Song of the Week – Good Times, The Jay-Bees

IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED

In late 1964 the Rolling Stones released their second album in the US, 12 x 5. It included a couple of their early hits — “Time Is on My Side” and “It’s All Over Now,” both covers of American R&B songs. But by this time Jagger and Richards were already dipping their toes into the songwriting waters.

One of the originals on 12 x 5 was “Good Times, Bad Times.” It’s a decent slow, country blues. It may remind you of their version of Fred McDowell and Gary Davis’ “You Gotta Move” from Sticky Fingers.

In 1968 a garage band from West Virginia called the Jay-Bees took the song, converted it to a minor key and created a proto punk classic. (They also shortened the title to “Good Times.”)

The creepy laugh that continues throughout the song adds to the haunted house effect of the cut.

Why this track never made it onto one of the Nuggets compilations is a mystery to me. Someone needs to contact archivist Lenny Kaye to try to get the answer.

But no matter… I’d guess the Stones — the original punks — would approve of the Jay-Bees treatment.

Enjoy… until next week.

9 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Good Times, The Jay-Bees

  1. Wow. Never heard it, never heard of it. Was it a local hit? It should have been. The drummer is money. I want to buy the long version because the guitar solo at the end can’t leave us hanging like that. Thanks, Tom. How did you find it?

  2. One of these days you should compile the 10 best SOTW hits that would be tough wouldn’t it? Thanks again for sharing!

  3. Hi from Carolinas, Jim here from the JayBees! We were from Ashtabula Ohio and all went seperately along to do our own things…I’m still jamming and playing and selling guitars….rock on!

  4. I was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, Jay Bees back in 1968. I’m flattered to see the song was considered “Song of the Week” Good to hear from Jim. It was a very good time for us indeed.

    • Hi Joe. Thanks for contacting us. I love it when artists see my posts about their work and reach out. I hope your’re still singing and playing. Let us know whatr you’re up to, musically.

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