Song of the Week – Hooked on a Feeling, B.J. Thomas & Cry Like a Baby, The Box Tops

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

There is a very distinct guitar sound that I love and have been trying to find a vehicle for in the band I’m in.  It’s the late ‘60s sound of the Coral electric sitar (by Danelectro).  Whenever I’ve tried to explain the sound I’m referring to I always cite two, well known examples – The Box Top’s “Cry Like a Baby, and “Hooked on a Feeling” by B.J. Thomas.

I had no idea they were both played by the same guy, southern session guitarist Reggie Young, who died last week.

Young played on many other classic tracks from the ‘60s and ’70s, including:

Suspicious Minds                  Elvis Presley

Sweet Caroline                      Neil Diamond

Skinny Legs and All              Joe Tex

Dark End of the Street          James Carr

Son of a Preacher Man        Dusty Springfield

The Letter                               The Box Tops

Drift Away                              Dobie Gray

Cocaine                                  J.J. Cale

I Can Help                              Billy Swan (a previous SotW)

According to the New York Times obituary, “a compilation album of 24 tracks from sessions on which Mr. Young played, including recordings by Merle Haggard, Jackie DeShannon and Bobby (Blue) Bland, is to be released by the English label Ace Records this week.”

It will be well worth checking out!

BTW, use of the Coral did not end in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s.  Dave Stewart, of Eurhythmics’ fame, played it on Tom Petty’s 1985 hit “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

Enjoy… until next week.

5 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Hooked on a Feeling, B.J. Thomas & Cry Like a Baby, The Box Tops

  1. Cool. Here’s another one, the solo in the middle. There’s something irresistable about the electric sitar. At the end of this song Manzanera gets his guitar to sound like bagpipes. How he did that I don’t know.

  2. Great post, those two songs are big faves for me and I had no idea about the sitar. Just the sound.

    Plus, great Roxy Music song. I’m so ignorant there. But Gene, how do we know that bagpipe sound is the sitar? And really, in these cases great, but it is possible to have too many bagpipes.

  3. I don’t think the bagpipe sound is the electric sitar but I don’t know, it could be. From the start, Eno used to record the instruments playing, treat them with synth things and play them back almost instantaneously. The technique stayed with them after he left. Actually, I’m not a big bagpipe guy but I love the layered sound of this song’s coda. The organ blends nicely too.

  4. Just what I’ve been trying to figure out for years as a guitarist! I would imagine there is some modern digital audio plug-in that can replicate that Coral sitar sound. Anyone know of one?

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