Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Music Box

Here's a few clips associated with what was by far and away my favorite music concert/experience of the year. The Music Box was beautiful on a hundred different levels, but most of all it was just plain fun.

The Dithyrambalina site has a lot of information, nice pictures, and also links to recordings made of each of the three performances. Unfortunately, those recordings do not really capture the experience. Truly one of those times ya just had to be there.

Happy New Year Ya'll.....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Turn the record over...Part 2

I didn't really plan it this way, but here are the flip-sides of three already posted 45s....all arranged by Wardell Quezerque.

1. "I Don't Need You Anymore" by Willie Harper. While I understand that not everyone loves ballads the way I do, this one is just too gorgeous to pass up. That line, "tired of your cheating, your lies....misusing me", gets to me every single time I hear it. The flip is Harper's stunning, slowed down, version of "A Certain Girl".

2. "Bottom Of My Soul" by Alvin Robinson. The flip is a cover of Earl King's "Come On [Let The Good Times Roll]" that's so good I'm never sure I don't think it's better than either version by King himself. "Bottom Of My Soul" is to my mind one of those absolutely perfect tunes. Certainly one of Robinson's best.

3. "Robert & W.Q's Train" by Robert Parker. This is the instrumental track to "Funky Soul Train".....which might just be the rarest record I own [although probably not worth all that much]. I'm not usually a fan of slapping backing tracks on b-sides, but this one is worthy of exception. And it seems like Mr. Q must have agreed as I don't think any of his instrumental tracks show up on any other 45s.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Turn the record over....

Sorry to be away for so long. I'm totally swamped with social obligations, have been all month. This will likely continue through Mardi Gras.
Here's some of the many flip-sides I meant to post and never got around to. Just a little present for ya'll. I'll try to put up some more tomorrow.

1. "I Got Love" by Jackie Avery. A nice little funky number that may not knock you out like it's flip-side, but given how good "Understanding" is, it says quite a lot that this cut ever gets played at all. Is this recording available any place else?

2. "Something Ought To Be Done [About You]" by Jessie Hill. I'm a huge fan of everything Jessie Hill and Mac Rebennack recorded together and this is no exception. The flip-side, "My Children, My Children", was one of the first cuts I posted on the blog. Most copies you see of this 45 are one-sided promos pressed without this tune.

3. "Eddy's Go-Go Train" by Eddy Giles. I actually bought this 45 for this song in particular, but when I heard the flip-side, "While I'm Away", I fell in love with it...and thus that's the side that got posted. Always meant to get back to this one. Truly killer stuff.

Best wishes to everyone. Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Howard Tate: RIP

I'm at a loss for words.......

[but Larry Grogan's got a very nice piece up, here.]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Loose Ends No.3

I first posted this tune about 18 months ago while on my honeymoon. I was so excited to find the record that I couldn't resist ripping it straight to my laptop off the portable player at the shop. And the rip sounded pretty good, but it's bothered me ever since that I never bothered to make another stab at it.

I also posted a label scan which was lifted from Popsike because I didn't have access to to a scanner. That has bothered me too. In fact, it's a big no-no on this blog even though I explained the situation at the time.

Anyway, here's a re-do. New rip [with a bit more bass] and a brand new scan.

So, is this song in any way related to my last post?

Probably not. There are some very obvious differences, not the least of which are different lyrics and a mile-wide hook on Apple's version that's nowhere in sight on the Pulsar 45.

However, both 45s were recorded in L.A., probably within a few years of each other [Jessie Hill's version is from 1968, I would think Apple's take is more likely from the early '70s].

Just a coincidence, right? Two twisted funk jams using the same repeated phrase. Right?

On the other hand, I do wonder if I'm missing something. Is there a third "Free And Easy" that somehow ties the two songs together? Anyone have a clue?

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pretty baby, you don't stand a chance....

The list of New Orleans ex-pats working in Los Angeles by the late sixties is long: Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson, Rene Hall, Harold Battiste, Lee Allen, Mac Rebennack, Mel Lastie, Jessie Hill, Tami Lynn, Alvin Robinson, Shirley Goodman, Ronnie Barron, John Boudreaux.....

I'm sure there are others, but in terms of this record I'm mostly interested in the crew surrounding Harold Battiste at Pulsar, which just so happens to include many of those listed above.

Pulsar was a short-lived subsidiary of Mercury apparently set up as a tax dodge. But Battiste and Co. didn't know that so they happily started pumping out records for the fact had high hopes of duplicating the artistic freedom they'd enjoyed in New Orleans before the A.F.O. label went under [part of the reason many of these folks had moved on in the first place].

Anyway, soon enough the plug was pulled and Pulsar was no more. Luckily, Harold Battiste is nobody's fool. According to Dan Phillips, Battiste bought all the master tapes and apparently still has them [as is often the case I'm just mentally condensing what I've read at Home Of The Groove].

