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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, February 28, 2013

TONY GALLA - IN LOVE

This is one of those records where, from the first time I ever heard it, the intro stopped me cold in my tracks; there's only 2 seconds before the vocal kicks in, but the mood created by two GREAT sounding guitar chords sets the mood immediately. When Tony Galla's vocal enters along with the rest of the sparse-but-slamming rhythm section, it's all over. This is one of those records that made me say "wait...that's a white dude???" as I learned more about it. Tony's voice is incredibly rich, soulful and sets a MOOD on this record. The instrumentation of drums-guitar-piano-organ-bass shows that one does not need horns and strings for a soul classic as well.

Turns out that this was the Buffalo, NY Galla's first release, and he has had a career in music ever since. In addition to more recordings with a group called Raven (who were approached to be signed by Apple Records at the insistence of George Harrison) and solo releases, his voice has been heard on several TV shows, movies and commercials. Legend!

from 1966...

TONY GALLA - IN LOVE


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BILL WATTS - PROBLEMS

Chicago r&b/ bluesman Bill Watts is a complete mystery to me. He released at least 3 45's, and he handled the lion's share of writing/ production/ performing. Beyond that....

What separates this song from the average blues number to my ears in the RHYTHM; this song could have easily fallen into a lazy shuffle and sounded OK, but the use of congas just DRIVES this track.

As always, if you know anymore please write.

from c1965...

BILL WATTS - PROBLEMS


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

KENNI WOODS - CAN'T HE TAKE A HINT

Teenage Engelwood, NJ resident Kendra Spotswood met up with her new next door neighbor, an aspiring songwriter named Van McCoy, around 1963. Kendra had never sang before, but Van asked her to record some vocals on some demos he was working on. For the next several years, Kendra and Van worked together on several excellent recordings, and Kendra was billed as Kenni Woods and also Sandi Sheldon. Kenni & Van, also a couple, recorded together as Jack & Jill, The Fabulous Vantastics, and The Vonettes. Kenni & Van's voices were eerily similar, and the harmonies heard on these records sound almost as if Kenni's voice is overdubbed into harmony with herself!

Kenni was also a touring member of the Shirelles around 1964, but her contract with Philips kept her from studio work with the group.

This record, her solo debut, captures the purity and innocence of the girl group era beautifully, and Kendra's pure vocals are simply divine. Elevator Productions/ Music was one of McCoy's company names, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn "Allen Davis" was a McCoy pseudonym (he is most definitely singing on the track).

from 1963...

KENNI WOODS - CAN'T HE TAKE A HINT

Monday, February 25, 2013

CHUCK CARTER - I CAN'T HELP MYSELF


(originally posted 6/1/10)

It looks as though this singer released only two singles for Brunswick Records; perhaps there are more, but I've only seen evidence of those two. Arranged by the great Bert De Coteaux (most famous for his use of strings on BB King's "The Thrill Is Gone"), I am assuming that this is a New York record. while the song itself is cool, it shows how an expert arrangement and excellent performance can take something that could easily be average and turn it into an awe inspiring monster of a record!

from 1966...

CHUCK CARTER - I CAN'T HELP MYSELF

Saturday, February 23, 2013

LES SINNERS - LES DISC-JOCKEYS

You ready to get down FRENCH CANADIAN style?

Les Sinners were part of the huge beat music scene in 1960's Quebec, most of the bands being completely unknown outside of the region.

This track cuts a great groove with some strong r&b influences and a slick, sophisticated sound that still pounds!

from 1967...

LES SINNERS - LES DISC-JOCKEYS

Friday, February 22, 2013

PAT STALLINGS - EVERYBODY KNOWS

Absolutely NOTHING is known about Pat Stallings, and apparently this is her only release. A real pity, as she WAILS on this red hot track from '72.

My favorite moment happens at 1:23; Pat if you're out there, drop us a line!

Arranger Wade Marcus worked with several jazz and soul artists throughout the '70's, including Stevie Wonder, The Emotions, The Blackbyrds, and The Dramatics.

from 1972...

