the dekes of hazzard

The mysterious Dekes Of Hazzard contributed a Frank Zappa tune to "Delphonic Sounds Today" in 1998. The Dekes Of Hazzard are an alias for Deke Dickerson, who released the same track on his "Mr.Entertainment" album in 2003.


  various artists: delphonic sounds today: del-fi does del-fi
    (1998, cd, usa, del-fi 2114) – incl.: the dekes of hazzard: ‘the world's greatest sinner’ (frank zappa)

  deke dickerson: mr.entertainment
    (2003, cd, spain, r&r inc 020) - incl.'the world's greatest sinner' (frank zappa)


random notes

     from: marc de bruyn (
dekes of hazzard - the world's greatest sinner - delphonic sounds today

sleeve notes for the dekes of hazzard - the world's greatest sinner

it must've been quite a sight the day frank zappa walked into keane's del-fi office in hollywood, armed with a brace of self-produced masters and acetates (waxed at paul buff's cucamonga-based studio a year or two before it became his own studio z). it was march of '63 (zappa later called it "a rancid period of my life") when keane eventually issued this b-side frank originally wrote for a low budget movie of the same name, directed by tim carey (carey had met fz when frank was clerking at wallich's music city record store, just a few blocks away from del-fi's selma & vine office).
this ecco-fonic "sinner" is by cornfed wackos the dekes of hazzard, led by a self-proclamed "lady killin' papa" with a double-necked gitbox who goes, simply, by the handle deke. you can usually catch deke on the road, where he spends a couple hundred days a year, and he's warbin' and playin' that double-necker on the recent hightone records disc, "number one hit record".

cosmik debris magazine
various artists - delphonic sounds today (del-fi)
reviewed by dj johnson

for many months there has been a lot of talk about this collection, so much so that it was in danger of suffering by comparison with expectations when it finally arrived. well, it has arrived, and as i listen to it the third consecutive time and get ready to hit play yet again, i'm searching for superlatives worthy of this thing.
del-fi records is something of an enigma. it's the label people love to hate, run by a man named bob keane whose self-promotion (not quite like don king but close) makes him a target for ridicule. at the same time, it was the label that brought us ritchie valens and the bobby fuller four. it was also the label that gave us some of the most important surf records of the 60s, and it can be argued that del-fi popularized, if not spawned, the landlocked cousin of surf: the hotrod record.
those are the givens. what most people don't see is the vast catalog of fascinating little records made in between the hits. frank zappa did some of his earliest recording as a producer and engineer for del-fi, as did barry white. great unknown guitar rockers like larry bright and chan romero recorded top notch albums for the label. del-fi even took on the exotica craze with cool little records by eden ahbez and yo yo hashi.
what do you do when you have a vault filled with great stuff that was either never heard or has become lost in time? tribute album!
delphonic sounds today is twenty tracks of great del-fi songs, some hugely popular and some ultra obscure, recorded by some of today's most interesting indie label artists. bobby fuller four's "i fought the law" becomes a trippy, droning psych piece in the care of the brian jonestown massacre, and the liquor giants turn in a fairly faithful version of chan romero's underground classic, "hippy hippy shake" to start the disc. perfect examples of one end of the spectrum you'll find here: when it rocks, it does so with power.
the other end of the spectrum is typified by artists like man or astro-man (covering yo yo hashi's "yo yo's pad") and wondermints (eden ahbez's "full moon") who take interesting liberties with already exotic tunes and manage to improve on them. nan vernon comes up with the most unusual track, bobby fuller four's "new shade of blue," rendering it sultry and intoxicating. elliot kendall's version of the ritchie valenz classic, "donna," also deserves mention, as it mixes a traditional acoustic, drums and bass arrangement with an orchestra without sounding vegas.
the surf tunes are mostly faithful renditions, with a few twists. los straitjackets' cover the lively ones' "surf rider" note for note, leaving only the sublime power and tone of guitarists eddie angel and danny amis to set it apart. davie allan's tone is so unique that he couldn't even play chop sticks without it sounding exactly like a davie allan song. want proof? well, bobby fuller's "our favorite martian" is now and forever his own. elliot easton's tiki gods take the biggest risks among the surf bunch, taking the centurions' "bullwinkle part II," a song that was recently huge thanks to the pulp fiction soundtrack, to an atmospheric place with full exotica trappings. dead solid perfect.
in my personal cd collection, there's one corner that i love to show visitors. it's several stacks of cds that represent nearly every del-fi release. ever. it's music i listen to often, so nearly every tune on this cd was being compared to the original as i listened. you might think it didn't stand a chance under those circumstances. and yet i believe that, with only one exception, these bands improved on the originals. only whiskey biscuit comes up short, turning in a wobbly and uninspired cover of "when i did the mashed potatoes with you." the song was originally recorded by larry bright, and that's a guy who deserves far more than he ever got. this doesn't do him justice.
and isn't that a tiny complaint for a 20-track collection? sure is.
these days, tribute discs seem to come out at a rate of one every fifteen seconds, and most of them are no tribute at all. delphonic sounds today does more than just pay tribute to the legacy of del-fi records: it presents an open and shut case that makes the listener realize there was a whole lot of important music on that little label. i can't recommend this one enough.

© 1999 - dj johnson

amg expert review: a tribute album to the del-fi label, for which 20 alternative artists of the late '90s cover songs, from hits to rarities, released on del-fi in the late '50s and '60s. it could not be said by even those most sympathetic to the concept that the world was awaiting this salute with great impatience, but here it is. a few of the bands have modest reps in the underground (brian jonestown massacre, man or astroman? baby lemonade), and original '60s guitar hero, davie allan covers bobby fuller's "our favorite martian," but most of the artists are unknown. as, indeed, are most of the songs covered — "i fought the law" and "hippy hippy shake" are here, but there aren't many, if any, versions of tunes like beauregard ajax's "things will work out fine," barry white's "all in the run of a day," frank zappa's "the world's greatest sinner" or the american four's "luci baines." as is often the way in projects like this, most of the updates are well-intentioned and unremarkable. the best are those that take a lot of liberties with the original arrangement for a major revamp, like nan vernon's spooky and spare reading of bobby fuller's "a new shade of blue," which would have fit in well on the soundtrack of a twin peaks episode. — richie unterberger

the others of invention



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soundtracks various artists