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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

SANDRA PHILLIPS - YOU SUCCEEDED

Sue Records owner/ prducer Juggy Murray recorded some truly great female vocalists; names such as Baby Washington, Tina Turner, Marjorie Black and also Sandra Phillips, who we will have the pleasure to listen to today.

Sandra was born in South Carolina and uprooted to New York City shortly before this record was cut. Juggy discovered her, singing around the city in clubs, and signed her to his subsidiary label Broadway Records for this DYNAMITE debut. This record has every element that I love; it's bold, brassy, and full of attitude. The song is superb, and the performance is top notch, driven not only by Sandra's excellent vocal but the clap-like drumming and some truly superb backing vocals that are some of the best I've ever heard.

Sandra Phillips became quite successful on Broadway, where she continues to work to this very day.

from 1966...

SANDRA PHILLIPS - YOU SUCCEEDED





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Bang in the studio, part three!

Here's the 3rd and final chapter documenting my group's upcoming LP. Hope you like it and please feel free to share. Also see parts 1 & 2 HERE.

THE STAR-TELS - FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU GIRL

Chicago brothers Victor, David and James Martin made up the Star-Tels, and they also recorded as The Chymes. Unfortunately, that's all I know about the group.

The grooves tell us more, specifically that the brothers lay out the type of other wordly harmonies that can only happen within blood relations; the sound of three voices blended into one. Chicago in the early '70's was full of sweet soul records such as this, and I for one am eternally grateful. This is a sound that is guaranteed to make anyone with a heart happy and feel good.

from 1970...

THE STAR-TELS - FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU GIRL


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Part Two! The Bang Girl Group Revue in the studio.

We'll be back with regular scheduled programming tomorrow. In the mean time, here's some more studio freshness from my group.



and if you missed it the first time around, here's part one:



Monday, May 28, 2012

THE POWER PLANT - SHE'S SO FAR OUT SHE'S IN

The Power Plant were a Los Angeles studio concoction led by songwriter (Thomas) Baker Knight. Knight's story is fascinating; he grew up very poor in Alabama, learned to play guitar in the Air Force and moved to L.A with the hopes of a film career that didn't pan out. Allegedly down to his last few cents, he penned the classic "Lonesome Town", about his experience in Hollywood as a stranger in a strange land. Fate intervened, the song was picked up by Ricky Nelson, one of the greatest 45's on the '50's was cut, and Knight's fortune changed for the better. A true American success story!

Flash forward a few years, and we find Knight in the studio aping the sounds of The Sir Douglas Quintet on a record that was a complete exploitation not only of the SDQ sound, but also the rampant psychedelic culture of the time (summer of 1967). While the song was cut the previous year by Dino, Desi & Billy, the Power Plant version ups the ante of drug culture by replacing the line "make me flip" (as heard on the original) with "make me trip". Plus, "Power Plant" itself undoubtedly refers to pot, and Texas psych maniacs The Golden Dawn also used the name "Power Plant" for their '67 LP, with an album cover depicting neon painted marijuana and psylocybin mushrooms.

The Monkees also cut a version of this a few months prior during their first play-their-own instruments "Headquarters" sessions; sadly, only an instrumental backing exists, as they never cut vocals for the track.

While this record may be a sham, it's a damn good one; it swings like a mo-fo!

from 1967...

THE POWER PLANT - SHE'S SO FAR OUT SHE'S IN

Sunday, May 27, 2012

DEE DEE FORD - JUST LIKE A FOOL (I KEEP HURTIN')

Even though she scored a big hit the previous year with Don Gardner (the incredible "I Need Your Lovin'"), very little is known about Dee Dee Ford.

This lovely ballad showcases Dee Dee's deeply emotional vocal delivery, and it's propelled along by some surprisingly aggressive organ and guitar. Arranger Mort Garson went on to be one of the pioneers of the Moog synthesizer as well just a few years after this record.

from 1963...

