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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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MUDDY WATERS - TIGER IN YOUR TANK

While songwriter extraordinaire  Willie Dixon took Esso Gasoline's incredibly popular ad campaign "Put A Tiger In Your Tank" theme straight from print, he turns the slogan into an innuendo vehicle driven HARD by the great Muddy Waters. Muddy's music during this time period (which climaxed with the incendiary Live At Newport LP of the same year) is the hardest driving, most intense rhythm and blues ever cut to wax (and in my opinion, it doesn't get any better).

Muddy's band had this ability to start a track in fourth gear and work like hell to find a way to shift into fifth, years before the invention of the five speed transmission; these guys burned like nobody's business! As far as I know, this sessions finds Muddy backed by the same band as heard on the Newport LP (Otis Spann, piano; James Cotton, harmonica; Andrew Stevens, bass; Francis Clay, drums; Pat Hare, guitar). In  creepy, violent and horribly disturbing instance of life imitating art, Pat Hare, who recorded a vicious blues entitled 'I'm Gonna Murder My Baby", did just that in 1963 (and also slaying a policeman) ending his tenure with Muddy's band and putting him in prison for life where he died in 1980.

from 1960...

MUDDY WATERS - TIGER IN YOUR TANK


Monday, April 29, 2013

ODYSSEY 5 - GOT TO BE AN ANSWER

Phew, what a great intro! A phenomenal rhythm section driven by some funky organ stabs? Saucy female vocals? SIGN ME UP!

Odyssey 5 were a five-piece female vocal group from North Carolina, featuring lead singer Carlotta Samuels, backed by Catherine Rice, Glenda Wharton, Jackie Sinclair, Linda McCrae & Sylvania Wilson. The group released one LP and this 45 and then all members seem to have left the music biz. A pity, as there is some real talent here.

from 1975...

ODYSSEY 5 - GOT TO BE AN ANSWER

Sunday, April 28, 2013

GENE CHANDLER - WITHOUT YOU HERE

What more can be said about the great Gene Chandler? One of Chicago's legendary soul men has had more records posted on this blog than probably any other. It's more than fair to say I'm a massive fan of the man's performing, writing, production and talent scouting.

When this record was released in 1973, times were tough for Gene; it had been three years since his last hit ("Groovy Situation"), and it would be another three years before his next release. Unfortunately, as times were tough Gene resorted to dealing drugs and did some time in 1976. Thankfully, the man staged a comeback that included some minor hits (including a third remake of "Rainbow") and continues in FINE voice and showmanship on the oldies circuit. He can still create a state of pandemonium when he closes his show as The Duke Of Earl.

"Without You Here" is a song of great depth and features some of Gene's most restrained and smooth vocalization.

from 1973...

GENE CHANDLER - WITHOUT YOU HERE

Saturday, April 27, 2013

LYME & CYBELLE - FOLLOW ME b/w LIKE THE SEASONS

Pop music was changing so rapidly (and so dramatically) during 1965-67 that certain song traits tend to fit a particular era; on first listen, "Follow Me" shouts out 1967, as the dominant drone of the guitar riff and the vocal melody points to the era after the Beatles unleashed Revolver upon the world in the summer of '66. Basically, the type of elements that most agree are "psychedelic". Nope, this single was released in April, 1966.

Los Angeles based duo lyme & cybelle didn't contain a Lyme or a Cybelle among them, as the female voice belongs to Violet Santangelo (who later went on to Broadway success as "Laura Kenyon"), and the male voice is none other than Warren Zevon (making his recorded debut here)! The duo also wrote both sides of the single, and undoubtedly reaped some hefty songwriting royalties when the gorgeous "Like The Seasons" was issued as a b-side to The Turtles massive smash #1 hit "Happy Together".

"Follow Me" conjures up the mental images of Los Angeles in the spring of '66 where the possibilities of creativity were endless, days were spent in the sunshine, nights dancing and swaying to tracks with this particular brand of L.A groove at Bido Lido's or The Trip, and intellectual 3AM conversations at Ben Frank's were all part of the scene that was set.

