21
Jan 04

MARVIN RAINWATER – “Whole Lotta Woman”

Popular7 comments • 2,042 views

#70, 25th April 1958

Lusty rockabilly stomper with super-basic big-dick lyrics – though not so basic that the tune doesn’t keep breaking off, so the beat can restate the pelvic point. Solid, dumb, foot-tapping stuff – deadly effective in ’58 (why else would it have got to No.1?) and perhaps a little uninspiring now. The multi-track Marvins are a nice touch, though.

4

Comments

  1. 1
    weej on 5 Jun 2010 #

    A one-trick song, and not an impressive trick. 2 minutes 35 seconds seems like an eternity.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 7 Nov 2010 #

    given his ’25% Cherokee’ heritage it seems appropriate that the drumming at the end sounds like a stereotypical ‘hiawatha’ style rhythm

  3. 3
    wichita lineman on 8 Nov 2010 #

    One of those number ones that just doesn’t fit – it isn’t very danceable, it isn’t well sung, it isn’t proper rockabilly (though Rainwater did record some, including the monotone Hot And Cold which sounds like a dry run for Ca Plane Pour Moi, and the way more energetic You Oughta See Grandma Rock), and the artist is a 33 year old country singer.

    It wasn’t a hit at all in the US. So how did this happen? Did he tour over here? Or was the ‘cherokee’ tag (which he played up to the hilt – he covered two John D Loudermilk songs called Half Breed and The Pale Faced Indian!) just a really big deal at a time when plenty of kids were obsessed with westerns?

  4. 4
    Mutley on 8 Nov 2010 #

    Marvin Rainwater toured the UK around 1958 and appeared on Sunday Night at the London Palladium see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wsyjqg-J8Y where he is introduced by Tommy Trinder with a joke about smoke signals. I think Marvin performs quite well live in the style of Hank Williams.

    I think lower-end teenagers liked the stomping sound of this song which could be banged on the school desks of those days, which had sloping liftable lids. The other song around that time ideal for desk-banging was Jerry Lee Lewis’ High School Confidential. This was a risky business done under the threat of casual corporal punishment in schools.

  5. 5
    Neil Foster on 18 Jul 2013 #

    Some strange opinions! It IS well-sung, you CAN dance to it(unless you only like the black bottom)and the fact that it was self-written and a no. 1 is a very big plus. The American Indian gimmick is just that – a gimmick and why not? It’s rock’n’roll, not rockabilly, sure, but so is the Elvis version of Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” – I like both versions.

  6. 6
    Izzy on 18 Jul 2013 #

    This is a bit lame but an interesting one-off listen nevertheless, in the same way that it’d be interesting to see a line drawing for Monet’s waterlillies – you can see the form taken shape, and all this lovely space to pour ideas into, but our Marvin only adds a couple of tricks of his own.

    The thing is, though, that this is 1958 and popular music was already way past the point where that was state-of-the-art. Not that the public have ever been shy of elevating a snooze to no.1 – and to be fair this is a pleasant enough ditty, but its time is not coming around again ever.

  7. 7
    weej on 19 Sep 2013 #

    RIP Marvin – http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/224326141.html – Apparently best-known in the states for “Gotta Find me A Bluebird” – which is IMHO vastly superior to Whole Lotta Woman.

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