Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns

You know, sometimes, how you have song vomit? You don’t remember consuming it lately, but now you’re singing this track you know and love, but can’t remember the name of for the life of ya! That happened to me on this track–all my brain could recall was the non-word syllabic exclamations of the chorus. So I call up my parents and sing for the answering machine. They, too, recognize the tune but can’t name it either, so they call up their friend and oldies music source. Same problem.
So over Mother’s Day weekend I sit down with my dad’s collection of the Billboard top 800 from the 1960’s (don’t ask) and start going through them one by one. When I’m around the 700 mark, my dad blurts out with a lyric from the track! A quick google search reveals not only both the song title and artist, but also a yousendit link to download the mp3. Luck of the Irish, I guess.

1950’s rock ‘n roll // boogie woogie
Following the footsteps of great New Orleans pianists like Professor Longhair, Huey made piano tracks to dance to. In 1957 he signed with Ace Records and formed ‘The Clowns’ with transgender artist Bobby Marchan at the helm. The two saw chart success multiple times, but none of the other records get me screaming along quite like this one. (turn it up!)

A good hearty 1958 rock ‘n roll rag.
Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns – Don’t You Just Know It
buy this cd

22 Responses to “Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns”

  1. John :

    Haven’t heard that one in a dog’s age. I can imagine having the chorus rattling around in ine’s head. Where IS that from?

  2. jam :

    this piece closes out the movie “Snatch” – that’s where i first heard it…

    great song! Gooba-gooba-gooba-gooba!

  3. Steve Kemp :

    The lyrics to “Don’t You Just Know It”

    I saw your blurb on this song (http://aurgasm.us/archive/2006_06_01_.html). I think I have managed to clarify the actual words to this song.

    I had to listen to the Snatch soundtrack very closely, many times, and also surf, surf, surf the Web to finally get these. The culotte reference is to the whores in New Orleans who would walk the streets wearing culottes.

    DON’T YOU JUST KNOW IT?
    (Huey Smith & John Vincent)
    (Artist: Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns)
    (call and response)

    I can’t lose with the stuff I use. Don’t you just know it?
    Baby, don’t believe I wear two left shoes. Don’t you just know it?
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.
    Kuba kuba kuba kuba. Kuba kuba kuba kuba.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.

    Hey pretty baby, can we go strollin’? Don’t you just know it?
    You got me rockin’ when I ought to rollin’. Don’t you just know it?
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.
    Kuba kuba kuba kuba. Kuba kuba kuba kuba.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.

    Baby, baby, you’re my blue heaven. Don’t you just know it?
    You got me pushin’ when I oughta be shovin’. Don’t you just know it?
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.
    Kuba kuba kuba kuba. Kuba kuba kuba kuba.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.

    I don’t mind that culotte a bit. Don’t you just know it?
    Younger the couple, the tighter they squeeze. Don’t you just know it?
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.
    Kuba kuba kuba kuba. Kuba kuba kuba kuba.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha.
    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o.

    Ah ha ha ha. Ah ha ha ha. Hey-o. Hey-o”¦”¦.

  4. Anonymous :

    It’s not
    I don’t mind that culotte a bit-

    It’s
    High on a mountain cool as a breeze-

    Bobby Marchan sure tends to mumble-

  5. Steve Kemp :

    Sorry, anon, I disagree… Maybe the chart said that. But the Snatch recording, well, I just do not hear “mountain cool as a breeze”. Bobby Marchan was also a female impersonator, so maybe that was the message.

    Maybe we will never know for sure what he was saying, I guess. It is a great song.

  6. Anonymous :

    Ha! This is hilarious—true story—-I had the lyrics “gooba gooba gooba goo-ba!” rattling around in my head. I could not for the life of me remember the name of the song or the artist, and it was driving me crazy. So I found this blog–perfect! Thanks!

  7. Anonymous :

    Wouldn’t you know it, I was thinking the same thing. One google search for “gooba gooba” “ha ha” and here I am. Now I need to dig out Snatch again and listen to this song again.

    Thanks for giving a name to the chorus!

  8. Mike :

    I thought the lyric in question was “I don’t mind it, good or bad,” but that’s just me. I don’t even know what culotte is.

  9. [email protected] :

    i have the 45 record !!! It was my mother’s record and when I was 4 years old, I wrote my age “4” and my initial “J” for Jason on it. I still play it for a selective few people that apreciate “real” music before music today was “Hollywood-ized” (If I may)The kicker was I wrote the “4” backwards ???? What was I thinking? Anyway, true story !

    Bless you all !

    [email protected]

    Peace out !

  10. James :

    Yeah…, about that “cullotte…” line, okay try
    “… this heart of mine been cool all day…!
    Seems to work!!!

  11. Jonathan :

    I have it on my play list and could neither name the artist nor the song. Very frustrating to have a gap in a perfect line-up. At first I tried a search using dubadubaduba (that’s how it sounded to my Jamaican ear). I didn’t find a match. The i used a line that amuses me:’you got me pushin’ when I oughta be shovin” And bingo! Thanks!

  12. Jonathan :

    I have it on my play list and could neither name the artist nor the song. Very frustrating to have a gap in an otherwise perfect line-up. At first I tried a search using ‘dubadubaduba’ (that’s how it sounds to my Jamaican ear). I didn’t find a match. Then I used a line that amuses me:’you got me pushin’ when I oughta be shovin” And bingo! Thanks for making the search so interesting and rewarding.

  13. mike :

    i’m digitalizing some (selfmade) mixed tapes from 1981, i got that song in a much speedier version,
    it doesn’t appear to be from the same artist. there’s some differences on the lyrics such as “Hey pretty baby can’t we go strollin (… ) how can i love you when other people know it “.

    still haven’t found the artist for this version… On the other hand i found a Captain Jack has also made a song with the same name in newer times.

    Yes, this is interesting and fun… wooh and i still got 10 tapes to go …

  14. joe boggio :

    always thought it was high on the mountain also. had a group in the early sixtys called the echos, out of latrobe pa. and we recorded some tunes for a and r studios in ny. one of the songs we did was high blood pressure and it went over very well. all hueys songs are a treat to listen to and really good to dance to.

  15. Jimboroonie :

    Back in the early 80s, there was this girl named Colleen. I attempted to ride my bike from West Lafayette, Indiana to South Bend one summer. Ditched the bike after about 40 miles, then hitched the rest of the way. Anyhow, I got to her house, had a lovely time. Part of the time included going through a shoebox of 45s, one of which was Don’t You Just Know It. She gave it to me. A friend of mine, Dean, lived in the same town as Colleen. He and I were born on the same day, December 4, 1962. As it turned out, as I was pining for Colleen, Dean was dating her. Later (a couple of months) I made a cassette of the song, 45 minutes per side, 90 minutes total. Took some friends for a long, long car ride. The cassette player in the car had an auto-reverse function. So the song repeated endlessly. And my friends and I exhibited the signs of humans working through the seven (or is it five — no I think it’s seven) stages of grief or loss. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Michael S. Childs :

    Used the song for a high school basketball rally cheer. It had some succcess I love the song!

  17. Pliny :

    I was born in ’56. My parents purchased the 45 when it came out. I played it constantly (along with ‘High Blood Pressure’ on the B-side). I just bought his ‘best of CD’ a few months ago. Love the memories it brings back.

  18. Turtle :

    The bass vocals are credited to Billy Roosevelt. Just want to give credit where it’s due!

  19. Don Haupt :

    I’ve loved this song since I first heard it age 9 or so. I distinctly remember seeing them on TV (Bandstand?) lip syncing this bouncing on a trampoline (best reason for lip-syncing I could imagine. I’m off to the web to try and find that clip

  20. allen roy nesbitt :

    12-7-13 just heard the music in a commercial during Baylor v Texas – Geico perhaps?

  21. allen roy nesbitt :

    “don’t you just know it” is used in the new Asics footwear commercial. Will the artists get paid? Props to Huey ‘Piano’ Smith anyhow.

  22. Sellardo :

    So is Miss Bobbie still with us? If so, let’s ask her

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