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Lukas Lollipop???? What full grown adult man would approve of a name like that?????
Due to the man's name on the writing credits of the flip side ("Don't Hold On To Someone (Who Don't Love You"), many people assume this is Solomon Burke. Burke himself denied it, and to my ears it's not him either.
The mystery of who this is has never, and probably never will, be revealed.
It's not a major work by any means, but a very fun track driven along by some coochi-coochi-COOL bass playing and some mighty fine singing from "Lukas".
Today's entry is dedicated to the people in New York and the surrounding areas; stay dry and be safe.
I get several emails every week from folks who want me to check out their bands, due to this site and request me to write about them. As a musician myself, I certainly understand wanting to get the music out there, but most of the time it's nothing like what I feature nor has it been pressed on wax. I'm stoked that Freqnik & WDRE contacted me, because their new single is a flat out jam!
Brief history- in the '70's as hip-hop was in its infancy stages, B-Boy's were dudes who waited for drum breaks on old school soul/ funk records at which point they would bust out their best dance moves during the break; hello break dancing!
I really love who this New York City duo has incorporated the vibe of 1970's break dancing and added their own unique twist to the procedure. Full on retro can be fantastic in many cases, but when artists take something old and make it their own, THAT is truly admirable. The accompanying video is killer as well. So happy to have a brand new joint to feature on this site!
Even though this record is an obscurity (to put it mildly), there are three label variations that were pressed. This tells me that either each run was incredibly limited and the song did well enough locally to be repressed twice. From what I can gather, Herman George cut one record in Detroit in the late '60's and by the time of this (I believe his second and final release) he was living in the isolated Ft Wayne, IN area.
The track is so great it makes me easily forget that he rhymes "high" with "sky" numerous times!
even though they weren't from Nashville and weren't a teenage band, I would never file false advertising charges against this group from the rustic and posh London suburb of Surrey. These fellas were one of the strongest groups of the British Invasion and played beat-driven and HARD, no doubt seasoned from their experience playing night after night in Hamburg; it was here where the group backed Jerry Lee Lewis on his punk-rock Live At The Star Club LP.
On this record, the group is produced by Rolling Stones maven Andrew Loog Oldham, who was taking cues from the Phil Spector style of BIG and chaotic production, but with a unique twist. I *love* how he cranks the reverb on the guitar solo section while an ominous electric piano drones away creating a mood.
Along the way, the group shows off some creative vocals harmonies and basically just kicks it big time for a blink-and-you-miss-it 1:50. One minute and fifty seconds of perfection.
Toussaint McCall (from Monroe, LA) is best known for his classic ballad "Nothing Takes The Place Of You'; a haunting track that will live on forever. In addition to his wonderful vocal phrasing, Toussaint can also whip it out on the Hammond organ, as he proudly shows on this smokin' little number.
In a brilliant FOREIGN POLICY move, Motown saw the smashing success of their records in Europe and seized upon the opportunity by re-cutting several hits in other languages. This brilliant move all but ensured that these records would be hits in France, Germany, Spain, and (as we here hear), Italian.
While many of the records (compiled on the excellent Motown Around The World set which I strongly suggest you purchase) may seem a bit awkward and uncomfortable, Stevie completely OWNS his performance here ("Music Talk" en Italiano), and seems as though he could have easily taken on the role of singing to tourists while paddling thru the canals of Venice.
J.R. Bailey (James Ralph Bailey) was a member of doo-wop group The Cadillacs from 1956-1972, and along the way he cut some solo sides, including this masterpiece which was written and produced by Billy Guy (one of the lead singers in fellow doo-woppers The Coasters). Even though these gentleman had their roots stretching back into an older era, they crafted a single that was VERY much of the times here, and of course still sounds fabulous today.
J.R had success in songwriting as well, penning "Everybody Plays The Fool" among others.
This record is simply too good for words or description; also known as soul perfection.
