Monday, January 31, 2011
Been a while since I've served up some funk heat, so a track like this is well overdue!
Atlanta, GA had an INCREDIBLE funk scene (witness the fantastic "Atlanta Funk" compilation of a few years back) and this track from the early days of all things funky is one of my faves. Some of the hottest snare cracks this side of the JB's!
Side 2 is a great instrumental guitar based workout of the tune, allegedly played by Richard himself (simply shoot me an email if you wanna hear it). And, of course, this isn't that other "Richard Marx" he of funny permed hair1980's MTV fame.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The title certainly is an accurate description of whats in the grooves of this record. It's the type of disc that just makes me wanna clap along and as I listen as I type wiggle around in a dancing like motion in my chair!
Can't say that I know a thing about Bettye Scott, and The Del Vetts here certainly are not the major Chicago garage band of the same name. This DOES sound like a Chicago record (and bears a more than slight resemblance to Nate Evans' amazing "Main Squeeze"). As always, if you know anymore...
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Also known as Shirley Walker, Shirley was the lead singer of the Curtis Mayfield-produced FAscinations (I've featured a few of their sides in the past). Being as Duke was a Texas based label, perhaps she lived there BEFORE waxing the Fascinations sides with Curtis? I don't know, but if anyone does, I would love to know more of her story.
This is a beautiful, anthemic number that pushes higher and higher into the stars...
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
If you happen to be in or around Melbourne, I have three (!) DJ gigs coming up...
Here they are:
TONIGHT 1/28: The Penny Black, Brunswick til 1am.
AND Saturday 1/29: The Gem, Collingwood Sat til 1am
AND The Cherry Bar 1/31 (times TBA)
All vinyl, of course!
Unfortunately, I know nothing about this group (definitely not the same Traits that backed Roy Head).
Sounds like they could be either Chicago or Philadelphia. An absolute gorgeous record. Please write if you have any more info!!!!
THE TRAITS - SOME DAY SOME WAY
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Not a whole lot is known about Los Angeles singer Cookie Jackson- she released some other records on a handful of labels (including another killer on the legendary Okeh label which will be a future daily 45), but never "broke through".
It's a shame that this record didn't fare better, it was certainly deserving! Taking a cue rhythmically from the immortal "Dancin' In The Streets", this song uniquely puts the female in the "alpha" position and the results are pretty damn sexy! The arrangement is a fantastic piece of Motown-dipped-in-west-coast-sunshine as well.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Hello from Sydney, Australia!
From Philadelphia, Jackie Verdell spent most of her career as a gospel singer, and, with so many of the soul greats, her powerful voice was straight out of the church. Jackie's career path was similar to Aretha Franklin's, but sadly, Jackie's secular soul career did not yield any hits (although this one certainly deserved hit status).
To my ears, this record has so much to love- excellent horn hooks, propulsive yet relaxed drumming that is very Memphis-like, and of course Verdell's soaring vocals.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
So beautiful in its simplicity, this song elegantly conveys its lyrical content and lopes along gently with a great island like groove. Caribbean? Nope, the Daylighters were yet another phenomenal Chicago group. On this track, Gerald Sims (known mostly for his brilliant arrangements) is lead vocalist. In fact, this record was reissued as a Gerald Sims single a year later.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Sometimes, there is nothing that fits the bill better than something completely mindless that for 2 and a half minutes will erase any cares or worries and cause the listener to submit. Go, go go, go gorilla go NOW.
If this doesn't put a smile on your face, buddy, you are visiting the wrong website.
A perfect "potboiler"; a song that follows an extant formula but works oh-so-well in conveying the feeling and desperation of the lyrics. While it may sound very similar to many other songs in this type of uptempo bluesy vein, something about this one (perhaps the impassioned delivery) sets it out among the crowd to these ears. Sounds more like 1963 or so to me, but seemingly this catalog number places it earlier.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Another fantastic example of the Detroit sound, in that the lyrics and overall sound are the celebration of life itself and just feel so good. Perhaps it wasn't exactly unique enough to be a massive hit, but it sure sounds good to my ears.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Folks, I am out on the road again; after a journey from my California home to Auckland, New Zealand that took a total of nearly 15 hours in the sky and 6 hours at two airports, I am settled in and ready to dig into some great music from my "virtual" 45 collection on my laptop (lucky for you AND I!)