"Like The Seasons" is delicate and gorgeous, and shows off Zevon's songwriting talents and is a fascinating peak into a future superstar, and the harmonies are spellbinding.

What a great record.

from 1966....

LYME & CYBELLE - FOLLOW ME

b/w LIKE THE SEASONS

Friday, April 26, 2013

ALDER RAY - MY HEART IS IN DANGER


(originally posted 8/21/09)

Another mystery record! And SUCH A GREAT ONE! As you can probably tell, I'm an absolute sucker for these uptempo records with powerful female vocals, and I scoop up every one in sight (within reason). This one has especially slayed me. Being as it is written and co-produced by Chicago based Fred Hughes, I'll go out on a limb and say it's a Chicago record but who knows. If YOU know more, please don't hesitate to write!

from 1966...

ALDER RAY - MY HEART IS IN DANGER

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ROBERT PARKER - I CAUGHT YOU IN A LIE

I love this subtle track from the great New Orleans vocalist who cut one of the most recognizable NOLA tracks of all time ("Barefootin'") the previous year.

The mellow groove and unusually sparse Wardell Quezergue arrangement has that just-behind-the-beat, woozy 3:00 AM sound that's the musical equivalent to a balmy gulf breeze.

from 1967...

ROBERT PARKER - I CAUGHT YOU IN A LIE

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DON COVAY - TAKE THIS HURT OFF ME

Don Covay wrote one of the most loved and famous songs in soul history ("Chain Of Fools") and co-wrote ANOTHER massive pair of tracks ("Mercy Mercy" and "Sookie Sookie"), featured a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar for Covay's recording of "Mercy", and also cut soul favorites such as "See-Saw" and today's excellent entry. Phew- what a resume!!!

Covay is a South Carolina native (who eventually called Washington DC his home as an adult) and his church upbringing (his father was a preacher) is obvious in his powerhouse vocal delivery. Beyond that, I'm struck by the poetic simplicity and directness of Covay's lyrics which make his writing and recordings so appealing; this is a trait heard in full effect on this recording. Whoever is behind the drum kit (most likely Bernard Purdie) provides one of the strongest backbeats and works his kick drum pedal so hard it's a small wonder that he made it through the take without busting through his drum head!

from 1964...

DON COVAY - TAKE THIS HURT OFF ME

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

THE PACESETTERS - THE MONKEY WHIP

This record grooves along, well, very groovily, until a nice little surprise pops in at the :40 mark and just blasts this cut into a whole other dimension. This record is the only Detroit 'side that I've ever heard that has this strong of a Latin rhythmic influence, and was released hot on the heels of Major Lance's "The Monkey Time" to capture a piece of the major dance craze that was The Monkey. while there have been other groups that have used the name The Pacesetters (most notably a Chicago soul group), I believe that this is the only one from this particular one (a pity!)

from 1963...

THE PACESETTERS - THE MONKEY WHIP


Monday, April 22, 2013

SOUL ANGELS - IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND

Soul Angels were the amazing Bobbettes who regrouped after their last release in '66 and recorded this one single under the name before changing their name back to The Bobbettes.

While they are most famous for their '58 hit "Mr Lee", the ladies here updated their sound for funky 1969 just as they had taken on a harder edged soul sound for a pair of incredible singles during '65-'66.

from 1969...

SOUL ANGELS - IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND

Sunday, April 21, 2013

SAMANTHA JONES - DON'T COME ANY CLOSER

Samantha Jones (real name Jean Owen) is a Liverpool, UK native who, as part of The Vernon Girls, cut one of the earliest (and best) Beatles tribute records, "We Love You Beatles" in early '64.

Producer Charles Blackwell recognized Jones/Jean's talent early on, and began producing her as a solo artist later that same year. 

Even though her records were released worldwide, well written and beautifully produced,they never achieved the hit status they deserved. "Don't Come Any Closer" brilliantly presents the theme of the lyrics in a dramatic arrangement that is probably Jones' ultimate statement.

from 1965...

SAMANTHA JONES - DON'T COME ANY CLOSER

Friday, April 19, 2013

ST. GEORGE & TANA - BIG DADDY'S BLUES

Today's entry is a really nice adaptation of "Daddy Rolling Stone" performed in a way that suggests an appealing soul-folk-rock hybrid that (unfortunately) this duo didn't explore further.

