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.
I've recorded a new mini-album's worth of solo songs, and decided to put two of the tracks to wax! Pre-order a multi-colored vinyl, limited-to-100 copy of the 45 RPM single here! "She Came This Way" b/w "McQueen (Slight Return)"
New orleans singer Danny White released 14 singles in the '60's, and one of which (the lovely 1963 ballad "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye") was a pretty sizable regional hit.
After the success of that record, Danny recorded for several other labels but never had another hit to speak of. This side from '66 is a BURNER and is equally as good as the original Lee Rogers version of this track (and adds a decidedly New Orleans flavor as well).
By the late '60's Danny White's recordings and performances were trickling out, and he managed The Meters early on.
anyone starts freaking out and worrying that I've veered too far off
the path with this post, let me reassure you that (while I dig plenty of
80's music) I am not gonna make a habit of posting anything else from
the 80's. It just so happens that this record is so unspeakably scarce
(and great) that all of us who have loved Ferris Bueller's Day Off
(hell, I've based my life upon the principles set forth in that movie)
for so many years truly DESERVE to have this song on their ipod.
I worked at a record store ('91-'96) one of the most common requests
was for the FBDO soundtrack to which I would have to reply, SORRY, there
never was one; this was almost certainly followed by a question of the
likes of "well where can I get that song that plays while they drive
away in the Ferrari"? which was followed by "sorry, NOWHERE."
out, John Hughes had a run of promo singles cut of "Beat City" that
were distributed in incredibly limited numbers. After years of
searching, I've only seen two, and both have surfaced recently
(including the one that now resides in the Northern California 45
Sanctuary (aka my home). The other one (the first to surface) the seller
wants a kings ransom for (which I almost paid until this copy popped
The big question is: why didn't the Flowerpot Men
release this officially? They had 3 or 4 other releases???? And, for the
record, these Flower Pot Men have nothing to do with the hippie dippy
late 60's Flower Pot Men ('Let's Go To San Francisco').
just in time for spring, I present to you the perfect song for top down
transportation. Not all that odd that I feature it on this blog
afterall; that guitar line is straight out of 1966.
Originally recorded in an equally killer version by The Vibrations, this jam was also perfect for the sassy, brassy and lovely vocals of The Pointer Sisters. The arrangement is quite similar to the original (dig those bongos), with the added funky factor of some very Funkadelic-like Moog synthesizer.
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"!
Every time I hear the intro to this great record, it reminds me of the flamboyant Little Richard interview in the 1973 Jimi Hendrix film where he claims that Jimi was ALREADY a star when he met him and was a member of Richard's band. As the luscious guitar intro proves, even though Jimi was playing in the Curtis Mayfield style at the time of this recording, he was a musician of grace, taste, finesse and a giant TALENT.
Allegedly Jimi's time with Richard was cut short due to the amount of attention Jimi was receiving on the bandstand which infuriated the star of the show, but fortunately he stuck around long enough to cut this one and only single.
For nearly five years (late '57 until 1962) Little Richard had left the sinners life of secular music, and became a preacher. It wasn't until an offer to tour England in '62 came on the table (thanks to Don Arden, villain of yesterday's post)that Richard made a return to his signature secular sounds.
This record shows off beautifully how well Richard can SING. Everyone knows that he can peel the paint off of the wall with the shouts, but damn does he put in a stellar vocal performance here.
LITTLE RICHARD - I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'VE GOT BUT IT'S GOT ME
From the northernmost tip of England (Newcastle), Skip Bifferty was founded from the remains of (yet another) band called The Chosen Few in 1966. The group was picked up for management by the notorious thug Don Arden, who was also managing The Small Faces at the time. Arden's business tactics of violence and aggression were well known, and it's no surprise that the group broke up in early '68 due to managerial conflicts. Luckily, none of the band members had limbs broken by Arden or his goon squad! The same members reformed as Heavy Jelly later in the year, and took on a more "progressive" sound.
But as for this record (their debut), it's one of THE most perfect sides of 1967 style psychedelic beat music. I first heard it on the amazing and essential Bomp records compilation Electric Sugarcube Flashback all those years ago; it's still the top collection of UK psych-beat in my book (thank you once again, Greg Shaw).
Eddie "Guitar" Burns left Mississippi at age 20 in 1948 and headed north to Detroit. While his recorded output was nowhere near as prolific as that of his contemporary (and sometimes collaborator) John Lee Hooker, he cut some excellent sides throughout the years, including this slammin' r&b number showcasing his wicked guitar work and vocals.
Eddie passed away last December (2012) and performed all the way up until 2008.
