Fair Use disclaimer
All music presented on this site is shared under the premise of "fair use"; this site is solely intended for the purpose of education and critique. If you are a rights holder to any of the music presented and wish for it to be removed, simply contact me directly and it will be taken down.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Here we go with another New Orleans record, produced by NOLA genius Allen Toussaint. Toussaint also co-wrote this track with Eldridge, and Eldridge wrote a good chunk of his recorded output of around 30 sides (note to self: I need to snag some more Eldridge Holmes records!)
I love the arrangement of this track, with those great stops and starts that convey the feeling of the song so well.
Sadly, Eldridge never achieved any real success, although his talent far outshone whatever the lack of sales indicated. The man had a rich, soulful voice with strong emotional delivery.
If the intro to this song has never been sampled, it certainly should be; the stop/ start groove would be a perfect foundation to build a track upon.
ELDRIDGE HOLMES - WORRIED OVER YOU
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Releasing only a scant 12 singles in a 24 year period, this New Orleans singer made a far deeper mark on the city's soul scene than his small discography would otherwise indicate. Tony has been performing in NOLA clubs since the '60's, and after a hiatus he is back on stage (I saw him @ The Ponderosa Stomp a few years back, and he sounded fantastic).
This record did make the national r&b charts, but it also seems to be one of those records that regionally (NOLA and the south) did far better than the actual chart position. I featured Sly, Slick & Wicked's version of thios song here a few years back, and I have to say I love both version equally. Simply an incredible song!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Absolutely NOTHING is known about the "Ann Mason" heard on this record, and little is known about the backing group (Little Mac & The Boss Sounds, who are believed to be from North Carolina).
Whatever the story, I LOVE this side and Ann's answer to the wicked Pickett.
Friday, February 25, 2011
This song doesn't have much going for it in the way of lyrics, but that's completely unimportant as this particular kettle contains the type of thick psychedelic stew that conjures up images of trippy light shows and wildly dancing girls in minis. JUST the kind of concoction that guarantees a spot of reverence on the daily 45.
Funnily enough, the Colosseum were known more as a jazz rock group; however, they seem to have unleashed their inner mod minds one last time for this record. I thank them for that.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The story of The Opals is a story that is practically made for this blog in that it incorporates so many of my favorite performers/ producers. The Opals, from East Chicago, IN (a grim steel mill town just outside Chicago) were discovered in 1962 by The Dells, at a performance in Gary, IN (near East Chicago). The Dells (possibly the finest male harmony group of all time) liked what they heard in these lovely ladies and allegedly worked with them as their pupils; shortly after the discovery they were singing backups on Betty Everett's "Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)". They eventually made their way to being a sort of house girl group for Okeh Records, were they backed Otis Leavill and the mighty Major Lance on a number of records.
Producer Carl Davis felt the ladies were due to step out on their own, and cut a few sides which included this lovely Curtis Mayfield number which turned out to be their final release. Sadly, this was the last thing heard from these talented gals.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
While Aretha's version of this song is, no doubt, incredible (practically everything Aretha cut during '67-'69 is pure MAGIC) this ORIGINAL version is white hot as well and if all were fair and just in the universe, would have been the hit. Perhaps it was just a tad too raw for the masses...
Southern by birth (North Carolina), Thelma relocated to New York c1967 and cut some incredible singles (including this one, as well as "Stronger" which is a past 45 of the day) that should have propelled her to stardom.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
While it doesn't scale to the heights of the untouchable (and previously posted) "Hit & Run/ I Miss My Baby" (and admittedly that record is in a very special class that few others enter), Rose's other very collectable single is still a fantastic listen. Sorry for the heavy surface noise on the intro, but I have waited too long to find a cleaner copy and I couldn't wait any longer to share this gem.
Practically any record pressed with Mike Terry's name on it is worth a listen. Mike left a BIG mark on the world playing baritone sax on major Motown hits; he left the label in 1965 and began working with the Golden World/ Revilot team(s) immediately afterwords, spreading his creative genius to songwriting and producing. Sadly, he was not part of the Funk Brothers reunion/ "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" film project which would have brought this amazing music figure to light before his death in 2008.
As for Rose Batiste; she should have been a star; not only did she have an awe inspiring voice, but pictures show that she was gorgeous with a genuine, charismatic smile. Recent video performances show that she still has *it*. This was her final single.
Monday, February 21, 2011
This incredible b-side from the Genius was Ray's release just prior to the immortal "What'd I Say", and taking that track along with this one is almost like hearing the birth of the soul style. I know it would be be downright silly to try and pinpoint what the "first" soul record was, but between this track and the two parts of "What'd I Say" the mold was certainly cast and the blueprint drawn.
