Frank Lucas

Daddy B. Nice's #94 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Frank Lucas  by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling"

Frank Lucas



September 1, 2014:

Frank Lucas debuts at #94 on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul Countdown

See Chart

Listen to Frank Lucas singing the definitive version of "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" on YouTube while you read.

September 1, 2014: Daddy B. Nice's Profile

Frank Lucas is one of those hard-to-define niche artists whose achievements are too easily dismissed and--in the case of Lucas's carnality--even shunned or abhorred by the same genre (southern soul) that celebrates sensuality.

On the other hand, it's likely Lucas was "driven" to southern soul and its underground network of independent radio stations (where even in "friendly" territory he's sometimes denied) by the Pollyannish rejections of the majority of mainstream stations. (Hard to believe in the age of hiphop content, but that's another story.)

"The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" is the ultimate male mating call, like a rooster crowing, or like a big bull elk trumpeting in the high country, but this celebration of alpha-male ego is tempered, as it were, by the joy and hilarity the self-congratulation brings out in the singer.

In my favorite video of Frank Lucas, he's gyrating in high-stop sneakers, matching zebra shirt and do-rag, looking vaguely reptilian, definitely someone you'd cross the street to avoid after dark.

It's as if Lucas himself were a spectacle, or as if--because of the over-the-top nature of the lyrics--he becomes a spectacle in the very act of distilling the words to the audience without breaking down or cracking up.

The singer seems to be--MUST be, you think--laughing at himself. Nevertheless, on the surface at least, the singer is playing it straight, letting it all hang out, rhyming--

"...my ding-a-ling"

with--

"...I'm proud of that thing"

--with an earnestness that belies any detachment, much less self-reflection. And that, too, contributes to the legend of Frank Lucas and "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling."

Because the song really has become a kind of "cult song," making your Daddy B. Nice and countless other fans of the tune revel in the very unlikeliness of it all, the against-the-grain braggadocio of Frank Lucas coming out of nowhere to score an underground hit in the best risque tradition of Marvin Sease, Clarence Carter, Bobby Rush and Chick Willis.

Whether you love or hate the singer's blissful state of "being-full-of-himself," you can't ignore it. The melody's too catchy, the lyrics too explicit (or kitschy, depending on your point of view), the instrumental track too soulful.

(It's from the classic Rascals hit, written and performed by front-man Felix Cavaliere, "Groovin'". Betty Wright also used "Groovin's" instrumental track for her tale of first love, "Tonight Is The Night.")

Lost in the X-rated daydreams the song engenders is the masterful job Frank does on vocals. Covering up none of his twangy, somewhat tinny tenor, instead milking it for all it's worth, Lucas lapses (in a well-calculated manner) into long, almost satirically drawn-out notes and--even better--nonsense-syllable scat phrases that endear his scruffy style to the listener even more. "The Good Thing Man," from a vocalist's standpoint, is even more impressive.

Listen to Frank Lucas singing "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" on YouTube.

Listen to Frank Lucas singing "Good Thing Man" on YouTube.

The Original Good Thing Man Single.

Dirty Ol' Man CD.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Frank Lucas

Frank Lucas’s “The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling” first charted on….

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles For. . .

MAY 2009

1. "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" -------------Frank Lucas
Bargain-Priced Dirty Ol' Man CD

Much enamored with Frank Lucas, your Daddy B. Nice discovered and subsequently recommended Lucas’s “The Good Thing Man,” recorded years earlier, to his readers:

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles For. . .

AUGUST 2009

5. "The Original Good Thing Man"-------------Frank Lucas

Bargain-Priced Dirty Ol' Man CD, MP3's


By coincidence, during the same time frame, Daddy B. Nice began writing “capsule reviews” with his charted singles, and at the end of the year “The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling charted near the very top of the "Top 25" annual listing with the following commentary….

Daddy B. Nice's

TOP 25 SOUTHERN SOUL SONGS OF 2009

6. "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" ---------Frank Lucas

"I'm looking for a cherry, baby,
On my banana split. . . " says it all, but Frank Lucas just ain't gonna let that go.

The song alternates between the romantic (we're talking "romantic" from a masculine perspective here, ladies) and the funny. Romantic when it best approximates the feverish buzz of a man about to do the deed. Funny when it goes over the top and you can imagine the woman bursting into laughter.

The people in the "business" who are turning up their noses at the silliness and/or the "X-rated-ness" of the lyrics are the same people who were turning up their noses when Marvin Sease's "Candy Licker" and "Hoochie Momma" first came out--and they refused to play him, too.

The great melody and atmosphere are derived from The Rascals' "Groovin'" and even more recently from Betty Wright's "Tonight Is The Night."

>Bargain-Priced Dirty Ol' Man CD


In the “Year (2009) In Review,” Daddy B. Nice wrote:

It was a year of great comedy records, from Unckle Eddie's "I'm Gone Tell Momma" with schoolgirl-sounding Crystal Dylite to Frank Lucas's ode to Don Juans (or Tiger Woods?) everywhere, "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling," not to mention Mel Waiter's wry assessment of 2009's economy, "Everything's Going Up."

…And “The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling” was awarded:

Best Out-Of-Left-Field Song: Frank Lucas

"The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling"---Frank Lucas


SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


Tidbits

1.

Frank Lucas on YouTube:


Listen to Frank Lucas singing "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling" on YouTube.

Listen to Frank Lucas singing "The Good Thing Man" Live Onstage in Danville, Virginia on YouTube.

Listen to Frank Lucas singing "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling (Rap remix)" on YouTube.

Listen to Frank Lucas singing "The Good Thing Man" on YouTube.

***********

2.

Poonanny connection:


Poonanny, the legendary, chitlin'-circuit, novelty-song recording artist who passed away in August of 2014, released a song called "My Ding A Ling" on his BRAND NEW CADILLAC album.

See Poonanny Artist Guide.

********


Honorary "B" Side

"The Good Thing Man (Single)"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling by Frank Lucas
The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling


CD: Dirty Ol' Man
Label: Frank Lucas / Jamstone

Sample or Buy
Dirty Ol' Man


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Good Thing Man (Single) by Frank Lucas
The Good Thing Man (Single)


CD: The Original Good Thing Man Single

Sample or Buy
The Original Good Thing Man Single


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Original Good Thing Man (CD) by Frank Lucas
The Original Good Thing Man (CD)


CD: Dirty Ol' Man
Label: Frank Lucas / Jamstone

Sample or Buy
Dirty Ol' Man


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Left My Heart In Louisiana by Frank Lucas
I Left My Heart In Louisiana


CD: American Bluester

Sample or Buy
American Bluester


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Don't Put Out The Fire by Frank Lucas
Don't Put Out The Fire


CD: American Bluester
Label: Frank Lucas / Jamstone

Sample or Buy
American Bluester


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Wanna Get Personal by Frank Lucas
I Wanna Get Personal


CD: American Bluester
Label: Frank Lucas / Jamstone

Sample or Buy
American Bluester


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Mary Had A Baby by Frank Lucas
Mary Had A Baby


CD: American Bluester
Label: Frank Lucas / Jamstone

Sample or Buy
American Bluester


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