The first few seconds spell out immediately that this record is classic Detroit soul- with a confident snare drum roll, lush harmony vocals and gritty baritone sax, the groove is perfectly established by the time the gorgeous lead vocal from Lorraine Chandler, ho makes her debut here. Lorraine went on to record two other singles under her own name, but she became more prolific as a songwriter and producer of several records by the likes of Eddie Parker, Willie Kendrick, The Metros and Freddie Butler.
This record became a hit in Detroit and Chicago, and was reissued with national distribution power by RCA Victor, who also signed her on for the writing and production work. Unfortunately, while RCA released dozens of amazing soul records in the '60's, they never really had it together enough to make any of them hits.
Ode Records believed in this record strongly, as they issued it twice with two different catalog numbers (once in '67 then again in '69). It *is* an amazing track, but the dark, melancholy sound is not obvious hit material. Darlene Love turns in a typically amazing performance here (but would we expect anything less?)
The history of this group is incredibly complex, and I prefer not to get
too wordy on my posts so I'll leave it at this. While the Blossoms had a
number of personnel changes since their 50's inception, the Blossoms
who are most well known (appeared on the Shindig TV show) included
Gloria Jones (who was out of the group by the time of this release) and (lead singer) Darlene Love (who also recorded with Phil
Spector not only under her own name but as a backing singer and also a
lead on cuts by The Crystals (who were actually the Blossoms under
As soon as the drum break hits, it would be easy to believe that this record comes from New Orleans, but that's not the case...
Turns out Betty Adams real name is Jewel Meriwether, and she cut two secular records in the early '70's with her brother Roy on piano in Cincinnati, OH (of which this is the first). Not many funky records feature the piano this prominently, and this slamming record drives home the point that I wish there were more!
No matter how many times I've heard this record, its undeniable spook factor still scares the heck out of me- something about the performance here sounds like something a tad bit too personal; something we're not SUPPOSED to hear, as if listening in on an audio diary.
Born Mary Cross in Memphis and given the stage name Wendy Rene by none
other than Otis Redding, "Wendy" was also supposed to be on the tour in
which Otis tragically died. Wendy had just had a baby and (thankfully)
decided to stay home.
Unfortunately she only released a handful
of singles. The backing (by Booker T & The MG's) also features some
of my favorite playing by those amazing cats. I love how the organ takes
such prominent lead in the mix, a common theme heard on most of her sides.
Turns out that the last Spectorian-masterpiece girl group record wasn't, in fact, cut by Phil Spector. This record is a smouldering pot of greatness that may have been seen as slightly out of step at the time, but certainly incorporated a psychedelic air that was very much of the times. L.A based management team discovered the three young ladies who made up The Cake while they were harmonizing together in a New York club, and immediately got to work on getting them a record deal. A deal with Decca Records came about quickly, and the ladies (Jeanette Jacobs, Barbara Morillo and Eleanor Barooshian) were off to L.A to record with Green And Stone as producers, as well as Dr. John collaborator Harold Battiste. In fact, it's essentially Dr. John and band that play on this record.
Dangerous Minds presented an exhaustive chronicle of the group here, but for the sake of brevity I'll just say that this record (their debut 45) did not do as well commercially as expected, and their two albums (the second completed after the group has disbanded) also failed to slice their way to the top.
This was Barbara Mason's final single for the brilliant Arctic label, and probably the most emotional performance of her career; quite a mean feat, as her vocal performances are typically oozing with emotion. As is true with many of her other greatest sides (including the unbelievably amazing hit single "Yes, I'm Ready") Barbara wrote the track as well.
Hard to believe that, at the time of this records' release, Barbara Mason was only 20 years old and already had three years of recordings under her belt.
Often times a chart position only tells part of the story when it comes to a records impact; case in point, Clifford Curry's "She Shot A Hole In My Soul". While that record only reached the lower end of the Top 100, its impact was felt deeply on the Beach Music scene of the south eastern seaboard, and Clifford Curry has been a popular live attraction of that scene (and beyond) since the release of the record in 1967.
Clifford Curry's roots stretch back even further, as he began in doo wop groups while still in high school in Tennessee in the early 1950's, making his recorded debut in 1953.
As for today's entry, "Ain't No Danger" is a stomper of the highest order, matches Clifford's rich baritone with some unbelievably cool backing vocals and a groove that cuts SO DEEP it's practically underground.
Al Waples made his mark as a black radio DJ in his home base of St Louis, and eventually moved on to Philadelphia and Los Angeles. During his time in L.A he cut this one record, and also worked as the voice over announcer for the Jackson 5ive TV show.
The song is a very cool piece of pop-soul, written by the great L.A songwriter Jimmy Webb, and has the typical melancholy-yet-sunny feel of his greatest songs. The Incredibles, who back him here vocally, had several releases of their own on the Audio Arts label.