PAT STALLINGS - EVERYBODY KNOWS



Thursday, February 21, 2013

THE FABULOUS PEPS - MY LOVE LOOKS GOOD ON YOU

You know a record's great when four people claimed ownership!


This one doesn't disappoint; an excellent performance and fantastic, classy group vocals driven along by that piston-like Detroit beat.

This Detroit group was known for an incredibly dynamic, energetic live show. Easy to believe, when listening to this record; I could just picture the choreography for this number and wish I could go back in time to witness a performance. Another classic from the motor city!

from 1966...

THE FABULOUS PEPS - MY LOVE LOOKS GOOD ON YOU

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE SOFT MACHINE - WHY ARE WE SLEEPING? (In tribute to Kevin Ayers 1944-2013)

For less than two years during '67-'68, London's Soft Machine (as headed by bassist/ vocalist/ songwriter) Kevin Ayers were occupying the same type of (inner) space as the Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd. In fact, the two groups played together often at the legendary UFO Club. Much like Floyd after Syd Barrett, The Soft Machine carried on but in a wholly different style (jazz fusion) after the departure of Kevin Ayers at the end of an extensive tour supporting the Jimi Hendrix Experience (what a lineup!). The group was also managed by the Hendrix team of Mike Jeffreys and Chas Chandler, who also acted as their producer.

Fortunately, the group left behind an incredible debut single ("Love Makes Sweet Music" that I still do not own) and their masterpiece debut LP. On the LP, the songs meld together as one long psychedelic suite, yet their US label ABC Probe was able to extract "Why Are We Sleeping" as a single, backed with Ayers "Joy Of A Toy" for the b-side. Joy Of A Toy became the title of Ayers solo debut.

Kevin Ayers spent the '70's and '80's released several gorgeous, folk based recordings of great emotional depth. He spent most of the '90's and '00's as a recluse in the south of France, but released what is now his final album in 2007.

"Why Are We Sleeping" is my favorite 3 and a half minutes from the Soft Machine LP, as Ayers distorted bass (and baritone vocals) fights playfully for space with Mike Ratledge's organ swells, all the while drummer Robert Wyatt swings like a mofo (there's no guitar on this track), capped off by those haunting female harmonies. Forty five years later and the song is STILL relevant, perhaps even more so- so much happens all around us but so many folks walk through life filled with apathy.

from 1968...

THE SOFT MACHINE - WHY ARE WE SLEEPING?



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THE EIGHT MINUTES - TAKE MY LOVE DON'T SET ME FREE

Made up of the teenage/ preteen siblings of the Goggins (Ricky, Hank & Ronald) and Sudduth (Hedda, David, Wendell) families plus friends Juwanna Glover and Carl Monroe, Chicago's Eight Minutes waxed some truly fabulous "kiddie soul" track after being discovered by their neighbor Doris Jones.









I love the unstoppable groove of this record, amazing organ, and the lovely, soaring vocals.

The group played all of the instruments on the records they cut for Jay Pee Records between 68-69 (I have another that I'm bound to feature at some point). This type of thing seems unfathomable today, especially when one takes into account that a few of their records did well in Chicago.

The group was eventually signed to Perception Records, who released an LP and a few more singles from the group; however, they were replaced with studio musicians for those recordings. A pity, as a major part of the charm of their records is the heartfelt performance.

from 1972...

THE EIGHT MINUTES - TAKE MY LOVE DON'T SET ME FREE

Monday, February 18, 2013

THE TSU TORONADOES - WHAT GOOD AM I?


The TSU Toronadoes have the distinction of being the uncredited as the backing of "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell & The Drells. Their name came from Texas State University, and that veritable road kind sport sedan, the Oldsobile Toronado.

This track has a similar (though perhaps more refined) feel as "Tighten Up"; in fact, it's a style of laid back but TIGHT groove that the group had down to a science!

from 1968...