DEE DEE FORD - JUST LIKE A FOOL (I KEEP HURTIN')



Saturday, May 26, 2012

ARNOLD BLAIR - TRYING TO GET NEXT TO YOU

Seemingly the only single released by Arnold Blair, and it's one of the greatest masterpieces of '70's Chicago soul; an absolutely perfect record that is guaranteed to make you feel good all over.

Producer (and co-writer) LeRoy Hutson is best known for his replacement of Curtis Mayfield in the Impressions in 1971. On his own, LeRoy also cut another of the great 70's Chicago soul singles: "All Because Of You".


One wonders what could have possibly happened to Arnold Blair? The man's talent shines through so brightly on this incredible record, and it's so sad that this was his only shot on wax.

from 1975...

ARNOLD BLAIR - TRYING TO GET NEXT TO YOU


Friday, May 25, 2012

In the studio with my band; The Bang Girl Group Revue

Here's part one of a little documentary of my band, The Bang Girl Group Revue, working in the studio cutting an album.

Completely old school, 100% analog. No auto-tune, no cut and paste.

MARY DE LOACH - MOVE THIS THING (PART 1 & 2)

Another two parter for the second day in a row, and BY FAR one of the most intense records I've ever heard to boot.

Mary De Loach (aka Mary DeLoatch, Marylin Scott or Marylyn Scott the Carolina Blues Girl) was from Norfolk, VA and started a career as a blues guitarist and vocalist in the late 1940's. By the early 50's her music had taken a gospel turn, and her raw guitar style, of course, draws parallels with Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Apparently, this was the last record she ever cut, and the rest of her story is unknown. Producer Louise Williams (wife of Arctic Records founder Jimmy Bishop) was known as the gospel radio queen of Philadelphia, and since the late '80's she's made a name for herself as a politician in Philadelphia. Perhaps Louise Williams was a fan who brought Mary north to Philadelphia to record?

Whatever the story, it's truly a wonder that a performance like this was captured by microphones. It's as if we're witnessing something almost TOO personal here.

from 1967...

MARY DE LOACH - MOVE THIS THING (PART 1)
 
MARY DE LOACH - MOVE THIS THING (PART 2)



Thursday, May 24, 2012

RAY SHARPE - HELP ME (PART 1 & 2)

Ft Worth, Texas native Ray Sharpe took influences from rock n roll, country and r&b music and created music that was entirely unique. While his early singles (including the big hit "Linda Lu") could be classified as rockabilly, these records also could fall into the r&b classification. What's in a label anyhow? 

By the time of this release, Ray was working in New York City with the legendary King Curtis.

Producer/ sax man King Curtis must have truly loved this track, as he used it THREE times, this being the first appearance. In early '67, Ray Sharpe's vocal was removed, the track was sped up and new lyrics were added and it became Aretha Franklin's incredible "Save Me". Finally, in '68 King Curtis reworked the same basic track and turned it into "Instant Groove".

It's no surprise that Curtis loved the track, as it's a smoker- taking its cue from Them's "Gloria", the track is a masterpiece is smoldering dynamics. While the track starts off in full flight, through some subtle nuances the musicians keep turning up the heat until its a smoldering inferno of go-go goodness. None other than Jimi Hendrix is on guitar, as well. Hendrix is really given a chance to play on Part 2, although he plays a very subtle (yet still effective) break.

from 1966...

RAY SHARPE - HELP ME (PART 1) 

RAY SHARPE - HELP ME (PART 2)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BILLY BUTLER - NEVERTHELESS

Billy Butler is Jerry Butler's younger brother, and his career (which began in 1963) found him supported and surrounded by the genius team of Chicago soul- on this track writer Curtis Mayfield (who is also heard singing and probably playing guitar), and producer Carl Davis. Their magic is evident as soon as the "Yeah YEAH'S" kick in on the intro of this record; what a GLORIOUS intro!!! The following two minutes keep the sugar flowing for a downright gorgeous piece of Chicago soul.

from 1964...

