Yakety Yak

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"Yakety Yak"
Yakety Yak by The Coasters US vinyl A-side.jpg
A-side label of the U.S. vinyl single
Single by the Coasters
B-side "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart"
ReleasedApril 1958
Format 45 rpm, 78 rpm
RecordedMarch 17, 1958
Genre Rock and roll
Label Atco 6116
Songwriter(s) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Producer(s) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
The Coasters singles chronology
"Gee, Golly"
"Yakety Yak"
"The Shadow Knows"

"Yakety Yak" is a song written, produced, and arranged by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for the Coasters and released on Atco Records in 1958, spending seven weeks as #1 on the R&B charts and a week as number one on the Top 100 pop list. [1] This song was one of a string of singles released by the Coasters between 1957 and 1959 that dominated the charts, one of the biggest performing acts of the rock and roll era. [2]



The song is a "playlet," a word Stoller used for the glimpses into teenage life that characterized the songs Leiber and Stoller wrote and produced. [3] The lyrics describe the listing of household chores to a kid, presumably a teenager, the teenager's response ("yakety yak") and the parents' retort ("don't talk back") — an experience very familiar to a middle-class teenager of the day. Leiber has said the Coasters portrayed "a white kid’s view of a black person’s conception of white society." [2] The serio-comic street-smart “playlets” etched out by the songwriters were sung by the Coasters with a sly clowning humor, while the saxophone of King Curtis filled in, in the up-tempo doo-wop style. The group was openly "theatrical" in style—they were not pretending to be expressing their own experience. [4]

The threatened punishment for not taking out the garbage and sweeping the floor is, in the song's humorous lyrics: [5]

"You ain't gonna rock and roll no more,"

And the refrain is:

"Yakety yak; don't talk back." [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

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"Yakety Sax" is a pop novelty instrumental jointly composed by James Q. "Spider" Rich and Boots Randolph. Saxophonist Randolph popularized the selection in his 1963 recording, which reached number 35 on the rock charts. UK comedian Benny Hill later made it more widely known as the closing theme music of The Benny Hill Show. The piece is considered Randolph's signature work.

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Yakety Yak may refer to:

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  1. Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 125.
  2. 1 2 "The Coasters". Rock Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  3. Anthony DeCurtis, & James Henke (eds) (1980). The RollingStone: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music ((3rd Ed.) ed.). New York, N.Y.: Random House, Inc. p. 98. ISBN   0-679-73728-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. Matos, Michaelangelo (April 13, 2005). "Yakety Yak". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  5. Friedlander, Paul (1996). Rock and Roll: A social history. Boulder, CO: Westview Press (Harper Collins). p. 66. ISBN   0-8133-2725-3.
  6. Leiber & Stoller interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  7. Billboard, "Yakety Yak" goes Teutonic" March 30, 1959
  8. Boots Randolph, Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax! Retrieved February 6, 2015
  9. "The Show Band that Wouldn't Die". Houston Press, June 30, 2005.
  10. "The Great Outdoors (1988) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  11. Yakkity Yak Intro. YouTube. January 12, 2011.
  12. "'Yakety Yak – Take It Back!' Music Video". Take It Back Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  13. "Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Y is for…". www.markshuttleworth.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.