Song In My Head #15: “Uptight Tonight” by Flash and the Memphis Casuals

This song first emerged in 1966 on Block Records, which eventually released three Flash and the Memphis Casuals albums. “Uptight Tonight” found a new audience in 1995 thanks to Robert Gordon’s fantastic book It Came From Memphis and its companion CD. Lead singer David “Flash” Fleischman stayed with music, working for Atlantic and MCA Records before starting David Fleischman Productions and Right Way Entertainment. (He and Jon Scott created All Memphis Music in 2006.) The song was written by legendary producer Jim Dickinson, one of two guitarists on the track.

I’d better cut the talk of musical pedigree and draw your attention to the towering glory of this tune! Mark Tidwell and Dickinson trade scouring guitar licks while Flash’s swaggeringly surly delivery evokes all the great punk rockers yet to come. Joe Frank’s bass will get you groovin’, but the song’s MVP has to be drummer Joe Junior Carrera. Between the pounding beats and the rickety cymbal, I doubt he had a kit left afterward!

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