Song of the Week – Vinnie’s Lookin’ Good, Dan Hicks

Ignored            Obscured             Restored

Dan Hicks made music that both was and wasn’t of its time.  He created his own brand of swing, I call it hippie swing, that harkened back to influences from the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s without turning off his contemporary audience as performing corny, old-timey music.

Hicks released four albums with his band, the Hot Licks, between 1969 and 1973, when he broke up the band.  In those years Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks released several classic songs, including “I Scare Myself”, “Canned Music”, “Walkin’ One and Only” (skillfully covered by Maria Muldaur), and the hilarious “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”.

For the next 5 years, he was on hiatus from releasing music but resurfaced with a solo album, It Happened One Bite, in 1978.

… One Bite is a terrific album.  It includes “Cruzin’”, “Crazy ‘Cause He Is”, and today’s SotW, “Vinnie’s Lookin’ Good”.

The interesting thing about … One Bite is that it was originally written as the soundtrack for a film by Ralph Bakshi, the director behind the X-rated, animated, Fritz the Cat (1972).

In 1975, Bakshi was working on his next full-length movie to be called Hey Good Lookin’.  It used a combination of animated and live-action characters. However, it ran into problems and wasn’t released until 1982 – without the live-action and without the Hicks soundtrack.  (Rumor has it a performance by the New York Dolls was one of the live-action sequences that fell to the cutting room floor.)  But fortunately for us, Hicks signed with Warner Brothers in 1978, resurrected his soundtrack, and released it as It Happened One Bite.

If you like the revivalist western swing of Asleep at the Wheel or Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, you will dig “Vinnie’s Lookin’ Good”.

Enjoy… until next week.

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