Dave Bartholomew: My Ding-a-Ling


My Ding-a-Ling


Dave Bartholomew (trumpet, vocals)


Risqué Blues: My Ding-A-Ling (King Records)

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Dave Bartholomew (trumpet, vocals),

Ernest McLean (guitar), Frank Fields (bass), Salvador Doucette (piano), Joe Harris (alto sax), Clarence Hall (tenor sax), Herb Hardesty (tenor sax), Earl Palmer (drums)


Composed by Dave Bartholomew


Recorded: New Orleans, January 22, 1953


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

Dave Bartholomew ranks among the most important individuals in the history of New Orleans music, but his name never became widely known among the general public, and most of his influence was exerted behind the scenes. He was a songwriter, talent scout, arranger and general man-about-town, whose greatest successes came via his partnership with Fats Domino, which resulted in some 40 hit songs. Yet Bartholomew also recorded his own material, as he demonstrates on this 1952 track. "My Ding-a-Ling" became a huge hit, but for another rock legend—Chuck Berry, in this instance, who brought it to the top of the charts in 1972. In fact, this was the only number one hit in Berry's career. Bartholomew might have grumbled that he deserved the big success, but he would only be foolin' himself. In 1972, many deejays refused to play Berry's version because of its thinly-disguised double meaning, and there are still lots of oldies stations that won't touch it even today. And Berry (unlike Bartholomew) added the explanation that he was simply singing about "silver bells upon a string"—a clarification that did little to stop the calls for censorship. So Bartholomew could hardly have had high expectations back in '52, when it was little short of a miracle that this tune was even recorded.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

If you liked this track, also check out

Fats Domino: The Fat Man
Fats Domino: Ain't That a Shame
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