Those tapes are in fact the source of some of what showed up on the excellent three volume "Gumbo Stew" series of comps.....which are ostensibly a collection of unreleased A.F.O. recordings. Proof of a sort that the spirit of the A.F.O. operation in New Orleans bled over into the situation at Pulsar in L.A.

While the flip-side of this record, "Mardi Gras", tends to get more play, I happen to think this side is at least as good. To my mind, it's Jessie Hill at his chaotic best.

Hope ya'll enjoy.......

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm on my way....

Just 'cause I can't seem to get past that last's another Staple Singers recordings from the '50's.

If I were running a non-vinyl, non-45 based blog, I'd follow up with Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was The Night" [partially for those familiar with Ry Cooder's "Paris Texas" soundtrack] it is, I'll probably have one of those "and now for something completely different" moments. It happens.

Hope ya'll enjoy........

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'll be home....

Two of the most intense albums I know of are the Staple Singers' "Uncloudy Day" issued in 1959 and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" from 1960 [Wikipedia says it was released in 1969, but that's wrong].

Both are collections of earlier recordings, some dating from the Staples' first session for Vee Jay in November 1955.....when Mavis Staples would have been 16 years old.

A version of "So Soon" was definitely recorded at that 1955 session. Whether it was re-recorded for release on this 45 is unknown to me.

Of course it doesn't really matter if Mavis was 16, 17, or 18 at the time. The recording is extraordinary no matter what. In fact, it's close to unearthly. If there was ever a singer who's voice qualifies as a force of nature, it's Mavis Staples.

If any of ya'll don't own a copy of the Staple Singers Vee Jay recordings, then you should def seek out the 'twofer' of "Uncloudy Day" and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken". Yep, they come packaged together. To my mind, they're essential albums.

Hope ya'll enjoy......

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Loose Ends No.2

The perfect follow-up to the last post?

I don't think Tail-Gate 1003 has ever been comped. Sir Shambling's site looks to be the source of all previous internet postings of "Understanding", including those now on you tube [last year I posted a copy taken from there as well].

Beyond that, Mr. Finewine has def got himself a copy, has played both sides of the 45 on his radio show at one time or another, but I see absolutely nothing else online that leads me back to a comp or even another vinyl rip.

Ya'll can check out what Sir Shambling has to say, here, although I should point out that Jackie Avery actually has three 45s to his name. The third being, "I'm A Believer/Have A Little Faith", issued on Redwal 14/15....a label directly related to Avery's boss at Capricorn, Phil Walden.

Yeah, it's a bit strange to be sending ya'll off to another site where you can also hear "Understanding", but Sir Shambling writes much better than I, and well.....this is the second most expensive 45 I own....the only thing that could possibly stop me from posting it is if the world suddenly came to an end.

It's also not every day you get to hear two cuts from rare 45s, sung independently by a married couple, played back-to-back. In the end, I just couldn't resist the temptation [nor could I think of a better way to phrase it].

Hope ya'll enjoy......

[Not that it will matter to most, but I forgot to mention that this 45 has a tell-tale 'Cos' signature in the dead wax area. That means Cos Matassa hand-cut the master.]

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I love him...

Ella Brown's "Love Don't Love Nobody" continues to be one of the most heavily viewed postings on this site. I don't exactly know why that is, but I hope it means there are a lot of Ella Brown fans about.

Here's another gorgeous tune by that fine lady. Much much rarer than "Love Don't Love Nobody", in fact, this is the only copy of the 45 I've ever seen in the "flesh". It definitely would've made my 'white whale' list last year, but I felt I could only choose one of Brown's two releases on Adams.

Many thanks to the Ebay Guru for taking care of business. Down to the last minute I was still dreaming about getting the record for $20 because the silly thing has been sitting for days at $10. The Guru was like, "don't be an idiot".

And sure enough, exactly as he predicted, the price jumped considerably in the last five seconds of the auction. If I had followed his suggestion, we would have won with less than $2 to spare. As it was, I made him throw in an extra $10, just to make sure.

Hope ya'll enjoy......

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We had a love like paradise...

This cut was released twice on the Neb's label, each with different flip-sides, and then again a couple of years later on Capcity. Oddly enough it's listed as the b-side on the first pressing. The a-side, "I Can't Do It", is nothing short of terrific, but ya still gotta wonder what Never Duncan [the label owner] was thinking.

Anyway, he must have reconsidered 'cause the tune shows up as the a-side on both later releases.

And apparently that's not all Duncan reconsidered.

To my ears there's a quick bit of fade added to the end of the second issue, and even more to the Capcity pressing. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but ya see, the original version is fairly shocking in that it comes to a full-on dead stop. No fade at all.

Funny how small changes can make such a difference. Listening to the faded versions, I don't recall ever thinking the ending was particularly outrageous. But it is. Hit the button and hear for yourself.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Loose Ends No.1

Speaking of redundancy.....

