Langston & French

Langston & French were, on paper, another yoked Sam & Dave knock-off, but they had both pedigree and aptitude strongly in their favor. An early member of the Pips, Langston George was already a celebrity in semi-parochial Atlanta. Prior to linking up with his cousins Gladys, William Guest, Edward Patten, and Merald “Bubba” Knight, George was a member of another important group: the Overalls. Although they had only local notoriety and never cut a record, it was the first appearance of Atlanta’s most enduring solo act, the Mighty Hannibal, as well as Charles French. Post-Pips and Overalls, Langston and French found jobs and began families, but the urge to perform lingered. Backed by Bill Odum & His Band, the duo began performing around town a set of covers and the occasional original. The centerpiece of this set was the divine ballad “Tumbling Down,” which when finally laid to tape meshed organically with Stewart’s plinky arrangement. The flipside, “Let’s Get Funky,” wasn’t so much a dance song as a tribute to dance songs, with shouts of “The Twist,” “The Jerk,” “The Boogaloo,” “The Shingaling,” and a multitude of others over the driving rhythm and chicken-scratch guitar.

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