RIP, Carl Gardner, Lead Singer of the Coasters

Jun 14 2011 Published by under Music

Carl Gardner, lead singer of the Coasters, has died at age 83. [AP via Yahoo]

The Coasters are hands-down one of my favorite bands of the late-fifties-early-sixties. A bouncy, fun sound, and some of the wittiest lyrics of that musical era. Their songs featured stories, characters, and plots, juxtaposed against some serious jamming. I strongly recommend you get acquainted with their music, if you haven’t already. The AP obit quotes from their page in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame:

Beneath the humor the songs often made incisive points about American culture for those willing to dig a little deeper.

I’m reminded of the wise-cracking title character of Charlie Brown,or the parental dialogue of Yakety Yak.

A couple of other gems from their great oeuvre:

Along Came Jones:

About how everything on TV has essentially the same plot. Also perhaps the best use of a wood block ever in popular music. It’s barely audible on this live version, but those of you who’ve heard the single know what I’m talking about.

Poison Ivy:

You’re gonna need an ocean . . . of Calamine Lotion. Another great, singable pop culture reference.

Thanks for the music, Carl.

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