. ISBN 0-571-12939-0. 
  3. ^ "Specialty Album Discography". http://www.bsnpubs.com/specialty.html. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
Preceded by
"Have Mercy Baby" by The Dominoes
Billboard Best Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues Records number-one single (Lloyd Price and His Orchestra version)
July 12, 1952
August 23, 1952
Succeeded by
"Have Mercy Baby" by The Dominoes
"Ting-A-Ling" by The Clovers
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