Monday, May 24, 2010

I don't wanna buy no wedding band...

I have no idea why I gave this record a listen. As far I know, I'd never heard the song before, never heard of Bobby Foster, and what little I do know about Souncot records should have led me to believe this is a country record.

It's not. It's a killer funk thang. Exactly the kind of record that requires I find other copies because I-will-wear-this-one-out. Count on it.

[update: I was looking around for more info on Bobby Foster and found an old ebay listing for an acetate of this record. It has a Sam Phillips recording studio label on it....but I'm pretty sure Sam Philips had sold his operation to Shelby Singleton by that time. If that's true, then the sides could have been cut in either Memphis or Nashville, but my gut feeling says Memphis all the way.]

[correction & update: One of the readers has correctly pointed out that Sam Phillips only sold the Sun label to Shelby Singleton, but kept control of his recording studio. Also, I've found out there are at least six other Bobby Foster singles around. Now I just need to find them.]

Take inventory before you decide...

I've picked up a lot of nice records for cheap recently, but I think this one qualifies as Score Of The Month.

It's the more common of the two records Skip Easterling made with Eddie Bo, "The Grass Looks Greener"/"Keep The Fire Burning" [Alon labels are impossible to scan even when they're not worn]. I've held off buying the 45 until now because I think copies are usually overpriced given that it's not that hard to find one.

Yep, I can be very cheap, but I never expected to find a copy in a thrift store for $2.50. It was so filthy that I couldn't tell if it was scratched or not. I had to wipe it off and then hold it in the sun to read the label. But hey, for $2.50, I figured I could take a chance. Turns out it's a pretty nice copy, one that's seen more abuse in storage than in play. I bet if I run it through a VPI machine, half the pops will disappear.

Seems like everyone who owns this 45 has posted it at one time or another, but mostly, it's been the more upbeat side, "Keep The Fire Burning", that's offered. I happen to like "The Grass Looks Greener" better. Such a beautiful song. Written by Eddie Bo.

Hope ya like...

Friday, May 21, 2010

You've been slowly driving me insane....

Geeze, talk about "ugly ways"......I was so pissed off yesterday about the divshare files that I forgot to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and well wishes concerning the wedding. Thanks a bunch ya'll. Please, just consider that I'm half crazed at this point.

Anyone got an extra Valium?

Took me awhile to land this 45, as copies often sell for more than I wanted to spend. That is, nice copies do. Mine isn't that nice, but it is original, plays through without a skip, and was probably cheaper than it should have been.

These two songs are well loved in this city. Hard to say why without over-generalizing, but it's true nonetheless. Within the last week, I've heard both played around town. "I Remember", re-fashioned into a gorgeous musical puzzle by a very talented pianist...... "Travelin' Mood", pounded out by some kids in the street on a plastic five gallon bucket, a guitar, and fiddle. Both times, I had to stop and listen.

Wee Willie Wayne, aka James Waynes, aka James Wayne is a bit of an enigma. Not much is known about him, even though he recorded a fair amount. By my count, he had records issued on at least six different labels.....not including the three separate occasions he was signed to Imperial. The problem is that sometime in the early 60's, he apparently fell off the face of the earth and was never heard from again.

Wayne/Waynes made the first recording of another local favorite, "Junco Partner", in 1952. It was recorded in Atlanta, but is generally acknowledged as having been a popular motif around New Orleans before that time. I'm one who believes Tuts Washington when he say's his [unrecorded] version of "Junker's Blues" is the source of both "Junco Partner" and Professor Longhair's, "Tipitina".

The two songs are closer than you might think. In fact, I'd say that Wayne had to have heard Fess play some version of what became "Tipitina" prior to recording "Junco Partner". Nothing Wayne recorded before or after sounds quite like it.

In no way do I mean that as a put-down of Wayne's output. There's good reason why the man is revered. His oddly clipped phrasing, combined with an approach so laid back it almost sounds like he's singing to himself, makes for some very beautiful records.

Background vocals on "I Remember" are by the Sha-Weez, aka the Kidds, aka the of the more interesting vocal groups of the day. I presume Dave Bartholomew produced/arranged the record, as he did with virtually all Imperial releases recorded in New Orleans.

