Music Throwback Saturday: I Don’t Need No Doctor

It’s quite likely that I heard the Humble Pie version before I heard the Charles iteration,

ashford-and-simpsonAs is my custom, I was playing a bunch of the music of Ray Charles, in honor of his birthday on September 23. (It was also Bruce Springsteen’s birthday that same day.)

One of the songs on a greatest hits album was I Don’t Need No Doctor, written by the great Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, with Jo Armstead. But I remembered a very different version in my LP collection.

Humble Pie was “an English rock band… during 1969. They are known as one of the… first supergroups… The original band lineup featured lead vocalist and guitarist Steve Marriott from the Small Faces, vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton from The Herd, former Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley and a seventeen-year-old drummer, Jerry Shirley.

“In 1971 Humble Pie released… a live album recorded at the Fillmore East in New York entitled Performance Rockin’ the Fillmore. The live album reached No. 21 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA… But Frampton left the band by the time the album was released and went on to enjoy success as a solo artist.”

It’s quite likely that I heard the Humble Pie version on college radio, or some other FM radio hit before I heard the Charles iteration when I was listening primarily to Top 40 back in my hometown, since Ray’s take didn’t chart high enough.

There are several more versions of the song – The Sonics, The Chocolate Watch Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage, metal bands W.A.S.P. and Great White, The Nomads, Styx, John Scofield, John Mayer, and jazz singer Roseanna Vitro, among others.

I Don’t Need No Doctor:
Ray Charles, #72 US pop, 45 R&B, 1966
Humble Pie, #73 US pop, 1971 (Billboard Hot 100)

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