Tony Gideon | Uncredited/Spotify | tc407
Tony Gideon was a member of the vocal group The Daylighters but also was making recordings on his own. The book “Chicago Soul” by Robert Pruter mentions this recording. Mr Gideon has been in contact with us, and informs us that he had known Leonard Chess since 1958. “Wah too si” was originally issued on Miss Records, a subsidiary of Bea and Baby Records, where Mr Gideon and Narvell Eatmon were working as producers. Mr Gideon was the first person to record a “Watusi” song.
When they picked up the record for distribution, Chess changed the name of one side from “Wah too si” to “Watcha gonna do” to avoid conflict with a then current recording by The Vibrations. The record was made in 1960 and released on Chess in 1961. Mr Gideon had been involved in vocal groups since the mid 1950s. He was called up for National Service in 1961 and sings on the recording “Oh Mom teach me how to Uncle Willie” which was issued in the UK on Sue.
Mr Gideon has very kindly confirmed that the photograph above is of him. The photograph dates from 1983/4 and was taken when he was recording at 2120 South Michigan Ave (the former home of Chess Records!) with his then business partner Gerald Sims.
Mr Gideon returned to Birmingham, Alabama in 1987 where he operates the business Sound Mindz Entertainment Inc.
I would like to thank Mr Gideon for getting in touch and for his invaluable help in compiling this item.