Thursday, September 30, 2010
From Chicago's west side, the Trends were a group that was picked up by brilliant producer/ arranger Johnny Pate. While the quality of their work was consistently good, they never had any national hits.
I love this two sider which shows off the versatility of the group- "Soul Clap" is a great dancer and "The Big Parade" is a very pretty, atmospheric number that shows off their lovely vocals.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I just love the classy, brassy uptown arrangement of "I Won't Be Hurt"; a great song from Albion, MI's fabulous Sensations (there's also another unrelated group with the same name from Philadelphia).
Flip the record over, and "Get On Up Mama" is an out and out stormer that shows they type of influence James Brown's new thing was influencing the soul scene.
I WON'T BE HURT
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Possessing the type of voice that proudly shows its roots which began singing gospel in her families group at age 6, by the time Linda cut this record at age 23 she was a well seasoned vocalist that gives a breathtaking performance on this record. Sadly, Linda was diagnosed with diabetes and died between afternoon and evening shows at New York's Apollo when she was only 27 (1972).
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Showmanship, charisma, great songs and top notch musicianship- Boston's REMAINS had it all. While they also made an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and also had an opening slot on the Beatles '66 US tour, for some reason the Remains never broke through to the big leagues where they belonged.
This cracking side was technically the b-side (to their cover of Diddy Wah Diddy which is great as well, BUT...), I find this to be their strongest outing; even a notch above "Don't Look Back" which was made legendary on the original Nuggets compilation (and believe me, I'm not slighting that great song by any means!)
THE REMAINS - ONCE BEFORE
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Just take a listen to the trumpet line that comes into this song at about :45. Pure genius, pure class and the epitome of Chicago soul.
Let's not forget Marvin Smith's incredible vocal (Marvin was also the lead singer of The Artistics, one of the finest groups not only from Chicago but anywhere, in fact) on this excellent song from the pen of Curtis Mayfield. I could string together a chain of adjectives and none could completely describe the greatness of Curtis.
The b-side ain't too shabby either. I'm thankful every day that there is music this superb to enjoy.
WHO WILL DO YOUR RUNNING NOW
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The Sandy Wynns heard here is actually Edna Wright; a brilliant Southern California singer who found her greatest fame (much deserved!) as lead singer of early 70's pop soul group the Honey Cone. Prior to her foray as Sandy Wynns, Edna was also a member of the Crystals where she sang with her sister Darlene Love on the classic 'He's A Rebel"! Sandy/ Edna's vocal performance on this song is the stuff of legend showing incredibly precise pitch within daring vocal glissando's that give the song an ethereal quality.
I saw Edna front the Honey Cone a few years back, and she most certainly still has IT; her powerful voice hasn't faded at all and still can blow the roof off!
The late producer/ songwriter Ed Cobb also has a mind boggling incredible resume; as a songwriter he penned such greats as "Every Little Bit Hurts", "Tanted Love", as well as working with legendary psych group The Chocolate Watchband.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Although the quality of releases from Detroit's Lee Rogers was incredibly high, he only had one minor national hit ("I Want You To Have Everything" hit #17 on the Billboard R&B charts). Lee certainly deserved more; this is (I think) the sixth side of his that I've featured on this blog.
Sounding eerily similar to Marvin Gaye, this ominous cut is one of those records that has a great moody edge but it's still a great "mover". Incredible!
Monday, September 20, 2010
A lovely message to help shake away the Monday blues!
All I know is that Charles Conrad was from Houston, TX and that showed off a beautiful, rich voice on this sweet track. Plus, any records with those nifty little melodic hooks on the intro (here played on xylophone) always grab me. Any more info would be appreciated as always.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Perfect for the final, waning days of summertime, this song was recorded in the last days of girl group giants The Shangri-Las (it was their second to last release, before the hurt of the music business and litigation stopped their run of superb singles).
As it was 1967, this record follows the brief trend of psychedelic meltdown bridges (think "Susan" by the Buckinghams and "My World Fell Down" by Sagittarius) amidst the gorgeous lamenting verses with their patented, street tough New York harmonies.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Another perfect double sider!
Detroit's Rose Battiste was a victim of poor promotion, as the quality of records like this show her to be a VERY capable vocalist (at all of 19 years old when this record was cut) with excellent material and production.
"Hit & Run" is yet another perfect, uptempo Detroit four-on-the-floor stomper, while "I Miss My Baby" features a genius arrangement pitting a dreamy, moody sound against some of the most forceful, aggressive drumming in all of sixties soul.
One word- PERFECT!
HIT & RUN
I MISS MY BABY
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Perhaps the difficult to pronounce name was a factor, but Merrell is one of those artists rooted in the sixties that truly should have been huge. Extremely talented and good looking, the guy is full of star power. Alas, it never happened...
After relocating to the California coast in his teenage years, Merrell played guitar in a string of groups; starting with instrumental surf and eventually settling into an excellent southern California jangle/beat/psychedelic style that is heard hear on this incredibly catchy (yet subtle) song that swings along hitting on hook after hook and climaxing with a sublime guitar break.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This mysterious English soul record is rumored to feature Stevie Winwood on vocals, and has been a hotly debated issue for many years. Personally, I don't think it's him but instead somebody closely copying his vocal style. The "Miller" listed in the co-writer and co-producer role is none other than Jimmy Miller, who later went on to massive success with his work in the studio with the Rolling Stones.
