Pop Archives

The Jackson Kings - Watch Your Step (1966)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)
Australia Australia

One of two singles by Melbourne band 1965-1966 whose keyboardist Brian Cadd and vocalist Ronnie Charles left to join the most successful line-up of The Groop.

See Sorry by The Groop.

Reference, further reading: Jackson Kings page at Milesago.

Manfred Mann - Watch Your Step (1965)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

On the album Mann Made October 1965, the second by this major British Invasion band. Paul Jones is still lead singer, but after this it would be Mike D’Abo, Jones having quit to go solo.

The Spencer Davis Group - Watch Your Step (1965)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

Track on LP Second Album February 1966 by Birmingham group featuring vocals of Steve Winwood.

Further reading: 1. Spencer Davis Group history at Brum Beat. 2. Spencer Davis Group discography 1965-1968 at Spencer-Davis-Group.com.

Tony Jackson With The Vibrations - Watch Your Step (1964)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

Single on Pye, B-side of Bye Bye Baby (#38 UK). Tony Jackson (1940-2003) was the original bassist and lead singer of The Searchers, the band he quit in July 1964.

See also The CicadasThat’s What I Want (1964), the Carter-Lewis song later recorded by the Tony Jackson Group (1965).
Reference: Tony Jackson & The Vibrations at British Beat Boom.
Thanks to Terry Stacey.

Earl Preston & The TTs - Watch Your Step (1963)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

Single on Fontana, B-side of I Know Something, by Earl Preston And The Tempest Tornadoes, Liverpool band active 1961-1963, contemporaries of the Beatles. In the famous Mersey Beat magazine poll announced with the headline Beatles Top Poll! (January 1962), Earl Preston & The TTs came in at #13. After the TTs, Earl Preston (real name George Spruce) fronted Earl Preston’s Realms.

References, further reading: 1. Bill Harry’s Meet the Singer: Earl Preston from Mersey Beat magazine, 1964. 2.  Earl Preston biography by Bruce Eder at All Music. 3. TTs history and discography at British Beat Boom. 4. TTs’ early appearance with the Beatles, November 1961 (The Beatles Diary: The Beatles Years, Google books). 5. At YouTube: TTmania as Earl & the band do a medley of three songs to a screaming crowd of fans. And a commenter identifies Earl as his Uncle George (Spruce).

Adam Faith - Watch Your Step (1962)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

Single on Parlophone with John Barry And His Orchestra, B-side of Lonesome (#12 UK).

References: 1. Adam Faith page at 45-rpm.org.uk. 2. Adam Faith Discography (includes label shot) at AdamFaith.org.uk.

The John Barry Seven - Watch Your Step (1961)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)

Single on Columbia by British composer and conductor, later famous for his film scores.

References: 1. John Barry history and singles discography at 45-rpm.org.uk. 2. Versions listed at SecondHandSongs.com.

Bobby Parker - Watch Your Step (1961)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)
Original version

Single on V-tone by influential blues guitarist and singer. The label credits Parker alone as writer, but Belmonte is usually listed as a co-writer elsewhere, for example at BMI.

Bobby Parker's record was famously collected by John Lennon for his jukebox, later the subject of a TV documentary and album.

Watch Your Step's riff is often cited as an influence on other songs, notably The Beatles' I Feel Fine and Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick. (See, for example, Dave Rybaczewski's I Feel Fine page which quotes George Harrison and John Lennon on the Watch Your StepI Feel Fine connection.)

In turn, The Originals cites Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca (written with Chano Pozo) as an inspiration for Watch Your Step.

Further reading: 1. Versions listed at The Originals. 2. Dave Rybaczewski's I Feel Fine page at BeatlesEbooks.com. 3. Posts at Powerpop and Funky16Corners about the influence on  I Feel Fine and Moby Dick. 4. John Lennon's Jukebox at PBS.org.


Cold Blood - Watch Your Step (1969)

(Bobby Parker - Phil Belmonte)
Later version

Track on 1969 album Cold Blood by San Francisco Bay Area band.

Other later recordings of Bobby Parker's Watch Your Step include:

Dr Feelgood on Malpractice (1975);
Carlos Santana on Havana Moon (1983);
Peter Green on The Peter Green Splinter Group (1997);
Steve Marriott & The Next Band Live In Germany (2000);
Eddie Angel on Eddie Angel Meets The Beatles (2005)
The Jook on Different Class (2005)

References: Versions listed at The Originals. Version alerts from Terry Stacey. Title listing at AMG (includes many Red Herrings).

Brooks O’Dell - Watch Your Step (1963)

(Luther Dixon - Tommy Bell - Kenny Campbell)
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as "Watch Your Step" by The Jackson Kings.

Single on Gold by lesser-known soul singer whose work has been reissued in recent years.

  Some other red herrings:

• Sammy Stevens(You Better) Watch Your Step (Kenny Gamble?)
USA 1963
Single on Swan, B-side of "Everybody Crossfire".
•  Larry & The ConservativesWatch Your Step (Clayton Dunn)
USA 1963
Single on Like by juvenile vocal group, B-side of "Can You Wobble".
• The CautionsWatch Your Step (Eddie Singleton)
USA 1965
Single on Shrine label, co-owned by Singleton.
80s soul singer Anita Baker (b.1958) wrongly credited by some as co-writer.

• Elvis Costello & The AttractionsWatch Your Step (Elvis Costello)
UK 1981
On album Trust, also a single.