Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Down on my knees, beggin' baby please...

This is the less commonly heard, second, version of I'm Gonna Leave You. Interestingly, the two versions were released consecutively on Whit 716 and Whit 717.

Both are very good, I just happen to prefer the slightly slower, more country blues sounding, second one. Where the first one rocks, this one lays back and grooves. Doesn't hurt that as a duet [the first is not] the song itself shows much more depth.

Jackie Johnson, the female vocalist and writer of the song [I assume the writing credit given to the owner of the label is BS], is a mystery. I've yet to find a mention of her anywhere. Too bad, as she has such a great voice. I can't imagine a better pairing with Bobby Powell, seems a real shame they didn't do more than this one single together.

from 1963....

[Update: check the comments, one of my readers found Jackie Johnson/Jacqueline Johnson. She's now known as Lady Mem'fis.]

Monday, December 28, 2009

Love can make you feel this way...

I'd like to thank those folks who've bothered to send me such nice emails recently. It's a been a real pleasure hearing from each and every one of you.

A favorite quote from one of those emails: "I now have a Playlist on my Ipod called Singing Bones!"

Been far too long since I posted any Eddie Bo.

This is off of one of my favorite two-siders. Bo is just starting to get his funk's early 1966.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Talkin' that moon talk..

I've been going through my 45's trying to get them organized. I'm convinced the silly things purposely re-shuffle themselves in the middle of the night just to irritate me. Clearly, that's their idea of fun.

The up-side of this re-ordering is that I've found a few things I forgot I owned and/or don't remember buying. Keep in mind that, on average, I bring home fifty 45's a month....sometimes, a lot more than that...but never less than twenty five or thirty.

Anyway, here's one of my 'new' discoveries, a record I'm shocked to have over-looked. I must have got it for cheap because I'm sure I'd remember paying the usual going rate.

King Solomon [not to be confused with King Solomon Burke, King Solomon Hill, or even Solomon King] recorded a string of good to great singles on a lengthy roster of obscure labels in the late sixties/early seventies. It's almost as if everything he did qualifies as a 'one-off'. His only album was issued on the Celestial label.

Other than that, it's difficult to find any info. The liner notes to the album say he was born in Louisiana, but most of the labels he recorded for were located on west coast, which may or may not be meaningful.

Anyone got more info?...cause I'm stumped.

Enjoy the's from 1969

Friday, December 25, 2009

Waaay better than a lump of coal...

Because ya'll were very good this year, Santa left a little present. A mixture of Skunk Juice and Toe Jam distilled by those wicked alchemists The Pazant Brothers.

Consider it an antidote for all that dreadful Christmas music you've absorbed over the last few weeks.

Now, take that silly cap off your head and....turn it up!

Doctor Ana sez so.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Got myself a new personality...

There isn't much known about Stacy Lane except that he's probably from Memphis and recorded four singles. One on the obscure Memphis label, Bar....two on Excello....and another, rather bizarrely, issued on the Playboy label [yes, that Playboy].

I haven't heard the single on Bar but the sides on Playboy are quite different from those on Excello. Seems the man was a chameleon of sorts. On Excello he sounds an awful lot like Wilson Pickett, on Playboy he's doing his best to sound like Al Green. Neither imitation is done so badly as to be irritating.

Wish I knew more, but I don't.

Hope ya enjoy the's from 1968.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Went to a fortune teller...

Here's another one which owes it's groove to Cuban music.

I realize this is included on a million comps and is in virtually constant rotation on classic oldies stations, but the truth is that it wasn't a huge hit at the time. The 45 is sometimes hard to get, often selling for more than you might think....mainly because everyone seems to want a copy.

The flipside, Lipstick Traces, went to no. 28 on the R&B charts in 1962, but only managed to reach no. 80 on the Hot 100 pop chart. Fortune Teller never charted. It wasn't until various British invasion groups covered the song that it began it's rise to modern day 'classic' status.

Hope ya enjoy...

Me think of girl constantly...

