I’m a little piece of leather, don’t you know!

Stella Brooks recorded “I’m a Little Piece of Leather” for Moe Asch’s Folkways in 1940 or so. It was her signature song, and she was given a writing credit. The Beatles supposedly cover the tune during a soundcheck, but I still don’t hear it. More people know the song from the Northern Soul version by Donnie Ebert, like the kids having fun above. I think the Peattie Wheatstraw version pre-dates Stella, however. (Although I am lumping the male versions — ”she’s a little piece of leather” — with the female, or first person).

I was psyched to find Joe Frazier using the term in Sports Illustrated, circa 1970.

There was also for a while a video of a petite female body builder I think from Texas who said she wanted to stay fit to avoid being led around “by a little piece of leather.”

I am also still meaning to contact the band Ballin’ The Jack to hip them to Stella.

I once contacted Gretchen Parlato’s manager to suggest she cover the song. But haven’t really gone into this with many contemporary singers.

Here somebody else put the song to a set of Bettie Page photos; actually I remember clipping the article about the Gretchen Mol Mary Harron film and thinking the same team might want to tell Stella’s story.


see also, below:


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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