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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 particular side (their debut release) shows off their British Invasion influences in full effect, and is a very well-written track from the band, and showcases their excellent harmony work and a drop dead infectious guitar riff. Technically, this is the b-side but I find it much stronger than the flip side ("You Wouldn't Listen").
This is the type of song that, when I hear it, can't help but think that if it were released on a larger label it could have been massive.
This track by Gary, Indiana native El(dridge) Anthony is the type of record that creates legends; such a GREAT song and performance, and very little information available about the artist. Plus, La Cindy Records released some of the most elusive (and great) Chicago discs within their five-record discography. In addition to this track, the label also released Ernest Moseley's version of The Sheppards "Stubborn Heart", as well as the amazing single by Walter and The Admeration's (sic) that was thankfully issued by Numero in the excellent Omnibus set; originals sell for the price of a nice used Honda.
Back to today's entry: I absolutely love the dramatic sound of the record; a super arrangement, fabulous vocal and simply a great song that has a haunting feel, conveying the emotion of the lyrics, itself a theme that doesn't pop up often in song from this particular viewpoint.
my ongoing series of featuring practically every record recorded by Ms
Barbara Lynn, here's yet another great one, showcasing her always groovin' rhythmic drive in full effect. If that's not the Sir
Douglas Quintet backing her on this track, I would be VERY surprised!
Before being "discovered" by Chas Chandler and the formation of the Experience in England and the massive success that followed, Jimi Hendrix lived in abject poverty and took whatever gigs and sessions he could. Stints with The Isley Brothers and Little Richard which resulted in sessions and tours were perhaps the most high profile, yet there was a string of other fabulous soul singles cut that took full advantage of the man's wizardry of the guitar.
This is one of the most obscure singles which feature Jimi, and what he does during the intro is 100% pure Hendrix. The recent West Coast Seattle Boy box set collects this and other gems (including the impossible to find Rosa Lee Brooks "My Diary" single, which is not only Jimi's first session but also featured a pre-Love Arthur Lee), however the version of this song used on the set is a completely different take!
Jimmy Norman found the most success of his career in writing the lyrics to the eternal "Time Is On My Side", and released a handful of singles on his own.
This song certainly gets to ME; it's records like this that make me devote so much of my time to collecting records.
was the lead singer of legendary doo wop group the Spaniels, and after
the Spaniels disintegrated after doo wop waned in popularity he
disappeared for a while but came back with this record. Sadly, it went
nowhere but the doo wop revival was right around the corner and Pookie's
new Spaniels performed until his passing two years ago.
By the time Jimmy Jones released this record in 1970, he already had fifteen years of recordings in his discography. Jimmy was a member of groups The Sparks Of Rhythm, The Savoys, The Pretenders and The Jones Boys before striking big in 1959 with the massive hit "Handy Man".
Jimmy recorded all throughout the 60's and early '70's but never again duplicated that early hit.
This particular side has a great spoken intro, an irresistible groove, and excellent female backing vocals showing that Jimmy certainly fit in well with music that was hip at the time (and of course STILL sounds hip.)
First off I need to say that both sides of this record are really great; top notch songwriting and heavenly singing from these ladies. While this record is almost certainly a New York City production, that's all I know about the group (other than at least one more release on Verve, 1966).
"No Reason" is what I like to call a "slow burner"; it has a subtle sound on the surface, but by the end the listener is completely sucked into its majesty! "Too Anxious" has a great bubblegum kinda groove but with some jazzy sophistication beneath the sugar coating. Co-writer and arranger Horace Ott also wrote "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", done brilliantly by the Animals.
gorgeous record seems to be a companion to "I've Got Myself Together"
by The La Niers; released on River City Records (with the exact same
label design as this, and both are arranged by jazzman Hugh Whalum).
tried to get more info about this disc, and all roads lead to Rome, in
this case and unfortunately I didn't learn anymore about this record
than when I started out (it's a favorite in the Lowrider community, The
Caesers had a few more highly regarded and collectable sides, and it was
cut St Louis). I did find a New York City radio playlist for March '67
that listed it as a record "on the move". Should have been a massive
entry is a phenomenal piece if moody British beat, and in fact the only
45 issued in the US by this group that was managed and produced by
Andrew Loog Oldham (most famous as the manager/producer of the Rolling
Stones). With its' chiming 12 string guitar, huge reverb drone, and
punky vocals, its practically a precursor to the Velvet Underground but with a Scottish accent. The
Poets were from Glasgow, Scotland, released a few more singles that sank
without a trace and sadly broke up before recording an album.
