Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby get filthy!

By my count, these two sides are the 299th and 300th vinyl rips I've made from my collection and offered on the blog. Not too bad for 18 months of posting.

Sometime last spring I was looking for a copy of the comp called "Get Low Down!", specifically because it includes a couple of unreleased tracks by Bobby LaCour. Now, the comp is out of print, and at least when I was looking for it the only copy I could find was priced at over $70, which is waaay more than I'm going to pay for a two CD set. I mean jeeze, I can buy myself a really nice 45 for that much. [In fact, that's about what I paid for the rarest 45 included in the collection]

Luckily a very generous blog reader came to my rescue. When I finally listened to it I was a little shocked, because ya see I'd never heard the comp before, and not only is "Get Low Down!" one of the two best collections of Toussaint productions ever gathered together, but beyond that I'd already posted so many of the included tunes that my readers could be forgiven for thinking I was using the collection as a buying guide. Which obviously I wasn't.

Is there a point to this story? Not really. Just my long winded way of introducing this 45, which is of course the record from which the title of the comp derives. Those of you who own "Get Low Down!" clearly don't need a copy of the 45, but since when did that ever stop me before.

Seems an appropriate choice for cracking the 300 mark. Hope ya'll enjoy...

[I've more or less decided not to do memorials anymore, but I would like to dedicate this one to Renetta Lowe, aka Magnolia Shorty, who was murdered about 10 days ago. WTF New Orleans.]

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spreadin' round the world like a wild disease....

It's been at least a year since Dan Phillips posted both sides of this 45 as part of his fabulous Bo-Consciousness series. Just in case some of ya'll missed it then, I thought I'd offer up the record yet again.

This is one of four 45's Chris Kenner made with Eddie Bo. Why it's credited to "Candy" Phillips is anyone's guess, but according to Dan the record was part of the deal Atlantic made with Jack Banashak for the pre-existing Kenner sides on Instant which they gathered into the "Land Of A Thousand Dances" album. This dates the 45 as being from 1965, which is earlier than many had thought, and also invalidates any theory that the "Candy" Phillips credit might be some kind of Bo/Kenner originated joke passed off on an unwitting Atlantic at a later date.

Presumably Atlantic wanted a new single from Kenner as part of the deal, and this wacked-out 45 is what they got. While it may seem unlikely that Atlantic would go ahead and issue the record after deciding they didn't want it associated with their other Kenner releases, I think that's exactly what happened.

In short, I think someone at Atlantic decided the song was too raunchy for their intended market, and slapped a pseudonym on it in much the same way as was done to certain "party" records cut by other artists. Not that this record even comes close to being dirty, but the name "Candy" Phillips does help a bit with the association.

Ok, I just said the record isn't dirty, but ya know what? is. While virtually every dance craze record ever made plays off some kind sexual double-entendre, this one explodes that conceit by making the "dance" itself so intentionally laughable that all thats left is Kenner's drunken lechery for the girl in the green dress who's "chopping down trees all night". In my opinion, anyone who takes lyrics like these as anything other than a smutty joke is just being obtuse.

Then again, I don't know that too many folks agree with me, soooo maybe I'm the one with the dirty mind.

I see what I want, and baby what I want is you...

Broadmoor was a label Dave Bartholomew started up in the late '60's. It's named after a neighborhood in New Orleans up by Napolean Ave. where it runs into Broad and Fontainebleau. There weren't a lot of releases on the label, maybe 10 or so.

People tend to forget that Fats Domino was the second biggest selling artist of the 1950's, surpassed only by Elvis. And Dave Bartholomew was the man behind all of those recordings on the Imperial label, in fact he was The Man in New Orleans up until 1960 or so. Every Imperial label record made in the city has Dave Bartholomew's imprint all over it.

I'm speaking of the gods here. Cos Matassa has said a number of times that Mr. B and Fats started it all. Of course Cos himself had nothing to do with any of it, he only recorded Roy Brown's original version of "Good Rockin' Tonight" in 1948 and his studio on Rampart was recently declared a Rock & Roll Landmark. Living Treasures all, Cos, Fats, Mr. B., is that clear?

