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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

CHARLIE & THE JIVES - SAD GIRL


While there are some other incredible versions of this beautiful song (Thee Midnighters and Jay Wiggins spring to mind) this recording by the great San Antonio group Charlie & The Jives (their "I Want You" was a 45 of the day a few years back) is the one that really grabs my heart. Perhaps it is the just slightly out of tune wooziness that captures the mood of the song so well, but this slice of Tex-Mex soul just wipes me out.

from 1971...

CHARLIE & THE JIVES - SAD GIRL

Saturday, July 30, 2011

DELIA GARTRELL - FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE


I am a BIG fan of the sub genre of soul records in which ladies plot revenge on bad boys. STICK IT TO 'EM!!!!!

In this track, Delia Gartrell uses a very fiery performance to get the point across, with fuzz guitar and wicked drumming that deliver the message loud and clear.

Delia was a cocktail jazz singer in Atlanta where soul hero THE MIGHTY HANNIBAL caught a performane and was enchanted with her voice. She was in a relationship with his friend, who Hannibal tried to partner with to make records with Delia. That partnership never materialized, but Delia and Hannibal DID find a partnership together; both on wax and later as husband and wife.

from 1972...

DELIA GARTRELL - FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE

Friday, July 29, 2011

SHARON TANDY - HOLD ON


Beyond the sheer sonic wonderment contained in the grooves of this record, Sharon Tandy has an interesting story as well. Born in South Africa, Sharon appeared in a South African beat film while still a teen, and then relocated to the UK at the insistence of her management. Sharon met with moderate success, and was lucky enough to record at Stax studios in Memphis in 1966. For this track, she is backed by trhe UK's legendary psych/ beat group LES FLEUR DES LYS who turn in (in my opinion) the finest performance of their career, which was a career FULL of highlights.

The band whips up an imminently danceable psychedelic racket (which also contains one of my all time favorite guitar breaks) yet Sharon still remains on top of it all with a commanding, restrained and incredibly sexy vocal performance. This is the stuff dreams are made of, kids. Hold on, indeed.

from 1967...

SHARON TANDY - HOLD ON

Thursday, July 28, 2011

EMORISE KELLY - THE BIGGEST FOOL b/w DISAPPOINTED IN LOVE



A great double sider from a mysterious singer. Seems as though all is known about Emorise is that he was initially a vocalist in a group I'm not familiar with called The Paramounts (not the UK Paramounts that I know of), and that he tragically died in Vietnam after being drafted c1968.

The performance on this record shows that Emorise had incredible talent; I *think* he had at least one more release that I would love to hear.

from 1963...

EMORISE KELLY - THE BIGGEST FOOL



b/w DISAPPOINTED IN LOVE


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

KING SPORTY - THINKING OF YOU


Jamaican artist/ songwriter/ producer King Sporty conjures up a soul sound here that easily could have come out of a New York, Philadelphia or Miami studio during this era, but the "backwards" reggae style bass and skank guitar is straight outta Jamaica. In fact, Sporty relocated to Miami in the late 70's and became a fixture of that city's electro scene.

THIS is the record that moves me; it's absolutely beautiful. Should have been a worldwide smash, as this record screams HIT in every aspect.

from 1973...

KING SPORTY - THINKING OF YOU

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great Record Stores- Toulouse, France!




Toulouse is a great city full of incredible, very old architecture...as well as some great record stores!

Absolute TOPS is Paul Emile Vinyls (5 Rue Temponieres); Paul has a jaw dropping collection of great records in all styles, neatly presented in a way that makes browsing pleasant. The store (and all of the other shops I visited) are located conveniently near the city center. The two men working behind the counter (one of which I believe was Paul) were VERY friendly and helpful. I pulled a nice cache of records, and they worked out a great price for me; I cannot say enough positive things about this store that is truly perfection for a vinyl lover.

