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Monday, 10 September 2012

Rod Stewart - Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

On this day September 10, 1964 Rod Stewart with the Hoochie Coochie Men, made his first recording, a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl." Future Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones played on the session.

An elaborate and interesting story comes from Rod's managers at the time of this recording, Rowlands and Wright, who claim they had to call Rod at home around noon to get him to come to the recording session, as it was scheduled for 11 a.m. Rod's mom answered the phone and said he was still in bed. When the budding artiste came to the phone he apologized but said he's been out drinking the night before and didn't get in til 4 a.m. And he had no money for a taxi. The producer told him they would pay the fare, but to get to the studio ASAP. After the taxi was paid, Rod announced he had not learned the agreed-upon songs that they were going to record. "They're too commercial" he said.

So, Rod then told them he wanted to sing a Sonny Boy Williamson song, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl." Did Rod bring the record or sheet music? "No, but I saw the record in a shop just a block
from here." He was told to go get it and get it fast. "Can you lend me two pounds to buy it" he asked.

Though "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" Rod's first recorded stab at lead vocals, he sounds surprisingly confident. You can, of course, hear Sam Cooke but also a little Elvis influence on this upbeat blues number first recorded by Williamson in the late 1930's. The Rod style as we know it today is definitely not there, yet this is still a great vocal. The Voice is a little deeper than we know it, but still has just enough charisma to make "Schoolgirl" a worthwhile recording.

The session also included "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town," which was "Schoolgirl"'s B-side. His debut hit the streets in October 1964 (he even got a chance to plug it on "Ready Steady Go" (see photo) (Info mainly rodstewartblog)

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