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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Alan Lyr Req: Bila (from The Versatones) (12) RE: Lyr Req: Bila (from The Versatones) 12 Dec 10


That's the whole legend and intrigue of the song. You are right - like "Louie Louie." Supposedly the lyrics were dirty and they used distortion to mask the words and also the vocals are very slurred for that same purpose. A few people have said it was Spanish and detected the chanting chorus as "Vamonos (or Vamono) Escuela Bila" which would mean let's go or hurry to school Bila or something like that. It does kind of have a Latin influence and accent to the vocals. But you can pretty much interpret it any way you want to. It's like listening to a parrot talk and 5 people in the room will think it said a different thing. That's the charm of the song. The mystery.

It was a HUGE hit in Philly with a line dance that accompanied it. It was so popular it was reissued twice after the original went out of print. Jerry Blavat still plays it.

It's just a great great record! Danceable as hell and very rare. An original pressing runs about $150 or more now. The other legend is that there is not a known copy of the original pressing that doesn't have writting on the label which I don't quite believe. Supposedly finding one without writing on the label would bring you a fortune.

There is an MP3 on line from Times Square Records old radio shows in the early 60's with Slim Rose as DJ. He plays the record and offers it for a dollar in his shop.

I've listened to it over and over again with headphones and can't make it out. And that's with a nice clean copy of it and increasd treble.

It's just one of the uber obscure doo-wop records. Kind of like The Delcos "Arabia." Tiny label and off the wall sound. Terrific street corner sound. Unpolished and raw.


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