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March 25, 2009


Sister Hairy Hymen

Strange very stRANGE INDEED but I LIKE IT!

Debbie D

Eefin' Great!


Here's Butter Boy eefing out "Old Aunt Dinah":

It's from a compilation on Rounder called 'Deep River of Song: Black Texans,' and consists of field recordings spanning the years 1933-46. This Butter Boy (what a name, huh?) track is amazing and hilarious.

Larry Grogan

I always thought of this as "hambone". Ukelele Ike often referred to his early attempts at scatting as eefing (which is a whole other bag).

Listener Greg G.

Larry - On stage, the act of eefing is frequently accompanied by the hambone, but the hambone itself consists of slapping a hand to the chest and thigh for percussive effect, as seen in the first two clips above taken from Hee Haw. As I understand it, hamboning's not a vocal thing.

I've read that Ukulele Ike referred to his scat singing as eefing. And while I have heard him do scat singing quite a few times, I've never heard him unleash the sounds that later came to define the term eefing. Maybe I just haven't heard enough Ukulele Ike?

Bart - thanks for the link. You're right, that cut is amazing and hilarious!

"Dollar" Bill(Canada)

Try on some Inuit Throat Music sometime.
They can't even keep from laughing!

Mr Fab

When I wrote about eephin on my blog, a reader commented that Rolf Harris does it.

Signed D.C.

Fab post as always Greg! Bart Simpson indulges in a hambone-and-eefin' solo in the "Lurleen Lumpkin" episode.


woW! thankS gG! W-Eeef-Am-You. (space, period)

TradeMark G. / The Evolution Control Committee

re: Inuit Throat Music (Dollar Bill): In my Hillbilly Beatboxing track linked above, there's a solo of it. Uh, combined with The Fat Boys.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been hunting for this stuff for ages.


Great post. This has been a productive morning thanks entirely to this post.


Rolf Harris is the first artist to draw attention to Eeefin and actually cut an eef single in 1963.
At the moment he appears on a TV commercial eefin after he shows a painting he did.
Other great Eefin records were made by Mr Gasser & the Weirdos and can be found on their albums where the backup singers include Darlene Love,Carol & Cheryl (Connors) and Robin Ward-so some girl eefers there

Scott Beadle

Thanks for this post! Very illuminating. As a youngster, I remember Mac Davis "Eefing" on television. I always remembered it as "hamboning" but that may refer to the slapping-one's-legs percussion that accompanied Mac's Eefing efforts. I've tried to explain to others, but usually met by dumb glare. And I agree it's connection to hip hop's "beat boxing" tradition is extremely interesting.

Larry Howard

I'd read that Ukelele Ike referred to scatting as effin. I figured it was short for "f-in' around."


I hollered to my husband, "Hey, wait'll you see this eefin page!" Only after it was said did I realize it sounded profane. ha.

David Ocker

On the album The Carl Stalling Project (music from Warner Brothers cartoons) there's about 5 seconds of something very similar to the eefin' you've posted. Track 14 at about 2 minutes 44 seconds. It's a medley so the cartoon is either Porky in Wackyland (1938) or Dough for the DoDo (1949).

Thanks very much for these great tracks.

Ted Hering

Ah! The sound refered to above by David(the Porky Pig cartoon) -- Mel Blanc used it occasionally on other cartoons and even records. The heart of the rhythm is Mel squeezing his hands together to make kind of a variation of the old "armpit" sound.

What Mel might have called it, I don't know.

Duncan Walls

the song I would most connect with eefin' from Cliff edwards would be his version of "If You Knew Susie". I think you should be able to find a copy of this at's collection of 78 transfers. there are several groupings of Cliff a/k/a Ukelele Ike's recordings and though I don't have it right infront of me, i think this is where I found the aforementioned "Susie"

Duncan Walls

Just thought of another connection...Bob Gurland, the 'horn' player I first became aware of playing with the Even Dozen Jug Band on Elektra Records (with Maria D'Amato pre-Muldaur, Geoff Muldaur, Joshua Rifkin, Steve Katz et al) and later I saw/heard perform with the David Bromberg big band (How Late'll You Play To? LP +) and close up with Paula Lockhart and Peter Ecklund (one LP of bluesy rags and such on Flying Fish?)in the late 70s. Watching Gurland with Bromberg holding his own in a three piece horn section was mind blowing back in 1972. Had I only known how long the style existed I would have started looking for this stuff years ago. Now I can't get enough.

Vlad Tsepis

Joe Bethancourt Effin with a paper sack on the Wallace & Ladmo Show(Mike Condello/soggy cereal)

Alan Schrack

Thoroughly entertaining! I loved the Eefin' lesson when Jimmie breaks it down.
The Guitar Man clip is no longer functioning... but here is a new URL for you.

J. P. Jones

Oh God.

My dad's family grew up in the Appalachians and I was taught the horrors of eefin' when I was in elementary school, and unfortunately I eef every now and then, privately, behind closed doors, when no one's home, usually when I'm drunk.

I remember all too vividly that Muppets episode--my reaction seeing eefin' on national television was pretty akin to the facial expressions of the band of Beakers

Oh God. The horror. Damn you WFMU . . .

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