Wake Me, Shake Me

Album: Projections (1966)

Songfacts®:

  • "Wake Me, Shake Me" is a traditional gospel song about getting into heaven. It was mostly heard in churches until The Blues Project - five white guys from New York City - covered the song for their second album, Projections. Theirs is the version most remembered today.
  • The most prominent member of The Blues Project (whose heyday was 1965 to 1968) was Al Kooper. He had a long, successful career in the music industry, with his most widely known contribution probably being the epic organ intro to Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" (he played organ on the whole track and collaborated with Dylan frequently over the years).

    In his autobiography, Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'n' Roll Survivor, Kooper writes that he got "Wake Me, Shake Me" from a short-lived group named The Golden Chords, which featured vocalist Lorraine Ellison (best known for "Stay with Me").

    The Golden Chords had been put together to exploit the short-lived gospel music craze that popped up around Los Angeles in the early '60s. They covered "Wake Me, Shake Me" on a live album called Introducing The Sweet Chariot in 1963.

    Kooper listened to that album and was inspired to cover "Wake Me, Shake Me" with The Blues Project. He considers it the group's signature song. They often closed their shows with long, improvised versions of it.

Comments: 1

  • Coach from Puerto RicoAll hail Al Kooper and The Blues Project!
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