BILLY BUTLER - NEVERTHELESS




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET - SUGAR BEE + LES TETES BLANCHES- QUAND ON EST AMOUREUX (SHE'S ABOUT A MOVER)


When producer Huey P. Meaux wanted to create his own southern-fired Cajun answer to the Beatles, he couldn't have chosen a better frontman in Doug Sahm, himself the Sir Doug of the Sir Douglas Quintet. Sahm was a child prodigy who cut his first record at age 11, and had gone on to record a string of great country and r&b records while in his teens and early 20's.

While the group struck with a massive hit on their second shot (the incredible "She's About A Mover"), the formula was set in place for their debut 45. This is a record that I've had in my collection for quite a few years as a curio (since I love the SDQ so much) but I never felt it was daily 45 worthy until I heard it on shuffle play the other day and realized beneath its lunkheaded surface there's some amazing qualities lurking. On top of the cajun two-step/ British beat thrown-in-a-blender rhythm, there's some incredibly cool bass/organ counterpoint where each musician plays sligtly different changes; to some it may sound like a mistake, but it's repeated often enough in the song to tell me it was no accident, and it's funkier than a mosquito's tweeter! Plus Doug and the backing vocalists take a simple lunkheaded lyric and turn in an excellent, exciting performance.

from 1964...


SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET - SUGAR BEE


As a bonus, here's a killer French Canadian version of "She's About A Mover", from Les Tetes Blanches. While the organ is sorely missed in this version, the band was perhaps wise in not trying to duplicate Augie Meyer's magical Vox Continental groove; Augie is the true master of the combo organ, heard throughout the career of the SDQ and also in great effect on Bob Dylan's late period masterpiece "Time Out Of Mind".

from 1966...


LES TETES BLANCHES- QUAND ON EST AMOUREUX (SHE'S ABOUT A MOVER)



Monday, May 21, 2012

THE EMOTIONS - SO I CAN LOVE YOU

First off, let me apologize about the rough condition of my copy of this record. It's not a particularly rare one, it's just that I've never gotten around to getting an upgraded copy. I simply couldn't wait any longer to post it though, as video footage from the horn overdub session @ Stax has surfaced, thanks to Spike over at the Bedazzled! blog. This French TV documentary from 1969 is priceless stuff; in addition to seeing Isaac Hayes lead the horn section, we get to see Booker T & The MG's cut 'Time Is Tight", and also a Brook Benton session at Fame Studios. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the Emotions themselves cut this magical track, but when it comes to historical footage, we take what we can, happily!

from 1969...

THE EMOTIONS - SO I CAN LOVE YOU




Watching this also gave me the idea to document some sessions with my band that are currently happenin'


Sunday, May 20, 2012

THE VELVELETTES - THERE HE GOES

We can all thank brilliant producer Bert Berns for introducing the Latin beat into American rhythm & blues music, as heard on such records as "Under The Boardwalk" (The Drifters) and "Cry To Me" (Solomon Burke). Berns spent a number of years in Cuba, where he became fascinated by the rhythms he heard, and was seduced by a cultural build around dance. By 1963, this sound was reverberating throughout the soul scene, and it's heard to great effect here, on this debut release from Detroit's Velvelettes.

Beautiful harmonies, dreamy piano, Latin rhythms and a young Stevie Wonder on harmonica are the ingredients that make up this lovely record. The Velvelettes SHOULD have been one of the biggest groups at Motown (thanks to records such as "Lonely Lonely Girl Am I" and "A Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush"), but sadly their records only scraped the charts between '63-'66.

from 1963...

THE VELVELETTES - THERE HE GOES




Friday, May 18, 2012

JIMMY HOLIDAY - THE NEW BREED

Jimmy Holiday (born in Mississippi) worked consistently through the 60's, book ended by a hit on his own in '63 ("How Can I Forget") and a co-writing credit on the massive "Put A Little Love In Your Heart", thanks to his partnership with Jackie DeShannon. I'm quite sure he was recording in Los Angeles, which was also the base for Kent Records.