Picking up on the Calypso style rhythms that were very popular during '63-'64, this record was a massive club smash in the UK and was issued quite a few times throughout the 60's to meet the demand. My personal copy (a first pressing) is in rough shape but still sounds great; oh if this little slab of vinyl could talk. Perhaps it was part of a mod club collection, or perhaps it was played at countless parties or simply a hip teen who loved listening to it while dancing around their bedroom!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Hearkening back to almost a late 50's hard r&b sound, yet with the then modern sound of the Stax band blazing behind, this is one heck of a record. I love how the horns are pushing the tempo while the rhythm section stands its ground all the while Dorothy keeps reaching higher and higher into the stratosphere with her vocals. Powerful stuff!
I only know of one other release from Dorothy Williams; surprising as she was quite a belter! She co-wrote this record with Stax hero guitarist/ producer/ writer Steve Cropper.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Here's a beautiful track from Oakland, CA's finest harmony group; this side was a reworking of their first single for the local Boola-Boola label after they signed to ABC (I featured the OTHER side of that record in the past, as I enjoy this version a bit more).
Thursday, September 9, 2010
As I will be unable to post anything for the next two days, I had to think about a record to post that is so high, so mighty, so POWERFUL that it had the potential to last the whole weekend. The decision was simple, this record could easily last all WEEK!
San Francisco's Jesse Osbourne is the OZZ in question here, and he released four singles; this is without contest the finest. "Can You Qualify?" gets the most attention, and I could never argue THAT point (it's one of those sides that to this listener simply CANNOT be bettered) but the OTHER side is pretty fine as well (and it's a different song than the Derek Martin/ Who/ etc classic).
CAN YOU QUALIFY?
DADDY ROLLING STONE
Derek's Daily 45 on Facebook
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Here we find the final single from this talented Chicago group that truly deserved more widespread success (their "Never Let My Love Grow Cold" is easily in my top 20 45's of all time). Featuring leader and songwriter Bobby Newsome, this group' run of 8 singles were ALL excellent or, at the very least, very good.
This record was recorded at the time when soul music was in flux, breaking off into sweeter group sounds or harder hitting funk. This song retains the uptown sophistication and song craft of 60's Chicago soul, with a VERY hard hitting sound that nicely nods to the funkier side of things. Talk about an exciting swan song!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Patrice Holloway's (sister of Brenda) voice was most often heard in the "background", although the power that was at her command often brought the background vocals right into the foreground!
Her career began VERY young (by the time she was 14 she had a whole slew of sessions under her belt), and tragically ended far too young (she died of a heart attack at age 58 in 2006) but between works with her sister, Josie and The Pussycats recordings, rumored appearances and her own precious few recordings, Patrice has one helluva legacy. And here's some EVIDENCE to that fact!
PATRICE HOLLOWAY - EVIDENCE
Monday, September 6, 2010
While my preferences and allegiances will always remain firmly rooted in the harder edged sounds of 60's soul, there's quite a few "modern" soul gems that have grown on me recently, and this sweet little number truly tugs at my heart strings.
As leader of the Chi-Lites, Eugene Record wrote a staggering amount of great records until the group ended shortly before this record was cut. Sadly, it didn't achieve any type of hit status in this disco dominated era. The relaxed groove and sweet lyrics just feel PERFECT for a relaxed, sunny Labor Day.
EUGENE RECORD - OVERDOSE OF JOY
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Shortly before his long run of hits with Los Angeles based Double Shot records (including the ubiquitous and incredible "Oogum Boogum Song" and "Gimme Little Sign") Brenton Wood (here incorrectly listed as Breton Wood, oh dear) cut this lovely side for L.A based Brent Records. A very ling three years separated the release of this record from his previous release (1963's "Mr Schemer", a past 45 of the day) and in the recording world of the sixties three years was a lifetime! It's a wonder he was able to begin a recording career again (anyone know what he was doing between '63-'66?) but thankfully he was, and continues to be an incredible stage performer (he's playing near my home on September 18th @ the Avalon in Santa Clara, CA. Will I be there? You better believe it, baby!)
The popularity of Brenton wood is so massive here on the west coast that a friend of mine who manages a local chain record store told me that his greatest hits CD is the all time biggest selling CD in their chain. There IS HOPE FOR THE GOOD TASTE OF THE WORLD YET!!!
Friday, September 3, 2010
A very dense, busy production but DAMN it sure does work (not to mention swing like a mofo!)
This is the third (and hardest to find) side I've featured from this superb Philadelphia group. I love how, starting at about 1:30, the swirl of sound gets so strong Brenda just keeps pushoing harder and harder to be heard. Quite a performance from all involved.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Harold Burrage is one of the most important, yet overlooked, figures in Chicago soul whose recording career began in 1950. Dying far too young (age 35), he never lived to see the success of his proteges Otis Clay and Tyrone Davis, and he only had one minor national hit (although most of his records were huge regionally in Chicago).
I love the steady restraint (which somehow manages to drive forward) that the musicians show on this track, with an incredible guitar break and a lush bed of Hammond B3 underneath. And, at the end of the track, a male version of the Vandellas comes in for a final little backing vocal hook. Brilliant arranging.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
While he had a hit a few years earlier with "Bongo Rock", this track finds Preston Epps bringing his bongos into a far, far funkier setting, with some of the coolest drum breaks EVER. I love how even the WHISTLING on this track is funky.