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Bob and Earl

R&B duo from Los Angeles

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Bob and Earl

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to a classic R&B tune by Bob and Earl. "Harlem Shuffle" was their biggest hit and many know it as a single by the Rolling Stones in 1986. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article by Michael Jack Kirby on Way Back Attack.

"Harlem Shuffle" by Bob and Earl
1963 | R&B duo from Los Angeles

Go deeper.
In 1963, a teenage songwriter-musician named Barry Eugene Carter was released from a four month jail term for petty theft. His big break in the biz came soon after when he played piano on Bob and Earl's "Harlem Shuffle," with [writer and producer Fred] Smith producing an arrangement by Gene Page (in the 1970s, when Carter became famous as singer Barry White, he and Page worked together on a lengthy string of sexually-charged hits). The track had all the right elements in a perfect synergy: a commanding brass section throughout and strong, confident vocals. The singers' self-penned lyrics were no more than shout-outs to other dance hits of the day ("Monkey Time," "Hitch Hike," "Shake a Tail Feather"), but the production demanded attention; what could have been a standard dance tune was dynamite in the hands of this crew.

Released on L.A.'s Marc label near the end of the year, the record was only a mid-chart Hot 100 performer (though much bigger in the R&B market, making the top ten in January 1964).

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