Today's entry is one of those moody, minor key masterpieces that just NAILS the lyrical content; one listen to this song and I get real mad and think crazy thoughts akin to "how in the HELL can you do that to sweet Betty, you JERK"!!!!! Young Betty (her second 45, and before the "e" was restored to her last name) doesn't necessarily want to let him go; just laments that he'll never change. Just as any great art, this seems VERY VERY real.
Monday, January 17, 2011
First off, let me apologize in advance for the heavy surface noise; this is a very tricky record to find and while I've been after a cleaner copy, I just couldn't wait to post this. Besides, what's a bit of crackling, anyhow, when a record is this CRACKING.
No, this is not the big hit version recorded almost a decade later by the brothers Isley but the fantastic, Latin infused original take. Starting off quiet and building to an epic ending, this is one of the highlights of the Isleys' illustrious career and should be far better known (and I am NOT knocking the great second version, either).
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I can't find much hard information about this group, although they MAY have evolved out of Chicago girl group The Kittens...It wouldn't surprise me, as the singers on this record sound like they have quite a bit of experience and show a fantastic harmony blend!
The arrangement is one of those fantastic period Chicago mid-tempo "steppers" with that amazing bubbling bass as was heard on so many records from the period.
I am also guessing at the year of original release. The record was reissued on Decca for national distribution in 1971, where it unfortunately sank like a stone.
SILK - FALLING IN LOVE ISN'T EASY
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Just realized that after 1000+ posts, I've never featured any tracks from my absolute favorite San Francisco rock n roll group; the mighty Beau Brummels!
Featuring the rich, expressive vocals of Sal Valentino and the songwriting genius of Ron Elliott, the Brummels took a cue from the British invasion, but added a distinctly California influence. This group truly started the San Francisco rock scene, although they were unfairly, unjustly and inappropriately left out of the burgeoning ballroom scene because they (gasp!) cut a few hit records. Their music has certainly stood the test of time and sounds much fresher than so much of the psychedelic excess that followed in the bay area.
While many Brummels songs feature an almost haunting moodiness, this track, in all of its fuzzy glory, raves along quite nicely in under two minutes and just makes me want MORE!
THE BEAU BRUMMELS - IN GOOD TIME
Friday, January 14, 2011
This record is simply a MASSIVE r&b screamer and there's not a whole lot to say about it otherwise; Pete Cooke (real name Richard? As that's how he's listed as the writer of the song) was in a gospel group prior, as it seems to be the only hard info about him that I found (from a 1964 Billboard article) and had at least one other 45 release.
Judging by the fact that it is on one of the Bell records offshoot labels (and dig that lovely baby blue vinyl! not seen very often on records from the '60's), I am assuming this is a record cut in New York City. Also taking a wild guess at the year.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Showcasing the incredible, brassy vocals of Mavis Staples and (her father) Pops Staples' super groovy guitar slinging, this nearly forgotten number was recorded a few years before the family band moved to Stax records and began cutting some serious hits. This record was also cut when the band had made the switch from gospel to secular music, although the church never left their music, and the "testimonial" feel is in full swing with this song, and the socially conscious lyrics of unification are still inspiring to this day.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
This New York group, more known for "sunshine pop" laid out a real groover on this side that is unlike anything else this band ever recorded (and in my opinion light years superior as well). Much credit should probably be given to producer/ songwriter Bob Gallo who has an impressive resume (to say the least). This song has HIT written all over it, but even with a heavy industry hitter like Gallo behind it was lost in the shuffle.
Fantastic harmonies, excellent lyrics, a fantastic percussion hook...What a great record!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Originally from North Carolina, Ruby Johnson relocated to Washington DC in the mid '50's to begin her professional singing career, and then eventually ended up in Memphis around 1965, signed to Stax records offshoot Volt. Al Bell had just become part of the Stax crew, and as he was a big supporter of Ruby, got her signed to the label where she recorded her greatest work.
After years of never achieving the success she deserved, she quit the music business in 1974 and went back to where it all began for her- singing at her local temple in her new home in Maryland (Ruby was raised Jewish). Sadly, she died too young at age 63.
