1966 Slim Harpo – Baby Scratch My Back
James Isaac Moore was born in Louisiana and worked in construction. He played guitar and the harmonica and focused on the swamp blues. He appeared as Harmonica Slim in the Baton Rouge area until he began recording and discovered another performer using that name. At his wife’s suggestion, he began using the name Slim Harpo.
Slim cut his first single for the Excello Record Label in 1957. While I’m A King Bee did not chart nationally, the song became popular regionally. It also appealed to British Blues bands in the sixties, and the Rolling Stones even recorded the song on their first album. In 2008, the Recording Academy gave the song a Grammy Hall Of Fame award.
Slim recorded new records every year. In the early sixties, Slim co-wrote Raining In My Heart, which was not related to the Buddy Holly song with the same name. His single peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 and #17 on the R&B chart in 1961.
He also included on his first album. That album also included the instrumental Moody Blues. While he never released that song as a single, legend has it the Moody Blues took their name from that song.
It would be five long years before he reached the charts again, so Slim and his band struggled financially. Besides touring constantly, Slim ran his own trucking company to bring in money.
His biggest musical success came in 1966 when he wrote and recorded Baby Scratch My Back. The song was primarily an instrumental, with some spoken words in the middle of the song. The single reached #1 on the R&B chart and peaked at #16 on the Hot 100.
Two more of Slim’s singles reached the thirties on the R&B chart, but he never reached the Hot 100 again.
Slim had a heart attack and died in 1970.
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