*deftly sidesteps a huge pile of Christmas caca*

When I posted my copy of Earl King's, Come On Pts 1&2, Derek, from over at Derek's Daily 45, left an amusing comment about the condition of his copy. Well, seeing is believing. Derek posted his copy yesterday and it's hard to imagine that the 45 wasn't used as a sanding disc at some point. Amazing that it plays as well as it does.

Anyway, in keeping with the same spirit, I'm posting one of my most beat-up records. I found it in a box of un-sleeved 45's at a yard sale. Given what the record is, I figured I could afford to take a chance. This chewed up piece of vinyl, along with a handful of other equally dicey 45's, set me back the princely sum of 50 cents.

The disc is completely covered with scratches, to the point where you almost can't see any grooves. I fully expected the record to be unplayable. Imagine my surprise when I gave it a spin.

Yeah, it's a bit worn and got some crackling going on, but given that I'd expect to pay at least $50 for one in better shape, this copy will do for the time being. I'm pleased as punch to own it.
I first heard Berry's version of Louie Louie when was 13 or 14. My mother was listening to NPR and 'Afro-Pop Worldwide' came on. The host started off the show with the song and then segued into the Cha-Cha tune from which the main riff derives. I was totally smitten.

My parents had a Cd recorder, so I checked the schedule for when the show would be replayed and made a point to record the song. I played that copy over and over and over.

And ya know, it's still one of my favorite tunes ever.

Hope ya's from 1957.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rain rain go away...

This December, we've had the most rain ever recorded in one month. More than four times the average.....20+ inches.

Consider that a lame attempt at being topical.

Here ya of the many gems produced by the Dorsey/Toussaint collaboration.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here it is...

Info on the Wallace Brothers is hard to come by. Word is that they were two cousins out of Atlanta even though their only album has a picture of three guys on it.

It's actually pretty strange that there ever was an album, because they only released 12 singles.....eight on the Sims label....three on on Royal. There are an awful lot of artists who produced scads more work and never had an album issued in their name.

While the singles may not knock you out with a bang, there is something special about the Wallace Brothers. Once heard, the songs continue to linger in the mind. I dunno what it is for sure....but I do wonder if there isn't some kind of purity at work. And ya know, maybe that's just another way of saying their work is classic, in the real sense of the word.

Hope ya enjoy....the song's from 1965.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ignore me if you wanna..

A request from my friend Angel. Hope it makes her's a very beautiful smile.

Truth is, I'm of two minds when it comes to posting anything by Betty Harris.....she is one of the very few artists, if not the only artist, I've posted who is still alive and actually owns the rights to some of her past work. Specifically the sides on the Sansu label.

Thus, ya'll really should go buy a copy of her Lost Soul Queen CD. I've bought at least four for friends....own one myself, even though I also own all the 45's.

It's a great only complaint is that it includes a song called, All I Want Is You, which isn't by Harris. The song was recorded by Zilla Mayes and issued on the Tou-Sea label [funny, how no one seems to catch that, the same mistake shows up on Charly's Selected Hits collection].

Hope ya enjoy the tune...and please go buy the CD, Betty deserves it.

Guest Post at Derek's Daily 45...

I should go ahead and post this just in case someone hasn't seen it over at Derek's Daily 45...

When Derek asked me to guest on his blog, my first thought was....yikes! do I even own a record he hasn't already posted? In short, going toe to toe with Derek's collection is a little intimidating. Or, at least it is to me. But ya know, of course I do own some cool 45's which Derek hasn't posted, maybe even a few he hasn't scooped up yet. So, there's really no reason why I should get all twisted-up about this, right? [uh huh]

Anyway, I recently added a sixth Diamond Joe Maryland 45 to my collection. This is out of seven possible. So, in honor of my dogged pursuit of fairly obscure singles.....I'm offering up a song which I don't think has been posted on any of the soul blogs before. At least, I haven't seen it posted before and a quick search didn't turn up anything either.

This surprises me. It's a great tune...full of twists, turns, and stops. Most of all, stops. Heavy on the stops. Allen Toussaint produced it. I love it.

The title is, Don't Set Me Back. From 1966...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

There's a right way...and a wrong way...

This is a genuine monster of a record.