"St George" is journeyman guitarist John Campo(longo) and little is known about the lovely and sweet voiced Tana. Allegedly this record was cut in Nashville, but I don't recall hearing of any other Huey Meaux sessions recorded outside of Texas/ Louisiana.

from 1967...

ST. GEORGE & TANA - BIG DADDY'S BLUES

Thursday, April 18, 2013

JIMMIE REED JR. - I AIN'T GOING NOWHERE

Jimmie Reed Jr. truly WAS the son of blues legend Jimmy Reed, and somewhat surprisingly, this seems to be his only release.

Instead of his fathers raw, primal, primitive sound, Junior shows off a very sophisticated characteristics of his father his styling was far more slick and refined.

A pity that there isn't more!

from 1967...

JIMMIE REED JR. - I AIN'T GOING NOWHERE



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MIKE & BILL - SOMEBODY'S GOTTA GO (SHO AIN'T ME)

While the 70's soul scene didn't match the massive output of greatness as seen in the 60's (my opinion), there's a whole lot of great records from the decade, and yes, many of them could fall into the "disco" label.

I grew up in a "disco sucks" environment, but I never agreed. Of course like anything else, there's plenty of awful disco, but records like this (that were club favorites before disco went mainstream) are intense soul workouts that sound really great to my ears.

Mike & Bill were Michael Felder & William Daniels, and these fellas wrote, arranged, and produced this powerhouse track. The duo released a few more singles and an LP, but this debut had it ALL.

from 1975...

MIKE & BILL - SOMEBODY'S GOTTA GO (SHO AIN'T ME)




Tuesday, April 16, 2013

THE REASONS - WINDOW SHOPPING

This is an early composition from the powerhouse triumvirate of songwriters Ashford - Simpson - Armstead, and it's a beautiful side of girl group perfection. I know that The Reasons released at least 2 other 45's, were from New York/ New Jersey, and that the lead singer's name is Cammy, backed by Nancy and Vicki but that's about all! "Window Shopping" is guaranteed to melt your heart.

from 1965...

THE REASONS - WINDOW SHOPPING

Monday, April 15, 2013

THE CRYAN' SHAMES - THE SAILING SHIP

(originally posted 4/08)

The Cryan' Shames (not to be confused with the English Cryin' Shames) hailed from the affluent Chicago suburb of Hinsdale. The group was heavily influenced by the British Invasion, and their biggest national hit was a cover of the Searchers "Sugar And Spice"; a record which landed them a contract with Columbia Records.

The groups' second LP, A Scratch In The Sky, found them taking a more ethereal direction undoubtedly influenced by the work of The Beatles Revolver, Brian Wilson c1966 and The Byrds. A strong Revolver influence is felt on this track, which is easily one of my favorite American records of the era. In fact, it was one of the very first 45's of the day, at the dawn of this blog five years ago.

"The Sailing Ship", with its melodic lift underlined by melancholy darkness is a masterpiece in every way- a brilliant song, fantastic vocals, and those DRUMS.

This song was brilliantly adapted by The Brian Jonestown Massacre as "Sailor" in 2001. I could listen to either version a dozen times in a row and still wanna hear it again.

from 1967...

THE CRYAN' SHAMES - THE SAILING SHIP

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BABY WASHINGTON - IT'LL NEVER BE OVER FOR ME

Baby Washington's early '60's records are some of my favorite Sunday soul sounds- perfect for slow movement, long contemplative spells of drinking coffee and generally keeping it soulful but mellow.

"It'll Never Be Over For Me" is one of  Baby's most heartfelt performances, and the song is a classic that has been recorded by dozens or artists, yet is far less known (at least outside of aficionados) than it should be. Juggy Murray's sparse production highlights the lonesome harmonica and is typically brilliant, proving that horns and strings aren't necessary for a soul record.

Possessing an incredible, earth voice, Justine's "Baby" Washington's professional music career began in 1956 when she was all of 16 years old as a member of New York City group The Hearts. By 1959, she was recording as a solo artist.

