1977 Joe Tex – Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)
Joseph Arrington Jr. was born in Rogers, Texas, a town with a population that hovers around 1200. Besides singing in the church choir, Joe played saxophone in the school band. While still in high school, Joe won amateur night contests at the Apollo four times. His mother convinced him to wait until he finished high school before signing a contract with King Records. Joe began using the stage name Joe Tex. Two years of recording for King produced no measurable results.
In 1958, Joe signed with Ace Records and began perfecting a unique stage presence while performing as a warm-up act for Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Little Richard, and other artists. Several sources (including Little Richard) have verified that James Brown copied some of Joe’s dance moves and tricks with a microphone stand. An intense rivalry developed between Joe and James.
Joe had recorded over thirty records for other labels before signing with producer Buddy Killen and later moving to distribution from Atlantic Records in 1964.
Joe recorded Hold On To What You’ve Got at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Atlantic released the record in late 1964. The single reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart in early 1965.
Joe’s next few records failed to reach the top forty on the Hot 100, but four of them did reach the top twenty on the R&B chart. He also had one more #1 R&B record in 1965 and 1966, but neither of them could get any higher than the mid-twenties on the Hot 100.
In 1967, Joe cut the single Skinny Legs and All, which reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart. The record sold over a million copies. I’m not sure why the record gets so little airplay now.
Joe’s biggest hit single was I Gotcha, which peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1972. The record topped the R&B chart and sold over two million copies.
After that success, Joe’s career struggled. In 1976, Joe recorded the novelty song, Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman). It was his last visit to the top forty of any chart, reaching #12 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B chart. It was his only single to reach the UK chart, where it peaked at #2. He even performed the song on Soul Train with a big fat woman who bumped him onto the ground. I’m pretty sure the record gathers dust now thanks to its title.
Joe had a heart attack and died in 1982.
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