Huey “Piano” Smith & The Clowns – Don’t You Just Know It
New Awlin’s rollin rock. Lotta fun – people let loose, danced, made out in those cars with the bench seats you could lay down on, beefy V-8’s with three deuces on top, 4 on the floor, full race cam and a shaved flywheel inside with glass pack mufflers under. Smokin tires, donuts in the parking lot, foggy windows in the drive-in.
Huey “Piano” Smith, born in New Orleans, Louisiana is an American rhythm and blues pianist whose sound was influential in the development of rock and roll. His piano playing incorporated the boogie styles of Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, and Albert Ammons; the jazz style of Jelly Roll Morton; and was influenced by Professor Longhair and Fats Domino. At the peak of his game, Smith epitomized New Orleans R&B at its most infectious and rollicking, as showcased on this classic signature tune, ‘Don’t You Just Know It.'” He became known for his shuffling right-handed break on the piano that influenced other Southern players.
In this little number, Huey “Piano” Smith wasn’t actually the lead singer. It was actually Bobby Marchan. Bobby toured with the band, sometimes performing as lead singer/bandleader and substituting vocally for Huey Smith, would stay in New Orleans to write and record while his namesake band Huey Smith and the Clowns played clubs and toured on the road. The touring band included James Booker on piano. Bobby Marchan’s vocal performances with Huey Smith and the Clowns can be heard on the New Orleans R&B recording, “Don’t You Just Know It”, which was released in 1958.