Nuggets: Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love) by The Swingin’ Medallions

Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.

Track 51/118: Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love) by The Swingin’ Medallions
Release Date: 1965
From: Greenwood, South Carolina
Aphoristic Rating: 9/10

DOUBLE SHOT (OF MY BABY’S LOVE) – Swingin’ Medallions [2:13]
(Cyril Vetter/Don Smith)
Personnel/JOHN McELRATH: vocals * JIMBO DOARES: lead guitar * BRENT FORTSON: organ * JIM PERKINS: bass * JOE MORRIS: drums * CARROLL BLEDSOE & CHARLIE WEBBER: trumpet * STEVE CALDWELL: sax
Recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL
4-Sale single #002 (12/65); Smash single #S-2033 (3/66); Pop #17

Until writing this post, I was unaware of the existence of Beach music. Rather than display my ignorance of an entire sub-genre, I’ll let Wikipedia explain:

Beach music, also known as Carolina beach music, and to a lesser extent, Beach pop, is a regional genre of music in the United States which developed from rock/R&B and pop music of the 1950s and 1960s. Beach music is most closely associated with the style of dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag, which is also the official state dance of both North Carolina and South Carolina. Recordings with a 4/4 “blues shuffle” rhythmic structure and moderate-to-fast tempo are the most popular music for the shag, and the vast majority of the music in this genre fits that description.

The Swingin’ Medallions formed in Greenwood, South Carolina. ‘Double Shot (of my Baby’s Love)’ was their second single – it was a cover, written by Don Smith and Cyril Vetter, and originally recorded by Dick Holler And The Holidays. The double-entrendres of sex and drinking are heavy-handed, yet it works well as a pop song.

That’s because the organ riff, played by Brent Fortson, is one of the best hooks on the entire Nuggets boxset. The song reached #17 on the Billboard singles chart, despite being banned by many radio stations. The song’s been covered by a long list of artists, including George “Bad to the Bone” Thorogood, The Residents, and Better Than Ezra.

The Swingin’ Medallions are still touring – they’re playing Macon City Auditorium next Friday evening. You could certainly argue that they’ve coasted on the coattails of their one hit record. Michael Huey joined the band after ‘Double Shot’, but has enjoyed a successful career as a drummer, working with Lindsey Buckingham, Glenn Frey, and Walter Egan.

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  1. The Shag is a cool dance that’s kind of like the Stroll. Somebody taught me it once, and it’s fun. but I really don’t like the kind of dancing where you have to learn the steps and shit. I like to dance but I never did like doing that kind of dancing. Too much work trying to memorize all the steps and everything.

    • I did swing dancing for a while there. Dancing is not my strong point, although the basic steps for swing are pretty easy.

      • Yeah the shag is kind of in between swing and the stroll, except you do the stroll to slower music, and you can kind of make up your own steps a little more.

  2. I actually read this in the Dark on my phone Monday…I thought I commented… but apparently not. I always loved this song…it sounds like a bunch of drunken teenagers but I mean that in the best way.

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