The single version of this song by Ram Jam was all over the radio in 1977 and for many years after but I don’t ever recall hearing anything else off of their debut album Ram Jam or their second album from 1978 called Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram, I even hear it every so often now days in my travels.
Lead guitarist Bill Bartlett took one of the legendary Lead Belly’s tunes and turned it into 2 1/2 minutes of pure rock & roll. Back in the 60’s Ram Jam Bill was in the band The Lemon Pipers. How many remember the famous bubblegum pop song Green Tambourine (I’ll add a link of the widget if you have forgotten how it goes).
Bartlett teams up with the late(1993) bass player Howard Arthur Blauvelt, the late(2002) drummer Pete Charles, guitarist Jimmy Santoro and lead singer Myke Scavone who is still putting out music with a group called The Doughboys and the latest version of The Yardbirds to give us “Whoa, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam
Whoa, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam
Black Betty had a child, bam-ba-lam
The damn thing gone wild, bam-ba-lam
Said it weren’t none of mine, bam-ba-lam
The damn thing gone blind, bam-ba-lam
I said oh, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam
Whoa, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam…”