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Episode #655 – Pookie Hudson (The Spaniels)

Air Week: November 21-27, 2022

Pookie Hudson (The Spaniels)

Pookie Hudson spent his entire life close to the music he loved. Growing up in Gary, Indiana, he spent his younger days trying to emulate the sound of BIlly Williams, the leader of the Charioteers. In high school, he began to develop his own style using his falsetto with just a touch of quiver to drive the girls crazy. Soon, he and his new group, The Spaniels were in the studio cutting a record for the newly formed Gary-based Vee-Jay label, owned by DJ Vivian Carter and her soon-to-be husband Jimmy Bracken. “Baby It’s You,” heavily based on Shirley & Lee’s “I’m Gone” started getting local radio play and began to take off nationally. Vee-Jay couldn’t handle the early distribution, so they leased it out to Chance Records in Chicago. When Chance folded soon after, Vee-Jay managed to get the single to #10 R&B nationally. Quite a success for a young label and group from Indiana. Unlike many vocal groups of this era, The Spaniels were able to match their vocal greatness with chart success and sales. “Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite,” “You Painted Pictures” and “Everyone’s Laughing” would grace the charts between 1953-58. Matt The Cat had the pleasure of interviewing the great Pookie Hudson in July, 2006, just six month before his death at the age of 72. On this week’s special “Juke In The Back,” Matt features clips from that interview to shed some light on the man, the group and the circumstances that made those songs so memorable.

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