In very close proximity to each other, there is Croc-Vinyl and Bullitt; both stores yielded some excellent finds (at great prices) as well as a very friendly vibe. These two stores are highly recommended. Also in the same area is Anthology; I can't say I can recommend this one, as there is a rough looking copy of Hawkwind- "Space Ritual" in the window priced at ONE THOUSAND EURO!!!!!! This is a 100E record AT BEST; easily attainable for far less.

Most bizarre of all was my experience in Armadillo Disques. As someone who has been lucky enough to work/ travel to many countries worldwide, I take great pleasure in the friends that I meet along the way in my travels at record stores and elsewhere. The owner (I assume) of the store was full of attitude and told me that he would not sell a particular record I had selected to an Englishman. I didn't bother telling him I'm an American, but just said, well I won't buy anything then. I cannot believe that there are pigheaded people that put bigotry over commerce. It still blows my mind that people put bigotry over common decency and just being a good person. Which reminds me of a conversation some friends and I were having yesterday- the only divisions in music are created by bigotry and to a lesser extent marketing. Music from the heart should not be divided by white, black, English, French, Asian, WHATEVER.

Overall, the world is an amazingly cool place. Just a minor bummer when an occasional ass gets in the way.

CHARLIE RICH - THAT'S MY WAY


Charlie Rich had a chameleon like career during his first decade, and luckily was given the opportunity to explore rockabilly, country, pop and, yes, some down home, dancefloor fillin' white soul as heard here.

With a voice practically as strong as Elvis, Charlie Rich could and DID sing anything. As soon as the amazing drum break kicks off this song, it's pure sonic bliss for the next 2:33. Rich himself has said that his recordings for Smash records are his personal favorites, and when one considers song such as this, "Mohair Sam" (a pretty big hit), and "Dance Of Love" (a past 45 of the day) it's quite easy to see why.

from 1966...

CHARLIE RICH - THAT'S MY WAY

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE EXPLOSIONS - HIP DROP pt1


Since I haven't been able to post in a few days due to non-agreeable, archaic wi-fi (isn't it a funny irony that I use modern technology to present low tech music from a low tech medium? A medium which also ALWAYS works, by the way), it's only fair that I throw down an all-out, ass shaking classic, right?

Here's Eddie Bo at his finest. 'Nuff said. If you don't know Bo you're new around here. He's one of the most incredible artists to come out of the incredible city of New Orleans (see, in order to saty within the legality of "fair use" I need to present some sort of critique or history in my post)

Feel free to correct me about the year. I'm running on very little sleep and this afternoon is a blur filled with two planes, a wild ride from the airport and a mad dash to hit 4 record stores in Toulouse before closing time, so trying to figure out the exact year of release is low on my list of priorities :-)

from c1968...

THE EXPLOSIONS - HIP DROP pt1

Saturday, July 23, 2011

WILL RETURN SHORTLY

Hello folks-

I'm in a location with archaic wi-fi that resembles the speed of a 56K modem circa 1998, so I have not been able to post.
'
It's so bad, that I probably couldn't even post a sound file of the old AOL "You've Got Mail!" voice.

Will be in a new location Monday (on the continent)that will definitely allow the posts to continue.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

VERNON & JEWEL - YOU CAN HAVE MY LOVING


This was the first record that Vernon (Garrett) and Jewel (Whittaker) recorded together; the married couple released a brilliant string of duets until Jewel's tragic death from cancer in the mid 60's.

Russell Jacquet (brother of Illinois Jacquet) was a trumpeter who was calling Oakland, CA home during the recording of this record; as Vernon & Jewel were based in both L.A and Oakland, it's sa safe bet that this record was recoded in Oakland.

And this record swings HARD.

from 1961...

VERNON & JEWEL - YOU CAN HAVE MY LOVING

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE SOUNDS LIKE US - CLOCK ON THE WALL


This brilliant record out of Duluth, MN was originally cut by The Guess Who; The mysterious "Sounds Like Us" saw the record released on the local Jill Ann label where it became a pretty good sized local hit which brought in A&R from Fontana Records who put it out for national release in January of '67 where it sank like a stone.

from 1966...