New Orleans singer Al Reed began releasing records in the mid-50's, but he wasn't very prolific- it looks as though he had only eight 45's released between 1955-1968 (including one as Diablo, and two as part of a duo, Ruth And Al). I would imagine that Al was one of the many performers making a living in the clubs in and out of NOLA, who had the occasional opportunity to cut a record (this time arranged by NOLA legend Wardell Quezergue).
This record has been a favorite of mine for many years, and the superb lyrics are delivered with a whole lot of believability by Al on the record. We've all either said or WANTED to say what Al lays out here, and he says it in a way that means BUSINESS.
Phew- this SLAMMING, intense workout (released at the height of social unrest, in 1968) tackles some heavy subjects, made all the more relevant as The Eight Minutes were young kids. VERY talented young kids.
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.
The group played all of the instruments on the records they cut for Jay
Pee Records between 68-69. This type of thing seems unfathomable today, especially
when one takes into account that a few of their records did well in
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.
While much of Walter Jackson's music was on the pop side of soul
(including this cut), his voice has so much depth and power that it puts
him into a (very soulful) class of his own.
This amazing track was written by Curtis Mayfield, and his co-production with Carl Davis shows how well the deep soul voice of Walter Jackson merged with the slick harmonies and production, making for a variety of pop soul that was as deep as the sea.
Born in Florida, his family moved
to Michigan when he was a child in the early '40's. Walter was stricken
with polio as a child which left him unable to walk without crutches.
a member of a group called the Velvetones, Walter was discovered by
legendary Chicago (Okeh Records) A&R man/ producer Carl Davis who
signed him to Okeh, where he had a nice run of hit singles. Jackson
recorded up until his death in 1983 of a brain hemorrhage (on the same
day his final 45 was released).
I'll never forget my first impression of this track, which was "What is this Smokey Robinson JAM that I've never heard???". Yeah, Bob Brady was probably the closest cat out there in vocal sound to Smokey, and it was another mindblower to find out that the dude is white!
The group was from Baltimore, and had a huge following throughout the Maryland/ Washington DC area.
Although they were a year late to the Love-In, this track certainly does inspire the thought of unity between all; brothers and sisters of any creed and color united through music! And I can most certainly dig THAT.
BOB BRADY & THE CONCHORDS - EVERYBODY'S GOIN' TO THE LOVE IN
Today's entry is a great example of the ridiculous and sublime walking hand in hand...
The Percells formed in Long Island, NY by singer Gail Jones (while still in high school) and Jean Marie Johnson, then added Joan Paulin and Betty Lloyd to the group. Spectropop has about as comprehensive of a recount of the group as anyone could imagine here, but in a nutshell the group were mentored by a band called The Chants, whose drummer John Linde and guitarist Pete Antell (both just out of their teens) took on the production and writing for The Percells. The Chants had the distinct honor of not only touring Italy in the early '60's, but also recording some singles specifically for the Italian market (as Pete Antell & The American Twisters); this was NOT common for American groups.
While this record could be construed as a kitschy novelty (which I'm typically not a fan of), there's something much hipper happening here, and I find it infectious as all get-out. The production is far sparser than is normally heard on a girl group record of the era, (just guitar, bass and drums) but it helps frame the superb guitar twang-out performed by the records' co-writer/ co-producer and band member Pete Antell.
None of the Percells four records (this was their second) made any inroads commercially. Gail Jones has been active as a gospel singer since the 1980's, and while the others have fond memories of their time as Percells, their professional singing days ended in 1964.
Louisiana native Bobby Jones (who grew up in a farming family) moved to Chicago as a young man in 1959. While working in a steel mill and singing through the day, co-workers encouraged him to pursue a career in music and he began singing in clubs and winning talent shows, and his recording sessions began in '61.
Bobby moved between several labels (including Vee Jay) but he never found a hit, although he released several really great singles. Today's entry is a fantastic boastful number with an excellent vocal from Bobby.
Bobby has continued performing live and recording music, and eventually in the early '80's Bobby began spelling his last name "Jonz" to avoid confusion with a gospel singer of the same name.
Ahhh, The Dells. Just a mention of the name puts me into a quick hypnotized state where I get lost in the majesty of their records. The Dells epitomized the Chicago male vocal group, and the talent of this group (and the material that they sang) is the benchmark for ALL vocal groups that followed in their path.
Just listen to the intro of "There Is"; it's pure brilliance and sets the mood for the song that hits so hard rhythmically but somehow retains an air of delicacy thanks to the harmony vocals. Marvin Junior lays out one of his finest, most powerful lead vocals on the track as well. The lovely picture sleeve is an original Italian issue.
