BUILDING YOUR MUSICAL VOCABULARY BY CHOOSING THE REET WORD
The other day when I was listening to the oldies station on my dish, they played Jackie Wilson’s hit, “Reet Petite.” Great song! It reminded me of when I was researching one of the chapters in my soon-to-be-published (fall of ’09) second book of music trivia, and was looking up the term “reet.” Reet, it turns out, is just a slangy jazz-era way of saying “right.” So, when Jackie sings, “She’s all right” and “reet petite” he’s really saying pretty much the same thing. But the ladies aren’t the only gender that employs the word reet. Reet is also applied to the special pleats in men’s zoot suit pants in the same jazz era. Ah, those were the days. Of course, in African-American culture, zoot suits and reet pleats are making a comeback, if they ever really went that far away. So look for males to be once again bedecked in the glory that is, to quote the lyrics from the musical Hair (see video below) the birthright of their sex. In other species males have the grandest plumage, the manes, the antlers etc. It’s only we humans where the males stick to those gray 6-piece suits all the time. But I digress. I think we should not only bring back the fashion of the era, but the slang as well.
So, I want to start hearing some reets out there. You can rhyme it up the way Jackie does. Like, “That is one reet sweet new pair of hip-waders you got there Bob” “Thanks, Phil. My Gladys got ‘em for me; I tell you that woman is reet petite and out of seet”
Okay, just don’t get too carried away.
Here he is, Mr. Entertainment, Jackie Wilson.
And here also, for your interest, is "My Conviction” from the 1960s musical Hair.
Photo from http://images.buycostumes.com Jackie Wilson video by YT member oldies55 Hair video by YT member ObsessiveBeatles
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.