Sunday, October 31, 2010
Comprised of the Hutchinson sisters (Sheila, Wanda and Jeanette), these Chicago ladies released over two dozen singles before crossing over in 1977 with the massive "Best of My Love". This beautiful early track features the type of mind blowing harmonies that are only heard by those of blood relations; absolutely seamless!
Happy halloween; the day we can all be "somebody new"!
Friday, October 29, 2010
I thought I knew Little Milton records well, but then on a recent trip to Chicago my man Eric Colin (who also sells great records on ebay as mod9933) laid this one on me that I'd never heard before. It was one of those "oh little record, where have you been all my life" moments, and luckily Eric had an extra copy.
There's nothing else to be said about this smoker other than to just listen to it. And listen to it again. And again. Then turn it up even louder and play it one more time.
LITTLE MILTON - SHE PUT A SPELL ON ME
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Completely bucking the model of the Detroit sound, this record is one of the rawest, deepest cuts I've ever heard come out of the motor city. Oddly, this record on the tiny Mutt label was also released in three different versions/ mixes! Another version of this song had loud strings ala Detroit, but this version, with its pummeling drums and aching vocals from Ms Jones is the version that knocks my socks off.
One would be forgiven for thinking that this is a recent release from Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings; this record is the blueprint for their sound!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Yes, all, it's been three years since the birth of this blog. Thanks to all of the kind appreciative emails I receive every day from folks around the world it has lasted far longer than I would have ever imagined.
So, as a thank you to all of you who offer moral support, here are two compilations- one soul, one beat- of the best of the first year of posting; all of these files are long deleted from download but they are too good not to share! I selected the tracks by personal faves as well as those that get the most requests. Look for the best of year two, coming soon.
1 Heartbeat 2:31 Gloria Jones
2 Losing Game 2:03 James Carr
3 Magic Corner 3:15 Belita Woods
4 Cause You're Mine 2:12 The Vibrations
5 Soul Is Takin Over 2:49 Henry Lumpkin
6 Illusion 2:43 Bob Brady & The Con Chords
7 Gotta Find A Way 2:03 Theresa Lindsay
8 Some Other Guy 2:20 Richie Barrett
9 I'm A Good Woman 2:21 Barbara Lynn
10 Aint That A Shame 2:38 Lonnie Lester
11 Blowing Up My Mind! 2:48
12 Confessin A Feeling 2:50
13 Rainbow 2:52 Gene Chandler
14 I'm Shakin' 2:27 Little Willie John
15 I Surrender 2:05 Eddie Holman
16 Crazy In Love 2:54 Robbie Montgomery
17 Breakaway 2:18 Toni Basil
18 Cry To Me 2:33 Solomon Burke
19 Peak Of Love 2:39 Bobby McClure
20 Our Love Is In The Pocket 2:46 J.J Barnes
21 Everybodys Goin To The Love In 2:48 Bob Brady & The Con Chords
22 Grounded 2:37 Belita Woods
23 Little Miss Perfect 3:10 Jimmy Dobbins
24 You Better Stop It 2:23 Barbara Mason
25 Echo 2:27 Brenda Holloway
26 I Don't Want A Playboy 1:51 Barbara Lynn
27 Sorry Bout That 2:54 Al Reed
28 After Laughter 2:58 Wendy Rene
29 The Funky Judge 2:52 Alice & The Soul Sensations
30 All Good Things Must End 3:02 The Topics
31 Picture Me Gone 3:17 Evie Sands
1 Scratch My Back 3:03 Tony Joe White
2 Step Inside Love 2:17 Cilla Black
3 Dont Give Me No Lip 2:17 Dave Berry
4 Mystic Eyes 2:44 Them
5 Almost There 2:14 The Turtles
6 Shake 2:29 Shadows Of Knight
7 Whatcha Gonna Do About It 1:59 Small Faces
8 Hurtin For Your Love 2:03 The Balloon Farm
9 Making Time 3:00 The Creation
10 Shaka Shaka Na Na 2:36 The Countdown Five
11 99th Floor 2:16 Moving Sidewalks
12 Just Out Of Reach 2:08 The Zombies
13 Mr Soul (45 RPM mix) 2:36 Burffalo Springfield
14 Let Me Love You 2:15 New Colony Six
15 Pickin Up Sticks 2:39 Kasnat & Katz Fighter Squadron
16 East Side Story 2:26 Bob Seger & The Last Heard
17 Listen Listen 2:37 Merry Go Round
18 No No No No 2:20 Danish Lost and Found
19 Jumbo 2:08 The Bee Gee's
20 Tried To Hide (45 RPM take) 2:20 13th Floor Elevators
21 Leavin Here 2:23 Jimmy Hanna & The Dynamics
22 My Reservations Confirmed 2:51
23 Beauty Queen 1:55 The Herd
24 Omaha 2:20 Moby Grape
25 Babys A Dealer 2:21 Lilys
26 Shes Got Everything 3:07 The Kinks
27 Hide And Seek 3:34 Brian Jonestown Massacre
28 A Question Of Tempature 2:38 The Balloon Farm
29 Sometimes Shes A Little Girl 2:37 Boyce & Hart
30 Think About It 3:46 The Yardbirds
31 Hey Gyp 2:57 The Soul Survivors
32 Stop And Look 2:02 The Id
With a silly title like "Bahama Mama", one would be forgiven for thinking this would be a breezy, boozy Jimmy Buffet styled semi-novelty tune made for drinking margaritas on a tropical beach.
