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Ling Ting Tong

The Five Keys

The Five Keys were an extremely popular R&B group throughout the 1950s. Starting out in the early 50's recording for Aladdin Records they started charting with tunes such as "The Glory Of Love", "Red Sails In The Sunset" etc. In 1955 they moved up to Capitol Records and soon after recorded what would be one of their most popular hits of all time, a Novelty tune called "Ling Ting Tong". This group is regarded as one of the all time great R&B groups and their songs still sell records to this day . Their recording of "Ling Ting Tong" was covered by another great R&B group "Otis Williams and The Charms" who also had a hit with it though it did not sell as well as the Five Keys Version. Click here to hear the "Charms" version.

An interesting bit of trivia about this particular song that I did not learn until many years after it became popular is the translation of the line "I Smo Kum Boo Di Ay, I Smo Kum Boo" ... (I Smoke Marijuana All Day I Smoke Marijuana - - ) Had the radio stations of the era known the meaning of this line in the song it no doubt would have been banned from airplay back then. Thank goodness they were not hip enough to figure it out.. Of course just about anything goes in today's music.

Bopper Bob Hennessey

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