Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sonny Curtis and the Crickets -- "I Fought The Law" (1959)

Robbin' people with a six gun
I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won
"I Fought The Law" was written by Sonny Curtis, who was one of the original members of Buddy Holly's band, the Crickets.  Curtis rejoined the Crickets after Holly's death, and was one of the pallbearers at Holly's funeral.  He still performs.

Sonny Curtis
Curtis wrote a number of other hit songs -- mostly for country artists.  His most famous song is "Love Is All Around," the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore television show.  

This version of the song is very similar to the Bobby Fuller Four's version -- Fuller's is better, I think, but clearly modeled on the Crickets' 1959 recording.  

The Crickets came up with one especially clever touch.  The words "six gun" are accompanied only by six equally-spaced drum beats, which simulate six pistol shots -- the rhythm shifts from four beats per measure to six beats in that measure.  It is a brilliant little piece of showmanship, and most of the bands that subsequently recorded the song were smart enough to do it the same way the Crickets did.  Listen for it at the 1:16 mark of the Crickets' recording of the song:

Here's a link you can use to buy the song from Amazon:

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