Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Monday: A Brief Introduction to Tittyshakers

Virginia bell, burlesque performer

For this Music Monday, I give you a brief introduction to the tittyshaker. But Desiree, you say, clutching your pearls, you're so demure! Ah, but that doesn't mean I can't get little low down, and the same goes for the music of the 50s and 60s.

Tittyshaker, you see, refers to the gritty, bump and grind rock 'n roll and blues that played on jukeboxes in the grimiest honkytonks. Horns, a little surf guitar, tom-toms, This music was inspired lots of lewd dancing. It was so nasty, in fact, that ordinary girls would perform impromptu stripteases on the spot (just down to her underwear).

I'd read about that very thing happening in a dirty Harlem bar in Chester Himes'
"The Real Cool Killers"
, but Martin at Soul Generation confirms this was a real thing, not just a scene setting device for a detective novel.

The dances done to tittyshakers got a little cleaned up and made their way into dance clubs, giving birth to go go, but that's for another post. Now. I dare you to listen to these and not want to shake something.

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