Saturday Single No. 404

Sometimes you just luck into stuff. In 1957, Cliff Records in Shreveport, Louisiana, released “Flatfoot Sam,” by Oscar Wills, who recorded under the name of TV Slim because he was a skinny television repairman. The tale of the luckless Sam, says All Music Guide, got enough attention to merit a release on the Chicago-based Checker label. But, says AMG, “its ragged edges must have rankled someone at the Chicago label enough to convince Slim to recut it in much tighter form in New Orleans with the vaunted studio band at Cosimo’s.”

And it’s that New Orleans version that popped up in the RealPlayer this morning. Released as Argo 5277, with Robert (Barefootin’) Parker on sax, the record was, AMG says, Slim’s biggest seller. I’m not sure what that means, but I know the record didn’t make the R&B Top 40.

So how did I luck into “Flatfoot Sam” this morning? Well, I found the track some time ago on anthology of lesser-known Chess gems, where the notes indicated that the Argo session in New Orleans took place on July 26, 1957. And when I searched the RealPlayer for today’s date – July 26 – up popped “Flatfoot Sam.”

So here, recorded fifty-seven years ago today, is TV Slim’s “Flatfoot Sam,” today’s Saturday Single.

Flatfoot Sam bought an automobile
No money down, it was a real good deal
Didn’t wanna work, just ride around town
Finance company put his feets on the ground
Oh, Flatfoot Sam, you’re always in a jam

Flatfoot Sam stole a ten dollar bill
He told the judge, he did it for a thrill
He got sixty days suspended fine
He thanked judge for being so kind
Oh, Flatfoot Sam, you’re always in a jam

Flatfoot Sam, he got him a job
The very same day the place got robbed
The cats got away, they couldn’t be found
They picked up ol’ Sam and they dragged him down
Oh, Flatfoot Sam, you’re always in a jam

Flatfoot Sam playin’ a chuck-a-luck game
The dice got switched, Sam got the blame
He pulled a gun, shut out the light
Everybody hollered, run for your life
Oh, Flatfoot Sam, you’re always in a jam

Flatfoot Sam went on a spree
He married a gal weighed 603
She spent all his money, sold all his land
Next thing she did, she got another man
Oh, Flatfoot Sam, you’re always in a jam


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