There are a few records I'd like to re-post because, on the whole, I just wasn't happy with the way I presented them the first time 'round. All will [hopefully] include better rips, in some cases taken from 45s in better condition.

Others, such as this offering, were posted last December as part of my "white whales" list, which means I didn't actually own the records at the time.

Almost everything on the Tou-Sea label is scarce, but this 45 took me four years of concerted effort to find and cost a fair amount when I did. It's also a very beautiful song. Damn right I'm gonna post my own rip.

Whether you prefer it over what you may already have is your call. If you check 'Zilla Mayes' in the sidebar you'll find the superb flip-side.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

She had to left town.....

Given that this 45 has been sitting in my 'to post' pile for months, I thought I should put it out there before a certain 'about to be posted' comp makes it redundant. The actual 45 is a tough-ish find.

I could be wrong but I think this is Sonny Boy Williamson's only release on Ace.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

So tell me mama....

I'm completely brain-dead today. I meant to post another tune entirely, but when it came time to write up some of my usual nonsense, I went blank.

Thus, ya'll get to hear this record because that lovely man, Sir Shambling, has already done most of the work, here.

Yep, 'Sailor Boy' is actually Alex Spearman.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shucks girl....

This 45 has seen better days, but then I doubt there's a single copy anywhere that sounds clear and sharp. It's just not that kind of record.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

p.s. Wanna hear the tune, click on the divshare player. Need more? Follow the dots.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I call my baby sweet thing...

I think there are only two 45s by Albert Scott.....but I'm hoping that's wrong because I'd sure like to hear more than just the four sides.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No hair pulling....

At first glance this may look like an odd match, but actually these records are close enough to be cousins. In fact, cousins which are just enough alike that there's a constant battle between the two. Both are tough as nails. Neither will accept defeat.

Anna King has the advantage because she made the first move....and there's also the little matter of a certain Mr. James Brown who oversees the production. But she's definitely got serious competition in Ruby Johnson. That girl's got real power in those lungs...and since when is it a bad thing to have Isaac Hayes and David Porter in your corner?

Ruby obviously follows Anna's lead on this one, but watch out for that ending! Ruby never settles for anything less than a draw.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I still love him....

From a short biography of Irma Thomas which appears on site after site after site:

"....Thomas accused Ronn of withholding royalties and after one more effort for the label, "A Good Man," she briefly landed with the Bandy label, releasing 1961's "Look Up" before relocating to Minit."

Looks innocuous enough, but that one line is wrong on so many levels that it would be boorish of me to go into the details.

Suffice it to say, there was no landing "with the Bandy label" "before relocating to Minit". The Bandy 45 was issued sometime after Joe Banashak ['Bandy' to his friends] sold Minit to Lew Chudd of Imperial Records in 1963. Irma's contract was part of the deal. Afterwards, Banashak had several unreleased he pressed them up.

This is Irma's third single, her first record for Minit as well as her first with Mr. Toussaint. It was recorded in 1960. All other Minit/Bandy [and Bumba ?] releases were recorded in 1961.

As much as I love the two earlier singles on Ron [not Ronn], it's the work with Mr. Toussaint that kills me. In fact, I'm not sure I would've ever developed a taste for the deeper stuff if Irma hadn't hooked me early-on.

I realize almost everyone who visits this blog has their own copy of this song, but I thought you might like to hear an original 45 in superb condition. Hope ya'll enjoy...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get on back....

I've been trying to get my hands on a copy of this 45 for something like four years....and then two copies turned up on Ebay, as well as another, locally, all in the same week. I bought the local copy [bird in hand], even though it had the same label on both sides. A friend won one of the Ebay copies.

In the end, we swapped copies because I really hate mislabeled records and he was pissed off that this copy had more water damage than expected [which made it a bitch to clean as tiny bits of the label along with printers ink had dried in the grooves].

Anyway, I don't know squat about Elmer Parker except that he has three 45s to his name, each several times harder to find than the last. This being the second hardest [I think]. It's certainly not the easiest or the cheapest to cop.

Beyond that, I only know of one other issue on the Rare Bird label [the release numbers hint at more]. The other is credited to Brenda Parker, who shows up on side two of this record, and may well be the same Brenda Parker who recorded a single for the Black Falcon label.

Brenda and Elmer were a couple? Your guess is as good as mine.

Music-wise this 45 falls into that very sweet spot where blues, jazz, and funk come together exactly as they should, ie, naturally. More naturally than on any other record I can think of. I wish there were a hundred 45s like this, but there aren't.

"Got To Get Back To Louisiana" [incorrectly listed as both parts 1&2] has been comped a couple of times on fairly obscure catch-all type collections. But still, it's not a record that pops up every day. Even I, who has been doggedly searching for this damn thing, didn't have an mp3 of part 1 until I ripped the 45.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nobody knows....