Anyway, in 1967 Fats was apparently between record labels and cut two 45's with Bartholomew for Broadmoor. Just like old times.

In my opinion this the most enjoyable of those recordings. I don't know why, but it makes me smile every time I hear it. Maybe it's just that Fats is so beautiful, ya know? Sorry about the quality of the scan, metallic gold ink on teal is almost impossible to reproduce, it's the same problem I have with 45's on the Alon label. The song is called "Work My Way Up Steady".

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Just a note....

I've been fretting over my recent post of "white whales".

Let me reiterate that those are records I don't own, and that some of the tunes were ripped by other people. In particular, I want to be clear that Larry Grogan's rip of the Eddie Bo 45 is very likely the only time that record has been offered on the net. In terms of my thinking, that's a very big deal and if I were to do the post over, I would ask his permission to post it first. The same goes for Dan Phillips' copy of "Black Samson Theme". I made a mistake in not asking in the first place. I apologize to both of them.

After some thought I realize that the Ella Brown rip must have come from Sir Shambling's site and the copy of ZuZu Man by way of an unknown ripper. All credit for those two rips go to them. I have the bad habit of stripping ID info from files I download simply because I find much of that info annoying. This can make it difficult to know where they come from.

I'm fairly certain the other songs either come from comps or are rips sent to me by friends. If anyone knows differently, then drop me a line and I'll gladly acknowledge the error.

Ya see, the premise of this blog is that, with the rare exception, I stick to 45s I actually own. This puts me, and those who do like-wise, at a disadvantage to those who post files from "whatever" source. Our source material is usually more limited, invariably more expensive, and often takes some major effort to come by.

To my mind this means those who hunt down actual hard copies of rare recordings [in whatever medium] are worthy of a little respect. That's why I think an apology is due those whose rips I posted recently. More than most folks, I should know better.

If that means I'm a vinyl [or hard copy] snob, then so be it, I'm a snob. But I don't post other people's rips without acknowledging the source, and in the future, if I want to post anyone else's, I will ask permission first and not just presume it's ok.

While I understand that from the listening end there may be very little difference between a vinyl rip and a purely digital file, from this end the difference is huge.


[pic is of my heavy rotation stack]

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I can't eat, I can't sleep....

This record also showed up under the tree...with my name on it. I'm afraid I don't know anything about it, or Johnny Love, or the Amethyst Garnets [???]. But it's very cool, and ultra intriguing. I'm thinking this might be a gospel band taking a day off from church.

Is that a steel guitar I hear? It doesn't quite sound like bottleneck work to me, but who could tell with musicians this skilled.

[Update: I'm perhaps being too misleading with this post. This record is without a doubt one of the stranger 45's I've heard recently. It's not often you'll hear an R&B band as indulgent of their own amateurism as this. And yet the song works in spite of it all, which in my book makes it totally brilliant. If this had been released in the 50's that would be one thing, but it wasn't. Check the date on the record label.]

Hope ya'll enjoy my new record as much as I do.....

Baby's first record...

This 45 found it's way under the Christmas tree anonymously. The card on the present read: 'To The Bump', nothing else. Not really much of a mystery though. The rest of the card should have read: From Cranky Old Bastard [With a Heart Of Gold].

Without a doubt the sweetest thing I've seen in awhile. I'd frame the record except I plan on wearing it out during extended patty cake sessions instead. Hopefully it'll end up with crayon scribbles all over the label.

Ya know, like a lot of people I go into the Christmas season with a good bit of anxiety. I mean jeeze, I've got two huge families to deal with.....any gathering could always turn into major train wreck. But somehow that never happens, and I come away feeling loved, and loving all of them in turn, time and time again.

I consider myself very very lucky, but not just because of my family, there are also a few dear friends who who always seem to have my back. Cranky Old Bastard is one of those. Maybe he'll come down for Christmas next year? I keep telling him I'm not the only female who's disappointed when he doesn't show. Ya know, one of 'em is working as a stripper now [nudge nudge].

I suspect this record is secretly loved by a number of people who are too embarrassed to play it when anybody else is around. Certainly it's the sweetest tune Mr. Toussaint ever put to wax. Makes me wish he'd made a children's album. I'm sure Baby Girl will love it.

