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.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
With a career that spans thru seven(!) decades, Andre Williams has seen the entire progression of r&b throughout his life. Sidelined by drug addiction, the man came back from being homeless on the streets of Chicago to releasing some fine music in the last ten years (and exposed himself to a whole new crowd/ generation in the process).
Sounding like a mad Detroit soul werewolf on this track, Andre gets LEWD and LASCIVIOUS about some fine young thing, resulting in a slamming track with some amazing Detroit style backing vocals and that CRACKING snare drum.
ANDRE WILLIAMS - YOU GOT IT AND I WANT IT
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sometimes an intro is SO strong that it MAKES the song for me. This intro brings me to me knees, sounding as if the song starts in progress, in full flight mode. Everything that comes afterwords is pure icing; heavenly female voices (including Theresa Davis, later of The Emotions) floating angelically over a typically swinging Chicago soul track.
Apparently this was the ONLY release from this group, which is a pity.
OUR LADIES OF SOUL - LET'S GROOVE TOGETHER
Monday, August 29, 2011
The triumvirate of talent listed on the label here is staggering; the record is produced by Chicago soul legends Major Lance and Otis Leavill, and the song is written by southern soul legend Sam Dees (whose "Lonely For You" is a past 45 of the day and one of my all time favorites).
Added to this list of greats, Georgia born singer Barbara Hall delivers the vocal of this great song to perfection. All the ingredients were here for a hit, but sadly the record never took off. A pity, as this record is oozing pure CLASS and combines the strong songwriting of the sixties with the "modern" sound.
BARBARA HALL - YOU BROUGHT IT ON YOURSELF
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The only things I know about this group is that they were from Greensboro, North Carolina, and that female singer Gin (Virginia Massey) joined up with a group called The African Americans to become Gin & The Gents. This (glorious) 45 was their only release, although the Gents became The Versatile Gents around 1968.
This is a downright perfect one off record; "Boy And Girl" is a gorgeous sweet soul number with incredible harmonies, and "Dreams For Sale" is a lovable uptempo shot.
BOY & GIRL
DREAMS FOR SALE
Friday, August 26, 2011
Two years before his "discovery" at Stax records, Otis Redding recorded two singles with The Pinetoppers, and this is the second of those releases and in my opinion the one that Otis was first able to BE Otis Redding. The performance drips soul, sweat and sex.
My copy was issued in the UK by Sue Records, which is an interesting story in itself. Sue (US) was founded in New York by producer Juggy Murray in the late 50's. The moniker was adopted by Island Records in the UK c19http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif63 to begin releasing official Sue product in the UK, and also as a means of http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giflicensing US records from small labels as a way to satiate the r&b/ soul hungry UK market. It certainly didn't hurt THIS record that by the time of its UK release (1964) Otis was a rising international star.
OTIS REDDING - SHOUT BAMALAMA
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Hailing from Charlotte, NC, the Catalinas are a staple of the southeastern coast
"beach music" scene since their formation in 1957. As with any long running group, the band has seen numerous personnel and stylistic changes throughout the years. Since 1965, the group has been headed by a man named Gary Baker whose blue eyed soul influence has driven this particular side into not only one of the key beach music tracks, but yet another one that crossed over into becoming a northern soul favorite in 70's England.
This record resonates as one that makes it easy to close the eyes, listen and imagine a balmy night on the coast, dancing with a lovely southern belle while the waves gently crash in the background. Lovely stuff indeed.
THE CATALINAS - YOU HAVEN'T THE RIGHT
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Some records make you think; other make you cry. Some records will knock you in their tracks with their expressions of pure emotion, some simply stomp. THIS is the latter!
New York City/ Bronx singer Rex Garvin's career started while he was a teen singing doo wop, and he continued well into the soul era before retiring from music around 1971, leaving behind some incredibly raw and raucous 45's such as this gem. Just take a listen with headphones and hear how his vocal mic seems to pick up every breath and even what sounds like a few bumps into the microphone; what spirit! And how fantastic are those backing vocals????
THE MIGHTY CRAVERS - SOUL FOOD
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
One of the true giants of the music business, Jerry Lieber, has passed (along with another giant songwriter, Nick Ashford. See below post).
One of the truly poetic lyricists, Lieber had a way of conveying some of the strongest seemingly intangible emotions into his songs ("Stand By Me" and "Spanish Harlem") and also showed a wicked sense of humor in his work for the Coasters. When the names Lieber-Stoller appear on the label, it's a stamp of quality.
On today's entry, Lieber and Stoller are joined by two other giants- Bert Berns and Ahmet Ertegun (under his 'Nugetre" pseudonym), for another fantastic example of Lieber's pure poetry. Ben E. King also proved to be the perfect foil to deliver these lyrics, both solo and with the Drifters.
Thanks for all the incredible songs, Mr. Lieber. The world is a far better place thanks to you.
BEN E. KING - GYPSY
Monday, August 22, 2011
So Sad to hear that we lost not only Jerry Leiber but also Nick Ashford.
(originally posted in 2009)
Shortly before they wrote such classics as "I Don't Need No Doctor", "California Soul" (one of my all time faves) and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (among others), Valerie (Simpson) and Nick (Ashford) released this incredible debut record as a duo for a tiny label. Can't say that I'm a fan of latter day Ashford & Simpson joints, but their writing throughout the sixties was at that level that very few ever achieve.
What a start they had on this great record!
VALERIE & NICK - I'LL FIND YOU
Even though the great Gene Chandler's hitmaking days had ended by the time he began recording for Curtom Records in 1973, it didn't stop him from releasing this great record that deserved to do far better commercially than it did. A great intro leads into some truly fantastic late period Chicago soul.
GENE CHANDLER - BABY, I STILL LOVE YOU
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I'm afraid that I don't have any information at all about Lea Roberts, other than that her tracks were recorded in Los Angeles. With a BIG voice that approaches the power of Aretha, she should have had more commercial success. This single takes the soulful sound heard in Free's classic "All Right Now" and multiplies it to the 10th power, beaming it far into the soul stratosphere. Quite raw for the mid-70's as well!
LEA ROBERTS - ALL RIGHT NOW
Friday, August 19, 2011
I won't get into the despicable, downright unforgivable acts that producer Huey P Meaux landed in prison for, but there is no denying that the man was an absolute genius in the studio, as records by Barbara Lynn, The Sir Douglas Quintet and dozens upon dozens of others testify to. On this glorious record, Huey and singer Dorothy Moore (renamed Dottie here, fresh out of girl group The Poppies and before her definitive reading of "Misty Blue" in 1975) create a near perfect forgery of the Detroit sound, albeit one that was undoubtedly cut in the deep south of Huey's home base.
DOTTIE CAMBRIDGE - CRY YOUR EYES OUT
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Dee Clark's records tend to be on the poppier end of pop-soul, but something about this record is just so beautifully compelling to me, and as summer is coming to a close it especially sounds good. Sadly, even though this Chicago soul legend scored a massive crossover hit with "Raindrops", he was virtually penniless at the time of his death in 1990, and was still working one nighters, even after suffering a stroke in 1987. It's truly heartbreaking to hear stories like this about musicians who give so much pleasure from entertainment in their lives, and suffer at the hands of a worthless medical system in the United States. Human beings truly deserve better.
This record showcases the genius arranging talents of Johnny Pate; a name that, when it graces a label, almost always guarantees a fantastic sound. I especially love the intro; it has that feel as though the song starts already in progress, and the fantastic vocals and twangy 6-string bass/ baritone guitar line is just too cool.
DEE CLARK - WARM SUMMER BREEZES
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I found it impossible to pick a favorite side of this glorious 45, which left me with no other choice than to feature both sides. The two sides show that this talented group was equally adept at both ballads and uptempo numbers. Both are intense and executed with soul dripping off of the grooves.
Unfortunately, that's about ALL I know about this record, other than that The Vanguards were based in Indiana (probably Indianapolis) and they have one other release that sells for BIG money ($1500 or so).
THE VANGUARDS - THE THOUGHT OF LOSING YOUR LOVE
b/w IT'S TOO LATE FOR LOVE
Yesterday, Eddie Phillips (Creation guitarist and a true musical hero/ influence of mine) celebrated a birthday and I do believe it is apropos to keep the celebration going for one more day.
