Listen: Do The Monkey With Mr. James / Perry & The Harmonics
If you haven’t heard or heard of Perry & The Harmonics, then get to steppin’. For years, I too slept on this single and the sole album from which it came, INTRIGUE WITH SOUL.
Seemingly led by saxophonist Clarence Perry, the ’65 studio-only Perry & The Harmonics attempted to cash in on the extremely successful and then current craze of James Bond / 007. The bulk of the album being soul interpretations of the film’s various theme songs, plus a few originals like ‘James Goes To Soulville’ and then, this spectacular single ‘Do The Monkey With James’.
The album is scarce, and this single even more so. That’s Ed Townsend, possibly most known as co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’, doing the voice overs, which double as lead vocals, and I doubt a better delivery could have been conjured by anyone. His credits as a songwriter and producer are fairly deep, particularly in the Mercury catalogs, where he was a house producer working closely with Dee Dee Warwick. His label ties included Vee Jay, Capitol and Scepter. As well, as an unsung hero, his writing and producing credits covered Etta James, Big Maybelle and The Shirelles. He was particularly good with the female voice.