This group was formed
while the members were 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
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.
This record is so ethereal and so beautiful I find it hard to believe that it was actually cut in a recording studio; it's as if The Miracles and Berry Gordy were somehow able to record the sound of the sweetest dream state and get it pressed to wax! It's also mind boggling to think that Somekey Robinson's genius was fully formed so early on in their career; this was, more or less, The Miracles third single although technically there is another release from a few months earlier with the same song and another flip side (although 'Depend On Me" was actually the b-side in both cases).
"Picture Me Gone" comes across sonically as though Brian Wilson was sitting in the producers' chair at the Motown studios, and has a power and majesty that SHOULD have made it a massive hit.
The amazing Evie Sands turns in what is one of her greatest performances (if not *the* best) with a vocal that shows her wide range and unique styling. Evie is a massively talented singer/ guitarist (and later) songwriter who saw her debut record's test pressing ("Take Me For A Little While") get stolen by a producer who took it to Chess Records in Chicago where Jackie Ross cut a version that was rush released and in turn sandbagged Evie record. It completely boggles my mind why this wasn't a huge hit (perhaps the fact that it was over 3:00?), but it took Evie a few more years to chart her biggest US hit (and another Chip Taylor composition) "Any Way That You Want Me".
The pairing of Al Gorgoni and Chip Taylor was a great one- Al made quite a name for himself as a session guitarist (he plays the jangly 12 string on Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds Of Silence" among so many others), and Chip Taylor penned the ubiquitous rock n roll anthem "Wild Thing", the smash pop-country hit "Angel Of The Morning", the sublime "I Can't Let Go" (cut by Evie Sands and the Hollies) among others.
It doesn't matter how many (hundreds) of times I've listened to this record- it always results in goosebumps.
Margie Hendrix, an original Raelette, was the female voice heard on two of the most massive tracks ever cut by Ray Charles- "Hit The Road Jack" and "Night Time Is The Right Time"; both are absolute peaks in the recorded history of female vocals.
After birthing one of Ray's children, Margie was fired from The Raelettes in 1964 and continued recording until her tragic, early death in 1973.
This track (along with The Raelettes' "One Room Paradise") shows off the incredible power of this woman's voice. The song, written by Margie, is full of the fire of her former boss' best, and features unbelievable vocals, a fantastic guitar solo and TWO incredible drum break down sections. All in less than two minutes. What a record!!!
"Emulsified" is one of those classic tracks that takes the fire and brimstone testimonials of gospel music and strips away the religion entirely and creates something downright lascivious! Just the way we like it.
Rex Garvin's life in music began at a very young age (17, in the year 1954) when he became a member of New York City (mostyl female) doo wop group The Hearts; young Rex sang bass, wrote and arranged songs, and played piano. Rex also scored a massive hit as a songwriter before his 20th birthday with Johnnie & Joe's "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea"; an r&b record that crossed over to the pop charts.
"Emulsified" was Rex' first release as a bandleader, and what a STOMPING debut it is! Okeh, the Epic Records r&b offshoot branch, clearly saw the hit potential- which was not realized upon initial release- and reissued this single in 1963. Sadly, it still didn't make much of a dent.
Rex scored another hit in '66 with "Sock It To 'Em, J.B"- a James Brown influenced number that references another J.B that was taking the world by storm in the mid-'60's...James Bond!
Rex Garvin seems to have disappeared from the music business entirely in 1971, but is believed to still be alive.
The names listed on this label are a veritable roll call of soul geniuses from Chicago and beyond. The song is written by Van McCoy (one of my favorite songwriters of the 60's who has had dozens of his records featured on this site), it was produced by Chicago's amazing Carl Davis (whose resume includes work with Major Lance, Billy Butler, The Chi-Lites and so many more), directed by Gerald Sims (vocalist of the Daylighters & The Radiants, guitarist, songwriter, producer), and arranged by Sonny Sanders (right hand man to Carl Davis, and a veteran of the early '60's Detroit scene as well.) Add the amazing vocals of Jackie Wilson and this record is plain and simply a done deal.
It was a brilliant career move that brought Jackie Wilson into the Chicago soul scene (and specifically under the wing of producer Carl Davis) in 1966; Jackie's dozens upon dozens of solo records cut between '57- '66 were produced in New York City by Dick Jacobs, and these big productions are just as important as the work of Sam Cooke in defining pop-soul music.
This particular record was the 5th release by the Wilson/ Davis team, and the combination of Jackie's emotive voice, sophisticated songs and arrangements were a winning formula; one that resulted in their sixth release together being the smash hit "Higher And Higher".