To the editors:
Christopher Hill's "Great Noises of Rock 'n' Roll" [July 31] is an insightful treasure; however, I thought everyone by now knew the story about Wilbert Harrison's pre-guitar break command in the classic, "Kansas City." Harrison, it is widely acknowledged, was urging on his guitarist, "Muskrat," who did not disappoint in his delivery.
The practice of urging on a sideman is certainly nothing new to rock 'n' roll. Who can ever forget James Brown's incessant pleas to his band to "give one" to his sax man, Mazio. Inexplicably, Hill forgets James Brown, the godfather of soul and king of the guttural utterance (gutturance). I begin to suspect from the Harrison "faux pas" and the James Brown omission that R & B are not Hill's strong suit.
More down Hill's alley is the immortal Lee Michaels who in his top ten and otherwise forgettable single, "Do You Know What I Mean?", lets go with the most mournful yelp in history at the close of the bridge, where he is informed that he will "have to find another place." As Hill concluded in his article, there are probably hundreds of great noises which can be brought to mind, but we should all be appreciative for a thought-provoking article which is certainly a cut above the usual supercilious junk that passes for rock feature writing.