As exciting as this record is today, I also add some historical perspective that may be lurking under the surface of the record. As the world was changing rapidly in 1965, a proclamation of being part of a new breed just might be far deeper than dancing and picking up a young lady; the new breed was also demanding equality for all...

'I've got the power to do anything", indeed.

from 1965...

JIMMY HOLIDAY - THE NEW BREED


Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE EASYBEATS - GOOD TIMES

After achieving massive success in their homeland of Australia, The Easybeats eventually moved to the UK around the beginning of 1967. The group was formed at the height of the British Invasion in 1964, and quickly rose to fame in their homeland, proving to be not only one of Australia's greatest groups, but also one of the finest bands of the '60's; not only thru their massive international hit 'Friday On My Mind', but also fantastically energetic numbers such as "Sorry" and "I'll Make You Happy".

Sadly, the group's beat sound began to fall out of favor during the psychedelicizing of the world, and the hits dried up (the group broke up in 1969). This is one of their final (and finest) singles from the end of their career. The familiar voice on the choruses is none other than Small Faces ACE Steve Marriott.

A note about the French picture sleeve: notice how next to "Good Times" the former owner of the record wrote "jerk"; apparently THE JERK was a VERY popular dance in France thru the '60's as I bought many picture sleeves on my tours thru France and so many have "jerk' written next to the hot track.

from 1968...

THE EASYBEATS - GOOD TIMES



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RODGER COLLINS - FOXY GIRLS IN OAKLAND b/w ALL TO'E DOWN

A few years after Rodger Collins struck a hit in '67 with the excellent "She's Looking Good" (written by Collins and also covered by Wilson Pickett), he released this bay area funk masterpiece. While the record never became a hit, it did garner a mention in the generally rock-centric Rolling Stone magazine who wrote up the record as being extraordinary (and rightfully so).

"Foxy" gets the bulk of attention, and it's easy to understand why; the song is one of those funk bombs that drops and turns the room shades of pulsating green. However, the b-side is pretty damn cool as well, and shows some of Rodger's country western influence.

After many years of working as a TV repairman in Oakland, Rodger has been doing some recording and performing in the past few years.

from 1970...

RODGER COLLINS - FOXY GIRLS IN OAKLAND

b/w ALL TO'E DOWN




Monday, May 14, 2012

In tribute to Belita Woods; 1948-2012

It truly pains me to write another epitaph. Especially since, in this day and age, passing away at 63 is just too damn young.

Although Belita Woods only released three solo singles, they are three records that I deeply cherish. In the later 70's Belita went on to sing with disco band Brainstorm, and in the early '90's she joined the P-Funk mob (which is where I first saw/ heard this amazing little woman with the big voice.) Belita looked foxy as can be on stage with P-Funk, often clad in a black leather mini, and she sang with absolute power and drama; her spots were always a highlight of the P Funk shows for me.

Her first release (1967) was the incredible double sider "Magic Corner b/w Grounded"; this record is easily my favorite Detroit double sider, period.Belita's vocals are so incredibly powerful on both sides that they practically collapse the capsule of the microphone that she sang into.
Magic Corner:

Grounded:


This record was followed up (also in '67) by the simply divine "That's When I'll Stop Loving You".


It was nearly six years later that Belita released another gorgeous ballad; "I Just Love You".



While Belita was never a household name, her talent sustained a career that spread across six decades. She will be missed.

SHERYL SWOPE - RUN TO ME

First off, I just wanna say how sad it is to hear of the passing of STAX bass man Donald "Duck" Dunn. As the house bass player for STAX, Dunn's down home bass lines combined with drummer Al Jackson made up what was perhaps the greatest rhythm section to ever make us either shake it or drive a ballad into deep into our hearts. Here's a repost of one of my favorite, yet lesser known, Dunn bass lines right here.