7 months down, two more to go.

Label this one, much like the rest of the post: Not for use by diabetics.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Records that drive me crazy....

As ya'll may have noticed I don't do the Christmas music thing. I'm more prone to playing very old recordings this time of year. Just a matter of mood.

Another thing I don't do is a yearly Top Ten list, mainly because if you've been following the blog then you've probably already heard them, and yeah, I'm "retro" enough that I don't often listen to contemporary recordings.

Anyway, instead of a Top Ten I thought I'd post a selection of 45's I don't own.....a list of some of my "white whales", super elusive beasties all. Some aren't really available, most are very expensive if found, all of them drive me bonkers.

1. Ball And Chain, by Guitar Ray. I've only seen one totally beat up copy of this 45. It sold for over $100. In my opinion, a major league stunner of a tune.

2. ZuZu Man, by The ZuZu Blues Band. Actually a recording made by Jessie Hill and Mac Rebennack, Mac played most of the instruments. Very few copies around and very expensive when found. My only hope is that I'll stumble on one in a flea market.

3. I Won't Cry [I'll Just Laugh Myself To Death], by Doug Anderson. This is a 45 which I'm certain I'll find fairly soon, but it bothers me that I haven't yet. Sought after by Eddie Bo fans for the flip-side funk jam, I want it for this incredible non-Bo related deep soul cut. Nothing is known about Anderson, although I'm of the opinion that Lynn Williams and Reggie Hines were involved in the project, just as they were with the "James K-Nine" 45 on the Federal label [it too has a mysterious a-side backed by an Eddie Bo jam].

4. Save Me, by James Knight & The Butlers. A very serious rarity, one I'm unlikely to ever own, but a girl can dream, can't she? Even beat up copies sell for a lot of cash.

5. I Love You Baby, by Ella Brown. Someone offered a copy of this on Ebay awhile back via what amounted to a blind silent auction. I thought it such BS that I didn't participate. Chances are I didn't have near enough money anyway. I'd probably even buy a totally unplayable copy of this if I found one. Make a nice wall ornament if nothing else.

6. I've Got What You Need, by Mary Jane Hooper. Reportedly a 45 of this tune was released, but I don't believe it for a second. Maybe if I'm a good girl, I'll be allowed to play an original copy in heaven.

7. All I Ask Of You, by Eddie Bo. Actually kind of a trick choice because the flip-side "Skate It Out" is monstrously good too. In my opinion the most beautiful song Eddie Bo ever wrote. A friend owns a copy of the 45, I'm hoping he'll leave it to me in his will. This rip undoubtedly comes from Larry Grogan. Hope he doesn't mind me using it? It's the only copy I have.

8. Black Samson Theme, by Allen Toussaint with vocals by Willie West. If there's a soundtrack recording of the movie this cut comes from, I don't think anyone's ever found it. This rip comes from Dan Phillips. As I recall, a friend of his made it off a VHS copy of the movie. I hope Dan doesn't mind that I'm posting it, his link is long dead.

9. I Love You Still, by Zilla Mayes. This is the un-comped, genuine release version of this song, not the alt version issued on the old collection "Sehorn's Soul Farm". Another one I'm sure I'll find soon enough, and when I do, my cold dead hands will have to be pried off in order to take it from me. Zilla Mayes was a pioneering female DJ in Atlanta who only occasionally recorded, this is her only record with Allen Toussaint. Unless you own the 45, I doubt you've heard this before.

10. Everything's Gonna Be Alright, by Robert Moore. Another super rarity. It commonly sells for between $400-$500 [if you're lucky]. While I'd love to have this record, it's awfully easy to settle for either the version by Ria Currie or Moore's own "Make it Alright", both issued/reissued on the Freestyle 45 label. They sell for $5 to $7 each.

11. Understanding, by Jackie Avery. I threw this one in 'cause I didn't want to totally cave to the Top Ten thing. Avery was Ella Brown's husband. I've only seen one copy. I have no idea what it might sell for, but I suspect it would be several hundred dollars.

