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The Viscounts — Harlem Nocturne
Album: Rock Instrumental Classics Vol #1 the 50's
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1359









Released: 1959
Length: 2:20
Plays (last 30 days): 1
(Instrumental)
Comments (133)add comment
Suddenly I want to hear Baker Street :)
This is why I love Radio Paradise!...
She said, "Hey, you got a light, Mac?".

I said, "No, but I've got a dark brown overcoat".

(With thanks to the late, great Viv Stanshall.)
 ce wrote:
(with some minimal edits)
The plot thickens...

 
NickDanger wrote:
It was a dark and rainy night. I was sitting in my office listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desktop and reading my name on the office door. "regnaD kciN."


The way this is developing, after a few more years of comments Bill may need to change the lyrics tab to "Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics"...
 

lol Nick Danger, 3rd eye. OMG that takes me back a bit
60 years old and still sexy ... I hope I'm so lucky ...
(with some minimal edits)
The plot thickens...

 
NickDanger wrote:
It was a dark and rainy night. I was sitting in my office listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desktop and reading my name on the office door. "regnaD kciN."

 rgj13 wrote:
I was just settling into a glass full of my second-favorite kind of company when my office door opened to reveal two of the longest legs I'd ever seen attached to a low-cut red dress.

 Jelani wrote:
"...She walked in through the door with a determination I'd not seen from a woman, and gave me a look that would stop a clock; My socks rolled up and down..."

 trekhead wrote:
She was the kinda dame who wouldn't take NO for an answer...and I was always more of a YES man...

 Skydog wrote:

..........she poured herself a bourbon and asked me what's a nice guy like you doing in a girl like me,..................
 
The way this is developing, after a few more years of comments Bill may need to change the lyrics tab to "Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics"...
Can't help but think of David Lynch films...
It was a dark and rainy night. I was sitting in my office listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desktop and reading my name on the office door. "regnaD kciN."
High school slow dance...sigh....
Very sensual song :-).
 bfessier wrote:
Hard to believe Earle Hagen wrote that "stripper song" and the theme song to the Andy Griffith Show, isn't it?
 
"The Stripper" was written by David Rose, who originally recorded it, but Earle Hagen wrote scores of great tunes, including the theme from "I Spy" and "The Andy Griffith Show".
Tango & Cash, dance scene

RORTY!

Caps intended.
Sam Spade
Sounds like a James Bond movie.
Oh, wow. That came out of nowhere and rocked my world !

kurtster wrote:
Damn if this doesn't contain the future sound of so much to come.

(...)

 
Very, very much my feeling listening to this.
 WonderLizard wrote:
The Rock Instrumental Classics series, also a box set, is worth hunting down if you're an instrumental junkie like me.

 
If you're an instrumental junkie check out Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited.
Almost as good as the Harry James version, which is saying a lot{#Clap}
That is incredible music.


 Jelani wrote:
"...She walked in through the door with a determination I'd not seen from a woman, and gave me a look that would stop a clock; My socks rolled up and down..."

 
..........she poured herself a bourbon and asked me what's a nice guy like you doing in a girl like me,..................
.
btw i rated it an 8 
Love the original but really like the Danny Gatton version.  Worth checking out.
"...She walked in through the door with a determination I'd not seen from a woman, and gave me a look that would stop a clock; My socks rolled up and down..."
The Rock Instrumental Classics series, also a box set, is worth hunting down if you're an instrumental junkie like me.
Is "belt buckle"  a euphemism for something :)

marty88210 wrote:
I'm with ya "oldfart" but I sure enjoyed shining my belt buckle on a gal's tummy while dancing cheek to cheek in HS in '59. 

 


 oldfart48 wrote:
the band " one hit wonder " was coined for......

 
Nah, there were plenty of "one-hit wonders" before this record came out: The Penguins, The Silhouettes, The Monotones, Ronald & Ruby, Sheb Wooley, The Teddy Bears, The Champs, etc.  Excellent tune, at any rate.
Cooooooool.
Play the Danny Gatton version of this. It just smokes....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U01s2Rvvl4w
I always want to hear the theme music from "The Blob" starring Steve McQueen after this. Love the sax!
I'm with ya "oldfart" but I sure enjoyed shining my belt buckle on a gal's tummy while dancing cheek to cheek in HS in '59. 
the band " one hit wonder " was coined for......
Slow dancing in the high school gym. It was dark. It was dangerously exciting then.