THE SOUNDS LIKE US - CLOCK ON THE WALL

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

THE GASLIGHT - I'M ONLY A MAN


Here's a very nice late-period Detroit soul record; (fyi, the George McGregor listed on the sleeve is a different GmcG than the one heard a few months back on the Chicago-area record."Temptation Is Hard To Fight").

Apparently, the group heard on this record is not actually the real Gaslight group; I have read that due to a labeling error this track by Oliver Cheatham was given the name The Gaslight. Seems as though this kind of thing happened often back in the day, and I can only imagine the frustration that artists must have felt when their tracks were given over to another name or improperly credited.

Regardless, it's a truly lovely track that takes much of what made 60's Detroit soul great into a slightly funkier 70's sound but has the bedrock of a great song to give it weight.

from c1973...

THE GASLIGHT - I'M ONLY A MAN

Monday, July 18, 2011

THE SUNRAYS - DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY


After the Beach Boys fired him as their manager, Murry Wilson's next project was management of this clean cut California combo that hit big with a great Beach Boys inspired record called "I Live For The Sun" (a past 45 of the day, as a matter of fact).

By 1966, the group must have been spending quite a bit of time on the Sunset Strip absorbing the sounds of Love and The Leaves and other like minded combos, as this track adds some seriously punky snarl on top of their sunny harmonies. It all adds up to a seriously great record that's seemingly over before it even begins leaving us wanting MORE!

from 1966...

THE SUNRAYS - DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Preorder THE BANG "ANOTHER NOTCH ON HIS BELT" 45 RPM single!


Hello all-

My latest "labor of love" is near completion as we expect to take delivery of the test pressing on Wednesday of this week; many months in the making, it's the debut 7" single from THE BANG GIRL GROUP REVUE "Another Notch On His Belt"! This record will come with a beautiful, full color picture sleeve and is limited to 200!

Yes, that's me on guitar, organ and twiddling the production dials.

Check out this sneak preview:


Preorder it here:






Purchase post-paid by location






The Bang on Myspace

The Bang @ Bandcamp

The Bang on Facebook

Saturday, July 16, 2011

PRETTY BOY LAMAR - YOU ARE GONNA BE SORRY b/w I AM IN LOVE


A mystery!

Other than the fact that "I Am In Love" is a favorite of the lowrider oldies folks (and with its dreamy, late night sound it's for good reason!) I can't dig up any information about Pretty Boy or this record.

I would assume that this is a Los Angeles record, as the label was located there, and it does have that "East Side" sound thing goin' on.

"You Are Gonna Be Sorry" is a great mid-tempo dancer featuring that "broadcasting from another dimension" sound; full of intrigue, mystery and verve.

from 1963...

PRETTY BOY LAMAR - YOU ARE GONNA BE SORRY



b/w I AM IN LOVE

Friday, July 15, 2011

ROOSEVELT GRIER - STRUTTIN' 'N TWISTIN'


I don't know about you, but I could put the intro on a REPEAT loop and listen to it OVER and OVER again and marvel at the absolute genius of the piano hook on top of the unbelievable drumming.

Roosevelt 'Rpsey" Grier has had a Zelig-like life; starting out as a professional athlete, Grier began cutting records while he was a star football player. After his football career, Rosey was one of Bobby Kennedy's bodyguards, and chillingly, was the man who stripped Sirhan Sirhan of his gun at the assaination. Grier went on to be a Los Angeles TV personality among other things.

On this release, we find Rosey rocking an original composition of his own that just plain and simply COOKS. His vocal delivery, while not exactly tuneful, is forceful and cool. As for that drummer- whoever he is, I'd love to give him a big hug for his genius performance on this track.

from 1962...

