Pop Archives

Max Hamilton & The Impacts - I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song) (1966)

(Ike Turner)
Australia Australia
#29 Melbourne

Single on His Masters Voice, B-side of Bull Moose by Melbourne band: Max Hamilton (vocals), Gil Matthews (guitar), Ron Sheedy (guitar), Ron Cork (bass) and Daryl Fadden (drums).

The A-side is a remake of Bobby Darin's Bullmoose, the B-side of his 1959 hit Dream Lover.

Max Hamilton & The Impacts had one other charting single, Jenny, Jenny (1965, #15 Melbourne), originally by Little Richard (1957, #10 USA), also a hit for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels as Jenny Take a Ride! (1966, #10 USA, a medley with CC Rider).

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

The Ikettes - I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song) (1962)

(Ike Turner)
Original version
#19 USA

Single on Atco by Ike & Tina Turners' backing singers.

The Ikettes also charted in 1965 with Peaches 'N' Cream (#36 USA).

The original line-up was Delores Johnson, Eloise Hester and Joshie Armstead, but there were numerous personnel changes over the years:Wikipedia's Ikettes entry lists over 40. Notable Ikettes over the years included:

§ Vanetta Fields: With two other Ikettes, left Ike & Tina and performed as The Mirettes, releasing several singles from 1966 YouTube. She continued a distinguished career as backing singer in Australia, notably with John Farnham.   § Robbie Montgomery: One of the Mirettes, who has sung on records by many household names, and was in Dr John's backing group The Nighttrippers, now owns a restaurant in St Louis [2010 INTERVIEW].   § Jessie Smith: Another much-recorded session singer and the third original member of Ikettes breakaway group The Mirettes (with Fields and Montgomery).   § Delores Johnson: The Ikettes' first lead singer, a later-joining member The Mirettes.   § Valerie Simpson: Recorded as Ashford & Simpson with her husband and songwriting partner Nick Simpson (Found a Cure, 1979, #36 USA YouTube). § Joshie Armstead: Original Ikette, a versatile backing and solo singer who formed a successful songwriting partnership with Ashford & Simpson that composed songs for many top soul acts, including Let's Go Get Stoned by Ray Charles (1966, #31 USA), first recorded by Ronnie Milsap, later by Joe Cocker.   § Eloise Hester: An original Ikette (along with Armstead & Johnson).   § P. P. ArnoldStayed on in London for a successful UK solo career with four charting singles including First Cut Is The Deepest (1967, #18 UK) and Groovy (1968, #41 UK, also #8 in Melbourne).   § Pat PowdrillP.P. Arnold's replacement who also recorded some notable solo singles  § Claudia Lennear: Seen in 20 Feet from Stardom, the 2013 documentary about backing singers, sang with Delaney & Bonnie and Leon Russell among others, and was in Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour and the 1971 film YouTube.

References, further reading: Ikettes article at Wikipedia which overlaps somewhat with Andrew Hamilton's Ikettes biography at All Music. Follow the links from those two pages for more about individual Ikettes.

The Gongettes - Gong Gong – I’m Blue (1962)

(Ike Turner [+ alternative lyrics by..?])

Single on Original Sounds, #21.

Novelty variation with discordant sound effects, a rearranged title, and alternative lyrics about a noisy partner. Ike Turner is still credited as composer.

More at YouTube: audio and label shot.

Danyel Gérard [with] Les Dangers - Gong Gong “I’m Blues” (1962)

(Danyel Gerard - Ike Turner)
France France

Single on Polydor, French lyrics by the artist, B-side of Petit Gonzales.

This is somewhat in the vein of The Gongettes' version, with a harsh, intrusive back-up chorus handling the gong gongs. [Video]

The A-side is a French adaptation of Speedy Gonzales, the first of three releases of Petit Gonzales that came out after David Dante's original English version (1961) but before Pat Boone's hit version (1962).*

Also recorded by Sylvie Vartan (France, 1962).

*Merci à Philippe pour la clarification.

The Newbeats - I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song) (1964)

(Ike Turner)

On Hickory album Bread And Butter by Nashville vocal trio featuring the falsetto of Larry Henley (see Wind Beneath My Wings). The Newbeats' biggest hit was Bread And Butter (1964, #2 USA).

Sweet Inspirations - I’m Blue (1968)

(Ike Turner)
Later version

Single on Atlantic, B-side of Sweet Inspiration.

The US single has the shortened title. The British issue has the full original title, I'm Blue (Gong Gong Song).

The Sweet Inspirations were a female vocal group with gospel origins who were heard on numerous 60s soul and pop records backing Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Nina Simone, Chuck Jackson and many others. They sang on Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl and recorded and toured with Elvis Presley from 1969.

By 1967, when the Sweet Inspirations began cutting their own records for Atlantic, the line-up had settled to Cissy Houston, Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell and Myrna Smith. By that time some earlier members, including Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, Judy Clay (Sylvia Shemwell's sister) and Doris Troy, had moved on to solo careers. Cissy Houston was the mother of future star Whitney Houston, and sister of Lee Warrick, also a gospel singer and mother of Dee Dee and Dionne WarwickCissy Houston left the group in 1969, and there were other personnel changes over the following years.

References, further reading: My paragraphs above are nothing but a short summary. For the full story, see Sweet Inspirations pages at Soulful Kinda Music (inc. detailed discography), SoulWalking (clear, illustrated chronology) All Music and Wikipedia.


The Spencer Davis Group - I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song) (1966)

(Ike Turner)

On their prosaically named first LP, Their First LP.

The Shangri-Las - I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song) (1965)

(Ike Turner)

Track on Red Bird album Shangri-Las – 65!,

The Shangri-Las were two pairs of teenaged sisters from Queens who recorded for Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird label. They were usually produced by George 'Shadow' Morton who produced and co-wrote their biggest hit Leader Of The Pack (1964, #1 USA).

See also Remember (Walkin' In The Sand), (1964) their #5 USA hit covered in Australia by MPD Ltd.

The’s - I’m Blue (2002)

(Ike Turner)
Japan Japan
Later version

On album Teenage Mojo Workout by Japanese garage-style female trio.

The's perform I'm Blue in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol.1.

Salt ‘n’ Pepa - Shoop (1993)

(Anthony Martin - Cheryl James - Sandra Denton - Otwane Roberts - Ike Turner)
Later version
#4 USA

Single on Next Plateau/London by New York female hip-hop trio. A sampling of the Sweet Inspirations version is heard throughout the track.

Check Yo Self by Ice Cube feat. Das EFX (1993, #20 USA) also samples the Sweet Inspirations' I'm Blue throughout.

Reference: Salt 'N' Pepa – "Shoop" and Ice Cube – "Check Yo Self" at Who Sampled.