Hope ya'll enjoy. Have a wonderful holiday.

[How annoying, the files are downloading without the artists names attached. I'm sorry, you'll have to add them yourself as I don't have time to re-do everything right now]

[I lifted the woodcut of Moby Dick from the very nice blog The Shelia Variations]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Everybody can do it.....

Often associated with New Orleans, Ironing Board Sam's only real ties to the city are that he lived here off and on for a number of years [possibly even still does]. By the same measure the city could claim Alex Chilton, who lived here half his life.

For the real scoop, Jeff Hannusch has written a nice piece about Ironing Board Sam for Blues Access. You can find it here.

And here's a superb clip of the man from back in the day. I'd post it except it's prefaced with an ad so obnoxious I don't even want it on the blog. So grit your teeth, click on over, and watch the thing. It's awesome. [I just tried the link and the ad was gone, so maybe you're in luck]

I'm not 100% sure how many Ironing Board Sam 45's there are. I only know of this one on his own Board label, another on Holiday Inn, and two on Styletone [one of which was picked up by Atlantic].

There's also a couple of albums, the exceedingly rare "The Ninth Wonder Of The World Of Music" [the cover of which features the self-built contraption used to tilt his keyboards so he could play them "guitar style"], and "Human Touch" recorded in the early 90's.

Now, given the title of these two songs you'd be forgiven for thinking this is pure disco cheese. And to be truthful, the record does have a slight touch of novelty about it, but no more so than any other slightly screwy dance craze 45 recorded by a noted eccentric and issued on a custom label.

Mostly what ya got here is non-screwy straight up funk, backed by an instrumental version of the same tune heavy on the mini moog???...or is it something he built???....I don't know enough about keyboards to say for sure. Regardless, it's a very cool sound.

Hope ya'll enjoy...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Doin' it in the park....doin' it in the dark...

Time for some lo-fi, fuzzed-out, wah-wahed garage funk issued on one of the myriad of labels run by Lynn Williams and Reggie Hines......located at various times in Greenville Miss., Atlanta Ga., Chicago Ill., and New Orleans La.

By my count, those two had at least 20 different labels, and were involved with records issued on another 5 or 6.

While I don't know there's any real evidence to support the inclusion, this record does show up on at least one comp of New Orleans related funk cuts. I have no idea who Larry Foster is, but the band sounds an awful lot like the same folks playing on George Perkins', "Groove Making", issued on the Golden label out of Baton Rouge. Same ultra cheesy organ sound, same "just keep the tape rolling and we'll come up with something" attitude.

Which means it's fabulous.

I really do need to find a better copy of this 45. Still, it does play and the sound tends to clear up as the needle heads deeper into the record. If you need better audio I'm almost certain both sides can be had through iTunes or Amazon.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Move groove!

Lord 'a mercy. I finally scored myself a copy of this 45. Possibly even over-paid for it just because I was getting tired of having copies slip through my grasp [although I'm totally grateful to the Ebay seller who graded this copy as VG-, which it totally ain't]. But ya know, I also think this is a record which should be worth in excess of $100 just because it's soooo very good and probably rarer than many folks imagine. Actually, everything on the Tou-Sea label is pretty damn hard to find. [not that all of it is good]

Once again, I have the pleasure of sending you over to Dan Phillips for the serious scoop.

In case I haven't said as much recently, I'll remind ya'll that I'm just a student of guys like Dan. Maybe some day I'll grow up enough to get past being astounded by the records themselves and write something worth reading. Stranger things have happened.

In the mean time, hope this rips ya'lls head off.....'cause it sure as fuck does a number on mine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who don't smoke, who don't drink, who don't fool with no woman but me...

Those who've been hanging around here awhile will know that I'm absolutely nuts about Mable John. So guess what? I finally found a [reasonably priced] copy of her second 45. Thing is two different versions of the a-side were released on two different records each with different matrix numbers, one with strings, the other without.....and of course I want both of them both. Make a nice post wouldn't it, both versions?

Anyway, the b-side is the same on both 45's, and luckily it's a great one too. Word is that the Supremes are on back up vocals on some of these early Tamla/Motown cuts. I'm wondering if this isn't one of them.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Put down dat the Elephant Fair...