ROOSEVELT GRIER - STRUTTIN' 'N TWISTIN'

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FABULOUS COUNTS - LUNAR FUNK


Some say the funk never landed on the moon, but I think this track proves otherwise!

Detroit's Fabulous Counts were an all-instrumental group that not only released sides on their own, but provided their skin-tight musicianship (as heard here in full effect) as back-up for touring singers who needed a pickup band.

There's a handful of names that pop up on Detroit record labels (Mike Terry, Popcorn Wylie, and in this case, Ollie McLaughlin) that almost GUARANTEE that the record is gonna be good. No disappointment here.

from 1969...

FABULOUS COUNTS - LUNAR FUNK

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THE ESCORTS - ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE


Since first hearing this song, I've always been struck by the URGENCY of the vocals and how important it is to have another chance.

What I didn't know until moments ago, was that the group, made up of seven singers (Reginald Haynes, Lawrence Franklin, Robert Arrington, William Dugger, Stephen Carter, Frank Heard, and Marion Murphy), were all incarcerated at New Jersey's Rahway State Prison! Somehow producer George Kerr was able to bring recording equipment into the prison to record the groups' vocals.

This was their debut (and best) record; INCREDIBLE!

from 1973...

THE ESCORTS - ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BOBBY REED - THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR LOVE


Today's selection is a record that I've dreamed of owning for years; incredibly rare, I've never had the guts to snatch up one of the copies that turns up in top condition for heart stopping prices. Recently, this copy came up for sale in rough shape but I don't trip on condition. Unless there's skips, I'm just happy to have these records around in any state.

Unfortunately, THIS ONE HAD A HORRIBLE SKIP. Undisclosed by the seller who stated "excellent sound quality". Uh huh. Kinda like saying, this car is in mint condition, except for the smashed fender.

As anyone who has ever crossed over the big ponds knows, transatlantic jetlag can cause people to do odd things; for me, it means when I come home from Europe I tend to be up way too early in the morning. This particular morning, with headphones on, I slapped this platter on the turntable and just about wept when I heard the SKIP. I HAVE had pretty good success getting skips out of records, but this one was really bad and I didn't have much hope. I spent about 20 minutes on it then gave up for a while and listened to a few more discs in the "to listen to" piles. Something about my love for this song made me come back to skip doctoring, and I think if you've read this far, as soon as you hear the organ intro of this song you just might understand my insanity.

Here's what I do with vinyl record skip removal in a nutshell- first, figure out WHERE it skips. Then, I take a stylus needle and trace through the groove that I have put just a dab of dish soap (for lubricant) on a q-tip and wipe it over the groove. Odds are you when running the needle SLOWLY and lightly thru the groove, the needle will get hung up on the skip, where I'll gently rub the needle thru the groove to clear out the damage.

It took many tries (about 2 hours) but the skips (yes, after I fixed one I found another on the adjacent groove) are GONE. And when you hear Bobby Reed's voice come in so sweetly after that glorious organ intro, you will understand why. Or, you are simply in the wrong spot on the internet.

Bobby Reed is from Washington, DC and released a small handful of singles before hooking up with the amazing Van McCoy for this sublime release. Very little is known about him, although he released at least one more 45 after this one.

from 1970...

BOBBY REED - THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR LOVE

Monday, July 11, 2011

ART - ROME TAKE AWAY THREE


Known briefly as ART in-between the original incarnation as The VIP's then, finally, Spooky Tooth, this single shows the Mike Harrison (lead vocals) led group at the crossroads between beat (as heard from the VIP's) and the heavier, more prog sounds of Spooky Tooth. The group released one LP as ART and then morphed into Spooky Tooth very shortly afterwords where they found their greatest success as an album oriented band in both the US and Europe.

I find the the gloomy, minor key verses to be especially interesting and Harrison shows off the depth of his vocals very well on this track.

from 1967...