Hot on the heels of last week's Sheryl Swope post,  here's another track from her, and one that shows off her crystal clear voice in the most gorgeous light. I know I say this often, but one of the joys I get when I'm writing these posts is that I typically listen to the track a few times in a row while writing and scanning the sleeve. This one just gets better upon each repeated listening. In a world that's full of too much negativity, a record like this just brings it all home and erases all of the ill wills of the world for 2;19, and luckily for us we can enter that world as often as we like.

In my perfect fantasy world, a record like this could melt the hearts of all the bigots, homophobes, greedy one percenters and all of the other people whose lack of civic mindedness and general no-goodness can foul up our day to day lives.

from 1969...

SHERYL SWOPE - RUN TO ME




Sunday, May 13, 2012

JOHNSON, HAWKINS, TATUM & DURR - YOU CAN'T BLAME ME

Capsoul Records out of Columbus, Ohio released a staggeringly high percentage of excellent singles within the dozen or so releases from the label in their four year run. The label was founded by DJ Bill Moss, who left the music business shortly after Capsoul folded in '75 and became a school board member for nearly 20 years.

Perhaps the long group name was a success deterrent, and Moss, as a former radio DJ, surprisingly didn't encourage the group to have a name that rolled off the tongue a bit quicker. It certainly wasn't a lack of talent, as the quartet simply STUNS with their incredible performance on this record.

from 1971...

JOHNSON, HAWKINS, TATUM & DURR - YOU CAN'T BLAME ME


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fillmore Set 5/11/12

I ain't gonna lie; it was an incredible thrill to hear some of my favorite records blasting thru the Fillmore PA, and an incredible honor to play records before one of my all time favorite bands (The Brian Jonestown Massacre).

Here's the set that I played before Jonestown took the stage. I'll post the track list as a comment within the next few days, and maybe even post up my first set of the night (from when the doors open until Blue Angel Lounge played their opening set).


Fillmore Set

setlist: Date with The Rain- Eddie Kendricks/ Trying To Get Next To You- Arnold Blair/ My White Bicycle- Tomorrow/ I'm Not Your Regular Woman- Lucille Mathis/ Your Body Not Your Soul- Cuby & The Blizzards/ In The Basemant- Etta James & Sugarpie DeSanto/ Baby's A Dealer- Lilys/ Magic Potion- The Open Mind/ This Must Be The Place- The Tropics/ Red Hot Mama- Funkadelic/ Hide & Seek- Lillian Dupree/ Stand Up Straight & Tall- Jackie Shane/ I Must Be Mad- The Craig


Friday, May 11, 2012

BRIAN AUGER & THE TRINITY - BLACK CAT

While the records cut as Brian Auger & The Trinity with (the great) Julie Driscoll on vocals are the most well known from this collective, this particular 45 finds the fellas alone and absolutely SCORCHING.

Auger is an organist of legend, and his rocking Hammond B3 playing drives this track into the stratos-mod-o-phere for an unrelenting 3:18, including an organ solo that's one of the finest ever played on the instrument. It may be a bit corny, but I love the faux-party sounds happening on the intro and the choruses. Put aside any convictions of authenticity and they just add to the fun. And I DARE you to sit still while this jam plays.

from 1968...

BRIAN AUGER & THE TRINITY - BLACK CAT




Thursday, May 10, 2012

JOHNNY SAYLES - MY LOVE'S A MONSTER

What can be said about this track other than it's cool. Plain and simple, DAMN cool. Texas born and relocated to Chicago, Johnny Sayles cut many great records and never got the hits that he deserved. Probably because the records were just too raw. He died too young (age 56) in 1993, working his second career as a prison guard.

from 1965...

JOHNNY SAYLES - MY LOVE'S A MONSTER


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CATHY SAINT - BIG BAD WORLD

While this track is acknowledged by many as one of THE GREATEST of the girl group era (and justifiably so), I know absolutely NOTHING about singer Cathy Saint, and I speculate that she may be someone else recording under a pseudonym (and if you know more, please write!).

