Charlie Johnson

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The songwriting credits for "Rubber Biscuit" tend to appear in a different form almost every time the novelty song has showed up on a compilation. With lyrics such as "...chick'n hon-a-chick-a-chick hole-a-hubba,…
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The songwriting credits for "Rubber Biscuit" tend to appear in a different form almost every time the novelty song has showed up on a compilation. With lyrics such as "...chick'n hon-a-chick-a-chick hole-a-hubba, hell-fried chuck-a-lucka wanna jubba..." it is no wonder that some of the creators might be trying to avoid responsibility over the years. The name of Charles Johnson is the only consistent factor in credits for this song, sometimes appearing alone but often in the company of Nathaniel Epps, Shedrick Lincoln, Samuel Strain Jr., and/or Paul Fulton, indicating that it took a lot of great minds to come up with the song's lyrics.

These fellows were all members of the Chips, a vocal group formed in 1956 out of friends from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. "Rubber Biscuit," perhaps nothing more than a strangely worded description of the only food that was available to the residents of this ghetto, was the only record released by the Chips between the year of the group's formation and breakup two years later. Having put all their chips on this one totally bizarre ditty, the group members may have been disappointed by a dribbling initial reaction from the public. Down the line, however, "Rubber Biscuit" bounced like a Super Ball, showing up on countless novelty song compilations and becoming part of the Blues Brothers' repertoire in the '70s and '80s.

"Rubber Biscuit" is already a strong competitor for the weirdest song ever recorded, even when placed alongside numbers such as "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Hee Hee Hah Hah" or "Paralyzed," and may not be in need of further detailing. Nonetheless, at least one fact pertaining to the creation of this song deserves to be brought out of the oven before it melts, so to speak. While many rock & roll songs come across as if written by inmates in a facility for teenage juvenile delinquents, this one actually was. The Josie label thought the song and group had potential, but rigors of performing chipped away at the Chips until disbanding seemed the only option. The members did get back together in 1980, primed by the Blues Brothers' exposure of the song. "Everyone's Laughing" was the name of the first single by the group in decades, maybe written in reaction to the listening public's seeming appetite for "Rubber Biscuit." Most recently, the original recording of the song was used in a commercial for an expensive sports car. Johnson also performed with the Platters; other members of the Chips were involved in vocal groups such as the O'Jays, the Velours, and Little Anthony & the Imperials.