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Morning Song – Here Come The Girls

November 13, 2015

“Here Come The Girls”* isn’t a great New Orleans song, but it’s a quintessential New Orleans song.  In fact, it’s hard to imagine the elements that make up “Here Come The Girls” coming together in a recording studio anywhere other than in New Orleans.  And if it’s quintessentially New Orleans in the second half of the 20th century, then that means one recording studio in particular:  the late, great Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint Studio.

Toussaint wrote and produced “Here Come The Girls” for legendary local R & B vocalist Ernie K. Doe.  That opening marching drum beat?  Well, in addition to Toussaint’s two year hitch with the US Army in the early 1960s (when he got out, he recorded “Whipped Cream” with his Army bandmates; Herb Alpert lifted the arrangement note-for-note and had a hit with the TJB), New Orleans has more parade band drummers per capita than any other city in North America.

And parade bands have horn sections.  Loud and proud, tight and funky in the case of New Orleans.  The rhythm section here, as on so many of Toussaint’s recordings in the 1960s and 70s, is The Meters, New Orleans’ funkier answer to the Funk Brothers.  Mix that in with the frankly physical and pro-sexual Mardi Gras culture (New Orleans: a city not founded by Puritans), and you’ve got “Here Come The Girls”.

*I can’t find any proof, but it wouldn’t surprise me—given Toussaint’s omnivorous, quintessentially American instinct for soaking up different influences—if he got the song title from this 1953 Bob Hope movie.

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