Here comes the Judge - A Question

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Here comes the Judge - A Question

Postby Fargo » Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:43 pm

I'm reading a book called On the Real Side - A History of African American Comedy and in it the author describes at some length the development of comic routines such as 'Open the Door Richard' and 'Here Come de Judge'. The latter is a routine associated with the comedian Pigmeat Markham and begins:
'Here ye, here ye the Court of Swing
Is now about ready to do its thing.
Don't want no tears, don't want no jive,
Above all things, don't want no lies.
Our judge is hip, his boots are tall
He'll judge you Jack, big or small.
So fall in line, his stuff is sweet,
Peace brothers, here's Judge Pigmeat.'
Now my question is does anyone know of a direct line of descent (maybe via an RnB song) from the Judge routine, elaborated by a number of different Black comedians in the States, to the punitive Judge Dread of Prince Buster and Honeyboy Martin. The similarities are strong - the American judge is so tough that he greets the defence lawyer thus: 'Why man, I got all these years in my book and somebody's gotta do 'em. Ain't gonna be me! Where's your first client...he's guilty.' Surely this is the same man who cooled off Rudies in JA.
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Postby Bilko » Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:01 am

Pigmeat Markham had that 'Here Come the Judge' tune out in the mid 60s, on Chess I think. Them guys must have heard that. There was loads of 2 and froing of people between JA and USA too, plus the amount of US radio available on JA that it must have been a well known character.
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Postby Dave Home » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:54 pm

I found this page on the web about the series of 'Judge' records in the US.
..I only knew the Pigmeat Markham record, I hadn't realised there were so many other 'Judge' records. From that page it seems the first 'Judge' record was Shorty Long's 'Here Comes the Judge' from June '68, and it seems likely that these American 'Judge' records inspired Peter Tosh for his 'Here Comes the Judge' in '69/70.
Surely though Prince Buster's 'Judge Dread' predates the American 'Judge' records as I believe it was recorded in '67. Could it be that the American artists were inspired by Prince Buster's record from the previous year ?
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Postby JV » Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:04 pm

Bull & The Matadors' Funky Judge (parts 1 & 2), great early funky court tune on Toddlin' Town Records. 1968 perhaps? The judge - sho' is funkeee...
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Postby Fargo » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:15 pm

Thanks for the link Dave. Thing is Pigmeat first started promoting the judge way back in the 40s along with other Black American comedians. Prince Buster and Honeyboy Martin are from when - 67? - so if the influence exists I think it must be, like all the RnB, from the US to Jamaica. Maybe Wynonie Harris' Good Morning Judge. That is unless there are calypso or mento numbers from the 50s bending to the Judge's iron will.
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Postby jb welda » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:25 pm

first i heard of a "here comes the judge" routine was on the smothers brothers show or rowan and martins laugh in show, both on american tv in the mid 60s. i wonder if they got the phrase from this comedian or if the comedian got the phrase from them. all i know is that for about a year there, "here comes the judge" was a very common phrase in american culture, and the pontiac GTO even had a "judge" version that was directly related to this phrase.

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Postby Dubguy » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:08 am

Interesting reading - I always thought there was a strong connection between Tosh's single and Lee Perry's Set Them Free - now I know the link goes back much farther...
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