Lost Treasures: Johnny Rivers – “You Dig”

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From 1966 on Imperial Records we present a most unusual B-side.  On the flip side of Johnny Rivers massive hit – the theme song to TV series “Secret Agent Man” comes a song Johnny recorded several versions of throughout his career.  “You Dig”  is a slowed down half-tempo jazz-inflected version of one of Johnny’s familiar guitar boogie showcases.  The song began life as “Whiskey A Go-Go”  from the live album of the same name.  An epic 15 minute long version titled “John Lee Hooker” appeared next on the rare album “Whiskey A Go-Go Revisited” & contained a rambling medley that including the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” & Hooker’s “Boogie Chill’un”.  “You Dig” was recorded at the Whiskey in L.A., featuring backing from famed studio band The Wrecking Crew.  In addition to Johnny’s guitar solo is a funky jazz-driven organ solo from the Crew’s Larry Knechtal.  “You Dig” clocks in at 6:03 although curiously copies of the Imperial 45 only note “over 4 minutes long”  In 1966, this was the longest song to ever get cut onto a 45 but in years to come would be surpassed by the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” & Richard Harris’ “MacArthur Park” for song length on a single.  As your weekend begins, “You Dig” this week’s Lost Treasure  & enjoy!

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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