This superb record is dripping with Stax magic; the backing band is obviously Booker T & The MG's, and the combination of their sublime musicianship and Ruby's uplifting vocals pushing HARD make for one massively exciting record.
Monday, January 10, 2011
This great harmony group from Oakland, CA saw this record initially released on the tiny Wee label until it was picked up for national release by Vee Jay records. Sadly, Vee Jay was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy at the time and couldn't give the records they released during this period much of a push. A pity, as the quality of releases from Vee Jay was very high, including this gem!
Other than the fantastic vocals, I especially like the quasi-jazzy intro hook that's downright hypnotizing. The drumming and clip clop percussion offer a nice west coast alternative to the Motown sound that drives just as hard.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
On their debut single, this British group nailed it; namely, a fantastic r&b driven psychedelic beat monster! This record just oozes tension and excitement that gets driven home by the wild guitar break. Coincidentally, just as yesterday's entry featured a great bass guitar intro, THIS ONE DOES TOO.
While there wasn't an actual Elmer Gantry in the band, lead singer Dave Terry adopted a cape and preacher's hat as worn by the "Elmer Gantry" character in the film of the same name. Whoever he was, he was a fantastic singer and I would bet that he was one helluva showman as well.
ELMER GANTRY'S VELVET OPERA - FLAMES
Friday, January 7, 2011
Since this is seemingly the only record released by "Marjorie Black", I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Marjorie Black was a pseudonym used only on this record (perhaps it's one of the Soul Sisters, who also recorded on Sue?).
There is simply no way a woman with a voice like this could have only had one shot at recording, unless there was some sort of tragedy (as is the case of Junior McCants who died just as his second record was being released to radio).
"One More Hurt" is one of those records where EVERYTHING clicks; fantastic song, amazing arrangement with a bass guitar intro/ hook (how many times do we hear THAT?) and of course "Marjorie's soaring vocals.
MARJORIE BLACK - ONE MORE HURT
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Here's a super funky entry cut in Baton Rouge, Louisiana...So funky you can practically feel 100% humidity and smell fried crawfish cookin' while the needle cuts through the record!
The "sister" here is singer Geraldine Richards who lays it DOWN thick with vocals full of attitude and sass. Just the kinda thing that goes straight to my gut! The "brothers" may or may not be a group called Cold Gritz who were a super funky white group.
What a JAM!!!!!!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Can't say I know much about Little Oscar; he seems to have faded completely off of the radar after releasing a few records (I believe that this is his first). His last name is believed to be Stricklin or Strickland (the label here says Stricklin as the writer)...
What an incredible record; recorded rather late in the game for this style (sounds more like 1963 to my ears), this record packs a massive wallop and the lyrics really blow me away with vivid imagery within simplicity. All backed up by some red hot Chicago (I think...) musicians.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Since my last post on Cynthia & The Imaginations, I've learned that Cynthia's last name is Girty, and she has later worked as a singer with the P Funk empire, Maceo Parker, and David Ruffin.
From what I can tell, this Detroit group only released two singles (this one and "There's Something The Matter With Your Heart" that I featured about two years ago). This beautiful, dreamy record is a showcase for Cynthia's fantastic vocals, with a fantastic Detroit arrangement, released on a Chicago label. With ingredients like that, the recipe is set for a brilliant side!
Monday, January 3, 2011
Born in Alabama and moving to Chicago in the mid 50's, Johnny Williams found his greatest success in the early '70's after a move to Philadelphia, where he scored a small hit on Philadelphia International records.
THIS one, produced by Syl Johnson and following on the heels of Syl's fantastic "I Feel An Urge", follows in a similar pattern of reckless funkiness anchored by a catchy song and strong, upfront vocals by Johnny.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
...and let's hope all you DOGS get your day in this new year; have a happy one!
When it comes down to it, there's something about a good Eddie Bo 45 that just screams of good times and gives a good feeling all around, and this one drives that point home into the new year and beyond. This record is especially cool as it is (I think) the earliest example that has that wild style of polyrhythmic drumming that later became a Bo staple. This record sounds VERY advanced for 1960!
Plus, I need to make up for a goof in yesterday's post that was pointed out by a friend of mine- Jean Wells was not from NOLA but Florida (I had a small brain lapse and confused Jean Wells with jean Knight); there is no doubt that Eddie Bo was from New Orleans.