Serene Dominic presents… Maricopa Beef Exporters!

Before becoming a Country Music Hall of Famer, Cole Summers worked as a $75 a week songwriter at Grinn & Barrett Publishing in Nashville, Tennessee. There he wrote hits like “Kissing Your Walls Goodnight” for Farley Youngins, “Haul Off and Love Me” for rig rocker Hawk Redwood and this favorite from desert shit-kickers Maricopa Beef Exporters. Contrary to legend, the folks in Maricopa Beef Exporters were neither vicious San Quentin ex-cons nor disgruntled meat packers from Pinal County—just a bunch of frat rockers from New Jersey and their girlfriends jumping on the Bakersfield country music bandwagon. Originally written about two incarcerated men who hook up in the breakyard, Summer’s controversial lyrics were altered at the insistence of Weedwind Inc., Maricopa’s record label, which thought the song might have more hit potential if it was about, as the trade ads put it, “the groovy understanding between the brotherhood of man so popular with the kids in 1967.”

Also popular with the kids of 1967 was the music of the Monkees who sold more than the Beatles, the Stones and Elvis that year. The Maricopa mob were not immune to the Pre-Fab Four’s charms and cut a cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Sunny Girlfriend” as soon as they heard it. Had it gained wider exposure, this BONUS B-SIDE of DUBIOUS DISTINCTION would’ve challenged the public’s acceptance of the group as hardened ex-cons but as lead singer Don Randel points out, “Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike were badass and no strangers to incarceration, as evidenced by episode no. 7 of season one, when their Monkeemobile runs out of gas in a ghost town outside of Clarksville and, well, you can imagine.”

Download “What Are You In For?”/”Sunny Girlfriend” here!

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