Saturday Single No. 221

I’ve just come in from outside, where the temperature is currently 7 degrees and where it’s windy enough that it feels like 9 below zero on exposed skin.

Of course, not a lot of people are out there exposing a lot of skin this morning; my face was all that was available to the frigid breeze as I shoveled another three to four inches of snow off the walks. It’s not hard work, especially as the snow that fell yesterday and into last evening was light and fluffy. But it was the fourth morning of the past six that I’ve had to pull on my overshoes and bundle myself up to go shovel snow.

And I’m getting a bit tired of it. I’m really not sure which would be worse to clear off the walks in terms of overall effort: five three-inch snowfalls or a good thumping of fifteen inches. I’m going to bet on the fifteen-incher, as the winds that would accompany such a storm tend to blow the snow away from the house and would leave most of the walks with less than fifteen inches to shovel. We’ve had a couple of those in the past two winters, and cleaning up after them didn’t seem so bad at all.

Anyway, having spent twenty minutes shoveling snow, and having some household chores on my list that need to be done before we head to the Twin Cities for lunch and some shopping, I’m short of time. So I thought I would just dig into the Billboard Hot 100 for January 15, 1972, and see what sounded interesting in the lower levels of the chart.

And I found one of the dance records that Memphis’ Rufus Thomas was in the habit of releasing during the early years of the 1970s. Appropriately titled for a chilly day in January, “Do the Funky Penguin, Part 1” was at No. 82 thirty-nine years ago today, on its way to No. 44. It was the eleventh Hot 100 hit for Thomas, whose biggest hit had been 1963’s “Walking the Dog,” which went to No. 10.

Later in 1972, Thomas – who died in 2001 at the age of eighty-four – had two more singles that reached the Bubbling Under portion of the chart, but “Do the Funky Penguin, Part 1” was his last Hot 100 hit. And it’s today’s Saturday Single.

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