Big Sam is the artist possibly better known as Big Sambo, real name James Young, who worked for a number of years in the Port Arthur/Beaumont area. He had a good sized hit with his recording of "The Rains Came" [which is one of the cuts you most often hear, the flip-side "At The Party" being the other].

Actually, I should point out that anyone who draws a hard line between Southwestern Louisiana and Southeast Texas has obviously never been to either. Geographically, culturally, they are the same. Ya know, like some imaginary political demarcation makes any difference at all? It takes about an hour to drive from Lake Charles, Louisiana to either Beaumont or Port Arthur, Texas. For some, that's just a daily commute.

Anyway, this is an odd pressing. The original is on Huey Meaux's Tribe label, but apparently Meaux had some kind of arrangement with Major Tom/Jim/Bill Smith [I forget which] in Fort Worth, Texas. Running Bear was owned by the Major, but the Indian head design is lifted straight off of Meaux's Tribe label. As to what was going on here, your guess is as good as mine.

Hope ya'll enjoy....if this isn't a sweet tune, then I don't know what is.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

C'mon, lets do this little dance...

Another sought-after record on Michelle. Actually, I didn't know how sought-after until I started looking around for info. Except for the drill hole, this copy's as clean as they come. I guess it deserves a protective plastic sleeve, huh?

I also never noticed that the release number is only one digit off the Lee Tillman 45 I posted yesterday. So, maybe it's the same musicians playing on both records? Certainly sounds like a possibility to me.

Hard to imagine that such a great tune never saw a release on a major label. Joe Tex had to have been under contract with Dial at the time. But then he wasn't such hot property until 1967, so maybe no one cared too much if he moonlighted?

While I don't know that anyone has a firm release date for this record, there was a period in 1963 when it looks like he may have taken a short hiatus from Dial and releases were issued on Checker, Ace, Soul Sound, and possibly Michelle.

The odd thing is, this 45 sounds to me as if it was made in 1965 or '66. If the vaguely psychedelic flip-side, "Next Time She's Mine" was recorded in 1963 then it's clearly one of the strangest recordings of it's day by any R&B artist. More than anything, it reminds me of something Eric Burden & The Animals would do several years later.

Obviously, I can't find a trustworthy Joe Tex discography, or for that matter, one for Michelle/Montel releases. If anyone has solid info, I'd love to see it.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm not tight with any girls I know....

A friend up by Austin sent me his rip of Lee Tillman's version of "Fortune Teller". Seems he just bought it. Thanks for saving me the trouble hon. Your copy even sounds better than mine [but mines prettier, sot].

The Michelle/Montel label was owned by S.J. Montalbano and operated out of Baton Rouge. He had a little studio for cutting demos in his fathers food distribution warehouse, which if I'm not mistaken is still listed as the address for Montel Records.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I don't like this version better than Benny Spellman's original. Whoever arranged those horns deserves a kiss.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sometimes I have to cry....

Baby Lloyd was a member of the Famous Flames, which of course means he worked with James Brown.

There are two 45's credited to Lloyd [last name Stallworth], one of which carries a James Brown production credit, and this one, which tends to get short-changed because it doesn't carry the same tell-tale tag.

But I gotta tell ya, if James Brown wasn't involved in the making of this record, then I seriously need to get my ears checked.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

This has absolutely nothing to with the rest of this post, or even the usual subject of this blog. I just wanted to say that "Dessine Toi" is the most beautiful film I've seen in a long time. Young children from around the world are asked to draw a self-portrait on a sheet of glass while they're filmed [which of course refers to this famous footage shot of Picasso in 1949] . And that's basically it. Simple and very very sweet.

Earlier today, in New Orleans, the first children from the U.S. were included in the project.

Monday, October 3, 2011

All the little girls sigh...[believe it]

While I agree that this is a minor effort, it's still a far cooler record than it has any right to be.

Major points of interest:
1. Richard Berry!!! [the man could sing the alphabet and still sound dead sexy]
2. Possibly the most insistent, minimal, take on the "Louie Louie" riff ever recorded.
3. [see the above]

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

If you ever need a bad man....

I've quite a lot going on at the moment and almost no time in which to do, I'll likely be keeping my blog posts short for the foreseeable future. By no means a bad thing.

Most, if not all, Lee Tillman 45s are pretty heavily sought after. A friend tells me a cleaner copy of this record recently went for almost $90 on Ebay.....which as far as I'm concerned is too much, but is also exactly why I own a beat-up cheapie.

I should mention that this record was also issued with red and black Ron labels, but those copies are essentially bootlegs pressed after Joe Ruffino was dead and Ric/Ron had shut down. There is no such thing as an original press red and black label Ron [unless you count Johnny Adams' "Lonely Drifter" which never actually had an original release].

Only saying because I notice someone else recently paid close to $60 for a red and black label pressing of "Will Travel". Which is just fine as long as you know what you're getting.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You'll have to get better to die....

