Song of the Day: “Party Down”


Soul guitarist Willie Hale is perhaps most widely-known for his head-bopping contribution to Betty Wright’s hit song, “Clean Up Woman,” and maybe just as widely recognized for his nickname, Little Beaver. He apparently received the nickname in honor of his prominent teeth. Little Beaver earned a reputation as a talented session musician in the 60s and 70s, which eventually led to a solo album in 1974, Party Down, that later influenced modern hip-hop artists like Jay Z and People Under the Stairs. His funky, laid-back single from that record, also titled “Party Down,” immediately conjures images of summertime hang-out sessions during the era of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. We can easily picture Little Beaver in a John Shaft-style leather jacket, strumming his guitar in the middle of a crowd of admirers.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte,, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →