Mungo Jerry in concert in the early 70s

Mungo Jerry in concert in the early 70s
MungoJerryBabyJumpFor a short period in the early 70s, it must have been sometime between 1972 and 1974, I swear I saw Mungo Jerry almost every month. Now I know that will be an exaggeration, and my memory is probably playing tricks on me again, but I do remember seeing Ray Dorset and his band several times at Sunderland Locarno, and possibly once or twice at Newcastle Mayfair. I also saw them on the Friday night bill at the Reading Festival, on August bank holiday weekend in 1972, sandwiched between Genesis and headliners Curved Air. By the time I got to see Mungo Jerry the jug band of “In the Summertime” fame had morphed into a straight ahead boogie band. Gone was the washboard and the double bass, to be replaced by electric guitars and rock’n’roll. The line-up of Mungo Jerry seemed to change a lot, the only constant being front man and band leader Ray Dorset. Mungo Jerry had a lot of hits “back in the day” including the excellent “Baby Jump” which, along with “In the Summertime”, reached No. 1 in the UK singles chart. “Lady Rose” was another great song, followed by “You Don’t Have to Be in the Army to Fight in the War”, and “Alright, Alright, Alright”. 72readingprogram “In the Summertime” was an absolutely massive smash, reaching No. 1 on the singles charts in the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and South Africa. Wow! The song has sold over 30 million copies, making it one of the highest selling singles of all time. Mungo Jerry last hit the top twenty with “Long Legged Woman Dressed in Black” in 1974.
You could go along to a Mungo Jerry gig and be sure that you were going to hear some high energy rock’n’roll, and sing along to all those hits. Ray Dorset was a crazy front man, lots or running about, leg kicking, a strong raucous voice, and great blues harp. Oh and I so admired those sideburns 🙂 Mungo Jerry (aka Ray Dorset) are still playing to this day, although their UK appearances are few and far between. Another one for my list of bands who I would like to see one more time.

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