Written in collaboration with Percy Mayfield (one of the greatest, most underrated songwriters of all time), this track seems to be relatively forgotten by most. I'll admit, I didn't have it in my collection of 75+ Ray Charles 45's until I found this lovely French EP last summer.
While this track was relegated to a b-side, this track alone could show somebody who had never heard any of Ray's music (perhaps a visitor from another planet?) the immense genius of this artist; those vocals, that organ, the rhythm and those Raelettes; leaves me speechless.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
This hot shot record has quickly become one of my favorite bay area releases; Johnny Talbot (real name Tolbert) was born in Texas but moved to Oakland at a young age. He has had a long career and is known mostly for his blues/ funk sides (as well as being a staple of the local live scene). Here. on this early release, we find him churning out a fantastic uptempo r&b scorcher that starts in fifth gear and doesn't let up for two and a half minutes.
I am only guessing the year; if you know better, please contact me!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Andy Mack was actually Andy Magruder, founding member of the 5 Blue Notes and part of a later lineup (late 50s) of The Spaniels. This was his only solo record, and he seems to have disappeared from the music business after its release.
Andy and the rest of the 5 Blue Notes left their home in Washington DC when they were still of high school age to try to snag a recording contract in Chicago (which they did, but by the time the record was released Andy had joined the Marines!) When Andy was discharged in 1958, he formed a new 5 Blue Notes, who lasted until 1959 (at which point Andy joined the Spaniels).
Andy left the Spaniels in 1963 and cut this record for Chess; apparently this record was cut in Washington DC (and not in Chicago, Chess' home base). Both sides are fantastic and show a strong Impressions influence, with some very unique and lovely vocals by Andy (and great backing from fellow Chess group the Carltons).
DO YOU WANTA GO
LATER THAN YOU THINK
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I've been on a serious hard driving r&b kick lately, as evidenced by yesterday and today's posts.
This is one WILD record, from a group known more for smooth vocal harmonies. The Uncle Willie dance was a massive sensation in Chicago during '63-'64, and spawned many records related to the craze. Out of all of them that I've heard (I have a handful of them) this is by far my favorite and it's so much more EXTREME than the other Uncle Willie records! The Uncle Willie itself is a cool, simple step that involves shuffling the feet heel to toe; dancing the Uncle Willie to this song is sure to be a great way to lose weight and have fun in the process.
THE DAYLIGHTERS - OH MOM (TEACH ME HOW TO UNCLE WILLIE)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It doesn't matter by whom or when they were cut; I will add any record that sounds like this to my collection or want list without question!
Dorothy Berry was married to Richard Berry (writer of "Louie Louie" and "Have Love will Travel") and it is believed that she was the inspiration behind the "fine little girl, she waits for me" line in "Louie". Richard also sold off the rights to three songs (including "Louie") to raise $750 to marry Dorothy.
Dorothy went on to become one of Ray Charles' Raeletts for many years until she was tired of the road.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Even though he released a handful of 45's and worked with one of Chicago's heaviest hitters and a name that pops up around here quite often (Gerald Sims), little is known about Lee Charles.
Lee's vocals strike me as having a strong southern grit; perhaps he was a southerner transplanted to Chicago, or perhaps it was another case of the ubiquitous gospel background?
Whatever the back story, this is such a solid mover! Special points added for the fantastic, sassy backing vocals and the powerful breakdown section.
LEE CHARLES - IF THAT AIN'T LOVIN' YOU
Sunday, February 13, 2011
This is one of those records that I'll put on and wonder how and why it wasn't a massive hit. Everything about this record is perfect, from the catchy song to the excellent vocals and generally uplifting feeling.
Produced and arranged by Ed Townsend (well known for his work on Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" among hundreds of other records), I am unsure about where this record was recorded. Townsend (I believe) was working in Memphis around this time, but something about this record says Los Angeles to me. If you know for sure, please write!
JIMMY HOLIDAY - SHIELD ALL AROUND
Saturday, February 12, 2011
While I would make no claims that this cover in any way, shape or form stacks up to the wicked Wilson Pickett's version, this Australian version packs a particular wallop nonetheless (mostly in the hot brass and fuzzed out guitar). Hailing from Sydney, The Whispers (not to be confused with the great US vocal group) began life as a surf/ instrumental group until those pesky Beatles changed everything, at which point they recruited the good looking / OK singing Ray Brown as lead singer. I actually like the fact that Ray doesn't attempt to sing this song in any kind of blue eyed soul style; he basically sings it straight and it's kinda charming; the BAND on the other hand, is hot stuff indeed and I can just imagine them whipping a wild Aussie crowd into a frenzy (especially as this country was, sadly, true r&b deprived!)