Although it's likely that some version of the Meters are layin' down the track [Leo Nocentelli gets song writing credit and that's clearly him playing guitar] does also seem just as unlikely that Ziggaboo Modeliste is providing the beat. If it is Modeliste, then it's the most restrained drumming he ever waxed.

But ya know, this ain't no ordinary Meters type funk fact, I wouldn't say it's funk at all, as the groove is all about hip-swinging. My sisters will know what I mean.

In particular, listen to that bass line [whew]....I'm thinking it's George Porter Jr. making up for the lack of [more usual] percussive pyrotechnics.


[As a side note, the label name, Deesu, is part of an extended joke revolving around an early nickname for Allen Toussaint [two cents]. Deesu is a play on the French wording, dix sous [think of it as ten cents]. There was a time when French currency coming out of New Orleans was the major source of cold hard cash for the fledgling United States. The word, 'Dixie', comes from dix sous.]

[Addendum: a couple of folks have pointed out that the bass work on this record is not atypical of George Porter...they are, of course, completely correct. Truth is, I haven't been listening as closely as I should. The man's playing is astounding.]

Friday, December 11, 2009

Every time you move like that....

Leiber and Stoller deserve a great big kiss for this one. Wish I owned the later version by the Coasters, I'd love to post both together.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't deny it...

God loves a record store owner who drops a record like this in the $1 bin.


Friday, December 4, 2009

I tossed and turned all night...

It's been a very very long week. And I still have fifty pages of text to re-work by next friday. Thus, maybe you can imagine that writing anything, even if it's for fun, is NOT on the agenda.

Which sucks, cause I actually have quite a lot to say about Nappy Brown.

Oh well, maybe another time. It's not like this is the only record by Napoleon Brown Culp I plan on posting.

Hope ya enjoy the tune.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I wanna thank you...

I'd like to thank every one who's stopped by the blog in these first few months, with special thanks going out to those who've bothered to leave comments. It's nice to know the effort is appreciated.

Extra special thanks go out to my fellow bloggers who have universally been very helpful and kind. I half expected ya'll to boo me off the stage, and thus am more than pleasantly surprised by the response.

Up till now I've kept a tight reign on comments, emails, and such....but I'm going to loosen that up a bit as my biggest problem so far has been friends and family members trying to post comments rife with the written equivalent of embarrassing baby pictures.

In short, I'm still having a good time pumping out the tunes...and am throughly pleased that anyone out there enjoys what I post.
Normally, I'd offer up both sides of something like this, but Part 2 is only an edited version of Part 1.

So, ya'll are stuck with 6 minutes and 21 seconds of some of the purest funk around [boo hoo].

Have a nice holiday, ok?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby don't do it!

Here's one of four Don Covay sides on Rosemart, which as far as I know were the only four sides ever issued on the label. Appearances suggest that the label was set up by Atlantic records as part of a scheme to channel money to a powerful DJ of the day [he was listed as label owner-of-record, Atlantic distributed the singles nationally].

Those who've heard both 45's will know that not only did the Rolling Stones cover one of the Rosemart sides note for note [Mercy Mercy], they also straight-up lifted Covay's entire sound for their more soul-inflected period, circa 1965-66. Those who haven't heard the records before may be in for a shock as the sound is so very 'Stones-like'.

...from 1964, Please Don't Let Me Know

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do you believe baby?

This one goes out to a very special guy. He's away at the moment and I'm missing him.

So if you got a sweetheart, maybe ya could give her a little spin to this song?...ya know, just for me? Cause tonight, I'd sure give a lot to have just one slow dance with my boy.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Love is nice when it's understood..

Oh, what the hell....might as well let the big dog out of the yard.

Watch it...sucka will knock ya down and steal your wallet.

I never knew what love could be..

Here's the first version of what most people know as, Come On [Let The Good Times Roll].

Cosimo Matassa issued it on his short-lived Rex label in 1959, only to see King re-work the song and put it out, again, on Imperial, one year later.

The Imperial version is, of course, definitive...but this earlier recording has it's own charm, not the least of which is a waaay cuter title.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wipe these tears comin' out my eyes..

This is one of those records I'm amazed I actually own. Partially because I don't remember where I got it. Which is odd.

Most of my records have a little story attached to them....unfortunately, most of the stories are pretty boring and not worth the telling.

Believe me, I do my best to shield ya'll from having to read such nonsense.....I mean, does anybody really care if the sky opens and a 45 sails from the heavens to land gently at my feet? Even if it's a great 45? Even if it's a daily occurrence?

Ya'll should read this piece on Jackie Opel. I doubt that there's any better.

Enjoy the tune, hope it gets ya through the mid-week hump.

I just wants to be around...

Wouldn't matter if this song was 30 minutes long, I'd still be shakin' the whole time.

It's just one of those 45's that short-circuits the soft, jello-like center of my brain.

I think that means it swings.


Monday, November 16, 2009

That's the end of the line....

The Chick and Chuck Carbo story is complicated.

They started out singing in church with a gospel group called the Zion City Harmonizers [Zion City is a New Orleans neighborhood], which soon changed it's name to the Delta Southernaires.

In 1953, the group came to the attention of Cosimo Matassa and he coaxed them into recording a couple of R&B songs along with two gospel sides.

The two secular sides, I Didn't Want To Do It/You're The One, were released on the Imperial label in early 1954 under the name 'The Spiders'. Both songs were hits. I Didn't Want To Do It went to #3 on the R&B charts, You're The One peaked at #5 that year.

Almost immediately, things started to go sour. Within six months, 'The Spiders' were outed to the gospel community, who promptly ostracized them....Lew Chudd at Imperial made a move to get Chuck to go solo, which po'ed the rest of the least one member left because of the heavy touring schedule...and tragically, Chuck's young son died, after which he effectively left the group as well....

For several years afterwards a funny situation existed....Chick ran the actual touring group, basically without Chuck, while Imperial continued to release records by the Spiders which were usually Chuck with some combination of the Spiders, or Chuck himself overdubbing the back-up parts, or even Chuck with unrelated back-up singers. Of the 28 sides issued by Imperial, Chuck sings lead on 20.

Now, I'm not saying Chuck's voice wasn't beautiful, but right or wrong, my feeling is that Chick was the one who got shafted. And it's too bad, cause his voice was just as amazing as Chuck's, if somewhat different.

Chick put out seven 45's under his own name on various labels. As far as I can tell, he never released anything past 1967.

Here's one of the 4 sides he did with Allen Toussaint for Instant...from 1962.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Are you talkin' to me?

I have a very serious thing for Lee Dorsey.

If the man were still alive, I'd be stalking him.


What did that chick say?

I have no idea how to do the Twitch...but believe me, I do the best I can.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

They're goin' ape...

Jeeze, this record is awfully hard to find in decent condition. But ya know, I do love it when folks seem to have played the hell out of certain 45's.

Can't remember where, but I recall that someone wrote how they don't think Guitar Ray's output seems particularly 'New Orleans'.....

I say, think again. Ever hear of something called a 'local accent'? New Orleans is a complicated city. Best not to over-simplify.

Guitar Ray was Earl King's cousin. Wardell Querzerque produced the record.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Free from all sorrow, pain, or care..

The Ward Singers/Clara Ward Singers were huge stars in their day....they were the first 'glamorous' gospel stars, the first gospel group to have a million selling record, the first female group to trade leads like the male groups.

They were hot...and I mean, really hot.

Clara was the long time consort of a certain Rev. C. L. Franklin. She mentored his daughter, Aretha.

Both C. L. and Aretha sang at Clara's funeral. Aretha's album, Amazing Grace, was meant as a personal tribute to the lady.

Here's Clara by herself, singing a song usually associated with Mahalia Jackson. It was written by William Herbert Brewster. The noticeable change in tempo, mid-song, is one of the hallmarks of his songs. A mix of old-style hymn with the still quite new at the time, gospel style.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Since you've been gone...

Drop dead gorgeous.

I find it disturbing that almost nobody seems to care that a pile of NOS copies of Deesu 320 have appeared on ebay....