J.R. BAILEY - LOVE WON'T WEAR OFF (AS THE YEAR WEAR ON)
This record makes it just on the intro (THAT intro) alone; INCREDIBLE! There isn't much of a SONG here per se, but the male/ female duo vocals are SCORCHING hot nonetheless on this primal, powerful, and SEXY track from Virginia.
Sad to say I know nothing about the group, or the actual release year.
Not only is "Chills And Fever" one of the greatest r&b songs of all time, but it also signalled the beginning of one man's incredible career in music.
The original (Detroit) release credited Johnny Love as being the artist, but when it was picked up for national distribution by Dot Records (infamous for licensing a mind-boggling array of records veering from junk to treasure) the name was changed to Ronnie Dove.
Turns out the man behind the record was neither Love nor Dove, but one Ron Dunbar. Ron ended up becoming one of the most prolific writers in Detroit this side of Holland-Dozier-Holland, and his name appears on a mind-boggling assortment of writing credits, including "Patches" (written with the late, great General Johnson), and "Band Of Gold". Ron also had a hand in A&R work, most notably with Holland-Dozier-Holland when they split from Motown c1968 to form their Invictus/ Hot Wax label/ production company.
While "Chills & Fever' is obviously a take on Little Willie John's immortal "Fever', this records fires up the tempo with a tank-full of high-octane Detroit fuel, making it one of the quintessential records which signaled the beginnings of Detroit soul.
I was sad to hear from a friend a few days back that lead singer/ co-writer Ron Holder of the fantastic group Saturday's Children has passed away. A friend of his was kind enough to share the fantastic photo of Ron taken back around the time this record was released. Look closely at both the back wall and drum head to see "Saturday's Children" proudly on display.
I thought I had featured this record here a few years back, but it got lost in the cracks of both my brain and my 45 shelves. There's no time like now, though, to share this excellent Beatle-esque number! Ron Holder and Geoff Boyan acted as the groups' Lennon/McCartney and penned tunes that were sophisticated, catchy and a perfect fit for those times AND these times. The group certainly deserved the success they never achieved, as they were clearly a talented bunch on every front. The group *did* open for the Beach Boys at McCormick Place in Chicago in 1966, which was probably one of the most exciting moments of their too-short career.
Saturday's Children released three 45's; one of which is the incredible Christmas single 'Deck Five b/w Christmas Sounds" that I traditionally repost every December around here.
First off, a confession- I am downright obsessed with this record, and it's probably an unhealthy obsession. Not only the song itself, but the overall production is one of the greatest I've ever heard.
I've listened to this record so many times in a row, trying to absorb every element of its magic; the first thing that's striking is the plink-plink muted guitar part that runs thru the song. Perhaps because I just downright love reverb-ed guitar, and being a guitarist myself this to me is one of the coolest hooks I've ever heard!
When Tutti Hill's vocal comes in, if you don't instantly melt, check your pulse and other vital signs. She delivers this ultra cool performance that oozes confidence and extreme vocal prowess. As I also produce music myself (with The Bang Girl Group Revue) in this style, I am constantly drawing upon the resource of the music I love for ideas on WHAT is happening sonically; just listen to how loud Tutti's vocals are mixed; they are RIGHT THERE and so tangible, while the backing chorus of girls gently sway amidst that lovely reverb. This record takes on a few of the Spector wall of sound techniques but strips away the layers and leaves something far more human and earthy, while still having that other worldly mysterious quality. Basically everything I'd ever want to achieve sonically in a studio happens on this track.
Tutti's vocal style is reminiscent of Mary Wells, and Mary herself cut this song a few years later. While I practically worship every Mary Wells record, her version is great but *this* is the version.
This seems to be the only release from this shadowy Tutti Hill figure. WHO IS SHE????
This is one of the final 45's from Chicago's excellent Constellation label, which sadly went bankrupt in '66. It's no surprise that this record had no chart action, as the label simply was not able to promote it or the other '66 releases.