THE TSU TORONADOES - WHAT GOOD AM I?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

THE AVONS - JUST AS LONG AS I LIVE b/w BE GOOD TO YOUR BABY

The Avons were a girl group from Nashville, TN who formed around 1962 while they were still in high school. This incredible double sider, while recorded in Nashville, sounds like it could be a Los Angeles production with its massive, uptown sound.

Both sides are simply stellar, full of lush harmonies and so much heart.

from 1966...

THE AVONS - JUST AS LONG AS I LIVE

b/w BE GOOD TO YOUR BABY


Saturday, February 16, 2013

THE POINTER SISTERS - HOW LONG (BETCHA GOT A CHICK ON THE SIDE)

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. Sisters Bonnie, June, Ruth & Anita hail from Oakland, CA and their heavenly harmonies are spread across so many great records thru the years that it's downright ridiculous. I even dig the hell out of their '80's hit "Neutron Dance"!

Speaking of ridiculous, the GROOVE on this cut is so ridiculously good that I can't get enough of it, and I could easily sit and listen to this jam several times in a row. Whoever the bassist and drummer are, they're HEROES. Add the incredible vocals from the sisters and the whispered hook, and it's a STONE groove.

from 1975...

THE POINTER SISTERS - HOW LONG (BETCHA GOT A CHICK ON THE SIDE)


Friday, February 15, 2013

THE SATISFACTIONS - TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

The Satisfactions are a total mystery group, although (due to the names on the label), I am assuming this is a New York City recording.

Whoever they were, they whip up a real fury on this adrenaline charged Northern Soul-favored stomper.

As for the names on the label, they are quite an interesting trio- Valerie Capers (jazz musician/ arranger/ and the first blind graduate of Julliard, also cut the amazing r&b single "Wildcattin'" that I featured a few months back), Sammy Lowe (arranger for Sam Cooke and James Brown among many others), and Alfred V. Brown (violinist/ viola player who has also had a long career as a string arranger).

from 1967...

THE SATISFACTIONS - TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT


Thursday, February 14, 2013

JOHNNY TALBOT - WHATCHA WANNA DO


(originally posted 2/9/11)

This hot shot record has quickly become one of my favorite bay area releases; Johnny Talbot (real name Tolbert) was born in Texas but moved to Oakland at a young age. He has had a long career and is known mostly for his blues/ funk sides (as well as being a staple of the local live scene). Here. on this early release, we find him churning out a fantastic uptempo r&b scorcher that starts in fifth gear and doesn't let up for two and a half minutes.

I am only guessing the year; if you know better, please contact me!

from c1965...

JOHNNY TALBOT - WHATCHA WANNA DO

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

GLORIA SCOTT & THE TONETTES- I TAUGHT HIM

The Stewart seen as the writer in none other than Sylvester Stewart (aka Sly Stone), and notice the producer's credit at the bottom of the label.

It was through his production work done in his early '20's that Sly realized the concept of mixing soul with heavy rock that became The Family Stone.

Sly discovered Gloria (a Texan transplanted to the San Francisco bay area), through Gloria's aunt who was also working with Sly at the time.  Recognizing her POWERHOUSE voice, Sly gave her this sassy, exciting and flat our rocking gospel-inflected r&b track for her debut release. While most of Sly's productions were released on the small (albeit successful) San Francisco label Autumn Records, this one got licensed to Warner Brothers who saw its hit potential that, sadly, never came. Shortly afterwords, Gloria spent a year as a backing singer in the Ike & Tina Revue.

Gloria went on to work with another giant, Barry White, was involved in her 1973 LP What Am I Gonna Do; one of the most collectable soul LP's of the '70's.

from 1964...

GLORIA SCOTT & THE TONETTES- I TAUGHT HIM


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

MAURICE & MAC - AIN'T NO HARM TO MOAN


Following in the footsteps of the great soul duos (itself a precedent set in motion by Sam & Dave), Maurice & Mac were made up of Maurice McAlister (former lead singer of Chicago greats the Radiants) and McLauren Green (another Radiant who was drafted, then returned after their biggest hit, "Voice Your Choice").

Sadly, the duo never had any hits, although every one of their releases is top notch. This seems to be their final single.

from 1972...