Another one I should post before I forget.

Awhile back I was scratching my head over the name Chuck Johnson in relation to a 45 by the Sensational Travelers. Ya know, sometimes my poor little brain just doesn't function quite the way it should. I know this, just as I'm sure anyone who reads more than a few of my posts knows it.

Anyway, after that post I got a note from a friend essentially saying "duh" and pointing in the direction of this record and another titled "Put Down Dat Gun", both on the Invicta label.

Now, Invicta was owned by an ex-DJ named Robert Booker who also owned the gospel label, Booker. That's why I wondered at the time of the other post if Chuck Johnson [not the same as the gospel singer Charles Johnson or the rockabilly singer Chuck Johnson] wasn't involved with both labels [he was, as producer on Booker]. Throw in the fact that the Rev. Charlie Jackson [not the same as the singer Chuck Jackson] recorded a few sides for Booker and maybe you get some idea of how I got things muddled up. As if anyone actually gives a shit...

Anyway, enough of that nonsense, on to the records. And there are two records posted even though I've only got one scan up. The rip of "Put Down Dat Gun" comes from my friend BB, who for some reason hasn't got back to me with a label scan. Sorry about the omission folks. The record's rare enough that I think it's worth posting anyway. Copies of "Elephant Fair" are seemingly everywhere. Chances are that most are re-presses, although I've never heard anyone say as much.

Both are way cool tunes. Maybe a little derivative, but still very enjoyable in a goofy-ass sort of way. I'd still like to know more about Johnson, he's an interesting singer. At times sounding very West Indian/Jamaican. Hope ya'll enjoy...

[For some reason the file of "Put Down Dat Gun" isn't showing all the usual info, including the artists name. Just in case some of you want to fill in the label info, it's Invicta 509]

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm at the point of no return....

I don't know anything about this group. The label's a problem too, because there were several named Bella. The only clue I've got is that George Perkins is co-credited as both arranger and producer.

Ok, so is that the George Perkins who recorded "Cryin' in the Streets", who co-owned several labels, who did some producing for other folks....all in and around Baton Rouge?

Not much to go on is it? I do know that there was at least one Bella label which released 45's by Louisiana artists, but the numbering on this 45 doesn't appear to fit into that label's catalogue. In fact, given that numbering, I'm left wondering if it isn't a one-off.

Beyond that, there's the name Simmie Kinchen Jr. [presumably the singer] who's listed as co-arranger. I've got nothing on him either, except to say that some of the first few google hits on the name "Kinchen" direct me to various Louisiana public/genealogical records. You might surprised how specific some names are to the area.

One other thing is that the singer's pronunciation of the words, burn, return, yearn, is one I associate with New Orleans, but also something I'm sure shows up elsewhere.....and ya know, it's not like an awful lot folks in the midwest, on the east coast, even out in California were that far removed from the South at the time. Just a demographic fact.

So I don't know, is this a Louisiana record?

Hope ya'll enjoy...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You look so sweet....

Before I forget, here's the a-side of the Thomas East 45 I posted awhile back. Funky ain't it?

That choppy guitar work is the best.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Go ahead and get your mind together my friend...

As of last Tuesday, I'm free from house arrest. Just in time too, 'cause there's a huge party at my aunt's tonight. I'm hoping I can hang for awhile. Although I'm certain she didn't expect me to accept, it was sweet of her to ask if I'd like to DJ a set. Normally I'd have been more than happy to, but this year, no way.

Not that ya'll would know, but I'm mad jealous of those who get to DJ on a regular basis. For the last two years I've only been able to manage it a few times during the summer months. Even had myself a pretty nice little gig last summer, but ya know, it's not my profession, I have other obligations and priorities. Still, I'd love to do it more often.

Anyway, if I were DJing tonight I'd def consider spinning this one. Johnny Otis is listed as producer, but I seem to recall that it was really Shuggie's show.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

They doing it L.A., they doing it in Frisco too...

