Throwback Thursdays: Prince Polo on Super Cat’s “My Girl Josephine” (+ “Witness Protection” Stream)

September 8, 2011

Words by Billy “Prince Polo” Szeflinski

Next month sees the release of Brooklyn Bodega (Dubshot Records), the debut album by Prince Polo–the Polish candy bar-inspired production alter ego of Brooklyn-based engineer and musician Billy Szeflinski. The name Prince Polo might be new to most but knowing Bill’s deep knowledge of reggae and classic dancehall, we thought we’d pass him the Throwback Thursdays baton as he preps for the Oct. 18 release. (New Yorkers can catch him live, alongside Screechy Dan and the Top Shotta Band and others at Sullivan Hall this Sunday, Sept. 11, as part of the multi-city Dub Invasion Festival kicking off tonight). Before you read his take on Supercat’s overlooked cover of Fats Domino’s “My Girl Josephine,” take some time to stream the very first leak off of Brooklyn Bodega, “Witness Protection,” a wicked dub version of the “Love Theme” from The Godfather featuring vocalist Daddy Marshall and Borahm Lee on melodica.

[audio:|titles=Witness Protection-1]

First of all, I am a HUGE Fats Domino fan. Any artist that can connect the reggae dots back to Fats has to be, at the very least, as dope as Super Cat. But Super Cat (with some help from Jack Radics of the Roots Radics) really nails his cover of Domino’s 1960 original.

I was already a Super Cat fan long before 1994, when his version of “My Girl Josephine” first appeared (on the soundtrack to Robert Altman’s Fashion Week-set movie Pret a Porter, of all places) but when I saw this video it just sealed up my enthusiasm. I especially dug the way that everyone was dressed, in that old school 50’s style. You could see the style dripping off of your screen, with classic cars and dancing grandaddys dressed to the nines in what appears to be New Orleans.

I immediately wanted to hear this tune on very large speakers, and when I finally heard it in a dance for the first time, it was amazing. Along with seeing the dance just go crazy, it had me dancing stupid, too. This is truly one of the rare instances where the version lives up to the original.