The Showmen originated in Norfolk, Va under the name of the Humdingers led by General Norman Johnson ( his given name ). The group went to New Orleans in May 1961 and Allen Toussaint produced their first hit and one of the all-time great Rock and Roll tunes, "It Will Stand", a song that became an anthem not only for rock and roll, but also for Carolina Beach Music.
The following year, April 1962 , the Showmen recorded "39-21-40 Shape", a huge success especially on Carolina beach jukeboxes. "39-21-40 Shape", or 39-21-46 if you prefer, has one of the most memorable guitar intros in all of rock and roll.
Here are 3 songs from the New Orleans Sessions of 1961 and 1962 :
The Wrong Girl
It Will Stand
"The Wrong Girl " take 5 Minit 45-643 recorded in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street May 19, 1961 with Allen Toussaint on piano and organ . Lesser known but one of my favorites
' It Will Stand " Minit 45-632 take 9 -recorded in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street May 18, 1961 Allen Toussaint
Original release on the MINIT Label. with Country Fool as the a side . Written by lead singer General Norman Johnson. Reached #61 on the Billboard Pop Chart 1961, and when rereleased on the Imperial label in 1964 it recharted at #80.
Minit 45-682 take 12 -Recorded April 10, 1962 in New Orleans at Cosimo Studios 521 Governor Nicholls Street. Allen Toussaint
Whether you know this tune by the title "39-21-40 Shape" or the title that was actually placed on the 45 rpm record when it was released, "39-21-46", this is a Carolina Beach Music classic of the first order.
And as to the line " you got me going ape ity ape over you " asked about the figure General said " Don't know about the measurements but it sure rhymes with ape ity ape " He will be missed
Great Voice , a terrific talent and a giant of Beach Music May 23, 1943 - October 14, 2010