Mike Hammer was a bad-ass. 
 
Damn if this doesn't contain the future sound of so much to come.

Anyone else hear the bass riff from 8 Miles High and lots more like surf music ?
For me, wherever I was and am in the world, this always calls to mind the intro of KBCO's Sunday night Blues Show, "Coming to you live, from the Red Rooster Lounge..." while this song slinks and crawls along the hall... It's still on, too! since the spring of 1985...VERY NICE!
That is a terrific description!

iam_overlord wrote:
This sounds like scotch tastes.
 


Hard to believe Earle Hagen wrote that "stripper song" and the theme song to the Andy Griffith Show, isn't it?
This sounds like scotch tastes.
 mgoldman wrote:
Now play the Danny Gatton version. It is just awesome.
 
I'd like to hear that!
Stuff I love about Radio Paradise:

- Bill plays songs like this...
- Which make me want to learn more about them...
- And I learn something new...

Wiki: "Harlem Nocturne" is a jazz standard written by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers in 1939.

This is one of those rare songs that is so perfect it can be covered, over and over again, and still sound fresh.
 michaelc wrote:
Stripper horns
 
I was just going to say I like a bit of dirty sax occasionally.
There used to be this show every Sunday night on KBCO called Blues at the Red Rooster Lounge, and they used this song to fade in and out with, and whoah since it's sinister bad it always did the perfect job, and wow I had the radio on and caught the thing the other night — YES, it is STILL ON! every Sunday 9-10pm, and still jams, although, sadly, they don't use this song anymore...but I thought of it, and wanted to hear it again, and...voila, I turn on Radio Paradise tonight and synchronicity asserts itself in mastery and mystery, and I do groove on it...
Now play the Danny Gatton version. It is just awesome.
 meinthecorner wrote:

I miss Danny Gatton. Haven't heard him here, yet.
 
(Politely coughing):

Danny's version:

https://www.radioparadise.com/#name=songinfo&song_id=38361 

RP has played three other DG songs...Surely a rectifiable insufficiency, Mr. Goldsmith. 
Stripper horns
 Proclivities wrote:

I like Gatton's version, but this melody really requires a saxophone as the lead instrument - in my opinion.  Earl Bostic recorded a couple of really smoky sax versions as did King Curtis.  Herbie Mann actually did a good version, too.  Great song.  I still have this single around somewhere.
 
I miss Danny Gatton. Haven't heard him here, yet.
 azdcryan wrote:

danny gatton made filthy love to this one. the best version I've ever heard.
 
I like Gatton's version, but this melody really requires a saxophone as the lead instrument - in my opinion.  Earl Bostic recorded a couple of really smoky sax versions as did King Curtis.  Herbie Mann actually did a good version, too.  Great song.  I still have this single around somewhere.

 boober wrote:
Something tells me she's not from Harlem!
 
Maybe she's just there for the sax!!! Lol!

I have many versions of this track, as performed by different groups. It's one of my all-time favorites.
Welcome to the Boom-Boom Room, gentlemen!!
 boober wrote:
Something tells me she's not from Harlem!
 
What's that - her accent?

Agreed with the posters below who laud Danny Gatton's version of this song.  He was so amazing - such a loss. 
Great song!
 nate917 wrote:

I was partial to a couple of smoky piano versions (including, in particular, Kofi's), until I heard Gatton's.  Blew me away.  It is indeed awesome.
 
danny gatton made filthy love to this one. the best version I've ever heard.
Heard this in the Boom Boom Room way back in the day..The way Dixie Cups moved those tassels was like moving art I tell ya..
Mike Hammer anyone?
 DaveInVA wrote:

The proper cover art....
  Something tells me she's not from Harlem!


Cheap but, way to go Bill. Love it. Still waiting for Ginetsera. Do it.
DaveinVa....Very cool man.

Wow! This is why I love Radio Paradise. Most songs are close to my heart, even the ones I never heard before.

The proper cover art....
Gotta love that dirty sax.  I have the whole Rock Instrumentals set.  The soul one is the best (Soul Finger!), but they're all cool.

