Pair Extaordinaire – Recorded Live

I don’t know all that much about these guys or this record (so I hope it’s not super common in the US) but I do know that it is friggin’ cool. It’s essentially a musical comedy routine captured live performing versions of a number of pop hits of the day as well as some more obscure songs. It’s on Liberty and looks like it is from the late 60s.

The Pair Extraordinaire seem to be a vocalist (Carl) and a double bassist (Marcus) and all the tracks are performed with the only instrumentation being voice, double bass and drums/percussion. The drummer on this recording is Earl Palmer and he plays brilliantly throughout. There are great versions of “Hang On Sloopy”, “And I Love Her”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and others all performed in a tasty, laid back jazzy, soulful style. Pretty much every track is super nice.

I know that I have had this LP for about 5 years and actually got it from the Guidance Counsellor at my old High School. I hadn’t seen him for a few years but his daughter is friends with my sister and so they are loose friends with my parents. I was back visiting my folks one day and my Mom told me that he (guidance counsellor) had some records I should go around and check out. This was one of the pile I scored for free that day and I also got a story that he had got it from a book and record exchange (the stamp on the cover) that he used to go and buy stuff from while visiting his sick mother in hospital. Needless to say, the record exchange is no longer in Morrinsville and he also had no idea what this record was but bought it because of the cool looking cover. Nice.

Check out the opener: I’m An Old Cowhand


  • Yes, this is fairly common in the US. Either that or I just happen to see it a lot. Still cool. They have a couple others along the same lines, but this seems to be the best one.

  • Beastie Boys sampled the track “In-Citement” as well as one other…possibly on here or the Pair’s other LP

  • Carl Craig and Marcus Hemphill were Pair Extraordinaire. Carl Craig died 1986 and Marcus Hemphill died 2012. RIP Pair Extraordinaire.

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