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Oldies/Papa Gene's Blues by The Monkees


for a couple of weeks, you and your listeners were trying to figure out what Billy Joel was shouting during the middle of "It's Only Rock and Roll To Me". Well, I have another inaudible puzzle. In the song, "Papa Gene's Blues", right after the instrumental break, Mike Nesmith shouts out, "play magic fingers", and then he hollars, "yee Haw!", and then he says something like "Oh pick it......." calling out his guitar player no doubt. Anyway, if you have the time on your Talk Talk show, would try and solve the puzzle?

Hi Jeff

Mike says "Pick it, Luther".
This is a reference to Luther Perkins, the guitarist in Johnny Cash's group, the Tennessee Two, from the 1950's on Sun Records.
Johnny would, sometimes, call out phrases of encouragement like that.
Since "Papa Gene" is a country-flavored piece, it probably felt right to Mike to say that, along with the "yee-hah"!
I believe the lead on that song was played by James Burton. It sounds like his picking style and I know he played on the first two Monkees albums.
However, Glen Campbell and the rest of the "wrecking crew" were also called in and Glen's a might fine player, too.
However, that break has all the earmarks of Burton so my money is on him.
Thanks for asking,



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Lou Simon


I can answer questions about many artists, songs or records from 1940-1990. I can often help with song lyrics, artist bio or other information requested


I have programmed oldies radio stations about the USA and have written for radio networks that specialize in oldies programming.

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