Saturday, August 30, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: The Chaps - Rawhide (1982)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
In  1982, the Scottish band The Chaps (pronounced Shaps) released a parody of the 60's T.V series 'Rawhide'.
"Rawhide" is a Western song written by Ned Washington (lyrics) and composed by Dimitri Tiomkin in 1958. It was originally recorded by Frankie Laine. The song was used as the theme to Rawhide, the western television series that ran on CBS from 1959 to 1966. The song is about the job of a drover on a cattle drive.
Rawhide was an American Western series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood that aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959 to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965 until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by
Clint Eastwood  'Rowdy Yates'
Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke. It is often said that this series was the catapult that launched Clint Eastwood to stardom, first in Spaghetti Western Movies and then later moving onto more series Westerns and then into the role of Dirty Harry as a rough and tough cop.

Spanning seven and a half years, Rawhide was the fifth-longest-running American television Western, exceeded only by eight years of Wagon Train, nine years of The Virginian, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke.
The typical Rawhide story involved drovers, portrayed by Eric Fleming (trail boss Gil Favor) and Clint Eastwood (ramrod Rowdy Yates), coming upon people on the trail and getting drawn into solving whatever problem they presented or were confronting. Sometimes one of the members of the cattle drive or some of the others would venture into a nearby town and encounter some trouble from which they needed to be rescued. Rowdy Yates was young and at times impetuous in the earliest episodes and Favor had to keep a tight rein on him. Favor was a savvy and strong leader who always played "square" with his fellow men. He was a tough customer who could handle the challenges and get the job done. 
This single is certainly worth inclusion into the 'W.O.C.K on Vinyl' hall of fame, as its Scottish tones and Gaelic vocals are nothing short of being Weird  and Crazy. Featuring the traditional tune "Ghost Riders In The Sky" the B-Side has the better version in my opinion.  Apparently, the first pressings of the single were incorrectly labelled as McRAWHIDE and are probably collector items in their own right. Guess who's got a copy!
Note: "Rawhide" is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate as 
"1. a whip of untanned hide. 
2. untanned cattle skin".  
So it refers to the material, or the whip itself.
Chaps were and are normally made from leather; less expensive ones could possibly be made from rawhide, but they wouldn't be very durable. Therefore, I don't think "rawhide" is a slang for "chaps."
Track Listing
01 - Rawhide (I Belong To Glasgow)
02 - 02 - Rawhide (Ghost Riders In The Sky)
The Chaps Link (16Mb)

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