You Make Everything Groovy

‘Wild Thing’ was written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor.  This song was originally recorded by Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones in 1965, but it is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band The Troggs, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966 and it  peaked at No. 2 in Britain.  Chip Taylor’s other big hits include Merrilee Rush’s 1968 Top 10 hit which earned her a Grammy nomination for female vocalist of the year ‘Angel In The Morning’ (also covered by Juice Newton), The Hollies ‘I Can’t Let Go’ (1966, also notably covered by Evie Sands in 1965 and Linda Ronstadt in 1980) and Janis Joplin’s ‘Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)’ from 1969.  Taylor was born James Wesley Voight in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 21, 1940.  His older brother is the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and he is the uncle of Angelina Jolie.

Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Anne Murray, Fats Domino, Dean Martin, Johnny Cash, Dusty Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, George Strait, Nina Simone, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, The Pretenders, Jackie DeShannon, Ronnie Spector, Cheap Trick and Stevie Nicks have all recorded his songs.  Taylor was inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame in 2016.

Someone who’s reclusive, reactionary, brutish, or out of date can be called a troglodyte, but this word may also be used to describe a person that is loving in a cave, which makes me think of Fred Flintstone.  The Troggs were originally called the Troglodytes and they were an English garage rock band formed in Andover, Hampshire in May 1964, but they were unlike any other group to come out of Britain in the mid-1960s.  The 1964 lineup consisted of Chris Britton on lead guitar, Pete Staples on bass, Ronnie Bullis on drums and their frontman lead guitarist and vocalist was Reg Ball.  Bullis changed his name to Ronnie Bond, and Ball switched his to Reg Presley.  The Troggs hooked up with The Kinks’ manager Larry Page and he became their producer.  ‘Wild Thing’ became a huge in England, and it was even bigger in America, becoming an instant standard and a true classic rock tune, that kept growing in popularity over the years, ultimately shaping the band as the premier influence on the up-and-coming punk rock era.  The Troggs started a sound known as caveman rock, but eventually they moved away from this Neanderthal sound and had a big hit in 1968 with the much more evolved ‘Love Is All Around’.

The song was sent to Larry Page as a demo on an acetate disc, and The Troggs identified the whistling instrument in the break as an ocarina.  The way the song stops and starts up again was inspired by Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’.  The song was sent to them by Larry Page and they identified one of the instruments as an ocarina, (an Eastern instrument that dates back thousands of years), so they got one for Reg Presley to use on this record.  Years later they found out that the sound was made by the engineer messing about putting his thumbs together and blowing through them.  This was the song that Hendrix was playing in the Monterey Pop Festival footage where he sets his guitar on fire.  This was one the few songs that Hendrix recorded which he did not write.

Wild thing, you make my heart sing
You make everything groovy, wild thing
Wild thing, I think I love you
But I wanna know for sure
Come on and hold me tight
I love you

Wild thing, you make my heart sing
You make everything groovy, wild thing
Wild thing, I think you move me
But I wanna know for sure
Come on and hold me tight
You move me

Wild thing, you make my heart sing
You make everything groovy, wild thing
Wild thing, you make my heart sing

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is “Cool/Groovy/Hip/Nifty/Radical/Swell”.

15 thoughts on “You Make Everything Groovy

  1. What memories! Thanks again Jim. It always amazes me how many of these long standing groups are still touring. Of course, performers go off to pursue other things, they retire, or die, but the memories, and dreams, linger on for so many of them, and for us!

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  2. I enjoyed reading all of the background info on the song. Looks like Jimmy was stoned out of his mind or just having fun in the video. What a loss to the music community him dying so young 😦

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  3. I’m a huge fan of the Troggs. Spinal Tap was partly based on The Trogg Tapes…outtakes from their studio sessions that have them arguing with each other…funny stuff.

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