Young Michael Washington (probably in his early teens at the time of this release) hailed from Washington DC and was discovered by Capcity label heads Foster Johnson and Joe Tate. he released two singles, of which this one had SERIOUS hit potential.
For whatever reason, it was not to be. After his second release, Michael seems to have faded out of the music scene. A pity...
What can I say about this record other than the fact it's one of my all time favorites?
This is the type of record where inspiration, talent and an unbelievably excellent performance from all result in a record that, no matter how many thousands of times I've listened to it, blows my mind with each successive listen.
Producer/ songwriter Ed Cobb discovered teenage Gloria Joneswhile she was a member of gospel group The Cogic Singers. Gloria was already crossing over into pop, and the meeting with Cobb proved to be fateful. Her first single, "Tainted Love" has gone on to become not only a northern soul anthem in its original version, but also took on a second life in 1981 when the Soft Cell cover became one of the most popular new wave club hits of all time.
While there's no denying the power and majesty of "Tainted Love", to this listener 'Heartbeat" is the greatest record that Gloria cut, and as I mentioned earlier, one of my all time favorites as well. Special props go to brilliant arranger Lincoln Mayorga (dig the hypnotic heartbeat rhythm section) and the organ (probably played, or better yet SLAYED by Billy Preston). Gloria's voice here is the epitome of power and soul, and luckily for us, it's spread out over two parts. I'm the type of person who finds a 2:40 single side to be musical perfection, but with a track like this, I'd be fine with it stretched out over an entire LP side.
This record is flat out OUTRAGEOUS r&b that has an undercurrent of sophistication on top of the primitive sounds. The sound is dense, and flute and melodica fight to be heard over the incredible drumming and pounding piano track, while Bobby and Valerie vocalize some serious heat. Rhythmically, this record takes some slight cues from the then massive NYC boogaloo scene, but its truly somethin' else entirely and wholly unique.
Known more as a jazz pianist and educator, Valerie Capers (who was blinded as a child) has a fascinating story, which I highly recommend reading here. Her and brother Bobby were brought up in Harlem with a STRONG musical background (father Alvin was a stride pianist who was close to Fats Waller), and Valerie became the first blind graduate of the prestigious Julliard School Of Music in 1959. From '60' til '67. Valerie served as a teacher at the Bronx Neighborhood School Of Music; all the while she was composing music, and her first LP of jazz compositions was cut around the same time as this single.
Sadly, Bobby died in 1974; Valerie continues on to this day in the New York jazz scene as a performer and teacher.
I featured a dozen or so Dells singles during my first year of this; my love for this group runs very, very deep.
This group, the epitome of the male Chicago group sound, were formed while the group was still in high school (1952) during the early doo-wop years. Their first single was released as The El-Rays in 1954 (featuring the lineup of Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, and Johnny Funches), and by 1955 they had renamed themselves the Dells and became a quintet after the departure of Lucius McGill. The group cut the exquisite "Oh What A Night" for Vee Jay Records in 1956 which became a million seller, and one of the most loved doo-wop songs in the history of the genre.
Follow up singles didn't hit, and the group was derailed temporarily after a serious 1958 car accident which involved Mickey McGill. The group put their career on hold until 1960, when Mickey recovered, but Johnny Funches had left (to be replaced with Johnny Carter). This lineup remained stable for FIFTY years until Johnny Carter passed away in 2009.