Another Excello 45 I've been meaning to post for awhile. This time from 1958.

If you'd like more info on Guitar Gable and King Karl, there's fairly concise piece, here. As you'll see, the band played on many Excello releases.

The only thing I would add has to do with the band's break-up with Jay Miller. Afterwards, in a fit of spite, Miller hired another man, usually known as Thomas "Guitar" Gable, to go on the road as Guitar Gable. Now, Thomas "Guitar" Gable is certainly a player of note in his own right, but unfortunately chooses to take credit for some of the work of Gabriel Perrodin and Bernard Jolivette.

I thought it worth mentioning because confusion over Guitar Gable's identity is widespread. Try looking at "Guitar Gable" clips on you tube and you'll see what I mean.

Since I'm in truth-telling mode, it's also worth mentioning that Jay Miller was responsible for issuing some of the most disgusting, throughly racist, records ever waxed. Some folks take this as meaning he was a "man of contradictions". For my part, I'm much less charitable.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Friday, September 23, 2011

You've been gone so long....

The move went more smoothly than I expected, it's the aftermath that's been bumpy. I'm still not totally set up for ripping. Little problems here, little problems there.

Btw, Baby Girl learned to crawl last week. It's a little like having a mini bulldozer around. Ya know, 'cause nothing can stop her. I'm almost sure she woke me up at 2 am last night just so she could take a couple of more laps around the house.
Here's another Excello issue from 1957. Lillian Offitt's first record. A big favorite of mine. One of those records I never get tired of.

While my collection mostly includes Excellos recorded by Jay Miller in Crowley, Louisiana, those recorded by Ernie Young in Nashville are often just as amazing. There are quite a few, like this one, which are just as minimal as they can possibly be. I don't even think there's a bass playing on the cut.

The drum is reportedly being played with with a rolled up magazine.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It occurs to me that folks may not know what I mean by "moaning" hymns. It's a very old style. Surprising that it even still exists.

Monday, September 19, 2011

God's got it...

Old style [essentially pre-gospel] church singing from a Faith with very deep roots. Don't presume it's continued existence isn't a complicated phenomena. Shoot, these folks aren't even protestants. Their conception of "God's Grace" sees to that.

I'm absolutely not trying to be flip, in fact I'm doing my best to show heartfelt respect for a True Church. If anyone is responsible for carrying the old "moaning" hymn and call and response praise songs into the next century, it'll be these folks. Respect where respect is due.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't you remember me?

The Ponderosa Stomp is about to get rolling. I can't imagine I'll be anything less than dog-tired come 10pm, but I have to get down to d.b.a. tonight for the Hip Drop dance party. Told ya this move is badly timed.

Tomorrow night is undoubtedly a complete wash....too bad, I really wanted to see the Excello label tribute with Carol Fran, Lazy Lester, and Classie Ballou. Which is of course followed by a tribute to Cos Matassa with Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, and Robert Parker...which is then followed by both Jean Knight and C.P. Love. Ugh.

We'll see what happens on Saturday. I'm gonna kick myself if I miss the Stax label tribute with William Bell, Sir Mack Rice, Otis Clay, Howard Grimes, Eddie Floyd, and Skip Pitts. The one, the only, Lady Bo will also be in the house along with Big Jay McNeely and Miss Lavelle White [who I ran into several weeks ago in Austin].

There are lots of other performers I've failed to mention, this is just my wish list.

I've had several Carol Fran records ready to post for some time. Here's her first 45, recorded in 1957 by Jay Miller in Crowley, La. According to the label, she wrote the tune.

Miller supplied many many recordings to the Nashville based Excello label. He's the source of all those fabulous Slim Harpo, Lonesome Sundown, Lightin' Slim, Lazy Lester, and Guitar Gable 45s. Yep, they's all Louisiana records.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Here's a sweet little clip of Carol Fran running through a number in both French and English. Dig that poster of Cleoma Breaux on the wall.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lesson No.1 in how to be patronizing and still get laid...

Ok, so I've closed up and sealed the boxes of records. No more digging allowed. Period. Which doesn't mean that I didn't pull a small carrying case full of 45s beforehand. Box up the stereo equipment? Forget it. That stuff gets loaded into the truck last so it can be unloaded first. Mama sez so.

Home is where the tunes are.

So we have a choice today.....either the 45 The Three Ladies Of The House have been wearing out all afternoon or one of the most amazing deep vocal records I own.

Very-hard-choice, but ya know...I really think the ladies rule today.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Fyi, the artist is listed as Boby *cough* Franklin but is actually Bobby Franklin of Bobby Franklin's Insanity. Check the name in the sidebar or below if you'd like to hear more.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Once I was lost....

Yesterday was rough. A funeral in the morning followed by the arrival of a girlfriend from Upstate NY who's lost everything in recent flooding. Poor thing is still in shock.