Almost overnight, the group became a big success in Australia; even though OZ radio did not play American r&b, they loved it and covered many classics of the genre. There was no national chart at the time, but this record came close to #1 in both Sydney and Melbourne. And, like so much of this great Aussie beat music, was not released elsewhere.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Jackie Ross' story is so similar to so many other soul heroes. Born in St Louis, she began singing in church at a young age and became a local radio star (her parents had a radio show). After her father passed away in 1954, the family moved to Chicago where young Jackie (born in 1946) began her recording career in 1962 and also became part of Syl Johnson's soul revue.
This infectious record is probably my favorite side of hers; one of those tracks that will just hook you immediately and make you wanna move. More Chicago soul genius from Chess records!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Known more for their beautiful, deep soul ballads, New Jersey's Sam And Bill hit a peak with this direct mover. Everything from the cool piano intro hook to the amazing harmonies/ call and response vocals, steady drumming and chunky horns add up to more soul perfection.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
One of the more obscure 'Bo records, it also has one of the strongest New Orleans spook factor of any of his releases, in its cautionary tales and talk of stone graveyard business.
Musically, this record is incredibly sophisticated with many twists turns and unexpected changes. whoever is on sax deserves a medal of some sorts for some incendiary playing.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
While Holly Maxwell sang in groups starting in junior high school, this was her debut record, at age 20, that began a career that continues to this day (she entertains in clubs, mostly in Europe).
Part of the glorious Chicago soul scene, Holly went on to work with such legends as Curtis Mayfield and Barbara Acklin (who worked as her manager), and also as a fill in for Tina in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue(!)
This record has that fantastic Chicago-meets-Motown swaying groove.
HOLLY MAXWELL - HAPPINESS WILL COST YOU ONE THIN DIME
I have been fortunate for the last three weeks to be on tour in Australia/ New Zealand and have had plenty of time for some epic record digging, arming myself with a bevy of OZ beat 45's. The similarities between Australia and my California home are striking, and I felt very much at home in the cities of Melbourne, Auckland and Perth, especially. As I was thinking about going home the day after tomorrow, it only made sense to feature this record with its New Zealand/ Australia/ California connection.
Ray Columbus was the first rocker to have a hit outside of New Zealand with his crack band the Invaders (his "She's A Mod" cracked the top of the Australian charts in 1964). A number of hits followed, and Ray & The Invaders were at the top of their game down under. Ray wished more than anything to get the band to the US, but was never able to get a work permit.
However, around 1966 he married a California woman and ended up in San Francisco and local mods the Art Collection (featuring none other than Richard Frost, heard a few weeks ago with "She's Got Love") became his backing group. I was fortunate enough to talk to Richard at the end of 2010, and he explained that the bay area had no idea what to do with this outlandish, extroverted New Zealand mod wildman! Ray self-released this record (with a re-recording of "She's A Mod" as the flip) and there is a very rare clip of the band performing this song in an SF teen club and they were incredibly powerful as a live act.
The song itself is an incredible, fuzzed out stomper of the highest order.
RAY COLUMBUS & THE ART COLLECTION - KICK ME (I THINK I'M DREAMING)
Friday, February 4, 2011
What an anthem!
This is another one of those records that just helps life to be good...Amazing that I've been doing this blog for three years and just now getting around to posting it.
Just another testimonial piece to the depth of incredible releases cut in the 60's.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The "Beverley" here in question at the time was Beverley Kutner. A few short years later, she married legendary (and superb) British folkie John Martyn where the two recorded some lovely music together.
HOWEVER, just a few short years earlier, we find 19 year old Beverley backed in the studio by Jimmy Page (laying down some of his finest ever guitar workings, with a chunking riff that's virtually the blueprint for "Communication Breakdown") as well as John Paul Jones (making this one of the earliest sessions that these two played on which is heavily proto-Zeppelin-esque). This was also the debut release from Deram records, the highly influential London beat/psychedelic/ progressive label.
This record is hypnotic; the lulling piano (played by Nicky Hopkins) juxtaposed with the heavy guitar, Beverley's confident, swaggering vocal and the always fantastic British drumming.
Even though this is the "b" side, I find it so superior to the "a" (which is the enjoyable but rather lightweight "Happy New Year") that I simply cannot believe the misjudgment in that designation by a&r!
As I sit here and write, I have listened to this jam 5 times in a row!
BEVERLEY - WHERE THE GOOD TIMES ARE
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I present today one of the most ODD dance records of the late '60's (and there were some VERY odd dance records during this period!).
I am not one to like odd/ kitschy records just for their weird factor; there has to be SOMETHING worthy of my attention in the grooves and this record has plenty to get excited about (other than the mental image I have of folks doing the boogaloo and incorporating karate moves!), from the weird tacked on tacky crowd noise to the (Emperors staple) funky bongos.
A sure hit for your next shindig.