The Flambo label looks to be a one-off effort, probably owned by Earl King [that's just a guess]. As you can see on the record, King wrote and produced the song. The arranger, Curtis Mitchell, was a long time bass player for King. As I recall, he also played piano with Danny White.
The name Billy Jenkins rings no bells whatsoever.
This is an interesting 45, do yourself a favor and listen past the spoken intro, then be sure and check out side two. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
So, Mardi Gras is over, the flashy beads have been exchanged for ashen crosses, and I'm back to normal life. Which is a good thing.
Ya know, if you're lucky, there are times when you feel like the star of your own movie. And that's how it is with me right now. Think: quirky 1960's romantic comedy, complete with cute sexy guy, wacky incidental characters, stoned picnics, and lots and lots of balloons.
The soundtrack for this movie most definitely includes this song. To say it's in heavy rotation around the house would be a huge understatement. It's more like I've swallowed the 45 whole, and can play it at will. Just press the button on my forehead. I am the jukebox.
I've been trying to think of something good to post for Valentine's day, but I can't get past my own perverse nature. Ask me to post something for 'Anti-Valentine's Day' and I'll come up with the mushiest tune you've ever heard, but Valentine's Day itself only brings to mind songs of caution, love gone wrong, and murderous intent.
So, I compromised on a song about missing a lover very badly. Best I could do.
The discography I'm looking at says this song is from 1963...I was under the impression it was issued earlier, but hey, what do I know?
I hope that your lover is near....and that you enjoy.
I considered doing a Mardi Gras mix, but honestly, I just don't have the time. My schedule for today/tonight has been thoroughly trashed by the re-scheduling of the Muses parade. Basically, I'll need a time machine to make it through all I'm obligated to do in the next six hours. Wish me luck.
If ya just gotta have a Mardi Gras mix, head on over to Second Line Social. Gabe's got a very nice two-parter posted. There's a few rare ones included.
Here's a song that hardly anyone pays attention to. The record's cheap, the recording itself is a one-take affair....and yet it suits how I feel at the moment.
This is what I consider to be a real Mardi Gras song. Meaning, not a song written about Mardi Gras, but rather a song written for Mardi Gras.
Maskman, aka Harmon Bethea, had a very long career starting in the late 40's with a group called the Progressive Four. Over the years he put out over 50 records under numerous names, the majority being issued as some variation of the Cap-Tans or Maskman & the Agents.
Here's a partial list of some of those names:
L'Cap-Tans & the Go-Boys
Wailing Bethea & the Cap-Tans
Bethea & the Cap-Tans
Maskman & the Cap-Tans
The Maskman & the Agents
Bethea the Masked Man & the Agents
Bethea [the Masked Man & the Agents]
Harmon Bethea [the Maskman]
Bethea the Maskman
The Maskman [H. Bethea Sr.] & the Agents
Harmon Bethea, the Maskman & the Agents
A good many Maskman records qualify as pure novelty, some are just plain weird...but there's some good stuff in there too.
What a shame. When Warner Bros. issued this 45 they sent out a double sided [single song] promo version of the a-side to DJs. Now, that a-side, "It's Been So Long", is a great song, no doubt about it....but why anyone wouldn't want to get this killer b-side into the hands of DJs is a total mystery to me.
As it was, the single sank like a stone and presumably few copies were pressed. That's why you generally have to pay decent cash for a stock copy. And yes indeed, you DO want a stock copy. For the b-side.
Just in case ya'll haven't figured it out yet, Earl King RULES....
I'm pretty sure the record is from 1961, but that's just from off the top of my head.
Sometime in 1963, King signed with Motown, who wouldn't issue any of his records. Thus you have the fabulous 'Professor Longhair' recordings on the Watch label, which were always meant to be Earl King singles, but could not be issued as such.