THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
781-Ram Jam-Black Betty.
1977-Number 7 single.
Best Bit-At 2.01.Is headbanging good exercise for the neck, or is it an unhealthy activity? The answer of course is, don’t do it, your neck will hurt each time you throw your skull back and forth.
‘Black Betty’ is an early 20th Century African/American song, whose writer is unknown. The first recording of the song was in 1933 by John, and Alan Lomax, but the most famous early recording was by the Blues artist Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter from 1939.
The origin, and meaning of the lyrics are subject to debate, as ‘Black Betty’ could refer to several different things.Over the course of time a ‘Black Betty’ has been a nickname given to a number of objects, including, a musket, a bottle of whiskey, a whip, or a penitentiary transfer wagon.
It was the guitarist Bill Bartlett who had been a member of the 1960’s Psychedelic Rock/Bubblegum Pop band the Lemon Pipers who came up with the idea of making a Heavy Rock version of this traditional song, while in a band he had formed called Starstruck. Once it was realised that the song was going to be big, a new band of musicians were brought together and named Ram Jam, they were active between 1977-1978, releasing two studio Albums.
In 1990 Dutch music producer Ben Liebrand remixed the song,taking it to Number 13 in the UK top 40. The other significant version is by the Australian Alternative Rock band Spiderbait whose similar arrangement to that of Ram Jam, made Number 1 in their home country in 2004.
‘Black Betty had a child (bam-a-lam,) the damn thing gone wild (bam-a-lam.’)