Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Tommy Tucker: A Hi Heel Birthday

There are two kinds of stupid in popular music. There's the Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 stupid, where you feel your IQ diminishing, your will to live draining away, and you begin questioning whether evolution was really worth it. Then there's the Tommy Tucker stupid, where you feel more alive, your body wants to move, and the cares of the world slip away gloriously.

"Tommy who?" you say? This is the guy who wrote (under his real name, Robert Higinbotham) and recorded Hi Heel Sneakers, one of the greatest songs of all time. Since he put it on wax in 1964, it's been recorded or performed by literally hundreds of other artists, including The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Faces, Chuck Berry, Ike & Tina, etc., etc. - even Rhasaan Roland Kirk! Man, what must it feel like to come up with something like that?

This little song about putting on a red dress, a wig hat, and the titular footwear for a night on the town, somehow taps into a rich seam of humanity, rendering it timeless. It just makes you feel GOOD and that's the kind of stupid I like.

Tommy Tucker died in 1982 but his song will outlive us all. Check out the original and Elvis's joyous cover below or go all in with a lightly edited Spotify playlist. Whatever you do, put on some hi heel sneakers today and dance in honor of Tommy Tucker's 80th birthday!

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