The initial asking price was $10+shipping [cheap enough]...last I looked, it had dropped to $6+shipping [pathetic].

Yep.....I just checked, you can still buy, don't be an idiot, go snag yourself a nice cheap copy while you can.

I'll be very disappointed if you don't.

I couldn't see the forest for the trees...

60+ songs posted and NO Irma Thomas?

Time to remedy the problem.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

I don't want no light...

Started out singing in church, ended up singing in church.

It's a common enough story, but in Anna King's version of the tale there's a little matter of a couple of years spent backing-up James Brown. A time during which she recorded a genuinely classic album, Back To Soul. I'm pretty sure it's the only album Brown ever produced for one of his female singers [remind me if ya know better].

King recorded singles before and after her time with Brown, but the few I've heard do not compare with those issued in 1963-64 on Smash.

Btw, If anyone knows about any recordings King might have made in the late sixties with Duke Ellington, I'd love to hear from ya.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Her head started shakin'...

I figure I should go ahead and post this before Dan Philips over at Home of the Groove beats me to it. He just posted two records which were at the front of my 'to-post' list as part of his most recent installment in the Bo-Consciousness series. He's even posted the rarely heard Part2 of Timber, which is exactly what I was going to do *SOT*.

Seriously, ya'll should check it out. There will be a test later.

Here's some funky stuff from Chris Kenner, circa 1966. Eddie Bo is right there with him...


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do like a fireman when a house is burning down!

I'm sick.

Nothing too major, just a very persistent bug. Something I like to think of as a 'swine-cold'.

In short, I'm not dying, I just feel like I am.

Thank God for the extra-large bottle of orange flavored, codeine-laden, cough syrup the doctor gave me. Ya know, the stuff really doesn't taste half-bad if ya add some club soda, a little cracked ice, and a couple of slices of lime.

I'm tempted to offer-up Chris Kenner's, Sick and Tired....but instead I think I'll post something a bit more...infectious.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't ya let that man get away...


I finally find a less than hammered copy of one of the greatest two-siders ever....and two days later I find a copy which sounds slightly better. Of course, I buy both.

Usually the choice is easy, I keep the better sounding copy and trade/sell the other.

But ya know, I kind of like the slightly worn sound of the less good copy. So, I'm unsure what to do.

Anyway, here's my 'second' [very very pretty] copy.....

Cover your ears children.....distortion is bad for ya......mama sez so

Monday, October 19, 2009

He should be pulling rabbits out of hats...

This one of my recent finds at the record convention in Austin. It's one of 10 or so singles Carol Fran put out on the Port/Roulette labels between 1964 and 1967.

Fran has had quite a life. You can read about it here. The piece is by Jeff Hannusch.

There's a very nice collection of Fran's stuff around. It's split with sides by Betty LaVette and called, Bluesoul Belles: The Complete Calla, Port and Roulette Recordings 1964-1967.

It's very rare that any of these old soul artists are still alive, even rarer that they own the rights to their work....but on the off-chance that Fran or LaVette get anything from sales of the comp, I would like to suggest that you go buy a copy. Both artists more than deserve some money for their work, they sure as hell never got any in the day.

Hope ya enjoy

Friday, October 16, 2009

My heart keeps wanting you....

This is one of four sides on the Alon label produced by Eddie Bo...all of which were recorded with Skip Easterling.

Martin Lawrie, over at Soul Generation, says this record is, "impossibly hard to find"....and I'll take his word for it, but ya know things do change and previously unknown copies do sometimes start to appear once the word gets out. So, perhaps a teensie weensie reality check is in order.

That said, this recording isn't heard that often, and should be played more often than it is. It's not only one of Bo's most beautiful compositions, it's also one of his better productions....and Easterling's performance is nothing short of sublime.

It essentially follows the same formula that makes the other Bo/Easterling ballad on Alon, The Grass Is Always Greener, such a jaw-dropper.


[Ugh, I just realized that the label is very difficult to read, the song is...Just One More Time, by Skip Easterling]

Correction: There are more than two Eddie Bo produced 45's on the Alon Label. I forgot about a 45 by David Reynolds, Cry Cry Cry/Tears In My Eyes. Martin Lawrie doesn't list it in his usually very complete discography. It's a rare item.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Always, a part of me..