MAURICE & MAC - AIN'T NO HARM TO MOAN

 

Monday, February 11, 2013

JIMMY SMITH - FUNKY BROADWAY

"Funky Broadway" is one of those jams that is pretty much guaranteed to be excellent no matter who's whipping it out, and on this cut Jimmy Smith takes it to a whole other level. The drumming (probably Bernard Purdie) practically invents the sound of (German pioneers) CAN as well, and is nicely capped off with an amazing guitar solo by Eric Gale. All the while Smith blocks out some chords on his Hammond organ that basically make the smoke pour out of the speakers.

Smith was truly the king of the jazz organ; a pianist since he was a child, in his early 20's (c1953) Jimmy purchased a Hammond B3 organ, rented a warehouse space to practice and emerged a full year later with his whole new thing perfected.

from 1967...

JIMMY SMITH - FUNKY BROADWAY

Sunday, February 10, 2013

THE SUPERLATIVES - I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU (DON'T WALK AWAY)


(originally posted 7/26/09)

One of the first releases from Detroit's legendary Westbound label, this record showcases yet another superb (downright Superlative, yes?) Detroit based vocal group with another excellent song.

from 1969...

THE SUPERLATIVES - I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU (DON'T WALK AWAY)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Live soul tonight in Berkeley

I'll be playing guitar with my band THE BANG tonight (and also spinning some 45's before and between bands) so c'mon out to the East Bay Soul Stomp! Plus, buying music ffrom The Bang helps support the Daily 45, so if you haven't already, pick up our LP/ CD/ download HERE.



THE VALENTINOS - I CAN UNDERSTAND IT

Hailing from Cleveland, OH, The Valentinos were made up of the Womack brothers (Bobby, Curtis, Harry, Friendly Jr, and Cecil). Curtis and Bobby were discovered as young teenagers in 1956 by Sam Cooke while the brothers were singing gospel music. Four years later, Cooke had the group travel to California where he signed them to his SAR record label. The group initially wanted to record only gospel material, but their gospel debut flopped. Thanks to an arrangement with Cooke, the group agreed to branch out into the world of secular music, although their powerhouse singing never lost its roots in the church.

During the sixties, the group released a string of excellent singles, but never achieved the massive success they deserved as a group; however, the Womack brothers' composition "It's All Over Now" became a massive hit for the Rolling Stones.

The group grieved the turmoil of Cooke's death, the drama of Bobby Womack's marriage to Cooke's widow, and, shortly after the release of this record, Harry Womack's murder.

"I Can Understand It" had been cut a few years earlier in an incredible solo take by Bobby Womack, yet this group version (minus Bobby, who was not working with the group due to his solo success) somehow surpasses it (or at the very least equals it). An incredibly intense, powerful record capped off with those incredible vocals from the Womack brothers.

from 1973...

THE VALENTINOS - I CAN UNDERSTAND IT

Friday, February 8, 2013

KING COLEMAN - GET ON BOARD

Starting his musical career as a radio DJ in the '50's, Florida's Carlton "King" Coleman made his recording debut as the wildman shouting what can loosely be referred to as "vocals" on the pseudonymous (as Nat Kendricks & The Swans) James Brown release "Do The Mashed Potatoes" from 1959.

Here we find King (seven years later) adapting the old traditional spiritual "Get On Board Little Children" into something else entirely; a whole 'nother thang!

Now, who WOULDN'T wanna get on the train with King Coleman headin' to New Orleans? I sure as hell do!

from 1966...

KING COLEMAN - GET ON BOARD
 



Thursday, February 7, 2013

WILLIE SMALL - HOW HIGH CAN YOU FLY

When you've got a groove this strong and believe in the words as much as Willie Small does on this record, a chorus doesn't really need more than the five words that this jam contains.

It also seems to be the only release from Willie Small.

from 1965...

WILLIE SMALL - HOW HIGH CAN YOU FLY


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ROSE BATTISTE - HIT & RUN b/w I MISS MY BABY


(originally posted 9/17/10)

Another perfect double sider!

