Bunker Hill – Hide And Go Seek

• “Hide And Go Seek” set to a related slideshow and UK 7″ spinning video. Thanks to Sids60sSounds.

9.4 “Classic Soul from the USA”

I was recently floored by this one c/o “The Golden Age of American Rock n Roll vol. 6” (Ace Records). From 1962, it’s a savage one chord aural assault from Bunker’s gang which includes Link and the Wraymen. One step to the left of Little Richard. To boot, it’s a laugh – love that crazy loon in the background who’s never ready to play hide n seek!

Ace Records live up to their name with their liner notes. Rob Finnis tells the background:

In 1960, Link Wray’s brother, Ray Vernon, whose singing career was doomed to failure, rented two rooms in the Portland building, a government block on Vermont Avenue, Washington DC, lined the walls with acoustic tiles, patched in a couple of Ampex tape machines and announced the services of the Ray Vernon Recording Studio in the local press.

Before long, Vernon was churning out masters using various permutations of Link’s band as well as outside vocalists such as Marvin Rainwater and BUNKER HILL whose “Hide And Go Seek” sounded like a gospel holler in a squash court. Hill’s real name was the more prosaic David Walker and he sang with the Mighty Clouds of Joy, a leading gospel group. Prior to that he had boxed professionally.

“David came in with the song, and asked if I’d sing it,” Link told Bill Millar in 1979. “He was afraid to do it ‘cause he was singing nothing but gospel. We thought of giving him another name, so the Mighty Clouds wouldn’t know about it. We were gonna call him Four H Clubs [American youth brigades whose initials stood for Head, Heart, Hands and Health] but we settled for Bunker Hill. Ray took the master to Amy-Male and, although it was a hit, we had trouble getting it played on account of the words – lines like “Will you put down that thing you got in your hand” and other doubtful stuff. We tried to make an album but the Mighty Clouds of Joy found out and things gotta little haywire; David was mixed up too – he didn’t know whether he wanted to be a religious singer or a rock n roll shouter.”

“Hide and Go Seek” became a hit single in the United States, reaching #27 on the Billboard R n B charts and #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the covert operation intent on hiding his identity, Bunker’s holler was recognised and he was asked to leave the Mighty Clouds of Joy as a result.

His later life is obscure, although it is believed that he was later pardoned and did perform occasionally as a member of the Mighty Clouds of Joy before leaving the music industry in the late 1960s. Some reports state that he died in Houston, Texas in the late 1980s, but this is unconfirmed.

Reckon it was well worth all the hassles, myself. Hark the mighty Bunker Hill!

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