Unfortunately we don't have much in the way of stability to offer given that we're in the midst of moving, but I suppose it's better than sleeping on a cot in a shelter. And it will get better soon even though I could personally strangle the idiot who planned this little misadventure with the movers [me]. The timing couldn't possibly be any worse.

Anyway, after re-scheduling twice, it looks like we'll finally be moving on Friday.
I'm fairly sure this is another Wardell Quezergue effort but since he's not credited on the record label, I can't say for certain. I tried asking the good folks on the Southern Soul message board if they could confirm Mr. Q's input, but apparently the question is either too boring or nobody actually knows the answer.

Or maybe the answer is just too obvious? Seems very likely to me that Mr. Q was responsible for three of the four sides issued on Johnny Adams' two best selling singles for the SSS International label. Could be that's all that needs to be said.

This is from the local New Orleans pressing....hope ya'll enjoy.

Before I forget, I need to thank Alison Fensterstock of the Time-Picayune for mentioning the blog, here, along with Dan Phillips' Home of the Groove, Larry Grogan's Funky 16 Corners, and Red Kelly's blogs the A-Side, B-side, and Soul Detective. I'm totally flattered to be included in such fine company. A little bit of local attention ain't too bad either.

While I'm at it, here's a clip of Johnny Adams making it all look so very easy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Each and every day, since you've been away...

Not that anyone needs my help in getting over to Funky 16 Corners, but Larry Grogan's posted a very nice piece on Wardell Quezergue....has a nice selection of tunes available as well [that Marie Boubarere 45 is very rare]. As is often the case with Larry's posts, I def learned a few things I didn't know before.

Mr. Q worked on Earl King's "Trick Bag"? That's news to me and makes me wonder if the same is true of King's other releases on Imperial. Hard to say for sure as he isn't credited on any of the 45s, including "Trick Bag".

Larry also reminded me that Warren Lee's "Underdog Backstreet" is a Mr. Q production....just so happens that's the very first tune I ever posted on the blog. You can find it here.

I should mention that I sometimes use the terms "producer" and "production" in a modern sense, implying creative control, even though the effort received no such credit. Ya know, it's not like a production credit is always what it appears to be. As far as I'm concerned, the real question is: who was/is responsible for the sound of a particular recording?

When a man such as Mr. Quezergue is credited as arranger you can be assured his creative input was greater than some "producers". Every clip I've seen of him in the studio shows him leading the band, working to make it all sound right, helping musicians with their respective parts. If that's not a huge part of record production, then I don't know what is.

Cos Matassa has said several times that he doesn't know what a "record producer" is. And that's not just an old man being obtuse. He's speaking from his own extensive experience and at the same time sticking a well-honed pin in those who he sees as having garnered undue credit.

Ya see, there was a time when A&R men, arrangers, bandleaders, musicians, and engineers handled the entire recording process. Given that post-production work often amounted to very little and mastering was a physical process left to technicians and their lathes, the concept of a creative "record producer" has little validity when it comes to many 50s/60s RnB, RnR, and Country recordings.

Slightly off topic, but I just happened to notice that Josh Alan Friedman has recently added a great piece on Leiber and Stoller to his blog, "Black Cracker Online". In it he taps Leiber and Stoller as the first "record producers". An argument which has some validity, but only if you consider that garnering a "first" in anything is often dependent on one's skin color...a situation I'd think Mr. Friedman, if anyone, might be more sensitive to.

Johnny Otis, Dave Bartholomew, Paul Gayten, Sonny Thompson, et al, weren't "record producers"??? Oh, I forgot, they were only A&R men, composers, arrangers, bandleaders. Ya see, they didn't own record labels [at least not for some time to come].

Here's a fairly recent clip of Mr. Q in the studio. He's basically blind at this point. I'd post it but embedding is disabled.

While I'm at it, here's an incredibly stupid video of a great song by New Orleans' own Lydia Marcelle. Yep, Mr. Quezergue was responsible for this one too. The song title is actually "Everyone Dance" [the morons couldn't even get that right]. Why I don't own a copy of this 45 is a complete mystery to me.

Anyway, here's today's not-often-heard selection. Check the side bar for Warren Lee [yep, it's the same guy], there are several more of his recordings available. I even re-upped the link to "Climb The Ladder" just 'cause I love ya'll.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I don't shake like jelly and I don't taste like jam....

I'm still working on a list of the Wardell Quezergue productions/arrangements I've posted in the past. They're even more numerous than I thought.

These Smokey Johnson instrumentals are totally part of the canon, as is this funk monster by Gus Lewis, along with this beauty by Willie Tee.

As of today, Derek See's posted yet another superb tune by Willie Tee, here, and both Darcy over at Feel It and Red Kelly at The B-Side have offered up utterly gorgeous sides by King Floyd. Those links are here, and here, respectively.

And there's still a whole lot more to come if I have anything at all to say about it.

