Here’s my latest YouTube posting:
Richard Berry – LIVE in Mountain View, California on November 17, 1989, performing “Riot in Cell Block #9.”
Last year, I posted one of Richard’s LOUIE LOUIE performances from this same show on YouTube right after Michael Rivinius, leader of the Simplistics had passed away. The day I posted this clip, happened to be the same day that Google announced it would be purchasing YouTube. As this performance took place in the city where Google was headquartered, I thought that was a cool little coincidence. Unlike that previous video clip, this new video clip doesn’t feature a lot of footage in the dark, scrambling to find a mystery yodeler.
This song was originally recorded by Richard in 1954, uncredited with the Robins (before they became the Coasters), as he was still signed to the Bihari Brothers‘ Modern-RPM-Flair record empire. He did this as a favor for his friends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, but tried to be discrete about the situation. Of course, anyone that knew Richard knew that he was the one singing on this record, and he wound up doing a sound-alike track called “The Big Break” as an official Richard Berry release for the Bihari Brothers.
The song was pretty revolutionary at the time. A lot of people consider this track a precursor of gangsta rap, which makes perfect sense to me….