The great Jamo Thomas is anything BUT breezy on this smoker; this record is a practically tropical storm cut into 45 RPM grooves! Couldn't resist including part two, as it's just not enough when part one fades out.
JAMO THOMAS - BAHAMA MAMA pt 1
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
After three years of postings and over 1000 records featured, I can admit that occasionally I lose track of what I HAVE featured and what's still sitting in the archives waiting to be featured. I thought for sure that I had posted this Jean Wells killer a few years ago, but at the prompting of a request from a list member, I did a quick search of the blog archives and saw that I didn't.
If you're not grabbed by the amazing hook on the intro with its funky horns and bubbling bass, the raw, direct sound of Jean's voice is gonna win you over. If it doesn't, I'm afraid that you've simply found the wrong website by mistake!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sadly, waltz-time (1-2-3, 1-2-3) is hardly ever heard in soul (or rock n roll for that matter); however, I can think of no better of an example of a soul waltz than this incredible record. This song takes on an almost hypnotizing feel thanks to the uniqueness of the arrangement.
With a LONG history starting out in doo wop's middle period (1955), the Falcons saw many lineup changes (and once numbered Wilson Pickett in their ranks) and by the time this record was cut no original Falcons remained; the group's management took the Fabulous Playboys (I featured their "Nervous" here a few months back) and renamed them The Falcons.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Showcasing their patented melancholy sound, this haunting side has become one of my faves recently after overlooking it for many years.
I love the big, echo laden production and lyrics that show a dark maturity that simply wasn't heard in the music of their contemporaries.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
While MUCH attention (here and elsewhere) has been given to Eddie's funkier later works (and for good reason, as they are some of the most jaw dropping records to ever come out of New Orleans) his earlier r&b material tends to be overlooked, which is a travesty!
Rollicking away in that inimitable NOLA style, but with a raw edge that hints at the developing soul sound, this is a fine, fine record and yet another Bo track to get excited about. This is yet another one that almost slipped thru the cracks; I've had it ripped to MP3 for a few years and if there was no random play on itunes, it may well have escaped my memory banks.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Before they became the slick, hit making funk machine in the '70's, the Ohio Players, relocated to New York City, cut some monstrous records that bridged the gap between raw soul and the emerging funk sounds.
The only problem with this record is that it's just a tad bit too short; they could have easily driven that chorus home a few more times and brought it up to 2:30 but that's a very minor complaint as this record COOKS!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The first thing I'll say about this record is that the drumming is an absolute force of nature! All those funky, offbeat accents remind me of the kinds of things Jaki Leibezitz did in the '70's with German group Can. Powerful enough to almost obliterate the goofy backing vocals, which is nicely done by Ms Carr's powerhouse vocals (for some reason on this record an "a" disappeared from her name and she was Barbra, not Barbara. Probably just a typo?)
Other highlights are the almost New Orleans-sounding horn chart and the surprise that happens around the 2:00 mark. A very unique Chicago record, unlike anything else!
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sometimes the only thing that seems right to ease into the working week is a nice funky instrumental and that's what I'm feelin' today. There's lots of loose rules when collecting records, and one of them that I've observed is that when a record has the word "boogaloo" in the title, it's gonna be good. This one, heated up southern style, certainly doesn't disappoint!
I'm only guessing the year. If anyone knows any other info, please let me know!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
This is one of those records where everything simply clicks; the vocals, musicians and the arrangement are simply spot on. No surprise that it was a hit in the UK, but sadly never made a dent in the US.
The Merseys rose from the ashes of The Merseybeats; a Liverpool band that shared the stage with the Beatles many times at the Cavern Club. The group had some big UK hits but never broke through in America. Tony Crane and Billy Kinsey, original Merseybeats, became the Merseys and it's that pair you hear on this disc laying down those incredible harmonies.
The original version of this song is by the US group The McCoys, and it was later famously covered by David Bowie on his "Pinups" LP. To my ears though, THIS version is unBEATable.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Recorded towards the latter part of this Chicago group's career, this amazing side shows a group that started in the doo wop era adapting their incredible group vocals for the harder soul sounds of the day.
The Sheppards found their biggest success early on, in 1961, with a gorgeous ballad called "Tragic" that got them a slot on American bandstand. However, their career became just that- tragic- as they never had another hit, although the quality of records such as this certainly deserved more.