I posted the flip-side of this record last winter. Unfortunately, I only owned a trashed copy at the time. This 45 is in much much nicer shape, in fact it's almost mint [except for some water damage].

So here ya go, yet another killer side from the hand of Mr. Q.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Can't you see I'm in misery....

Wardell Quezergue died yesterday morning. A beautiful person...sweet, kind, totally humble. The world is truly diminished without him.

There are simply too many songs I could post. Actually quite a few I've already posted.

One of my fave Quezergue productions, "Patty Cake Shake" by Guitar Ray, has just been posted over at Jukeboxmafia. The link to my rip of that 45 is long dead so ya'll should just head on over there and pick it up.

The link to my copy of "Funky Soul Train" by Robert Parker continues to be active [still the only copy of that record I've ever seen]. It's another great Quezergue production. You can find it here. [Fyi, all Quezergue produced Parker sides can all be found on the comp "The Wardell Quezergue Sessions", a collection I consider essential]

While I'm at it, here's a link to my post of Parker's "Soul Sister" and another to Willie Harper's version of "A Certain Girl". Both relatively hard to find. Quezergue is listed as "Big Q" on the Harper 45.

Oh yeah, before I forget, you can find Raymond Parker's "Ring Around the Roses", here. It too is a Quezergue production.

The side I'm posting today is the b-side of "Soul Train" by Curley Moore.....but not off the same 45 I used when I posted "Soul Train" some time ago [it can be found here]. This is a Nola label pressing....which has a different b-side than the Hotline pressings.

Anyway, this isn't necessarily a "greatest hit", in fact it hardly ever gets spins. Which probably only means it's not quite as killer as it's flip side, but it's def got it's points. I actually like it a lot or I wouldn't bother to post it. Someone else must like it too because it's been comped on the terrific collection "Wardell Quezergue: Sixty Smokin' Soul Senders". If you don't have a copy of that comp you absolutely should check it out.

I'll wait and see what other bloggers pull out of their crates before I post anything else. I could run with this particular tribute a good long while.....and to good purpose.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Deep down inside...

Too bad I've already posted both Irma Thomas' "It's Raining" and Lee Dorsey's "Rain Rain Go Away", either would be perfect for today. I suppose I could hunt up my copy of Gentleman June Gardner's "It's Gonna Rain" but I'm feeling lazy today.

At least the rain's put out the marsh fires that blanketed the city with smoke earlier in the week. That was just plain weird. [Correction: the fires aren't out yet, which is surprising given the amount of rain we've had. According to the "WeatherBug" system: 11 inches at one of the in-town stations, 15 inches in Metairie, close to 17 inches on the West Bank, about 9 inches at the Lakefront Airport, etc....]

This tune's been out for a good while....I really meant to post these videos earlier. That's of course Irma Thomas singing on the first clip. The second's a great sounding live version with vocals handled by Cyril Neville. That instrumental break in the middle is rather pointless, but Cyril slams it so hard when he finally steps out from behind the congas that all is forgiven.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Everybody everywhere...

Time to funk shit up.

One of ten records I would hope is in my bag if I'm ever stranded in a cheap motel in far West Texas [my idea of a desert island]. Also one of the most sought after records on the True Soul label out of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Don't ya dare pass up Part 2......right when the band signals they're ready to hit that monstrous groove even harder, some extra heavy delay is laid on the vocals. The effect is spectacular. I can only wish these two sides had been released as an extended version on a 12 incher.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whatever you had brought my heart down to my knees....

We're moving fairly soon. So, on top of everything else I'm having to sort through all our stuff. Actually two houses full of stuff, 'cause the one we're moving into is full of an older relative's treasured possessions. She died recently [bless her soul] and left me the house along with everything in it. Which is just amazing, even life changing....except for all the, uhmmm, stuff.

I thought of having a yard sale but there's really no time.

Anyone need a vacuum cleaner?

Basically, I'm beyond the point of exhaustion. Joe Jones, blah blah blah "You Talk Too Much", blah blah blah, "California Sun". Alvin Robinson, blah blah blah, love the man. Only 45 on the label, blah blah blah. Hope ya'll got that.

Oh yeah, turns out I was wrong in saying Robinson's sides for Leiber and Stoller owned labels were recorded in New Orleans.....NYC is more like it, but with a bunch of N.O. sidemen. Nobody's perfect.

"Whatever You Had" is Robinson's answer to his own version of "Something You Got". If anything the man cuts loose more on this side than the original. "You Brought My Heart Right Down To My Knees " is nothing short of terrific. Yep, another great two-sider. Can't beat it with a stick. Once again, Joe Jones is the man in charge.

[Oops, I said I would make a mention and then didn't. Ya'll should really check out the new blog, Shreveport Songs. It's off to a jaw-dropping start with a great piece on drummer Chico Chism and a listen to his super rare 45 on the Clif label. An amazing recording. Drumming like that, from that time, is always worth paying attention to. I can't wait till the next post.]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Searchin' for something you've got....

