I’m proud to introduce this unique compilation. My passion for all things cat-like AND 50s & 60s 45s led to a growing collection of mewsic and blossomed into the idea for this CD. I was banking on the fact there were more people out there like me. Not only a tribute to our feline friends because of the obvious theme, but a slinky mix of quality doo wop, R&B, soul, folk and pop.
The cover is designed in a Jim Flora style with maximum beat impact by Nick Nelson; the booklet is strewn with a cool compote of kitty pictures; records; period ads and trinkets and this makes it a quirky and eye-CATching thing to have. Feline Groovy not only has cat appeal, it’s cultish, it’s cute and it grooves.
I had to kick this off with the Coasters’ 3 Cool Cats as it’s always evoked such typical nonchalance and at the same time it’s so irresistibly funny – yep, just like watching a cat doing its thing, disdainful and superior before getting its head stuck in a cardboard tube. The next track, Cleo by Rene Hall conjures up a bewitching mystical mood, leading temptingly on to the next … There’s some familiar names for Ace people such as Lee Dorsey, Jimmy Smith, Little Willie John, alongside rarer treats like Jamie Ross’ Let’s Do The Cat on Coun-Tree featuring a young Albert King on blistering guitar.
The Morgan James Trio with Sweet Pussycat is a swingin’ 60s would-be mod hit, nice, and they’re not the only Brits on this comp –how could I possibly leave out Tom Jones who sings the best known cat song in the world? The girls are represented by a very sultry Peggy Lee on Sneakin’ Up On You, the kitten-esque oh-so-girly Noreen Corcoran; Norma Tanega with her strong folk hit Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog (its title having baffled people for years) and Lu Ann Simms delivering an alternative version of Peggy Lee’s We Are Siamese. Mongo Santamaria, Jimmy Smith and Dave “Baby” Cortez also appear here on moggy-inspired instrumentals to stretch your paws out to.
The end credits go to Top Cat who entertained us all so well in the 60s and the final purrs of the CD are courtesy of Spider, my tom cat of 16 years. He’s temperamental and always wanted to be a star.
As well as enjoying the CD, please take a peek at Betty, looking completely unmoved by the Romancers singing a catchy doo wop Housecat- how cool can you get? (She’s the budding actress on our Feline Groovy video on www.youtube.com.)
By Vicki Fox
Click here, for a great review of Feline Groovy from London Metro, Music week and Mojo