Monday, October 12, 2009

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.



  1. Only just found you and linking you just as soon as I finish writing this!

    I picked up this 45 2 or 3 years ago, also taken by it's primitive and haunting quality. I was also moved to feature it on my blog a while back.

    Recently Sir Shambling ( featured Betty Green and a song entitled "He's Down On Me". It is basically the same song as "The Man That Left Me" but not credited to Jean Caliste. Which came first I wonder?

    Love The Singing Bones!

  2. I'm so glad you mentioned the song by Betty Green. I almost bought that 45 very very recently....but only listened to the flip, Lonely Girl. My loss for not picking it up.

    I'm sure the Betty Green came first. Shambling says the record came out in 1964...I'm pretty sure the Jean Knights from 1966, maybe 67.

    Really interesting, thanks for the info.


  3. ana,

    I have seen a Jetstream discography that puts Jean's 45 as very early in 1965 which would mean it was probably laid down in 1964. So the race is on?

    I'm interested (and envious?) to know - can you still walk into a thrift store/record shop in your neighbourhood with a reasonable chance of picking up records like this almost every time?

  4. Indeed, the race is on...and ya know the next question I would ask is, where was the Betty Green record recorded? and I think the next would be: did Huey Meaux have anything to do with it?

    Cause you're right, it's too close to call time-wise....and both are obscure recordings....not likely they could have been heard on the radio.

    In answer to your question: I'm blessed by living very near [within relatively short bicycling distance] to two of the finest record stores I've yes, I can walk out of my house and within 15 minutes be pawing through large bins of 45's. Within an hour I can easily be back with ten new [very nice] records.

    As you might imagine, the problem is paying for them all...even at 3 to 6 dollars a pop.


  5. oh yeah...Darcy, I'm gonna link to your blog as well....I've visited a number of times before, and love it.

    I'm just a little bit lame with the linking thing, or you'd have been included long before now.


  6. I knew I was going to be envious - and you can bicycle to your local record shops too, now I am a deep shade of green!

    I have a number of record shops within 15 minutes drive, unfortunately none will ever likely stock the sort of records I crave i.e. soul, r&b, funk from the golden age. One day I intend visiting your country with the sole purpose of record hunting... one day.