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Archie Bell & The Drells

In 1967, Texan Archie Bell received his draft letter from the US Army. Bell was understandably depressed at the prospect of going to serve in Vietnam so his bandmate Huey ‘Billy’ Butler performed a silly dance to cheer him up, naming it the ‘Tighten Up’.

They wrote a song about it on the spot, and by the time Bell was discharged from the military in 1969 after being injured in Germany, Tighten Up was a US chart-topper, having made it to #1 the previous year.

The song – a joyous funk shuffle – remains Bell’s defining moment, but it was on the track A Soldier’s Prayer in 1967 that he really bared his soul.