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This song is about hot tamales, which are a spicy Mexican food very popular in some parts of the American south, where they are often sold by roadsides. Tamales contain spicy mean wrapped in cornmeal.
While Johnson is a legendary Blues artist, this song is an example of Hokum music, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s and is generally played at a faster pace than Blues, similar to Ragtime.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers covered this on their 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik
. The Peppers recorded their version on a hill at 2 in the morning - if you listen closely you can hear cars go by. Their drummer Chad Smith copied John Bonham's technique that he used in the Led Zeppelin song "Moby Dick
" of drumming without drumsticks. (thanks, Bert - Pueblo, NM)
Bass Player Scott Edwards
Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."
Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose
. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."