Lee Dorsey

Ya! Ya!

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Lee Dorsey, the world's funkiest auto mechanic, topped the R&B charts in 1961 with "Ya Ya," a bit of bubblegum soul arranged by Allen Toussaint that exemplifies the sound of his early-'60s Fury recordings. Dorsey was an important and commercially successful product of the New Orleans R&B scene with a sound as distinctive as Fats Domino, and one look at the track list of Ya! Ya! tells you everything you need to know: "Eenie Meenie Mini Mo," "Ixie Dixie Pixie Pie," "Chin Chin," "Yum Yum" (et cetera). Uncluttered grooves, economical horn riffs, playground rhymes, and Dorsey's unmistakable voice add up to an appealingly simple formula that yielded one of the most enduring oldies of its era and its similar but lower-charting follow-up, "Do-Re-Mi." Only "Give Me You," a ballad that uses the ubiquitous R&B triplets Kay Starr disparagingly termed "the claw," breaks the pattern. A terrific introduction to the good-humored New Orleans singer.

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