Monday, 4 July 2011

Do You Like Eeephing?

I don't usually post 'novelty' records here, as you well know, but I'm going to make a rare exception for this particular 45, one of the very few instances of a US hit record featuring the peculiar eeephing (or eefing) art form.

Jimmie Riddle (sometimes listed as Jimmy Riddle) was an American performer who found fame of the US television show Hee Haw, a kind of redneck version of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in, which ran from 1969 until 1997 - a total of 585 one hour episodes.

Jimmie was born in Tennessee in 1913 and by the age of 16 was already performing locally. He moved to Texas in 1939, joining country singer Roy Acuff's group in 1943 as harmonica and piano man. Jimmie had his first taste of chart success in 1963 when he was featured on Joe Perkins' minor hit Little Eeefin' Annie, but it wasn't until the first episode of Hee Haw aired that he gained national recognition, forming a duo, the Hambone Brothers, with guitarist Jackie Phelps - 'hamboning' for those not in the know, is a rhythmic slapping of the thigh. To listen to Jimmie explaining how to make the kind of hiccoughing, rhythmic wheeze you need to eeeph go to http://youtu.be/75qIdhCO2DQ

Within a year Jimmie has released his first, and only, solo hit single: Yakety Eeeph (which many of you will recognise as Yakety Sax, the Benny Hill Show chase music) and its b-side Wildwood Eeeph, both tracks featured below. In the early 1980s he joined Boxcar Willie's touring band, again as a harmonica player.

Jimmie died in Nashville in 1982, but his legacy lives on: as Lurleen Lumpkin's father would attest.



4 comments:

  1. Hah!
    I've really warmed to Eephing the last few years, no doubt due to being forced to watch Hee Haw as a child, even though I don't explicitly remember Jimmy Riddle or hearing Eephing on the show.
    Have you heard The Evolution Control Committee's take on Eephing on their new album? It's brilliant.
    Speaking of brilliant, I love your blog!

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  2. Eff'ing Awful Indeed!

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  3. Nothing wrong with it in small doses, at least it's not Autotune...

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  4. Wait until you hear David Seville's "Eefin' Alvin." Yup, chipmunk eeeph...

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