As luck would have it, Larry Grogan has done a far better job than I ever could of presenting both records I'd planned to post in honor of Jerry Leiber. No problem, Larry's the one who turned me onto the Coasters version of "Down Home Girl" in the first place. Credit where credit is due.

So, in case you haven't been over to Funky 16 Corners in the last 24 hours or so, you should check out what Larry has to say, here. In fact, you should probably head on over there before going any further.

Obviously my post was blown after I saw Larry's piece, so in trying to think of some other tune to feature it occurred to me that Alvin Robinson cut yet another Leiber and Stoller song, in fact one which was originally recorded by the Coasters. I'd like to think of it as 'tit for tat'.

This is a cheap and easily found 45 that occasionally draws confused/confusing reactions. Ya see, it's been my experience that some folks think they know this record when in fact they don't, and are surprised when they actually hear it. Could be confusion over who first recorded/wrote "Something You Got" [Chris Kenner] is to blame....or for that matter even a certain kind of blindness to cheap records. But those are just guesses, I wouldn't know for sure about either.

What I do know is that this is a great two-sider more or less hiding in plain sight.

Tiger was one of Leiber and Stoller's labels. All of the sides Robinson cut for the duo, including those on sister labels Red Bird and Blue Cat, were recorded in New Orleans. Joe Jones gets credit for "Something You Got".

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Doin' it all night

Continuing with the oddities.....what better place to look than the Anla label?

This 45 comes courtesy of my ultra crabby friend C. who having recently reached "a certain advanced age" is now apparently immune to feminine wiles. Try as I might, I've been unable to get this bizarre slab of vinyl out of his [evil] clutches. In fact, my machinations look to have backfired. He's now threatening to leave his entire collection to the clutch of feral cats inhabiting his backyard ["to sharpen thier nasty claws on"] with the executor of the will instructed to poke each cat with a pin just to make sure none of the "little fuckers" is me in disguise. I love you too darlin'.

I've written several times about Chester Randle/Bill Parker, in fact I posted the original version of this song more than a year ago.

While the original version is great goofy fun....this later take comes very close to pure acid-damaged insanity. Sure, there's a big difference between 1962 and 1970 [?], but why would anyone think they could turn such an incredibly silly dance tune into a psychedelic freakout? The mind boggles. If there was even an ounce of irony [or a fake lisp] involved I'd be reminded of the Electric Eels. Repeated listening does nothing to solve the puzzle.

I could be wrong, but I don't think this 45 has ever been comped.

Here ya go, Sweet Potato Mash...with a side of LSD.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

[Repost] I'll be there, wishing, waiting, hoping....

[Issac Bolden died a few days ago. Respect is due]

A record more often referred to than posted. In fact, I can't find where it's been posted at all. Could be the 45's a little hard to find.

Anyway, it's a great two-sider, including the original version of "Wishing,Waiting, Hoping", which was a local New Orleans hit, not once, but twice. The second time when it was covered by Lee Bates in 1976.

As fond as I am of Bates' version, I have to admit that when Owens recorded the song in 1967, he created a classic.

Isaac Bolden is one of the more under-rated arranger/producers to have worked in New Orleans. Both these songs are simply gorgeous. Even, gorgeous in their simplicity. Bolden had a knack for making everything sound just-right. Virtually no fluff, few stumbles, heavy on the atmosphere, yet still clean sounding. It's a tough trick to pull off.

"I'll Be There" is at least as much a favorite as "Wishing, Waiting, Hoping", don't overlook it. Both songs are quite different from each other. If you don't like one, be sure and try the other. Hopefully, you'll like them both as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm glad about it...

[Oops, sorry about that. I've added a link.]

I'm sure I've read about the ACR "KNO BEL" label somewhere but can't seem to find any info at the moment. My impression is that it was the Austin Tx. equivalent of the New Orleans based Booker label. Or at least the business model was similar. Portable tape recorder for hire, church meetings a specialty.

Beautiful label design isn't it.

I particularly like the screams from the congregation.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

You are more precious than gold....

The Marvetts [also Marvettes] were a Jamaican group who worked in what's commonly known as the "revivalist" gospel style of the mid 60's. Laid back, folksy, totally earnest, decidedly un-hip, the style is not to everyone's fact, there are folks who'll tell you it's only appeal is it's strangeness.

The great Coxsone Dodd was behind the Tabernacle label. One source says the label was started before his Studio 1 label, but the info's a bit confusing so take it for what it's worth. While this is clearly a Jamaican issue [it was later released in the UK], the discography I have says the issue numbers are I really don't know for sure what this 45 is.

The run out code refers to the Wirl label....but if there was an issue on Wirl, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.

From 1965 [?], possibly the first 45 on the Tabernacle label [?].

Hope ya'll enjoy....