Justine continues to sing to this day, performing occasionally on the east coast. Sadly, she was working on tracks with producer Juggy Murray (of Sue Records fame) who was quoted as saying he would "rather record Baby Washington than eat" when Juggy died in 2005.

from 1964...

BABY WASHINGTON - IT'LL NEVER BE OVER FOR ME

Friday, April 12, 2013

THERESA LINDSAY - I'LL BET YOU

(originally posted 12/08)

Theresa Lindsey's superb 'I'll Bet You" was one of George Clinton's incredible mid-60's songs that he co-wrote/ produced in the Detroit soul scene. Theresa, who turned down a contract with Motown to work with Golden World, already had scored a small hit in 1963 with "Gotta Find A Way", and also sang backups on Wilson Pickett's "If You Need Me". She turns in a superb performance here, and to my ears it's the beginning of the freakier, psychedelicized vision of Mr. Clinton. The song is full of amazing creative wordplay, and some stellar guitar work from Dennis Coffey. This track was so good it saw versions from Billy Butler, Jean Carter, The Jackson Five, and Funkadelic (on their first album).

Sadly, Theresa Lindsey released only four 45's. This was the final one.

from 1966...

THERESA LINDSAY - I'LL BET YOU


Thursday, April 11, 2013

PARK AVENUE PLAYGROUND - THE TRIP b/w I KNOW

It was the spring of 1996 (April as a matter of fact); my band at the time had just released our first album  on Bomp! Records. The label sent us a great care package of releases, among which was the amazing compilation Beyond The Calico Wall. As I popped the disc in and hit PLAY, I was overwhelmed by some freaked out MAYHEM that lead into a song that immediately clawed its hooks into my brain. As I was grooving out to "The Trip", the singers voice sounded like an old friend; a voice I had heard countless times throughout my childhood. Turns out, the writer's credit was right there in the booklet, one G. Eder; an old friend indeed. It took a brief second but I realized it was a fella that I knew as George Michael (he took the name years before Wham!); not only did I know him, but my mom played in a BAND with him in the early-mid '80s and we all moved to California together at the end of '81!

I called George and, sure enough, we had a great conversation about this amazing record that he made when he was all of 17 years old, and I think it's safe to say that both of our minds were blown completely by this scene.

I immediately began a quest to find this record, and all roads led to a dead end. When I joined ebay a few years later, I started looking for a copy regularly and NOTHING would ever turn up! The first one I remember seeing was around eight years ago, and my heart just about stopped when I saw how the bidding progressed. If you've been reading this site, you know I don't give up, but the subsequent times that copies have turned up I kept getting outbid by mere pennies- I was READY to get this record, as I felt (rather arrogantly) that I was destined to own it! Here it is, 17 years later and I have a copy of my very own that I am very pleased to share today. George didn't write the flip side, but it's cool in it's own right- Beatle-esque and kinda freaky as well.

There's a great interview with George here, but there were some other questions I wanted to ask. George was kind enough to revisit this piece of his youth one more time...

Derek: You've known me since I was six! How do you think you would have reacted if, a voice from the future told you in 1981 that I would have been seeking out a record you made when you were a teenager?
George: Well, if I knew it was a voice from the future, I'd HAVE to believe it! I'd be a tad skeptical 'cause I did not think that the record had the stamina to last past the decade, especially the "B" side!


D: When I first heard this on the "beyond the calico wall" I got in touch with you. Were you aware of the cult status of the record before that?
G: My only clue might have been when some guy from New York had called me in '90 when I lived in Florida asking if he could use the 45 for some radio show he was doing locally in NYC. I told him he had the ok for the B side only. So when you told me I was on an album, I thought it may have been select recordings of whatever that show had broadcast.

D: Did you ever get to speak with Greg Shaw from Bomp Records?
G: I don't remember who it was I spoke to on that day I called the record company but they were fun and appreciative. They were stoked that the guy who wrote the opening song on their new release was aware of the recording. I told them that it was because of you Derek. They sent me a CD, cassette tape and vinyl album of BTCW.
  