ART - ROME TAKE AWAY THREE

Saturday, July 9, 2011

TINA TURNER - YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED


Even though Ike & The Kings of Rhythm are credited on the label, this is (I think) the first record where Tina Turner received the top billing that she deserved; the record also is, to my ears, one that shows a path of independence starting to clear a way for what this amazing woman was to do in later years.

In a massive catalog of records this may very well be my favorite performance from Tina.

from 1969...

TINA TURNER - YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED

Friday, July 8, 2011

GLORIA GAYNOR - SHE'LL BE SORRY


Many years before she hit big with disco perennial "I Will Survive", Gloria Gaynor debuted with this excewllent single, co-written by the amazing Lou Courtney and produced by the legendary Johnny Nash. This record beautifully merges a strong song, excellent performance on top of a slow stomping soul groove that has just a hint of the island sound that was a favorite of Johnny Nash.

It would take ten years for Gaynor to find commercial success, although this SHOULD have been a massive hit.

from 1965...

GLORIA GAYNOR - SHE'LL BE SORRY


Thursday, July 7, 2011

IMPERIAL WONDERS - TRYING TO GET TO YOU


While this record has a very "Philadelphia" sound to it, the Imperial Wonders (originally known as the Matadors) are from Clerveland, OH. The group is still active today, and have a great, detailed bio that I can't even begin to condense- read it here!

Before it became commonplace, this song beautifully shows the sound that dominated soul for a few brief years in the early 70's; namely, those gorgeous group harmonies. The drummer also deserves an award for what he does with that fast cymbal work on this track which is nearly superhuman.

from 1969...

IMPERIAL WONDERS - TRYING TO GET TO YOU


Last minute DJ gig TONIGHT in Lisbon



Gonna be a LATE one! I'll be on between around 1:30 and 4:30 AM.

Thanks to Ian and Edu for asking me and setting this up; it's truly a PLEASURE to spread 45RPM love around the world.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Record Stores: Milan, Italy + Lisbon, Portugal + Nantes, France + international recap links

So, I've had some more tour action this year, and have done some record digging in some new cities (to me). I also figured that it would be a good time for a recap with all the info and links within one posting. Happy digging, or happy listening!

First off, Milano, Italia. A truly incredible walking city; admittedly, I only hit one record store on my day off, but it was a good one. There is much to see in the city of Milano, and man does not live on vinyl alone! In a relatively funky part of town (watch out for transvestites heckling you outside the store) is Metroplois Dischi. CD's upstairs, vinyl downstairs, and there's a LOT of vinyl downstairs. It ain't cheap, but it's exotic stuff. There are boxes of 45's behind the counter and I just immediately had a go. Right off the bat, all of these drool worthy picture sleeves started seducing me, but being as they started at 20E each, I had to go for quality over quantity. It would have been very easy to drop 1000E in the drop of a hat! Cash only.



My next stop was Nantes, France- a charming university city relatively close to Paris. I was enjoying the city, but unfortunately the first two record stores I visited were full of attitude and I won't even mention their names because I don't even want to give them any negative publicity. Luckily, I had just enough time before heading off to the gig to go to the store I TRULY wanted to visit- Music Box...Music Box is one of those magical stores; although the owner spoke even less English than I do French, his warm attitude was very kind, and he HAS THE GOODS. In addition to soul and beat 45's, I am also fanatical about European EP's and 45's with picture sleeves. French issues also sound particularly wonderful, and Music Box had some lovely records I had never seen before. Prices were good, so I went overboard. We only live once, and I feel that relocating this treasures to the Northern California 45 Sanctuary (aka our apartment) is a good thing to do. But perhaps I am biased. Regardless, Music Box is a world class, 5 star store. I forgot to snap a picture in my hurried condition, but their logo is very groovy indeed and is reproduced below.