What an amazing recording.....written by the fabulous Earl King, sung by the greatest singer New Orleans ever spawned, Johnny Adams....and as if that wasn't enough, Wardell Querzerque is on board to make everything sound just right.

Too bad I don't own a better copy.

But then, I'm very partial to this one. I suppose you could say it has sentimental value.

Or perhaps it's just that I like my deep soul to sound like it's coming to me from a great something ya hear faintly through your window in the middle of the night....just a bit ghostly.

Or maybe it's that pops and crackles simply don't matter when it comes to certain records...and you'd be a stone-cold fool to nit-pick rather than just sit back and listen.


Ya see, I think of records as something much more than a collection of static sound my mind, they're alive, changing over time...the pops and crackles becoming one with the grooves.....each copy, an individual, to be loved or not.

This is the first single I ever bought. I remember seeing it in the store and thinking...gee, I could own that for $3.00.

Hope ya enjoy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If you ever think about me...

This is Bobby Marchan's first record after leaving Huey Smith & the Clowns. It's also one of the more bizarre singles to ever hit the charts.....No.1 on the R&B charts in 1960.

Part 1 is basically a straight-up cover of the original version recorded by Big Jay McNeely's band, for whom it was a huge hit in 1959.

Part 2 is where things get strange. Here, Marchan proceeds to 'murder' the original as clearly and as cleanly as the confession states.

In short, the song becomes a murder ballad and everything you thought you knew, suddenly falls to ashes.

Once the refrain "if you ever think about me" shows itself to be the unspoken words of the dead sweetheart echoing in Marchan's head, the specter of psychosis retroactively blankets the entire song.

The ease with which Marchan subverts the original while barely changing a note is deceptively simple. It's truly a mind-f*ck of a very high order.

Just so you can judge for yourself, I'm also including a copy of the original version by Big Jay McNeely, even though I don't actually own the record [it's well worth a listen].


Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm gonna give a party in my backyard...

Yeah you right...ain't near enough dancing goin' on.

Here's one of Robert Parker's series of singles based on his Barefootin' theme.

I should point out that Parker's Barefootin' LP on Nola records is fairly easy to find and includes many of his hits, that is if ya don't feel like messing with the 45's. I'm pretty sure I paid less than $10 for my copy.


The man who left, was doggin' me around...

I had fair luck at the record convention, picked up a few things I was looking for, found a few others I didn't know I was looking for....had two records given to me outright [which was sweet]. Also did some horse-trading with a dear friend.

All in all, ended up with 30+ new 45's.

Here's one of my finds...a strange/haunting single which took me awhile to suss out.

A few years before Jean Knight [real name, Jean Caliste] recorded Mr. Big Stuff with Wardell Querzerque, she made a couple of demo's. Huey Meaux heard them and signed Knight to his Jet Stream label which issued 3[?] singles, none of which got much attention.

Now, on the surface, this is one of those Meaux produced singles, but actually it's more, and less, than that....

These are the original demo's that Knight recorded at Cosimo's. Meaux simply had them pressed to vinyl and released in unaltered form.

So, what ya hear is Knight's first time in the studio, the session done on the cheap....

What strikes me most [besides the creepy organ parts] is how nervous/scared she sounds...miles and miles apart from the struttin' soul sister she became.

Some of this difference is due to the choice in material, but still, I think it's hard to deny the vulnerability Knight shows here. It's almost shocking.


Friday, October 9, 2009

So many people fall in love just for fun...

I'm heading out for Austin Tx in a few hours...gonna visit with friends and spend some serious time digging through the piles of vinyl at the Austin Record Convention. Should be a blast.

My short list is rather small...but of course, there are hundreds of singles I'm likely to snatch if they cross my path.

Here's a record which until recently was on my must-find list. One of my better trading partners coughed it up in exchange for my second copy of Oliver Morgan's, Who Shot the La La.

It's Diamond Joe's second single and arguably one of Allen Toussaint's strangest productions.

Yep, that's an autoharp.