D: I can't remember- did you play lead guitar or bass on this record?
G: I was on bass for this record. Our original bass player left town without telling anyone and we had gigs so we procured a Danelectro bass and a Fender Bassman amp quickly and played with that lineup for the next few years

D: Many teen bands of the time were writing about psychedelic experiences from an imagination standpoint. Had you (or the other members) had psychedelics at the time this was written?
G: We, as a band, had tripped a few times before we made this record so, the influence was apparent in our new songs. (I'll say! -ed)

D: Did the release of the 45 increase your status in the neighborhood?
G: For about 6 or 7 months, yeah. We did the local radio tour. We were in rotation on the wee hour playlists. We shared stages with quite a few local stars. It was a good time

D: What did the release of this record teach you and your young colleagues?
G:  Radio was the kingmaker. USA was a good label. The band imploded when band members parents would not sign off on their offspring touring. We never really regrouped. Personally, I learned which fans were also friends. I quit live music for a year after the breakup. I got serious with my guitar playing and emerged and a self-empowered, fully functioning axe slinger ready for anything. I left the region and never looked back. All the more surprising when you contacted me about "The Trip". That other me was so far removed from the me I had become, I was almost disdainful of the merit the recording had garnered. It seemed so dated as to be almost too amateurish to be good but, I'll admit, deep inside I was pleased knowing that people were enjoying the song even as inadequate as I deemed it to be.

D: What have you been up to musically since '67?
G: Well. as the saying goes, "I followed the music and the money around". I've performed in 15-16 bands all across the country in almost every genre but opera. I've contributed to hundreds of recordings and am still at it doing around 100 gigs a year with multiple bands here in the Pac NW. I can go on a cold gig with musicians I've never played with and improvise a 3-4 hour show. I consider myself a journeyman musician.

from 1967...

PARK AVENUE PLAYGROUND - THE TRIP

b/w I KNOW

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THE LOVELITES - STOP IT

Patty Hamilton packs a whole lot of words into two minutes here, and The Lovelites throw down a whole lot of goodness in general for this quickie blast of late '60's Chicago girl group soul.

This was the debut release from this Chicago trio, and is the only one featuring the original lineup of Patricia Hamilton, Rozena Petty and Barbara Peterman. Patricia was the mainstay, and (as she did here) wrote or co-wrote many other great sides for this fabulous group.

from 1967...

THE LOVELITES - STOP IT


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ESTHER PHILLIPS - HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS

I *love* the work of Gil Scott-Heron; his incredible poetry and powerful delivery is some of the most powerful folk music ever cut to wax.

"Home Is Where The Hatred Is" has proven to be one of Gil's most enduring tracks, and this reading from one of the most unique voices in soul is the stuff of wonder. Esther squeezes melody out of the song and lends her haunting voice in a way that drives home the message in a way that is just as powerful as the original.

from 1972...

ESTHER PHILLIPS - HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS


Monday, April 8, 2013

ROOSEVELT CALDWELL - LET ME GIVE YOU ALL MY LOVE

This seems to be the only release from Roosevelt Caldwell (...and his Soul Swingers Band), but I know that the Celeste label was in Los Angeles, so it's a safe bet that this is a west coast record.

This record is a superb r&b jam that SWINGS.

Roosevelt's name also turns up on an album by L.A blues guitarist Kirk Fletcher that was released in 1999.

If anyone knows more of the story, please write!

from c1962...

ROOSEVELT CALDWELL - LET ME GIVE YOU ALL MY LOVE


Sunday, April 7, 2013

HARRISON BROTHERS - STANDING ON THE CORNER b/w BABY I'M COMING HOME TO YOU

The Harrison Brothers were actually Jim and Bobby Harris; the duo recorded several records together from 1960-65, after which Bobby went solo and showed a very strong Sam Cooke influence (as is on display here).

Both sides are fantastic; "Baby I'm Coming Home To You" shows a strong church influence and some intense dual vocals, while the hit-worthy "Standing On The Corner" sounds like a lost Sam Cooke classic.

from 1963...

