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....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just you and me....

Can I get an Amen?

Take me by the hand.....

It's impossible to overestimate the influence of Napoleon Brown Culp. It was he that brought hard core gospel-style vocals into the secular realm, for all practical purposes inventing "deep soul".

I don't really need to write anything else 'cause that about says it all, but there's something of interest I'd like to point out. Much has been written about Brown's voice, his use of vibrato/melisma,/etc.....but I've yet to see anyone mention that the man regularly sang in what you might call a mid-range falsetto. His natural voice being very deep, sounding something like John Lee Hooker with considerably more lung power.

You can hear the shift between his natural voice and the falsetto on almost every one of his records. Quite suddenly he'll drop an octave [or two] time and again. At it's most exaggerated, this vocal shift can make the records almost sound like the work of a non-harmonizing duo.

On this cut, Brown starts off singing in the falsetto, then quickly reverts to his natural voice [pushing it about as far as it'll go], and then shifts back to the falsetto for a few seconds before finishing up the record in his natural voice. The shift isn't as obvious as it is on some records, but it's definitely there.

The word for today is, fascinating.

My tears was in vain....

Finally, a day off. Maybe I'll even get around to answering some of my emails....

One of four 45s recorded by Martha Carter [one as Martha Nelson]....all issued on Joe Ruffino's Ric/Ron labels....all apparently Eddie Bo related.

As I recall, several cuts by Carter [including this one], are included on a comp called "New Orleans Ladies". Ya'll should check it out.

Hope ya like it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It comes and it goes....

I've only familiar with a couple of records by Nat Hall, the other being his fabulous "Why" on the D.C. based Loop label, but a friend tells me there several more around. Seems most, if not all, are worth checking out. Given how much I like this record [and the Loop 45] I'll def be keeping an eye open.

In poking around for info I was surprised to find only a few mentions of this tune. The superb flip-side, "Talkin' About Love", doesn't even show on any DJ playlists I could find. I would have thought both tunes had been played/comped to death. I guess not.

If anyone has info on Hall, I love to see it. I got nothin'.

Hope ya'll enjoy.....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

She didn't say no....

One of two records by Big Daddy Green, both on Goldband sister-label, Anla, out of Lake Charles.

I'm usually right there with Sir Shambling, but in this case I couldn't disagree more. Big Daddy Green's first record is totally the one to have. "Lady In Red" is a long term major hit around this house. I like it so much I recently bought a second copy just 'cause I couldn't pass it by.

Check out what Sir Shambling has to say, here.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Soul feeling....

Rather like a story with two possible endings.....

Make no mistake, my hand has been hovering over the delete button for the past several weeks. But there are all these extraordinary comments being posted. Surprisingly, not a one of which have I had to censor. Not a single one.

Popularity doesn't influence me, just as heartfelt appreciation most assuredly does. My sincere thanks to everyone who bothered to comment. I am, to put it mildly, nonplussed by your responses....even somewhat embarrassed....but more than anything, I am exceedingly grateful.

Ya'll think I'm good at this? Really? All I've ever thought I had to offer was some interesting records. And ya know, in my book that makes the this whole enterprise somewhat suspect. Anyone with the time, money, and interest can gather a nice collection. That I enjoy hunting up useless bits of plastic does not make me an authority on fact, it probably means I'm an idiot.

I should also mention that I received some very nice emails concerning my last post. My thanks to you folks as well. One of those emails correctly noted that my life has changed a great deal over the last two years. This is God's Own Truth and of more importance than I care to go into except to say that I am very busy these days. I didn't so much take on a new job in May as I took on a new [and very interesting] life. I would never downplay Baby Girl's role, but compared with the job, she's just along for the [wild] ride.

Anyway, we'll see how this goes. There are situations which will likely make me cut this revival short. Specifically, harassment from any one of several quarters.
Shall we make a party? [my mama taught me to go formal when in doubt]

I really wouldn't know if this is the rarest of Eddy Giles 45s, but folks do often want some serious cash for it. Luckily, I scored my copy for cheap. Don't pass up Pt.2, it's the side I play most often.