The Dells spent the early part of the '60's as studio singers (most notably singing the backups on Barbara Lewis' "Hello Stranger"; a performance which I rank as one of the all time greats, both from Barbara Lewis and The Dells). The group cut several unsuccessful (but usually quite good) singles for Vee Jay during these years, but their career renaissance began when they were signed to Chess records and began working under the production and writing talent of Bobby Miller. The singles released by the group between '66-'68 are some of the greatest ever, and the LP There Is, which collects some of these 45's and adds in a few more stellar tracks, is simply one of the greatest soul LP's ever released.
"Wear It On Our Face" is one of my favorites from the mighty Dells; with its freaky but great steel drum/ piano intro forward into the extraordinary lead vocal from Marvin Junior, the group harmonies and the power of the musicians take us to a place where time stops and the transcendence of music is all that matters.
During his peak years (which this fanatic would consider to be from 1960 'til 1974 or so) Curtis Mayfield simply couldn't do wrong. Whether he was the singer, songwriter, A&R man, or producer the man was frighteningly talented and had impeccable taste and was also a gifted talent scout.
On this track, sixteen-year-old Patti Jo turns in an incredibly mature, downright smouldering performance on a typically great Curtis composition. The results are magic, as expected.
I don't know much else about Patti Jo; I think she only cut one other 45.
Along with Millie Small, Jamaica's Blues Busters (Lloyd Cambell and Phillip James) were one of the first groups that crossed over into the American pop scene, at the dawn of the rock steady era. The group's recording career began in the late 50's, when Jamaican records were nearly spot-on recreations of the New Orleans r&b sound. Several of these records are heard on the excellent Trojan R&B collection.
As a vocal harmony fanatic, I rate this song as one of the GREAT harmony performances of all time; just absolute magic happening here, folks, on top of a gorgeous song.
The group recorded an album in New York City after performing at the World's Fair, and there are several other US releases from the '60's (of which I have never found, unfortunately).
Somewhere around 1980, a TV show went back into syndication that made an indelible impact on who I am. Mom had already given me her 45's from the '60's so my music education and fanaticism had already begun. These fellas o TV that hung out having fun playing music together, chasing cute girls, wearing cool clothes, and driving a boss car truly cemented who I wanted to be. Today we get to see hero Michael Nesmith perform these songs live with The Monkees; stoked doesn't even BEGIN to describe it!
Of course I've taken lots of flack over the years from people who can't get over the fact that the group was manufactured and that they didn't play on their hits. So what? For one thing, EVERY group is manufactured- whether it's picking friends or picking people that fit the mold and vision, everything is based on some sort of manufacturing when a band is assembled. As for the studio musicians playing on the tracks- practically from the beginning The Beach Boys tracks were played by studio musicians. It just doesn't matter; fact is, three of these guys WERE legit musicians before the group was assembled, and the late Davy Jones was such a good sport he learned how to play rudimentary bass for their '60's concerts. When I first saw them in the '80's he played some very respectable guitar as well. But truly all that matters are the songs (which are loved by so many), and in the case of the Monkees, the brilliant visual images of the TV show and their freaky film Head, from which this track is drawn from.
Micky Dolenz is a very, very fine singer- gifted with one hell of a range and lots of power, he puts it to its greatest use on this stellar track. The cherry on top is lead guitar provided by (then) Buffalo Springfield member Neil Young. This 45 is a single-only mono mix as well.
This teenage girl group from Washington DC released two singles (this being the second) under the name The Pasionettes; they were then signed to Calla Records and changed their name to The Fuzz, scoring a massive hit with the gorgeous "I Love You For All Seasons".
Here, the group hits it HARD with a smoldering slice of girl group funk based around a stern warning to younger sister: hands OFF my man.
There's not a whole lot else I can say other than that this record is a real arse whipper! And that the bass player deserves an award of some sorts for the incredible, bubbling line. What a record!
Gary, IN's (about 30m from Chicago) Lonnie Lester cut three fantastic and RAW singles in the mid-60's (some copies of this record are billed as Lonnie Lester & Chuck Danzy; Danzy was the saxman) of which this is his first.
This record has a fantastic, late night party atmosphere kind of feel, capped off with an incredibly powerful vocal from Mr. Lester.
