Monday, January 31, 2011

Messed up baby, for the rest of my life....

What an amazing record. Hard to believe it wasn't a hit.

Jody Williams plays guitar on this one, as he did on a number of totally brilliant sides by Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, and a bunch of others. The short-lived Cobra label was owned by Eli Toscano, but Willie Dixon was the man responsible for the label's sound. One fabulous 45 after another, 33 releases in only three years.

If you need more info on Harold Burrage, you can find it here. Unfortunately it's only the standard poop from All Music, oddly enough I couldn't find much more.

From 1957....

[Btw, there's a very nice comp of Harold Burrage sides around titled, "Messed Up". Ya'll should check it out, if you haven't already.]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

...even had love to spare

T.V. Slim's discography is confusing. He had his own label early-on and some of those sides were later re-issued, even a couple of times, on his own and other people's labels. There are also a few records issued under his real name, Oscar Wills, and some re-makes as well.

Anyway, this is the b-side of the original version of "Flat Foot Sam". It may have been originally released on Slim's own Speed label in 1955 with a different flip. Hard to say given that I don't own the Speed 45. However, it is certain that this tune was released on the Cliff label [along with Flat Foot Sam] prior to being picked up by the Chess brothers, presumably through their contact with Stan Lewis, owner of Jewel/Paula out of Shreveport, Louisiana.

In short, this may be the third pressing of an older tune which became the b-side to a song which was re-cut and re-issued the same year as the original without this particular tune on the b-side. Got it? Took me at least half an hour to figure out how to say it.

It's a great tune. A nice lo-fi rocker with slightly bizarre backing vocals. As much as I like "Flat Foot Sam", I never put this record on the turntable without playing both sides.

Issued in 1957, possibly recorded in '55. Hope ya'll enjoy....

Friday, January 28, 2011

You done me wrong...

Not those Supremes! And also not the Supremes who recorded "Snap, Crackle, and Pop" for the Mark label. This group was out of Ohio. I'm pretty sure this is their only 45.

Given that Joe Ruffino gets song writing credit, he must have had something to do with getting the group to New Orleans. He worked A&R for Johnny Vincent at Ace? This must have been right before Ruffino started the Ric label.

Actually, that's a pretty interesting thought, because it's made me realize this record uses the exact same backing track as Edgar Blanchard's, "Lets Get It", the very first record issued on Ric [check the sidebar is you want to hear it]. Funny that I never put that together before.

That explains why "Lets Get It" is credited solely to Blanchard rather than his band, the Gondoliers. The original track had to have been cut by Huey Smith, Lee Allen, Hungry Williams, et al.....essentially Cos Matassa's a-list studio band at the time....maybe as part of a Huey Smith and the Clowns session?

Ya know, I may not have many answers, but sometimes I ask really good questions.

Anyway, this record rocks hard. Too bad the Supremes didn't get another chance, I'm really surprised Johnny Vincent didn't see the potential.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

She can do the jerk better than anyone else in town...

So, what do ya get when you let Jimi Hendrix play the riff to "Gloria", add horn charts/production by none other than King Curtis, and then top it all off with vocals by rockabilly singer Ray Sharpe?

That's whatcha call a rhetorical question, but personally speaking, the term "momentous event" comes to mind. More than that, I can honestly say I'm glad the earth didn't crack in half during this session.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

[Btw, if anyone needs more info on Ray Sharpe, you can find it here.]

[Update: As far as I know this is the first use of the basic track King Curtis later re-cycled into "Instant Groove". It is also the basis for Aretha Franklin's, "Save Me", issued a year later.]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A record I'm sure has been spun by every funk DJ in the world at least once. Which only means it's really good. I may be a vinyl snob, but I'm not the kind of snob which values obscurity over a funky groove.

And yes indeed, it's truly a monster groove. Did fairly well when it was released too, although the Counts [they issued issued a few records under the shortened name] never really got the push they deserved from their labels. After three albums, the band called it quits.

Out of Detroit in 1968. Richard "Popcorn" Wylie lends a hand with the superb production.

Lunar Funk [actually, Part 2 of "Get Down People"]

Got a new dance....

