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.