Hope ya enjoy "I Remember" and "Travelin' Mood".

The record's from 1955.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

She had such ugly ways...

I know this is tedious....but it looks like about 50 divshare links are broken. I have no idea why, and I have no time to fix them. At least, not right now.

As I keep saying, I need to reorganize the blog so it works better. My original plan was to build up a fair sized library, but it could be that in the future the links will only be available for a limited time. The last thing I need is more work.
Awhile back I posted a clip of Mister Satan/Sterling Magee. Thought ya'll might like to hear one of his 45's.

There are only three Magee singles I'm aware of [all are killer], two of which share a b-side.

Hope ya like this one...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This is called a groove maker...

I'm not sure if it's true of every recording released on Baton Rouge's Golden label [I haven't heard them all], but every Golden 45 I own sounds like it was recorded live in the studio using two microphones. The sessions maybe involving three takes at most.

On this particular cut, there's a whole 'funky chicken' guitar solo missing in action, the drums are way in the background...the song, such as it is, was probably made up on the spot.

Yep, screw ups abound on Golden, but the immediacy factor is very very high. Which is a good thing to have working in your favor on an awesome slab of garage-funk like this. Wait till they 'take it to the bridge' and then tell me your hair doesn't start to stand on end.

George Perkins is most well known for his anthemic "Cryin' In The Streets". I'm pretty sure the flip of this record, "How Can A Broke Man Survive", was meant to be the follow up to that song.

Turn it way up!

Hope ya enjoy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm gettin' married soon....

I'm still around ya'll. Between work and family I've hardly had a spare moment for weeks. My apologies to those who've sent emails and have yet to receive a reply. I will get to them.

At present, I'm swamped with preparations for the "Huge Public Spectacle Which I've Thoughtlessly Scheduled For The Beginning Of June".....aka "The Singularity", for short.

Ya know, I'm a complicated person. It's not like I'm incapable of doing things in a whole-hearted manner, it's just that I do tend to see a range of extremes in even the 'simplest' of situations. Both 'black' and 'white', at the same time, all the time. The relativistic notion of 'shades of grey', does not even begin to cover the implications.

All of which is to say that I'm conflicted about virtually everything I do, and with good reason. Thus, I hope you'll understand that I'm having a difficult time spitting out what might seem to be a very 'simple' statement....

........I am, indeed, getting married soon. The wedding is large. The amount of preparation involved is overwhelming.

I'm incredibly happy about this but also dreading it like the plague. Ya know, even though I'm the one who's chosen to get married, I insist on my right to kick and scream all the way to the altar. No one ever said being me is easy.

Luckily, My Boy Lollipop finds this battle amusing. And that's really the only/best way to look at it. My struggles are purely internal, and in no way a reflection on anyone else.

Best part of getting married, so mother's seamstress has designed/made the most beautiful dress. It's throughly modern, with clean lines, no ruffles, but still manages to look vaguely victorian. Perfect for an ex-goth girl on her to becoming respectable. I like it so much that I'm thinking of having several variations made up [in colors other than white] as ball gowns for next Mardi Gras season.

Worst part of getting married, so far......everyone obsessing about my hair [dreads with red extensions]. Just what exactly am I supposed to do? Shave my head and wear a wig? I've had to tell everyone to back-the-fuck-off, that I will take care of it. And indeed I have. My friend Angel has given me a beautiful gold scarf with which to tie it up....and the seamstress has found a way to integrate a veil.

Truth is, I'm gonna knock 'em dead, I always do. Think: Medusa as Virgin. Most women should be so lucky as to have my sense of style.

Biggest worry, so far....whether there will be enough oysters available for the reception.

I can't speak for anyone else, but the assurance of plenty of oysters on the half shell [even if they're not from the Gulf] is one of the main reasons I'm planning to attend.
Obviously, I've been waiting for the right moment to post this song.

My favorite part is when La La name checks his own family.

Sending out invitations...
To friends and all relations...
Dor Da [?], Da Da, Papoose, and Picou too.

I'm switching to mediafire. Hopefully this works better for everyone. So if you want to hear the song, you'll have to click on the 'enjoy' link. Sorry about the pop-ups, I hate them myself.

Hope ya'll enjoy the tune...