Strange someone asked this, i just watched "walk hard: the dewey cox story" (HILARIOUS film btw) and noticed that the songs he played from his 50's era had the double back beat. Prompted me to set up infront of my telly and practice along to the songs. Very catchy beats!
Thanks for the answers guys. I actually still use this whenever I want a song to sound " Surfy ". It seems to have its place in funk as well. Btw for a more modern application of the double back beat check this out.
I was having this discussion/disagreement a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. We were discussing The Mersey Beat, and I had done a clinic where I referred to this beat as a Mersey Beat. Now it is the beat the the Mersey bands used, as in the Beatles or Ferry Across the Mersey. It is also in surf music, The Ventures, Jan and Dean. He totally disagreed, doesn't like Ringo and said that he had done some research and found a book where someone referred to Ringo's playing of "1" with '3 and' on the BD as indicative of his style and the Mersey Beat. Well any one whose listened to early Ringo knows that he doesn't always play the three on the BD and often plays either a basic beat (the money beat) or often doesn't play the high hat but outlines a back beat rhythm with snare bass.
I think that the origin of this beat is the faux Rhumba. If you listen to the Drifters Dance with Me, This Magic Moment. You will hear the beat in late 50s r and b. All this music is Latin tinged. The upbeat of two is the 3 in the 3:2 clave.
I was listening to something the other day that had it from the late 50s and I could swear I heard it in a Big Joe Turner tune. James Brown Night Train has the upbeat on both two and four from 19 62. I'll repost when I figure out what it was I was listening to.