Mashed Potatoes

Album: Atlantic Rhythm & Blues (1960)
Charted: 84

Songfacts®:

  • James Brown was the primary performer on this song, but due to contractual problems, it was credited to his drummer of the time, Nat Kendricks.
  • The "Mashed Potato" was an early '60s dance craze. As a result, there were many songs around this time that used some version of "Mash" in the title. Examples include "(Do the) Mashed Potatoes" by James Brown, "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett, "Mashed Potato Limbo" by Chubby Checker, "Mashed Potato Party" by Link Wray and "Mashed Potato Twist" by B.B. King. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Terry - Belfast, Ireland, for above 2
  • This was also a R&B hit for The Swans in February 1960. Dee Dee Sharp recorded the song in March 1962 as "Mashed Potato Time." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Another song in the "mashed potato" craze was Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time." In Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear, Rich mentions attending a special dinner party thrown by Cameo Parkway Records to introduce Dee Dee. Among other music industry legends such as Chubby Checker and Don Kirshner, Dee Dee took the stage and performed this song. Rich Podolsky tells us that it "had all of us up on our feet clapping along to the beat." Dee Dee was just sixteen at the time.

Comments: 4

  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkI'm a baby-boomer & remember the Mashed Potato dance craze in late 1961 and 1962 when several minor rock & roll records came out about this dance. I remember watching "American Bandstand" on TV and trying to learn the dance from watching the dancers there. But honestly, I never heard the recording by Nate Hendricks-----ever! I do recall buying Dee Dee Sharp's hit "Mashed Potato Time" and learning that it peaked in the spring of '62 at #2 on the Billboard pop chart and #1 on their R&B chart. And the only other "mashed potato" dance craze record I recall is that "Monster Mash" single that came out around Halloween '62 & it was fun. About the biggest mashed potato hit I ever recall was the one by Dee Dee Sharp.

    I recall seeing on a Billboard chart for the "Biggest Hits of 1962" they showed that "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp came in at #2 for the overall sales from 1962. The reason for that, according to Billboard, is that the single stayed on the Hot 100 for so long. So-----why isn't that hit shown on SONGFACTS-----instead of the one by Nate Hendricks??? With those high chart rankings & sales, it should be.
  • Bubblesk from Memphis, TnThe Mashed Potato was a huge dance craze in either 1961 or 1962 with teens all across the USA. However, I do not remember ever hearing Nate Hendricks 1960 recording. I do remember several other hits about The Mashed Potato dance like James Brown's. I bought that record. I also bought "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp from 1962. It was a multi-million seller, #1 R&B charts, and #2 Pop/Rock charts for Dee Dee. Songfacts.com really should post something on that hit record because it's the biggest hit concerning The Mashed Potato dance craze anyway. Me & my friends loved doing this dance. You can even see Dee Dee Sharp doing it on American Bandstand, courtesy of YouTube of course.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, Sc@Elmer:

    It seems as though this song is the same as Do the Mashed Potatoes.

    Regarding the version by the Swans, if I remember correctly, it's the same one by Nat Kendrick. The label listed the group as Nat Kendrick & the Swans.
  • Elmer from Westville, OkI realize there were several songs about the Mashed Potato (the teen dance craze of the early Sixties), but I can't recall this one by Nat Kendricks. I do remember James Brown's "Do the Mashed Potatoes" and then the milllion-seller hit "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp in the spring of 1962. "Mashed Potato Time" had a very heavy bass sound for a record of that time & it did sound similar to the Marvelettes' hit "Please Mr. Postman." I remember seeing Dee Dee Sharp on American Bandstand doing this hit and she was also on that show promoting her other big hits like "Gravy (for my Mashed Potatoes)" which was her follow-up in summer of 1962 (#9 on Billboard Pop Chart) that almost sold a million copies. I think dancers just twisted their feet doing this dance. Can't recall the body movements though. I have heard from some friends that the Mashed Potatoes' body movement was almost like the Twist. But the dancer's feet were supposed to make stomping motions like you're mashing potatoes. Kinda weird, huh? Mash dem taters!!
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