I'm indebted to Jeffrey Mlinscek, who kindly wrote to 'Beyond the Pale' confirming a suspicion I had intimated in my piece about Story about a Suite:
'The song Story of a Suit is actually a cover of Shoppin' For Clothes, originally done by The Coasters. It was written by Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller & Kent Harris. Lieber & Stoller were the same guys who wrote practically everything for The Coasters: of course they would eventually meet up with Procol on Procol's Ninth.
The song itself is sort of low key compared to the other stuff by The Coasters, but is great nonetheless. Since The Coasters hadn't had a top ten hit in the USA in about a year, this song might have been an attempt to change the tempo a bit. It only reached Number 83 in the USA in 1960: it deserved a better fate. In fact, the Coasters unfortunately would never reach the top ten again.'
Thanks also to John Kahila, who writes
Lieber & Stoller composed Shoppin' For Clothes after hearing a few lyrics recited from memory by Billy Guy, who didn't remember the whole song or know the writer; so Shoppin' For Clothes had hybrid authorship, hence the combined credit from Lieber & Stoller.
They weren't able to identify the original writer as Kent Harris until later. This story is in the liner notes to The Coasters: 50 Coastin' Classics (Rhino R2 71090).
As with Everything I do is Wrong, I am delighted to concede that the track I described was not composed by Brooker and Reid! The song is attributed, on the Friday Music reissue, to Harris / Leiber / Stoller.
Roland @ BtP
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