HARRISON BROTHERS - STANDING ON THE CORNER

b/w BABY I'M COMING HOME TO YOU

Saturday, April 6, 2013

THE VALENTINOS - SWEETER THAN THE DAY BEFORE


(originally published 7/3/09)

While they were a family band, their last name wasn't Valentino; these guys were actually the Womack brothers (including future solo star Bobby Womack along with brothers Cecil, Harry, Friendly and Curtis).

The group began recording in the late 50's in Cleveland and were discovered by Sam Cooke who took him under his wing and signed them to his SAR label. After Cooke died tragically, the group was signed to Chess records and this track was one of the first they cut for Chess. Cecil was briefly married to Mary Wells, and the two of them co-wrote this track.

While the phenomenon of "northern soul" is an enigma, if anyone were to ask me to name a song that epitomizes northern soul this would be the track I would demonstrate. Of course, being a 34 year old American who wasn't in the north of England in the early seventies it may be presumptuous for me to do so, but for all I have read about the whole scene this track just seems to have it all.

from 1965...

THE VALENTINOS - SWEETER THAN THE DAY BEFORE

Friday, April 5, 2013

THE RAVES - EVERYTHING'S FIRE

The Raves were from the New York City area (I think) and released three 45's for Smash between '67-'68, of which this is the final one. The records failed commercially and the group faded into obscurity.

This record is a fantastic example of how heavier sounds began to infiltrate mod/ beat records and the group concocts a real hot side indeed! The song gets weirder and trippier until (at 1:17) everything reigns in for a dynamic and TIGHT ending.

from 1968...

THE RAVES - EVERYTHING'S FIRE


Thursday, April 4, 2013

BETTY LAVETTE - STAND UP LIKE A MAN

Betty Lavette's career, which began when she was 16 years old with the great record "My Man- He's A Lovin' Man", has now spanned 51 years. Betty sounds just as fabulous today as she did in the '60's!

Betty was born in the small town of Muskegon, MI, and grew up in Detroit, which is where she was discovered by Motown raconteur Johnnie Mae Matthews. By '65, she had reloacated to New York City, which is where this record (and other classics such as 'Let Me Down Easy") were cut.

This is one of her lesser known tracks, but it's full of her majestic vocal power (she's all of 19 years old here), and the song has some unusual chord changes, and the band swings so hard it HURTS.

from 1965...

BETTY LAVETTE - STAND UP LIKE A MAN


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

'You Got My Love' the new video from my band, The Bang Girl Group Revue



...and you can purchase the vinyl LP/ CD or download here:
http://thebanggirlgrouprevue.blogspot.com/2012/11/soul-shangri-la-is-here-vinyl-cd-or.html

on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/thebanggirlgroup

twitter: @thebangrevue

JEAN BATTLE - LOVE MAKING

Written and produced by the amazing Sam Dees (he of "Lonely For You", one of the greatest soul records ever made) in Birmingham, AL, Jean battle turns in a supremely sensual vocal on this jam that OOZES sex so strong it makes the room smell funky when it's on the turntable (and that's a GOOD thing).

As great of a voice as Jean battle shows here, it seems as though she only cut two singles in the early '70's. A pity!

from c1972...

JEAN BATTLE - LOVE MAKING

Monday, April 1, 2013

BOB KAYLI - TIE ME TIGHT

Bob Kayli is actually Robert Gordy, brother of Motown maven Berry Gordy. Just as Berry spread out the empire of Motown hits among four labels (Motown, Tamla, Gordy & Soul) to avoid radio stations feeling that they were playing too many Motown tracks, I would imagine that it was his idea for his borther to record under a pseudonym that didn't spell out nepotism.

This record has that perfect, dramatic (minor key), uptempo thing that was so common in r&b for just a few short years (and has gone on to massive popularity in the Belgian "Popcorn" scene). Bob turns in a fabulous vocal, and the female backing vocals are superb as well. The song is catchy, and, if it wasn't for the sadomasochistic lean to the lyrics probably could have been a big hit. Pretty risque stuff for 1962!

"Bob Kayli" released just a small handful of records, and eventually showed up in the film Lady Sings The Blues in the 1970's.

from 1962...

BOB KAYLI - TIE ME TIGHT