Centered around the incredibly sweet vocals of The Peaches, this track is saved from tooth decay by the insistent and powerful snare drum that powers the track along. A typical Chicago trick of matching the beat with the sweets!
This is one of the more sparse productions from either Carl Davis or Gene Chandler (who are joined together behind the board here), but it's very effective on this track; I especially dig how the vibraphone echoes the tone of the girls' voices here, and is just as whimsical.
Here's a great example of a song that is taken over the edge of mediocrity by a few elements of the arrangement- firstly, Barbara and Brenda's vocals are superb! Secondly (and perhaps most unique) is the incredibly cool and groovin' baritone guitar part that drives the song along.
Composed of Barbara Gaskins & niece Brenda Gaskins, this group
released a half dozen or so 45's before Brenda, burned by the music
business, quit. Barbara continued on, playing guitar for Inez &
Charlie Foxx and eventually ending up in disco group Ecstasy, Passion
& Pain. A google search reveals she is still playing guitar and
Hailing from Vancouver, B.C, The Collectors travelled to Los Angeles to record wih producer David Hassinger, who also produced The Electric Prunes.
The Collectors were pretty obviously a druggy band, yet they still remained very tight musicianship on records such as this, that are ready to fill the floor at your next TOTAL FREAKOUT A-GO-GO party.
One thing that can be said about Warner Brothers/ Reprise records in the late sixties- they weren't afraid to unleash some FREAKY music on the world! These labels weren't afraid to give the likes of The Fugs, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Kinks (when their commercial days seemed to be well in the past), Mothers Of Invention, and so many more to the world. What an exciting time it must have been in the music business, when the bottom line seemed to be far less important than talent and innovation.
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 what is perhaps my favorite so-called "kiddie soul" track after being discovered by their neighbor Doris Jones. This record was recorded twice; once as their debut (after changing their name from The Soul Impacts to The Eight Minutes) and again a year later (in a stronger performance).
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 the recordings. A pity, as a major part of the charm of this record is the performance. The drumming may veer on unsteady at points, but DAMN does it groove!
Numero Group featured this on their excellent Home Schooled: The ABC's Of Kid Soul comp from a few years back. As with every other soul compilation from Numero, I recommend you BUY it immediately.
Born in 1920, the career of Percy Mayfield was almost completely derailed in 1952 when the man was severely injured in a serious automobile accident (two years after his big hit, the self-penned "Please Send Me Someone to Love", which deservedly became a standard of the genre and beyond).
Percy grew up in both Louisiana and Texas, but settled as a young adult in Los Angeles where his career in music began in the early '40's. Post-accident, Percy mostly made a name for himself as a songwriter, and in the early 60's began a very fruitful relationship with Ray Charles, which resulted not only in Ray recording several of his songs (including "Hit The Road Jack" and "Hide Nor Hair") but also a contract with Ray's Tangerine label.
On this incredible track, Percy lends his smooth vocal stylings to an uptempo r&b stormer with a fantastic, sophisticated horn arrangement that all but shouts out RAY CHARLES (who I would guess produced this record). Add to that a drummer that is seemingly intent on destroying his snare drum, and a guitar break starting at 1:42 that sounds as if the guitarist has a vendetta against his instrument and we're left with one hot record!
I would never discount not only the incredible vocal performance from Justine "Baby" Washington (as usual), her beautifully poetic lyrics about love and longing which incorporates the old parables of sailors returning home BUT what makes this record EXTRA extraordinary to me is the absolute freakout organ performance that makes this track downright FREAKY.
Producer (and Sue Record label owner) Juggy Murray was a master of creating a vibe with his records, and along with arranger Sammy Lowe and these excellent, unknown New York City studio musicians capture the tale of the lyrics in such a way that almost makes me feel as though I'm drowning in the grooves.
You have been warned. You're gonna get sucked in to the tide.
