Vout-aroonee with a Floy-Floy
March 3, 2003 4:20 PM   Subscribe

Vout-aroonee with a Floy-Floy. Slim Gaillard was immortalized by Jack Kerouac, wrote great songs, was a jive pioneer and even appeared in Charlie's Angels.
posted by turbodog (10 comments total)
This is very cool. My grandmother used to sing "Flat Foot Floogie (with a floy-floy)" when I was a kid. We had no clue what she was singing, and neither did she...
posted by Shane at 4:25 PM on March 3, 2003

Crazy turbodog! I just bought Laughing to Rhythm last week. It is one of the wildest things I've ever heard. My daughter loves Serenade to a Poodle. I'm curious what prompted your post. I happened to hear Slim's music for the first time a few weeks ago on KALX in Berkeley. Weird coincidence...
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 4:43 PM on March 3, 2003

Is there an Mp3 sample anywhere? I am quite curious.
posted by destro at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2003

WKG: I was listening to Slim and Slam today at work, that's all.

destro: I couldn't find any MP3s but there's streaming audio here.

XQUZYPHYR: the Swedish chef has NOTHING on Slim.

Maybe this'll motivate me to sign up for the mefi music swap. I'll have to put some qualityoroonee macslimovoutee on itoreenee.
posted by turbodog at 6:13 PM on March 3, 2003

Slim is one of my favorite musicians of all time. Period. His words were so blissfully carefree and joyously absurd yet his riffs and rhythms were so tight... once you hear Slim you'll never forget it.

There are some MP3s going around. The now defunct Soulseek usually could pull about 10-15 songs. Really groovoroonie tunes to look for are "Potato Chips," "Chicken Rhythm (the Dirty Rooster)," and "The Groove Juice Spicer." And Woolcott'sKindredGal: call me crazy but the song "Laughin' in Rhythm" could be one of the most mystical songs of the 20th century.
posted by moonbird at 11:16 PM on March 3, 2003

I read some of the inscriptions: FRISCO KID '38, H. E., J. D., KILROY WAS HERE, Smoe, DENVER JACK, and others. Along the length of the entire wall, chest high, in two inch letters, someone had cut deeply into the plaster:
This was very carefully carved. It must have taken the prisoner a long time to complete it.
(Charles Willeford, Pick-Up)
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:44 AM on March 4, 2003

I once had the pleasure of seeing Slim live in a small club near me. I was stood in the mens room and he came in and stood in the next stall....surreptitiously surveyed me, '*you know*, as men do, and sang 'Laughing in Rhythm' throughout his 'performance'. I had the stage fright, believe me...
posted by punilux at 1:51 AM on March 4, 2003

Just one thing I noticed in the Mike Zerwin article:
'Born in Detroit, Gaillard moved to New York....'

Now, I know Slim likes to tell a tale or two, but I believe;
'Other sources including Gaillard himself have claimed he was born on 1 January 1916 in Santa Clara, Cuba.'

He claims he was left behind (aged 9-12) when a ship carrying his parents visited Crete. He made his own way in the world subsequently, eventually travelling to America, then North America, ending up in Detroit.
Living in countries where you don't speak the language, and having no 'formal education' or training in any vocation and being dark skinned (in the 1920s/30s) would seem to be an insumountable task for most of us.
Slim developed his language skills by rapidly learning the cadence and rhythms of the local dialect. Legend has it (i.e. Slim reckons) that he could tell a story in any language, keeping the audience spell-bound, despite not forming any real words.
When he eventually arrived in North America, he again used his 'perfect-pitch' for language to mimic the Yiddish, Italian and other tongues he came accross within the 'immigrant community'. Added to the already hip 'jive-speak', this allowed him to appeal across the class and creed barriers, with great success. Slim had learned to play guitar and piano, and recorded with many jazz greats over the years. His song 'Jumpin at the Record Shop' is a 'shout-out' to all the pertinent jazz musicians of the time. He wrote a 'Vout-Dictionary', which had the 'definitions' of vout, oreenie and oroonie etc. published for the enjoyment of the literate hep-cats.
Eventually, his show became the in-thing for the Hollywood in-crowd, where he played regularly. During WWII people enjoyed his nonsensical irreverence as a welcome escape from reality. However, Slim remained aware of the realities of the war, releasing 'Atomic Cocktail', which is actually quite a chilling summary ('Push a button, turn a dial, your work is done for miles and miles') of the new methods of war-mongery which now dominate the 'high-tech battlefield'.
Slim did not approve of the changes he saw in Detroit, where all his favourite Jazz clubs were torn down over the years to be replaced with the austere frontages of multi-national offices and banks. He felt that they had no soul.

- Dimly remembered from the 1989 BBC 2 programme "The World of Slim Galliard".

Thanks for the www for McVouty link, turbodog, that's totally vout, aroonee!
posted by asok at 4:39 AM on March 4, 2003

Oh, and he played tenor sax and the vibraphone. And tap-danced (whilst playing the guitar).
posted by asok at 4:45 AM on March 4, 2003

Moonbird, you are crazy, but you're crazy and right. How can this man be forgotten?
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2003

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