This single combines the Creation's amazing beat tendencies and mixes in with the ever present '66/'67 orchestrated sounds ala Sgt Pepper/ Pet Sounds and yields glorious results.
This song showed a remarkable progression in the group's sound (while remaining true to their roots) and is a lost classic of the time.
THE CREATION- LIFE IS JUST BEGINNING
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I'm afraid that I have no info on this group, other than that they recorded two singles for Philips records and were yet another Chicago group.
As I am a fanatic of group harmony, this record rates VERY high for its gorgeous harmony on top of a very strong song. Sounds like it could be Bernard Reed on bass as well, but that's merely speculation on my part.
Luckily, my copy plays much better than it looks!
THE NEW CONCEPTS - GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Brilliant Chicago soulstress Barbara Acklin made a return to her classic late '60's sound with this mid-70's release; soul had changed so much in such a few short years, but occasional numbers such as this ("Flowers" by the Emotions also springs to mind) kept the faith burning for the "classic" sound into the modern era, with a tasteful amount of the sound that was more contemporary at the time.
BARBARA ACKLIN - RAINDROPS
Friday, August 12, 2011
This is a record that I never thought I would feature here, but I keep hundreds (actually at this point probably thousands but who's counting) of 45's "on deck" for possible placement. What sparked me to post it, you may ask? Here I am, on tour again far from home where my MP3 player (a cozy, necessary evil if there ever was one, and always set on shuffle play) popped this one on and just the sheer urgency of Rockin' Robin's voice truly stopped me in my tracks. The other side of the record may be more famous- it's the first Pacific Northwest cover of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie"- but THIS side is THE ONE for this listener. Ray Charles original (one of my all time favorite recordings) is tough to match, and frankly, they don't come close to capturing the slinky Latin vibe of Brother Ray (and honestly, who could?) but what we have here is something different and, arguably, just as vital. This record was also the first release on the legendary Etiquette label.
The band (Seattle's Wailers, not to be confused with Kingston's reggae giants of the same name) come close to inventing garage soul in their sloppy but charming (ragged and right) instrumental backing, but this Rockin' Robin character just whips up a FRENZY with his incredibly yearning, aching and soulful vocal.
Sadly, New York native Roberts recorded a mere six sides before leaving music to concentrate on a career in science- he relocated to San Francisco in 1967 where he met a tragic end in a car crash the following year.
ROCKIN' ROBIN ROBERTS - MARY ANNE
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Formed in the late 50's and going through two names before settling on The Astors (originally the Duntinos then The Chips, after producer Chips Moman) The Astors were a unique artist on the Stax roster in that they featured such strong group harmony. Most Stax acts concentrated on solo stars (and one very famous duo), not vocal groups. Sadly, the Astors never got to record enough sides to make the large mark that they deserved (I featured "In The Twilight Zone" here a few years ago, and have always held their biggest hit "Candy" in my back pocket as a potential future 45 of the day). This was their final release.
This track beautifully shows off their fantastic vocals as well as the incredible musical backing of the Stax house band, aka Booker T & The MG's.
For further reading, there's a great history of the Astors HERE.
THE ASTORS - MORE POWER TO YOU
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Based in New York City, Ruben Wright's career began in the doo wop era, and after a gap of a few years came back and recorded 4 singles for Capitol during the soul era.
Ruben's vocal delivery of this song is interesting; it's almost as if he's singing a deep ballad over an uptempo track in his slow delivery! Sounds a bit odd at first, but after a few listens I really grew to love its uniqueness.
RUBEN WRIGHT - I'M WALKING OUT ON YOU
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
After the Wicked Pickett's hit single making prowess was proved with the sides he began cutting for Atlantic Records in 1964, Verve licensed this single from Detroit's Correc-Tone label that was Wilson's debut release after leaving the Falcons, cut in 1962. With the rapidly changing sounds of the mid-60's, one would think that a record cut in 1962 would sound out of touch with the current styles. However, this record was quite ahead of its' time, in that it shows a hint of Jamaican style blue beat. The blue beat sound was also heard on another Correc-Tone release from this era; Gino Washington's original recording of "Puppet On A String". Like that record, this one also has The Supremes on backing vocals!