While much of the '60's 45 RPM magic had left the Motown family by the early '70's, there were still a great number of cool singles released that never achieved the type of chart success that the label was having consistently through the golden years.
Posse were a group that were taken under the wing of Temptation Eddie Kendricks, who also produces the track. I really dig how the track updates the '60's Motown sound for the early '70's (with congas and a slightly funkier backbeat) but still retains the type of joyous feeling found on the great Motown records.
Posse released at least one more 45 on Janus records, then seem to have disappeared.
Love for The Impressions was widespread in 1960's Jamaica, and the model of a three-man harmony group was just as prevalent on the island during the era as it was in the United States (The Wailers being another famous example).
Formed in 1965 by Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn (initially as The Hep Ones), the group was quickly spotted by producer/ talent scout Clement Dodd (Mr Coxsone) which began a very prolific career for the group, in all of their beautiful harmonic glory.
I love the music of the rocksteady era (especially the way it turned the beat of American soul music inside out), and while the majority of my collection tends to be on more modern compilations I occasionally snag some of these old gems on 45 which I always love to present here. To me, this track is as fine a representation of this great group as any- the track has an otherworldly, ethereal quality which is one of my favorite aspects of the sound.
This record is downright HAUNTING. A lone acoustic guitar picks out the intro and sets the mood, which leads into the brilliant song and arrangement. Lezli Valentine (a founding member of The Jaynetts), turns in such a gorgeous, restrained performance, and is backed by a heavenly group of ladies (or is it Lezli overdubbed?) on backing vocals.
This record sounds like the soundtrack from a dream, and I can't get enough of it. It's so subtle that the depth of what's happening can easily be overlooked through its hypnotic power.
A burst of fuzz tone laced feedback leads into one of the grooviest, organ driven early funk instrumentals all the while the horn section strives for some sense of normalcy while the bass player lays down some of the rudest thumping known to wax ensuring this side never goes slick. And they do all of this is less than two and a half minutes. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!
Mickey and the Soul Generation were a group from San Antonio, TX.
Even though Little Richard's career never recovered commercially after his abrupt departure from the music business in 1957, the man cut some of the hottest wax of his career during the 1966-1968 period (including the incredible "I Need Love").
The Chicago session features the Jackie Wilson/ Brunswick records house band (that later became Syl Johnson's Pieces Of Peace) scorching away, Richard testifying (and laying out a fabulous signature WOO at the end), driven steadily by the bubbling bass of Bernard Reed, and produced by the great Carl Davis. What a team, what a record!
Nashville's Jimmy Church released only five singles, but he has spent his entire life in music, and remains active to day leading a band that specializes in wedding entertainment.
The harmonies here have a sound that is quite reminiscent of the Impressions, but the rougher edge of the music and Jimmy's lead vocal make for a far more unique sound. More "on top of the beat" and faster than we usually hear in southern soul, and really great!
JIMMY CHURCH - RIGHT ON TOP
the b-side is a great ballad that we get to see Jimmy performing on "The !!! Beat".
First off, I have to mention that this track has some of the coolest stops and dramatic pauses that I can think of on record; one of which shows the incredible power and control which Freddie Scott had over his voice.
Freddie's career (as not only a singer but a songwriter as well) began in the fifties, until the military draft pulled him out of music for a few years. He returned to the United States as a civilian and got a foot in the door at the Brill Building in New York City. After working as a writer and producer for a few years, the Colpix label tried to reshape him into a pop crooner, and they had a hit with "Hey Girl" in 1963. It wasn't until legendary producer Bert berns took on Freddie that his true potential was reached.
After Bert Berns tragic passing, Freddie was without a label (he recorded for Berns' Shout! record label for three years). A few sides on a tiny label was followed up by an LP and this single for ABC records; although this track showed that the voice was still there (in one of his finest performances), ABC didn't have any success with Scott. Freddie released two singles after this, then left the business of being a recording artist and wrote commercial jingles and got into acting.