Nuggets: Who Do You Love by The Woolies

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 50/118: Who Do You Love by The Woolies
Release Date: 1966
From: East Lansing, Michigan
Aphoristic Rating: 7/10

WHO DO YOU LOVE – The Woolies [1:56]
(Ellas McDaniel)
Personnel/STORMY RICE: vocals * BOB BALDORI: guitar, vocals * JEFF BALDORI: bass, vocals * RON ENGLISH: drums
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA
Dunhill single #45-D-4052 (10/66); Pop #95

The Woolies came from suburban Detroit, but formed in the University town of East Lansing, Michigan. They were able to find gigs playing clubs and frat parties. ‘Who Do You Love’ was their first single, and it was a local hit, although only barely cracked the Billboard 100. They were never able to capitalise on this success. They backed Chuck Berry and made one album, before breaking up in 1975.

Written by Bo Diddley and first recorded in 1956, ‘Who Do You Love’ is a durable song. It’s been covered frequently by artists like Townes Van Zandt, George Thorogood, and the Hoodoo Gurus. There’s also an iconic cover from Ronnie Hawkins in 1963, with Robbie Robertson playing wild lead guitar for the era. The Woolies version is less iconic than some others, but it’s solidly enjoyable with a charismatic lead vocals from Stormy Rice.

I’ve checked their Facebook page for updates, and I’m pleased to report that The Woolies are….

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      • I just listened to the Townes Van Zant Who Do You Love, and I never knew he could be that lively. I think I’ve only heard that one album and it was nothing like this song. I just remember it being real folky or maybe countryish. I should listen to his other stuff.

        • That Flying Shoes album has more professional mainstream production than before and it works for him. Maybe it’s good that not every Van Zandt album is like that though.

          • The other one I heard by him is the one where he’s sitting at a table in some kind of crazy room. I was looking for Poncho and Lefty but it wasn’t on that album like somebody told me it was.

          • It is hard to remember which albums his songs are from – they came thick and fast in the early 1970s.

  1. This is probably like a 6/10 or 7/10 for me. I never really thought it was that great of a song, and I’ve heard a whole fuck-ton of versions of it. Probably my favorite one is by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, which is a lot of fun. Like every cover song he does actually.

    • I think it’s a pretty fun song. I like the Last Waltz version with Hawkins’ ridiculously high screams.

  2. Especially this awesome one. This one wasn’t actually an old blues song like he usually does, it was an old Hank Williams country song originally from the 40s or 50s. It’s one of my favorite ’70s records cuz it’s so awesome. And the Hank Williams one was awesome too.

    • I like Hawkins with Robertson best I think. I listened to the Thorogood one and it was pretty good – I mainly know him for the 1980s stuff like ‘Bad to the Bone’ and ‘Get A Haircut’. He’s a bit less commercial on ‘Who Do You Love’.

  3. Within the next couple months your posts will have covered 5 of my Top 10 Nuggets, including my Number One, Two and Three!!!

  4. I love their name…a very cool garage band name. I like this version…the riff is not as defined in this one but it’s a cool way to do this.
    That riff is one of my favorites of all time. EEE A E…. When I pick up a new guitar…it’s the first one I play.

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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person. It features album reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

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Graham Fyfe has been writing this website since his late teens. Now in his forties, he's been obsessively listening to albums for years. He works as a web editor and plays the piano.

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