New York City by rising70
https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_first_rays/

Harlem,125th Street, 1964

Copyright All rights reserved

There was a B movie (early 60's maybe late 50's) named Beat Girl.  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055779/ The movie is camp to say the least, but the sound track is fantastic, and this song reminded me of it.
We will be dance™ ))
Still have the original version of this on a 45.  It's still a powerful piece of music.  Thanks Bill.  A 10 because....
It's ecstasy when you're the one blowing this solo out.
 Alpine wrote:
Makes me want to have a smoke, a glass of warm scotch and wear a trench coat with a fidora.
 
Whoa - that totally sums this up. Um - I assume the scotch would be Glenfiddich? Glenmorden? Glengarrioch?  Anything less would demean this song...

I love this song - very bete-noir.

 fretman wrote:
Try Danny Gatton's version sometime, its awesome. This one is not bad at all, mind.
 
I was partial to a couple of smoky piano versions (including, in particular, Kofi's), until I heard Gatton's.  Blew me away.  It is indeed awesome.

Oh babe leave your hat on
This type of music was and is so seductive. I remember my Dad playing it when I was little on our radio and thinking how glamorous and grown up it sounded.
I was just a little kid when this came out but I liked it then and it still holds up.  Really makes me think of night time in Harlem with this blues tune playing in the background.  I think the Mike Hammer version was done by a different group though.
Still have the 45 of this kicking around...
Harlem Noctourne
Title says it all 
Talk about obscure... and yet, my mind knew each and every riff, each note as it came forth, even the drum patterns. And I was like, 8 or 9, when this song was getting airplay.
Epic! That sax sounds so filthy. A great choice.
Starts out like the theme music of the movie series "Red Shoe Diaries"!  Love both.
Mmmmmmmm Dirty music.. :wink:
WonderLizard wrote:
All I've been able to find out is that it was written by Earl Hagen in 1940, had lyrics originally written by Dick Rogers, but is most often performed as an instrumental. Mel Torme recorded the lyrics version in 1963 that I haven't heard. I love the Viscounts' version as well as Danny Gatton's. It's that raunchy sax... :propeller:
The composer of "Harlem Nocturne," Earle Hagen, died on May 26 at age 88.
smdeeg wrote:
Love Harlem Nocturne. Pretty good version of it. Can anybody comment on it's history?
All I've been able to find out is that it was written by Earl Hagen in 1940, had lyrics originally written by Dick Rogers, but is most often performed as an instrumental. Mel Torme recorded the lyrics version in 1963 that I haven't heard. I love the Viscounts' version as well as Danny Gatton's. It's that raunchy sax... :propeller:
Anyone remember this from the movie Christine?
THAT is exactly what I was trying to think of! :jump:
Misterfixit wrote:
If you are ever in Nashville, go to the strip club "De Ja Vu" (snip) The DJ at The Tool Box (a gay strip club) also plays this in rotation. (snip)
Miserfixit, your breadth of knowledge never ceases to amaze! Love Harlem Nocturne. Pretty good version of it. Can anybody comment on it's history?
Not normally a big sax fan here but do like this ... maybe the memories from my youth.
If you are ever in Nashville, go to the strip club "De Ja Vu" -- on Friday Nights at about 11pm their DJ plays this for about 20 minutes while several pole dancers do all kinds of slithering gyrations. The DJ at The Tool Box (a gay strip club) also plays this in rotation. Let's not go any further about pole dances over there, OK?
Lonestar wrote:
Makes me think of Tarantino
Makes me want to have a smoke, a glass of warm scotch and wear a trench coat with a fidora.
Makes me think of Tarantino
fretman wrote:
Try Danny Gatton's version sometime, its awesome. This one is not bad at all, mind.
Ackk!! I have that AND Sleepwalk in 160VBR so I can't uplaod them to RP.
ce wrote:
The first few bass notes make me think it was "The Byrds' "Eight Miles High".
I heard that, too -- and what a tasty treat that would have been, eh?! though I gotta admit, I like this too -- there used to be this Blues From The Red Rooster Lounge, Sunday night blues show on KBCO in the 80s that used this as the theme...mighty good stuff from the good old days! I used to do my best study and paper-writing under deadline pressure while listening to it...
The first few bass notes make me think it was "The Byrds' "Eight Miles High".
fretman wrote:
Try Danny Gatton's version sometime, its awesome. "Amen to that." This one is not bad at all, mind.
Try Danny Gatton's version sometime, its awesome. This one is not bad at all, mind.
Reminds me of the music from "Grim Fandango". Am loving it now!