As I write this piece, I am in Lisbon, Portugal; a truly magical, friendly city full of excitement, culture, excellent food & wine, and two fantastic record stores. My first stop was the ultra-hip, ultra-friendly Louie Louie Records. Hugo (who I am assuming is the owner) speaks perfect English and is just a true gentleman. He has a great selection of new and used, and I snagged both 45's and a few nice LP's (including a super cool original Chuck Jackson Spanish pressing LP). Hugo also had some of those elusive Beatles Portugese picture sleeve EP's, and hipped me to a KILLER Portugese psych 45. Prices were ranging from downright cheap to reasonable.

Across the street in the arcade next to the big Fado theater is Vinyl Forever; a cramped but tidy shop FULL of drool worthy records. Prices were on the higher side, but he had some amazing records that I just had to have. The owner was friendly, and he did his best to speak English with me.




And here's a recap with links to all of my past GREAT RECORD STORES posts.

Australia & New Zealand

Stockholm

Oslo, Norway

London

Paris & Strasbourg, France

San Francisco, CA

THE MIRETTES - HE'S ALL RIGHT WITH ME


The Mirettes were made up of Vanetta Fields, Robbie Montgomery and Jessie Smith; three defectors from Ike & Tina Turner Ikettes. These three super singers struck out on their own and released some truly fantastic singles (and an LP!) for a number of different labels.

This track, while recorded in LA, sounds like a lost Motown cut with the arrangement and sound being much in the vein of Martha & The Vandellas; and as you and I know, that's a VERY good thing.

from 1966...

THE MIRETTES - HE'S ALL RIGHT WITH ME


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CHARLES WHITEHEAD - BETWEEN THE LINES


Like so many great singers from the south, Charles Whitehead moved north from Virginia to New York City in search of a music career. Charles was signed apparently pretty quickly upon arrival by producer Jerry Williams (aka Swamp Dogg), and had a handful of releases on various labels before this late '72 gem was released.

This song has a fantastic chorus that gets stuck rattling around my brain, and the musical backing is pure New York City raw soul, topped with Charles' excellent southern vocals.

from 1972...

CHARLES WHITEHEAD - BETWEEN THE LINES

Monday, July 4, 2011

THE CREATION - BIFF, BANG, POW


While I do my best to keep up a wide variety of sounds on this here piece of the web, I'm still so fired up about yesterday's post and my whole love of England that I can't resist posting a side by The Creation PROPER.

What else can I say about this all time TUNE? 1966 was a very good year for music indeed.

If I were faced with the thankless task to pick only one song that epitomizes what my idea of mod represents, it would be this track.

from 1966...

THE CREATION - BIFF BANG POW

Sunday, July 3, 2011

THE MARK FOUR - HURT ME IF YOU WILL b/w I'M LEAVING



I've been in England on tour for the last few days and I always get a bit misty eyed when I have to leave, which I will be doing tomorrow. Luckily, I caught a brilliant mod night called Pork And Beans at a club in Camden called Positively 4th Street Friday night on my precious time off. No time for record shopping though, alas!

Leaving the UK reminds me of this great number on a blazing double sider from the group that, shortly after this release, became the Creation. "Hurt Me If You Will" is a top notch beat raver, but things get VERY interesting on side B, where genius guitarist Eddie Phillips takes a ground breaking, extended feedback break. While the Who pioneered the UK use of melodic noise, Phillips takes it to a completely other level here.

Thanks to all of my firends here in the UK, it truly feels like a second home. I'll miss you, merrie olde.

from 1965...

THE MARK FOUR - HURT ME IF YOU WILL



b/w I'M LEAVING

Friday, July 1, 2011

JAMES COTTON - DON'T START ME TALKIN'


Happy birthday to James Cotton- one of the greatest purveyors of harmonica to ever walk this earth!

This take on the Sonny Boy Williamson classic oozes with the type of high energy, soulful downright BURNING sound that became synonymous with the Chicago blues of the 60's.

from 1967...

JAMES COTTON - DON'T START ME TALKIN'