With high energy shows, slightly tawdry lyrics and a style that blended Dixieland, blues and jazz, the Harlem Hamfats were just… born at the wrong time.
You’re listening to the ironically named Harlem Hamfats in 1936. First of all, no one in the band was from anywhere even close to New York. And hamfat is a low-cost filler used in cooking recipes…a cheap substitute. These hamfats were Grade A, though. They played party music, with many of their songs about drinking, dancing…and going to town.
Critics didn’t love the Hamfats, and those lyrics didn’t help their commercial appeal. They were perhaps a bit rock and roll for the thirties, but they certainly had some devoted followers…a couple of fellas by the names of Chuck Berry and Jimmy Page.
Two of the Hamfats are buried right next to each other. Why?
Joe and Charlie McCoy, the band’s founders, were brothers. Find out more right here