This track has it all; lyrically it paints a vivid picture of bad boys to avoid thanks to advice mom mom, driven along by a superb New York City arrangement and production. When I listen to the chord progression it's clear that records like this were such a huge inspiration on the songwriting of Elvis Costello, as it keeps moving and reaching.

from 1963...

CATHY SAINT - BIG BAD WORLD


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

IDES OF MARCH - GIVE YOUR MIND WINGS

Several years before they went brassy and added a horn section, Chicago's Ides Of March released a string of excellent, jangly garage rock singles for Parrot and Kapp Records that went nowhere (other than local AM radio success). This track shows a fantastic British Invasion influence and was written by a songwriter (Jeff Milne) who started a band called Factory around 1969.

This is my personal favorite of their early singles, and it's one of those records that soars along magically with gorgeous harmonies and guitar jangle for 2:40. And it's a PERFECT 2:40.

Maybe I'm looking far too into it, but it seems as though the band was caught in a moment here where a fantastic track, a string of flop singles behind them, naivety, talent, (perhaps) chemicals all came to a crossroads and drove them into another dimension. This record is just resonating in a very magical way with me this morning.

from 1967...

IDES OF MARCH - GIVE YOUR MIND WINGS


Monday, May 7, 2012

SHERYL SWOPE - CAN'T GET HIM OFF MY MIND

Sheryl Swope's small output of records are added to the category of Chicago/ Detroit soul summit meeting. Sheryl herself was from Chicago, and for this (and subsequent) releases she traveled to Detroit to work with Detroit producer Mike Terry on a song written by the Detroit Brothers Of Soul (Fred Bridges/ Ben Knight/ Robert Eaton, who are probably singing the excellent backing vocals here as well) for magical results.

Sheryl shows off a gorgeous, clear voice that exudes the smooth Chicago sound, backed by that cracking Detroit rhythm and a horn section that has a very Chicago-like sound as well. This track is also a great example of Terry's use of congas that just sound so damn bubbling away on this track. Plus, whoever is playing guitar here puts in a stellar performance. Quite simply, a perfect record. I look forward to featuring another great record from Sheryl Swope soon as well.

from 1969...

SHERYL SWOPE - CAN'T GET HIM OFF MY MIND



Sunday, May 6, 2012

EARLES INC. - DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW?





Where does one ever START with this beautiful record? The guitarist starts it all off, laying out some Curtis Mayfield-style licks that bring me to my knees, as the drummer grooves slow and steady in a way that is almost vocal itself in its expression. Add in the sublime vocals (lead singer is Bobby Buchanan) and this St Louis group share an absolute masterpiece with us.

from 1973...

EARLES INC. - DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW?



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Comments

Hello all-

For the past 4+ years I've allowed anonymous comments. Not anymore. It seems as though time goes on, I end up fielding more and more crackpots that, plain and simply, have something negative to say which is irrelevant and downright boring. It zaps my energy weeding thru them and often times makes me consider stopping this site. My advice for the critics is START YOUR OWN WEBSITE. Obviously, I post things on here that bring me personal happiness and I am happy to share with anyone who wants to listen. Music is supposed to make us happy, not bring out people's bad vibes.

This will not effect most of the readers of this site who are wonderful, many of whom I have made friends with in the outside world on my travels.

peace,
the editor.

LOVEMASTERS - PUSHIN' AND PULLIN'


First off, I'd like to make mention the passing of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA.  What a tragic loss at such an early age; as so many people in my age group, The Beastie Boys were a guiding light for us to dig a little deeper into the obscure world of funk and soul music, a prodding for which I'm eternally grateful. Plus, it was always (and always will be) a party when a Beastie record is on the turntable.

Lovemasters were formed by singer Edith Andrews, from Chicago's south side. Edith formed a group called the Tonettes after high school, and the group was almost signed to Chess but allegedly negotiations fell apart, after which she began the search for a new group. After placing an ad in Chicago's defender magazine, she received responses from male singers, of which Lovemasters began.