Detroit's Rose Battiste was a victim of poor promotion, as the quality of records like this show her to be a VERY capable vocalist (at all of 19 years old when this record was cut) with excellent material and production.

"Hit & Run" is yet another perfect, uptempo Detroit four-on-the-floor stomper, while "I Miss My Baby" features a genius arrangement pitting a dreamy, moody sound against some of the most forceful, aggressive drumming in all of sixties soul.

One word- PERFECT!

from 1966...

HIT & RUN


I MISS MY BABY

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tribute to Reg Presley: THE TROGGS - ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME

Sadly, the only thing that could end Reg Presley's role as lead singer of The Troggs (a position that he held proudly since 1964) was lung cancer; Reg was diagnosed in January 2012.

I can only imagine what it would be like to create the type of cultural milestone that is "Wild Thing"; a song that took on many lives beyond its first one- a massive hit and a massive influence on garage rock and punk. As for their influential proto-punk sides, "I Want You" was even greater, as it oozed attitude, raw power and SEX. The Troggs (hailing from rural Andover in South England) didn't wanna hold your hand, they wanted YOU.

The Troggs did progress beyond their caveman like beginnings, culminating in their last massive hit, the amazing "Love Is All Around"- a song that conveys tenderness in a way that is so simple, so real that it will certainly live on (albeit in a quieter way) just as long as "Wild Thing" (my wife and I performed an acoustic version of it at our wedding that you can check out here.)

I first heard "Anyway That You Want Me" when Spiritualized covered it in 1990, and a few years later heard both the Troggs version, as well as Evie Sands equally amazing take of this Chip Taylor number (Chip also wrote "Wild Thing").

It's an incredible song, and Reg's vocal delivery is so genuine, so authentic, that it easily ranks among his best performances (as well as a highlight of the entire British invasion era).

from 1966...

THE TROGGS - ANYWAY THAT YOU WANT ME

Monday, February 4, 2013

BRENDA JO HARRIS - STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE

This track has the right vibe to ease into a Monday; dig that intro with the killer fuzz guitar against a swirling string section. By the time Brenda sings the word "knock" and the drummer stops time and plays a door knock pattern, I'm completely sold (or soul-ed, depending on your spelling preferences).

The song is incredibly catchy, and started climbing the r&b charts in mid-'68, but for whatever reason it never achieved the hit status it deserved.

Brenda Jo Harris released a small amount of 45's, and also sang in Sam Moore's Revue which he put together shortly after the breakup of Sam & Dave.

from 1968...

BRENDA JO HARRIS - STANDING ON THE OUTSIDE

Sunday, February 3, 2013

CAROL ANDERSON - TOMORROW IS NOT A PROMISE

 Carol Anderson was definitely a Detroit based singer who recorded quite a few records before her sad, untimely death in 1984. Although there was a CD compilation released which (I think) features all of her known recordings, not much is known about her at all.

Motown producer Norman Whitfield's influence was felt deeply throughout Detroit soul, and the moody, psychedelic edge that he gave to his productions is felt on this record. Carol Anderson shows incredible control and power with her voice and turns in an incredibly soulful and beautiful performance.

from 1973...

CAROL ANDERSON - TOMORROW IS NOT A PROMISE

Friday, February 1, 2013

THE LIVERPOOL SET - SEVENTEEN TEARS TO THE END


(originally posted 11/17/09)

Sure, they wore matching suits and had great mod haircuts and, as this single (their third and last) shows they could rave with the best of them, the Liverpool Set were in fact...Canadian! To top it all off, the record was cut in Nashville.

In fairness, their drummer was a British emigre, and other members hailed from Latvia and Scotland. This 6 piece band also had THREE guitarists up front, years before southern rock.

The tightest connection to Liverpool, however, was that 14 years after this record was cut Liverpool Set bassist, Jack Douglas, produced Liverpudlian John Lennon's final LP, "Double Fantasy".

from 1966...

THE LIVERPOOL SET - SEVENTEEN TEARS TO THE END