LaWanda Page

Pipe Layin' Dan

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AllMusic Review by

She was known in party record circles as the "Queen of Comedy," and she took the raw smut of contemporaries like Redd Foxx and Rudy Ray Moore to shocking new shades of blue. This no-holds-barred replication of LaWanda Page's nightclub act is guaranteed to startle anyone who knows her only as the Bible-thumping Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son. The cover boasts "A Big Bad Black Bedful Of Fun For Adults Only," and that's putting it mildly. LaWanda spares no details in her beyond-ribald routines, twisting children's rhymes and favorite hymns into discussions of unbridled perversion. Some of LaWanda's material is closer to pornography than comedy; "Suck it dry, honey," are the first words out of her mouth, leading to an extremely graphic bit of doggerel that follows an act of fellatio from beginning to end. Indeed, many of her stories aren't even proper jokes, but just dirty little anecdotes that are punctuated with obscenities rather than punchlines. A hot soul band provides funky accompaniment on a number of LaWanda's more rhythmic routines. The best of these is the title track, an extended "toast" that tells the mythical tale of Pipe Layin' Dan (who's so good he can make a dead woman feel it) and Big Fat Funky Suzy Ann, who loses 300 pounds after a year-long session in bed. LaWanda comes through with a few stark gags about lynchings and other barbed comments on the state of race relations, but mostly it's all preachers and whores, impotent husbands and sex, sex, sex. The well-oiled audience is clearly enjoying themselves (even LaWanda sounds a little bit looped), shouting boisterous encouragement and howling lustily at every off-color remark. Pipe Layin' Dan, like all of LaWanda's equally outrageous albums, is sure to break the ice wide open at parties and clear out the prudes so that everyone else can "feel all loose like a bucket of juice!"

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