The group signed to Jacklyn records, which was run by John Haygood (stepfather of Darrow Fletcher). The resulting record was written for the "push and pull" dance craze, and this record certainly WAS made for the dance floor, although it sounds great ANYWHERE.

from 1968...

LOVEMASTERS - PUSHIN' AND PULLIN'




Friday, May 4, 2012

THE WURDS - BORN IN CHICAGO


The Wurds, from Chicago, started life as The Dirty Wurds; a band who cut a single called "Why" in 1966 that remains one of the most intense slabs of nascent punk rock ever committed to wax. The Dirty Wurds were a teenage band from Chicago (age 16-17) who cut their teeth together playing bluegrass (!) then went in the beat direction. According to the liner notes from Pebbles, they would regularly open for national acts and practically cause riots!

Here we find them one year older and still just as intense as before (although the primal screams as heard on "Why" are absent). Most surprisingly of all, the group were signed to Chess Records. My assumption is that there was enough of a buzz around the band (they played at Chicago's 1967 Be-In/ Love In) that Chess felt they would be a good band to cross over into the rock n roll market. This record (a fabulous cover of Nick Gravenites blues classic as first heard on The Butterfield Blues Band's 1965 debut) was simply far too raw and unhinged to make any kind of commercial dent, but they sure make for an exciting relic 45 years later.

Sadly, I have just read that Wurds drummer Bob Carter died last week from lung cancer.

from 1967...

THE WURDS - BORN IN CHICAGO





Thursday, May 3, 2012

THE VOWS - TELL ME

Here is one of the most obscure Motown singles of them all; The Vows were a west coast group who recorded for many different labels, and also appeared as The Vowels. Lead singer Morris Chestnut, who lays out a seriously intense lead vocal on this track, met up with a Los Angeles based doo-wop group called the Vows after his service discharge in 1961. The group was noticed by the L.A offices of Motown publisher Jobete, and after a west coast single sunk without a trace, Motown still saw potential in the group and released this single on their V.I.P subsidiary. Sadly, it too saw no success but as evidenced by what was in the grooves, this group certainly had talent.

from 1965...

THE VOWS - TELL ME


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

THE UNDERTAKERS - JUST A LITTLE BIT b/w STUPIDITY

Liverpool's Undertakers were an odd gang; they were known to travel to and from gigs in a hearse! Must have made quite a stir (the similarly macabre Neil Young was also traveling around Canada and the USA in a hearse during '64-'66). This cracking group featured Jackie Lomax on lead vocals, and on this excellent double sider they take on Rosco Gordon's "Just A Little Bit" as well as Solomon Burke's "Stupidity". While Jackie Lomax' voice hadn't quite matured to the point that it did for 1968's incredible "Is This What You Want" LP, he does have a very manic energy and charm in his delivery here.

from 1964...


THE UNDERTAKERS - JUST A LITTLE BIT

b/w STUPIDITY


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SAM & DAVE - I FOUND OUT





While the history of Sam & Dave as Stax recording artists and THE GREATEST male soul duo in history (not opinion but fact), it is certainly less known that the duo recorded for three years (for Roulette and two other labels) without ANY hits. Sam & Dave were signed to Stax in 1965 which began a run of hits that cemented the duo's status as the most dynamic duo of the 1960's. Need proof? Simply watch the Stax Live In Europe 1967 DVD; no other performances in history can match the electrifying stage presence, tension, competition and talent of these two.

As for their early recordings, in my opinion this is the best of the bunch. Kinda hip, kinda square Steve Alaimo wrote and co-produced a number which combines secular lyrics with a feel and drive that's straight out of a southern church, and the end result is a real kick in the pants that, for the first time, TRULY shows the potential that these fellas were gonna reach during their Stax years.

from 1964...

SAM & DAVE - I FOUND OUT