Slow Poke - Written by Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart & Chilton Price (1951)
by Sharon Stewart
(Elizabeth City, NC US)
In 1951 Chilton Price, music librarian at the radio station in Louisville, KY had written several songs, which she gave to Pee Wee King to see whether he thought they had any potential.
Pee Wee and Redd slowly worked their way through the song, revising the lyrics as needed to make them easier to sing, punching them up as needed, and coming up with improvements on the melodies.
They tried the revised 'Slow Poke' out several times on dances, and the response was encouraging. They brought the song to the studio, but there was an emptiness to it. It sounded better on stage in a ballroom than it did in the studio. Something was missing!
They played the song numerous times, and finally the band's drummer picked up the old tempo box and the sticks making a tick-tock sound. Bingo! That tick-tock sound is what made the song, and the recording came out great.
The recording was released by RCA Victor records. It first reached the Billboard magazine 'Best Seller' chart in October 1951, and lasted 22 weeks on the chart, peaking at #3. It first reached the country charts in September 1951 and lasted 31 weeks, peaking at #1 and remaining there for 15 weeks.
Slow Poke (1951)
Co-writers: Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart, Chilton Price
You keep me waitin' till it's gettin' aggravatin' your a slow poke
I wait'n worry but you never seem to hurry you're a slow poke
Time means nothing to you I wait and then, late again
Eight o'clock, nine o'clock, quarter to ten
Why should I linger every time you snap your finger little slow poke
Why can't you hasten when you see the time's a-wastin' your're a slow poke, dear
Why should I keep tryin' to change you, it's not the thing to do
Guess I'll have to learn to be a slow poke too.