My apologies to some of you who've emailed me recently, I just found a bunch of very nice notes in the spam folder. I really should check more often. .

Major Lance put out something like 35 singles during his career. Had a several hits as well, but this isn't one of them. In fact, the first few discographies I looked through didn't list this record at all.

Truth is there's so much info out there on Lance you're best off looking him up yourself if you need to know more. He even has his own good-sized wikipedia page.

Willie Henderson gets kudos for the production on this one. Love those horns.

Hope ya'll's from 1967.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A fool in love with you.....

A great 45, cheap and easy to find too. Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about Donoman or the record. Anyone have any info?

I'm pretty sure the 45's from 1963, but I've also heard someone say that it was released a couple of years earlier. You decide.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keep it if you find it....

Oddly enough, this 45 doesn't show up on any Benny Spellman discography I can find, but I think it's his last record, probably issued in 1967 or '68. Just check out the rip off of the "Soul Finger" horn charts. There doesn't seem to be a Mor Soul discography available either, so I can't check.

Mor Soul was owned and operated by Traci Borges out the basement of a house in Metairie, just down the street from where he later established Knight Studios. I've never seen anything written about Borges, but I have seen a picture of him from around this time and was very surprised to see how young and cute he looked. It's not until recently that I found out he recorded a couple [?] of teen-pop records under his own name. I forget which label they were on.

The odd thing about Borges is that it doesn't appear he had any experience running a studio or a label before he set up Mor Soul. And if I wasn't clear before, Borges was running a studio out of that basement. As far as know, that's where all the Mor Soul sides were cut.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

You'll never know...

Like most people I bought this 45 for the a-side, never listening to this cut until I got the 45 home. Don't know that I'd ever heard it before. Now it's the side I play most often.

In my opinion, a minor masterpiece. The lyrics are clear enough in their way, but the structure of the song so closely mimics the tossing and turning of angst-ridden half-sleep that I'm left in awe of the skill required to pull it off, not to mention completely drawn into the scenario.

After all, who hasn't spent a night tearing at the sheets and punching the pillow while talking/arguing with someone who isn't there? Actual sleep coming only once you've worn yourself out, if at all.

And ya know, maybe "minor" is the wrong word. Perhaps it's in the nature of such a song to only ever leave behind the barest of traces?

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I want to ask you....

What can I possibly say?

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Send me some....

It's been a very rough week around here.

To top it off, looks like Baby Girl is probably coming sooner rather than later. The doctor has said before that he thinks I might be a week or so further along than the numbers imply. This last appointment he was very clear: I'm all of eight months pregnant right now, not in 10 days time like I had thought. Which of course means my name is rising fast on the list of those "most likely to pop".

As far as the blog is concerned, I'm not sure what will happen. I think it's likely I won't have the time or the energy to continue. But on the other hand, I've an unmarried sister-in-law who's helping out in exchange for a room upstairs, an older sister who loves to send over goodies from her restaurant, and two grandmothers-to-be [one a first timer] who seem intent on spoiling me [a year's worth of both housecleaning and diaper service!!!]. Toss in the good intentions of several aunts, my 14 female first cousins, and maybe 6 or 7 friends.....and I fully expect there to be a certain amount of fighting over who gets to take care of the baby next.

In short, I probably have more help than I need and may well come to see the blog as a much needed escape. I'll just have to see how it all plays out.

Anyway, I'm def gonna disappear for awhile sometime in February. If I decide I can't keep the blog going, I'll leave a note saying so. Otherwise, just keep an eye open for the next post, right?

This is Emanuel Lasky's first single, recorded while he was still in his teens. I think it sold reasonably well until the name checks of President Kennedy got it pulled from the airwaves after the assassination.

I've seen where the Thelma label was said to be owned by Thelma Gordy, Berry Gordy's ex-wife, but I don't think that's quite right. It was started by her parents, Robert and Hazel Coleman, who had previously been involved with another label called Daco.

Berry Gordy was none too happy about the existence of Thelma. Not only did the label carry his ex-wife's name but the musicians who played on a number of Thelma issues were the same guys who played on Motown 45's. The sound was often very close. After a few years, Motown took it over.

