Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Book of Love: Issa's Sunday Service

Book Of Love by The Monotones on Grooveshark 
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Today's tune goes way down the alley, as B.B.King used to say: The Book of Love by the Monotones. Reportedly inspired by a classic toothpaste commercial. Since the Sunday Service has been dealing in weighty matters of late, it seemed to relax, kick back and just enjoy. 

The song is referenced in Don McLean's own classic, American Pie, in the line, "Did you write the Book of Love?" The great music site Songfacts notes that 

The banged drum in the first line of each verse (while that line was sung accapella) was not planned - in one of the first takes, a batted baseball struck the outer wall of the studio. When the take was played back, the group decided to keep the sound in the song. 
A fine spontaneous moment, the kind of thing that happens when the stars line up just right in the creative act. "Oh, I wonder, wonder ohm ba doo doo who -- BOOM! -- who wrote the book of love?" Boom, of course, being the baseball hitting the wall.

According to the All Music Guide, the group started at the Baxter Terrace Housing Project in Newark, NJ (demolished in 2009), where they lived. As noted there

They practiced in the project's recreation hall, inspired by acts like the Heartbeats, the Spaniels, the Moonglows, and the Cadillacs. They adopted their name from a previous group who already had it and were in the process of breaking up. The six friends and neighbors also began singing with the New Hope Baptist Choir, along with other choir members Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, Judy Clay, Cissy Houston, Leroy Hutson (of the Impressions), and several of the Sweet Inspirations. Houston was the choir director and Dionne and Dee Dee were cousins of Jim and Charles Patrick (leader of The Monotones).

That's some incredible collection of talent, all in one church choir. 

In the category of literary rock and roll, interestingly one of the Monotones subsequent unsuccessful follow up songs was "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", which certainly of its own accord qualifies for the LitRock list. But all that's literally another story.


Photo by Straitic

the old dog
looks as if he's listening...
earthworms sing
translated by David G. Lanoue



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Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 163 songs 

1 comment:

Ed Baker said...

me-thinks that this song
and The Monotones
set me on my course's path
{as a poet/arist]

this song, its rhythms, its messages its
persistent drive-home and into
just-what-is IT all about continues:

" In chapter one you tell her
you tell her with all your heart

and then
and then
and then

along comes Jones

with his 10,000 poems and Books of Love.