Bobby (real name Harold) Hutton was born and raised in Detroit, where he began his singing career as a young man. In 1965, Mr. Hutton moved to Chicago where he was signed to Chess for one release (as Harold Hutton). The following year he was signed to Phillips, where his name was changed to Bobby (which, coincidentally was the same name as an infamous member of the Black Panther Party who was killed in 1968).
There was a gap between the '66 release and this one in 1969; perhaps he was drafted? Whatever the story, his comeback record which we hear today is simply fabulous! The record is co-written and co-produced by the great Jo "Joshie" Armstead, an incredibly talented lady who is undoubtedly singing the ethereal backing vocals on the track as well.
It kinda boggles my mind, but today marks a real milestone- I can't remember the exact date that I first posted, but we are more or less at the 5th anniversary of the site, give or take a few days. To coincide with the anniversary, as of today this site has had over a MILLION views!
Thanks for all the kind words that help keep me doing this. If it wasn't for you....
Congratulations to President Obama (hero); it wasn't close; he won by a LANDSLIDE!!!! Decency, honesty, integrity, civic mindedness wins over greed, dishonesty, and viewpoints that could have put us back socially to the 1950's. The above record box has come with me all over the US, Europe and Australia- sticker placed on after the victory in 2008.
I've been running the daily 45 for five years; while I have not run out of records to feature (and I'm still finding stuff all the time) i order to keep my level of quality up, I am gonna take this opportunity to start featuring some of my favorite past posts, probably every other day. Here it begins with this record that shouts out celebration.
(original post, 22 January 2009)
is one of the best drum intros EVER! It's probably Maurice White (later
of Earth Wind And Fire) pounding out the jackhammer intro on this
Tony Clarke wrote a few great tracks for Etta
James, and released a handful of singles on his own for the mighty
Chess records. In an ugly turn of events, Tony was murdered (allegedly by his wife
in a domestic dispute) in 1970.While I could never excuse the disgrace of violence against women, I have learned to separate the music from the people who created it.
I can't imagine this band was able to march a very long distance with a Hammond organ and electric guitar, bass, and drum kit, but who am I to judge?
This GROOVY record was discovered in the '70's by English Northern Soul DJ's who were constantly looking for new sounds that fit in with the soul records that were on constant rotation in the clubs. Essentially from a weird studio concoction exploitation album, this track fit the bill, oddly enough. Something about the organ melody in this track- to my ears it conveys a sense of melancholy over such a poppy, rollicking beat it just WORKS.
THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO MARCHING BAND - CONDITION RED
The Supurbs are another Chicago vocal group that seemed to only have had one shot, and what a lovely shot it was. It would be insulting to say that vocal groups were dime a dozen in late '60's/ early '70's Chicago, but there was certainly a huge number of them during this group soul renaissance period.
The song is great, and the performance is top notch. Just another example of too much competition and another great record getting lost in the process.
With a name that intentionally plays on the word MOD, one could easily lump Chicago's Mauds in with the other Anglo-influenced rock n roll bands operating in mid-to-late '60's Chicago. Wrong! The Mauds took their biggest influence from soul music and, in lead singer Jimy Rogers, had a vocalist that had the blue-eyed soul pipes to back up the claim. The group was TIGHT musically and their concerts are the stuff of legend.
While they were massive in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs (their cover of Sam & Dave's "Hold On I'm Coming" was a HUGE local radio hit) the group never caught on nationally, and eventually disbanded in the early '70's.
This track shows off all the talent of the band- STRONG vocals from Rogers, great harmonies, and a track that stomps away!
Rogers became a hairstylist to the stars in LA throughout the 70's, but eventually found himself onstage again with a reunited Mauds in 1999, then fronting his own blues band until his tragic death in 2010 from cancer.
Producer Ollie McLaughlin (founder of the Karen, Moira, and Carla labels- all named after his daughters) had a fantastic ear and production sense, and the presence of another Detroit legend, arranger Mike Terry, practically ensures a quality record, of which this one does not disappoint.