Notelrac wrote:
I expect to hear Garrison Keillor's voice fade in, giving us another thrilling tale of the further adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye!
That would've been Firesign Theater with Nick Danger, or perhaps you meant Guy Noir from Garrison's show. Harlem Nocturne's a perfect fit for either one, of course. I like the Lounge Lizard's version better, though.
beag wrote:
The Lounge Lizards did a version that swings a lot more.
Uploaded the Lounge Lizards' cover a while back--it was sorried. Not that I don't like the Viscounts' classic hit version. Just glad to hear the song in all its reverby, after-hours glory in any form.
that does sound like the same style of saxaphone playing as in "Comanche" by The Revels (from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack). and man is that ever how a saxaphone should be played! Helchat wrote:
My thoughts exactly!! Did he use this in one of them? or perhaps Q. T. used it in Pulp Fiction?
my goodness :taped-shut:
mrmojorisin wrote:
Is a David Lynch movie about to commence?
My thoughts exactly!! Did he use this in one of them? or perhaps Q. T. used it in Pulp Fiction?
This is pretty smokin'. :devil_pimp: :cowboy: :motor:
tripacer wrote:
About a week after the discovery of fire, Hunter Hancock in LA used to use this as the intro to his show. He played Rhythm and Blues back in the days when some of the records said, "Not approved for airplay" and had yellow labels signifying that they were "race music". Those of us who knew; knew that Patty Page's "Dance With Me Henry" ripped off "Annie Had a Baby" just like they ripped off "Oh, Baby Don't Drop It". HH was outrageous and much railed against which means that every kid I knew listened.
Thanks for sharing that story.
About a week after the discovery of fire, Hunter Hancock in LA used to use this as the intro to his show. He played Rhythm and Blues back in the days when some of the records said, "Not approved for airplay" and had yellow labels signifying that they were "race music". Those of us who knew; knew that Patty Page's "Dance With Me Henry" ripped off "Annie Had a Baby" just like they ripped off "Oh, Baby Don't Drop It". HH was outrageous and much railed against which means that every kid I knew listened.
deep, smokey bbq...
gpracer wrote:
Harlem Nocturne is one of the all-time great tunes. This version wasn't bad.
I haven't heard this in decades, I am sure. Not since, in fact, the days of black & white television. Wasn't it used on some detective show back then? In any case I LOVE IT!!! :music:
Lovely lowdown saxophone! Good to hear this again!
pure poop.
The guitar sounds like D. Gilmour's early workshops (71/73) for Pink Floyd.
I expect to hear Garrison Keillor's voice fade in, giving us another thrilling tale of the further adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye!
Great tune. Sound's a bit iffy but great tune.
hmmm.... I sense clothing being removed somewhere....
Harlem Nocturne is one of the all-time great tunes. This version wasn't bad.
Pure noir. Just like they all said. Cigs, booze, and femme fatales. Crisp James Wong Howe photography. Now we dolly back.....
I have many versions of "Harlem Nocturne" in my collection. It's fun to compare different artistic approaches.... Great tune.
Mike Hammer's Private eye. isn't it?
Is a David Lynch movie about to commence?
rgj13 wrote:
It was a dark and lonely night, and I was just settling into a glass full of my second-favorite kind of company when my office door opened to reveal two of the longest legs I'd ever seen attached to a low-cut red dress.
She was the kinda dame who wouldn't take NO for an answer...and I was always more of a YES man...
Konrad wrote:
As far as I know, Willy DeVille did. I can't decide yet which version I prefer.
DeVille follows The Viscounts by roughly 20 years. This is the "original" rock hit from the '50s. It was written by Earl Hagen in 1939 and was a big band staple for quite a while before the Viscounts' version. You should hear Danny Gatton's version from Unfinished Business. :propeller:
I am sitting in my office, and this song comes on. I had to mute it, or else my office mates would have thought I was downloading porn! :oops:
Sounds like it should be playing in the background of an old movie where a guy sits in a smoky bar and says: (apply best Bogart impression) Of all the gin joints in all the world, this dame had to walk into mine. (pimp)
Back in the Midwest, a guy and his band, Johnny Reno and the Sax Maniacs used to do this, and pretty much did it this well--maybe even a little steamier. I don't know if he is still performing or not, but man, he was great.
Seems more like horns and jazz for barflies than "rock." :skull: :verysorry:
The Lounge Lizards did a version that swings a lot more.