Hope ya'll enjoy, it's a great tune. That intro grabs me every time. Oops, almost forgot, the band playing on this particular 45 later became the Ohio Players.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rimshot Potatoes and Gonzo Turkey

A friend is ill and due for surgery tomorrow. We are hopeful, but the situation is very serious. Song lyrics suddenly seem to be very loaded. Either too close to the bone or fatuous to the point of irritation. How about some instrumentals?

Hot Potato Part 1, Part 2.

Originally released in 1963 and credited to the Rinkydinks, these same exact tracks were re-released in 1972 on the Rampage label as "Soultrain Pts 1&2" and credited to the Ramrods. Bobby Robinson, the owner of both Enjoy and Rampage, was the man behind this little bit of musical recycling. Seems the song was used as the basis for the Soul Train TV show theme and Robinson was trying to cash in on the connection. The group is actually King Curtis & The Noble Knights. The shocker is that Curtis is playing the guitar.

James Booker played on many many records in his life, but very few have his name on the label. This is the first of four singles he made for Peacock. Gonzo was a good sized hit in 1960. Cool Turkey used to be only rarely played in this house, but anymore I always flip the record over. In it's way, it's just as good as Gonzo.

Rimshot Part 1, Part 2.

The initial idea for the Holiday Inn label came from a company exec who caught The Roller Coasters in the lounge of one of their motels in Monroe Louisiana and thought this song should be recorded. It's the first record issued on the label. Soon enough Sam Phillips was involved, and ultimately a total of something like thirty 45's were issued under the imprint. Some of them are very very good. They were sold in Holiday Inn lobbies and Continental Trailways bus stations across the nation.

At the time, the Roller Coasters included Clint West, who I don't believe made much of a splash nationally, but later became a very popular singer in Louisiana. He plays drums on the 45.

Hope ya'll case you haven't seen it yet, Red Kelly has a wonderful memorial for Bobby Robinson posted here. There's a very nice record up too, one I've never heard of. [I should also thank Red for the info about the Rinkydinks, I'm sure I got most of it from either the B-Side or Soul Detective]

Saturday, January 8, 2011

.....and pull yourself together

As far as I know, there are only three singles credited to Sterling Magee from his pre-Mister Satan days. I've previously posted cuts off two of those 45's, this is from the third.

What a strange group of recordings, I'd love to know more about the sessions which produced them. There's something about the interplay of instruments that makes me wonder if Magee isn't at the very least playing both bass and guitar on the basic tracks. And then there's the harmonica, 'cause yeah, I'm almost certain there's harmonica on all of them, often so subtly and oddly employed that it's hard to tell what instrument it is.

On this 45, the added horn parts so closely follow what was presumably laid down earlier by harmonica that it's extremely difficult to tell where the horns start and the harmonica ends.

Toss in the fact that I've rarely heard bass lines from the late 60's pushed so far to the front [plugged directly into the mixing board?] and I end up thinking there's only one possible word to describe the sound: idiosyncratic.

I wouldn't know how common the use of multi-tracking was at that time, but these records often make me think of an artist working alone with a 4-track. The drumming on the b-side is so simple it might as well be a drum machine. Given that Magee's 'Mister Satan' persona was, at least initially, a one man band, could be some there's some small bit of truth to this impression.

Hope ya'll enjoy this one....I think it's killer.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's all over the world....

I'm never sure why K-Doe's recordings for Duke don't to get more attention. On the whole, they're fantastic.

It's cut's like this that make me wonder what would have happened if the Godfather of Soul had ever hooked up with the Emperor of the Universe.

Hope ya'll's from 1965.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Money we need it....

I can't find any evidence that this song has ever been comped. Which surprises me 'cause I know the cut really well and actually like it at least as well as the flip-side which was included on the "Southern Funkin" collection from a couple of years ago.

As far as I know, there are only a couple of other 45's by Donnie Jacobs, both of which lean more toward blues than this one. In fact, one of those sides is a very credible cover of Frankie Lee Sims' "Walking With Frankie" with a different title slapped on it.

As I've mentioned before, the Maison De Soul label was owned and operated by Floyd Soileau out of Ville Platte, Louisiana.

Hope ya'll enjoy....