Starting in the late 1950's, Floyd Soileau established and ran a whole mess of record labels out of Ville Platte, Louisiana. Initially he only recorded Cajun tunes, but soon branched out into virtually every kind of music made in the region, at least in theory often consigning individual labels to specific styles. Maison de Soul was his label for R&B/Zydeco recordings, although Clifton Chenier also recorded a number of sides for his Bayou imprint.

As far as I know Floyd's Record Store is still open in Ville Platte, but it's geared towards tourism, bills itself as the oldest record store in the state, and carries various sorts of Cajun™ related items. I think you can still go in there and buy a mixed box of 100 Jin, Swallow, and later Maison de Soul 45's for $30 [be very careful what you buy on ebay, these are new pressings which individually retail for slightly more than $1].

Anyway, this is one of the older Maison de Soul issues. As Martin Lawrie from the Soul Generation site says concerning older releases versus newer issues, "I have found that there is a simple rule to this record label - anything with a label that looks like this = BUY, and anything with a label that looks more comical and simpliefied = DONT BUY!".

Believe me, the man speaks the gospel truth. The stuff produced in the eighties is universally horrible, I don't own a single example....and I'll gladly give you $20 for anything on the label pressed earlier.

Al Prince? I don't know a thing about him. Sucks, but it's the truth.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's not my fault Dirty Red....I can't help it!

I had this great idea ya see. I was going to re-post the same two 45's Dan Phillips used in one of his posts on Smokey Johnson [just in case ya'll missed 'em], and then send ya'll over there to get the scoop on one of New Orleans' greatest drummers. Pretty slick huh ? [in a totally lazy-ass way]

Anyway, when I pulled out my copies of the 45's, I realized that my pressing of "It Ain't My Fault" is different than Dan's. In fact, I didn't know that the recording was released twice, the second time minus Part 2 and backed with the song "Dirty Red", which was itself originally issued on an earlier 45. So much for well-laid plans.

I give myself a C- for poor execution [and an F for originality], but ya'll still get to hear three quarters of what Dan originally posted along with the added bonus of "Dirty Red".

Read what Dan had to say here.....and hopefully enjoy the tunes. I should point out that Part 2 of " I Can't Help It" is a less commonly heard version of Part 1. Funny thing is, it's actually the more complicated of the two arrangements.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It'll make you happy....

This could be the same Bobby Williams who did "Funky Superfly", but everyone's so busy trying to sell me some version of a "Funky Superfly" collection online that I haven't been able to confirm this, nor for that matter find any info on any Bobby Williams who might fit the specs. As I'm sure you're aware, there are times when google is worse than useless.

There are at least three guys who recorded under name the name Bobby Williams, and more likely six or eight.

Anyway, this Bobby Williams recorded six singles for Sure Shot, which I believe was part of Don Robey's Duke/Peacock/Backbeat family of labels [?]. This is the first of those releases, from 1964.

And a cool one it is too. Nice gospel type swing, some tasty guitar licks, and a kind of fake handclap break towards the end that really should've been used at least once more in the tune.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Friday, December 3, 2010

My pride is all gone....

Geek time.

I'm such a lunatic. I already own two copies of the standard single....and so that means I was supposed to pass up this one sided test pressing?

While I'd hate to say this version is better than Marvin Gayes' original, ya know....maybe it is.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Love that boy....

This one comes by way of my friend C.

Such a sad story. One I'd love to write-out myself, but it's been told so well, here, that there's no point in trying. The piece is long, but it's well worth reading.

There is one thing I'll mention concerning the article, just because it's worth repeating anytime Ahmet Ertegun [or for that matter Jerry Wexler] is quoted. The Rhythm and Blues Foundation was established and initially funded with 1.5 million dollars provided by Atlantic Records because Ruth Brown filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on their ass. As Brown puts it in her autobiography, "For God's sake, where's my money?"

Ertegun may have been a huge fan of Little Miss Cornshucks, but that didn't stop him from issuing an attempted sound-a-like version of her signature song, did it?

Ya know, sometimes it's all about showing a little respect.

[Update: purely by coincidence Twilightzone! is offering the only comp of Little Miss Cornshucks early sides ever produced. You should check it out.]