The Capitols

Cool Jerk

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Detroit-based trio the Capitols (singer and drummer Sam George, guitarist Donald Storball, and keyboardist Richard McDougall) hit high in the charts with 1966's impossibly infectious soul dance tune "Cool Jerk" (written by Storball) on Ollie McLaughlin's Karen Records imprint. Unfortunately the group wasn't able to come up with a sequel to that success, although they tried, releasing several similar-sounding dance tracks over the next three years before disbanding in 1969. Cool Jerk is a brief collection -- it barely reaches past 25 minutes in length -- but includes "Cool Jerk," of course, and one of the more interesting follow ups, "We Got a Thing That's in the Groove," but most of the other cuts are covers of mid-'60s Stax and Motown hits. What keeps things interesting here is the moonlighting presence of Motown's great Funk Brothers house band and Deon Jackson's vocals on these tracks (along with some killer horn charts). The Capitols had the talent to be so much more than what they ended up being, and one wonders what might have happened had they actually signed to Motown and had access to that label's great stable of writers. As it is, Cool Jerk remains the group's only real legacy.

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