THE SHEPPARDS - STUBBORN HEART
Thursday, October 14, 2010
General Johnson, lead singer of the Showmen as well as Chairmen Of The Board, has passed away far too early at age 67.
Best known for the sublime hits "It Will Stand" (The Showmen) as well as the massive "Give Me A Little More Time" (Chairmen Of The Board), General also had a hand in writing and production; his song "Are You Satis-fied?" as recorded by 3 Degrees (1966) is easily among my top 20 soul records of all time.
My personal favorite General lead vocal is the double sided masterpiece from the Showmen- "Our Love Will Grow" b/w "You're My Everything" (1965) which I first featured back in November 2008.
In honor of yet another sad loss, here's a repeat of these three great sides from General.
THE SHOWMEN - OUR LOVE WILL GROW
b/w YOU'RE MY EVERYTHING
THE 3 DEGREES - ARE YOU SATISFIED?
A few months back, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Linda Lyndell, for the "Soul Up North" 'zine. The new issue, with that interview, is now available!
It was a great pleasure interviewing Linda, who broke into song at many points during the interview and I must say, her voice is as strong today as it was in the '60's!
Linda only released two singles, both for Stax/Volt, during her career. Seems the Memphis KKK did not approve of a beautiful blonde white woman working in an interracial scene at Stax and she and her family began receiving death threats which stopped her career in its tracks. Sadly, we only have two records that feature Linda as lead vocalist- this gem and the mighty "What A Man". Fortunately, when en Vogue + Salt N Pepa covered/ reworked "what A Man" they used a sample of Linda's actual original master recording, so Linda finally (and deservedly!) made some money off of that record.
This, her debut 45, was recorded in Jackson, MS, became a minor hit in the UK, and has been a favorite on the soul scene ever since.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Brenda Lee Melson was Brenda Lee Jones, mysteriously re-named for this record. Brenda's career included a run in the group Dean & Jean (she was Jean) as well as working with artists such as Tmmy Tucker and Groove Holmes. Born in Ohio, she fled to New York at a young age and had a recording career that lasted many years.
Plain and simply, this is a fun record that would never take a prize as an unforgettable song, but every now and then I sure can dig some good mindless fun; especially when it involves a hot rhythm section and a voice as powerful as Brenda's!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Today marks the 70th anniversary of John Lennon's birth. In addition to all John's achievements in entertainment, art, and simply making people enjoy life he's also responsible for this blog. Let me explain why.
In addition to being obsessed with the Beatles (and music in general) since I could walk (thanks in no small part to mom giving me all her old 45's that I used to play constantly. We're talking a treasure trove; Beatles, Kinks, The Strangeloves, Music Machine, etc were all at my disposal at an early age). I even used to carry a Beatle 45 around with me as a toddler; there's even a pic to prove it! During the late '80's there was a weekly radio show called "The Lost Lennon Tapes" which featured rare Lennon recordings from all eras, as well as nifty things such as John guest DJ'ing on the radio which is where I first heard today's entry.
Oldies radio in southern California during my childhood was a treasure trove. KRTH and XTRA on AM provided my education outside of school during these formative years and as I would tape songs off the radio I was also building up quite a collection of records that I was finding for next to nothing at garage sales, library sales, wherever. I got bit hard by the Motown bug in addition to all things British invasion.
Then I heard THIS song. Lennon spun it on the air and explained that the guitar riff was a big inspiration for "I Feel Fine". I couldn't understand how a song THIS GREAT wasn't heard on my beloved oldies radio stations. By this time, I was living in Indiana and there was a great record shop that I would frequent and buy as many 45's with my allowance as I could. I asked the fella that owned the store about this record and he had no idea what it was. I would look for it in Goldmine magazine and it never seemed to turn up. A few years later, deep into Alex Chilton and his excellent covers of artists such as Willie Tee, I realized that there was this whole world of r&b that existed that was unjustly obscure and I needed to hear it and absorb it. Thus began the quest!
Fast forward to the late 90's and after searching for over a decade, I finally got my copy through this new (to me at least) website called ebay. I'll never forget the excitement of hearing this actual record and it's an excitement that never ceases for me which is why I post to this site everyday. It should come as no surprise that this was one of the first records I featured, over 1000 posts ago.
Thanks, John, for sharing those 45's with us.
BOBBY PARKER - WATCH YOUR STEP
Friday, October 8, 2010
Jackie Sugarlumps (one of my fave local DJ's) and I will be serving up five hours of fuzzed out garage/ psych/ surf madness at THE CASANOVA (527 Valencia) from 9PM til 2AM. No cover! Hope you can make it.
This collection of rare promo shots is simply too good not to be shared (no, I do not own original prints). These are rarely seen shots that put a face to our heroes!
The Soul Sisters
Dyke & The Blazers
Brenda & The Tabulations
Bob Brady & The Con Chords
The Blue Notes
Barbara & Brenda
The Soul Sisters
Dyke & The Blazers
Brenda & The Tabulations
Bob Brady & The Con Chords
The Blue Notes
Barbara & Brenda