This excellent track also shows another side of Pickett's vocals, a smoother side if you will, that was never heard again in his discography.
WILSON PICKETT - LET ME BE YOUR BOY
Monday, August 8, 2011
Not from Nashville, not from the US and not teens by the time of this recording, this group from the rustic/ posh area Surrey region of South London (most known for their hit recording of "Tobacco Road") laid it down THICK on this side of British beat beauty.
The Nashville Teens, while living/ performing in Hamburg, also backed Jerry lee Lewis on the killer's proto-punk "Live At The Star Club" record; the group was also an a-list choice for backing other American stars while performing in Europe (Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins). Judging by the excellent musicianship of their singles (as well as the Jerry Lee LP) shows this group could PLAY.
THE NASHVILLE TEENS - FIND MY WAY BACK HOME
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Short and to the the point, this excellent track from Nashville's Christine Kittrell were cut a few years after she had left r&b music (she had a massive hit in 1952 with "Sitting Here Drinking" and toured the south relentlessly for a few years) behind to sing gospel. It is unclear where these sessions were cut, although production-wise they sound like the type of recordings that were being cut in Chicago by VJ at this time (no producer or arranger is listed).
Whatever the story, it's one RED HOT record showcasing the brassy vocals of Christine; she released one more secular record for King/ Federal in 1965, was wounded while entertaining the troops in Vietnam in 1967, then retired from music entirely in 1968.
CHRISTINE KITTRELL - IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Sprouting from the personnel of THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (specifically keyboardist Vincent Crane, who was the only mainstay in the lineage of 'Rooster), this UK group were part of the movement that saw psychedelic rock morph into more "progressive" sounds. HOWEVER, this single (a top ten hit in the UK) harkens back to the beat era and to these ears I would classify it as a fantastic English soul track that, with its steady beat, could also fall into the category of early proto-disco discs.
ATOMIC ROOSTER - DEVIL'S ANSWER
Friday, August 5, 2011
I always find it impressive when groups or artists are able to adapt into other style variations during a long career. While I personally may not like the results, that's beside the point. Sounds and styles change, and a living must be made. The Pointer Sisters morphed thru soul, funk, disco, electro and pop throughout their career and had many hits along the way.
While this early side wasn't a hit per se, it's THE ONE as far as collectors, aficionado's and those who just wanna GET DOWN to some fine soulful sounds. Here we find the Oakland group teamed up with NOLA's Wardell Quezergue for this brilliant meeting of west coast and New Orleans soul. Special mention must be made of those heavenly sisterly harmonies and bass playing that deserves an award.
THE POINTER SISTERS - SEND HIM BACK
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
While The Marvellos (not to be confused with Chicago group The Marvelows/ who renamed themselves the Mighty Marvelows to avoid confusion with the Marvellos) were a Los Angeles group, they concoct such a Motor-City like sound on this record that one would be excused to automatically assume this is a Detroit record.
From the Marv Tarplin-like guitar line at the intro, to the lovely vibraphone and the stomping beat, this is one of the finest "Motown West" records cut during the golden era. The Marvellos themselves were made up of a group of singers whose voices blended so well in harmony, special mention to be made of the strong and clear tenor lead and the group's excellent bass singer.
A sweet thing indeed, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face while you clap along.
THE MARVELLOS - YOU'RE SUCH A SWEET THING
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I'm afraid to say that I know nothing at all about this record. Looking at a discography for other releases on the FEE label shows a few familiar Detroit names, so I'm gonna guess that this is a Detroit record.
Whatever its pedigree, this record is a super cool mover with excellent vocals and instrumental work.
The date is from another website, and may or may not be correct.
NOW - GIRL YOU SURE TURN ME ON pt1
Monday, August 1, 2011
Thanks to a very friendly record store in Lisbon (my friend Hugo @ Louie Louie Records), I was hipped to this fantastic side of Portugese psych.
This group, during their time in the late 60's and early 70's, were thought by most critics and fans to be the greatest rock group in Portugal, and this record makes it easy to see why, as it is a swirling, mind melting masterpiece. It's taken from a highly collectible LP release, as well.
POP FIVE MUSIC INCORPORATED - ORANGE