1968 was a difficult year. Dr King and Sen Kennedy were assassinated in April and June. The My Lai massacre and Tet offensive made clear that the war in Viet Nam was only getting deeper and more bogged down. And the Flower Power consciousness of '67 was beginning to wilt.

But what do musicians do in hard times? We bring something positive. Performed by Archie Bell and the Drells of Houston Texas, "The Tighten Up" dropped in April of that year, sold a million copies in May and reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Rhythm and Blues charts that Summer. With it's sunnny major 7th chords and spunky groove it helped people stay optimistic and survive a grim period in our nation's history. If you are feeling stressed lately, we hope our version of "The Tighten Up" can be of some relief to you as well.



The Tighten Up
(Buttier/Bell. Additional lyrics by Ben Schenck)

Ah, that sounds pretty good.
Let's make a party, y'all. Hey!

Hey everybody, I'm Ben Schenck from the Panorama Jazz Band in New Orleans, Louisiana.
We don't only play jazz but we do all kinds of other styles of music too like Jewish and Caribbean...
Right now we're gonna do a little Top 40 number you might remember from 1968 called "The Tighten Up."

First let's tighten up on the drums.
Aaaw yeah!
A'ight now let's tighten up on the tuba.
That's pretty deep!
Now let's bring that banjo in.
Now tighten up on the accordion.

Ooh, that's nice and tight!
"It's tight like that Louie!"
Lu: "Roger"
Outasite cuz don't forget: Tight Makes Right.
All right well, get ready for the break.

Now make it mellow.

Oh do The Tighten Up, oh yeah.
Now do The Tighten Up, it's all right.
Do it to the left, now do it to the right.
Oh do The Tighten Up, but don't get too tight.

Y'all dancin' out there?
Ah, good.
A'ight well, let's do this again.

Now tighten up on the drums.
Hey look, this time instead of tightening up all the other instruments, let's try a different idea...
Everybody cut loose!

(Instrumental Jam Up)

All right, now make it mellow.

Do The Tighten Up. Oh do The Tighten Up.
Do it to the left and do it to the right.
Do it with the one that you love all night.
But don't get too tight!

All right, this has been a lot of fun y'all.
We had a real good party but we're on a tight schedule.
Now I think it's about time we get out.
Let's make a tight ending.
We're all gonna end together right here.
Everybody on the downbeat.
4 - 3 - 2 - 1!


from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You, track released July 1, 2017
Recorded May 11, 2017 at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA

Ben Schenck - Vocals, Clarinet
Tomas Majcherski - Alto Saxophone
Colin Myers - Trombone
Matt Schreiber - Accordion
Georgi Petrov - Banjo
Steve Glenn - Tuba
Doug Garrison - Drums

Words and music by Billy Buttier and Archie Bell and arranged by Ben Schenck and Colin Myers (Snack Daddy Music)
Additional lyrics by Ben Schenck
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Lu Rojas at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA
Graphic design by Ben Schenck
Cover photo by Greg Miles


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Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana

"New Orleans' genre fluid jazz band"

The Panorama Jazz Band and the Panorama Brass Band have been working steadily in New Orleans and beyond since 1995. Many hundreds of nightclub gigs, festivals, weddings, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades have added to this community of musicians' collective experience, all of which they bring to each of their recordings. ... more

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