Sorry folks, I thought I was going to be able to post a 45 today but various pieces of equipment have been acting-up ever since we experienced damp conditions around the beginning of September.
I need to switch out amplifiers [again]. The last one I have is an un-rebuilt mid 50s mono tube amp. Not the worst thing in the world. I just don't like having to rely on it. All my other amps are making crackling noises.
Also, I just discovered that the ADC side of my sound card is fried. This means I can't rip anything on this computer until I buy an external unit.
Tomorrow I'll try ripping with the laptop.
It should work once I install the correct software.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
I haven't seen this clip in years.
Ya know, there are a very few select tunes which I consider quintessentially New Orleans, and this is def one of them.
I've owned the 12 inch Ep since I was 10.
It's the first record I ever bought with my own money.
Ya know, there are a very few select tunes which I consider quintessentially New Orleans, and this is def one of them.
I've owned the 12 inch Ep since I was 10.
It's the first record I ever bought with my own money.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
A tough 45 to get your hands on.
Tough enough that it wasn't until last spring that the average person could easily hear it at all. That's when someone who doesn't actually own the record posted an audio clip on youtube along with a scan of the 45 lifted from Popsike. I suspect the mp3 came from a now unavailable mix posted online a couple of years ago.
Anyway, here's my rip of the a-side. As far as I know, it's never been comped.......which is surprising given that it's a superior example of Wardell Quezerque's production work.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
What a crazy week it's been.
Anyway, we're back home, power is on, and the internet is working....at least for the moment. I imagine Cox [the local ISP] will find a way to screw it up soon enough.
Fyi, Cox may be the only ISP to ever establish an official 'apology' line....a special number to call when you felt the need to hear a pre-recorded apology for their lousy service. This was after Katrina. Truth.
I couldn't help but notice various recent news reports about how folks in Louisiana are "whining" about the lack of power in the aftermath of Isaac. Just so ya'll know, complaining about our local utility service is a time honored tradition. I might also point out that we enjoy a general level of "service" which many of you would find appalling. Making a fuss is often the only practical recourse. Truth, yet again.
Oh yeah, to add to the weirdness of the past week, I finally saw two complete episodes of "Treme". My apologies to those who like the show, but I thought it total trash. For all it's laudable use of local color, every single time the possibility of 'realness' raises it's head the show's production team falls back on cliches and canned sound.
Seriously ya'll, "Treme" and "Glee" are not that far apart. Get a grip.
New Orleans, land of dreams [and a million false projections].
I'm about to quit buying records through the mail. It's not really necessary, and I'm getting very tired of receiving broken 45s. Three, in the last few weeks.
This is one. It's now cracked when it used to be a very nice original copy. Apparently a USPS drove a truck over it. I suppose I should be happy it wasn't delivered in 16 pieces.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Good news [at this point, I'll take whatever I can get]. This morning's forecast is a little less alarming than last night's. 80 mph winds with gusts up to 100, then slowing back down a bit.
The weather service reported that Isaac hit Cat. 1 hurricane status a couple of hours ago....which means it's reached sustained winds of 75 mph.
The storm's forward movement is slowing down, which as I understand it, increases the amount of rain it'll drop. I believe the current projection is something around 18 inches...up an inch or two over yesterday.
Looks like some storm surge estimates are down. As far as I know, the city has either already closed all floodgates or is the process of doing so.....including the first closing of the huge not-quite-finished Lake Borgne surge barrier.
I have ultimate faith in My Boy. He can def take care of himself.....and he knows he's gonna catch living hell if my dad so much as stubs a toe. I imagine the party will begin soon enough. They've a portable generator and are well stocked with food, water, and 14 different varieties of alcohol.
Anyway, this goes out to both my husband and my dad. A bit of an in-joke.
One of two recordings Earl King made of this song. It was meant to be included on King's unreleased "Street Parade" album. Production by Allen Toussaint.
Monday, August 27, 2012
By the time everything was packed up this morning, it was clear that I was heading for Austin. We undoubtedly would've been fine in various places around the state, but ya know, while you're at it why not just drive till you're well out of the line of the storm? Even simple power outages are a problem when charged with the care of an infirm elderly aunt and her totally obnoxious peekapoo, "Cinders".
And then there's the little problem of the free-ranging mess known as "Baby Girl".
So, yeah you rite, I weenied out and headed for the one place I knew I'd be able to get a warm bath over the coming week. My Boy along with various relatives [including my father] have decided to stay in New Orleans. I am, of course, very concerned.
While Mayor Landrieu is quite correct in saying that Isaac is not Katrina and that the city is far better prepared that it was......I, like many others who don't have access to major News outlets, are completely spooked by this storm. If nothing else, you can put it down to being 'once bitten'.
But then there's also the graphic issued earlier today by the National Hurricane Center which shows Isaac becoming a hurricane shortly after midnight tonight, and reaching wind speeds of 90 to 115 miles per hour 24 hours later.
Wind speeds of 100 mph may not be the same as wind speeds of 150 mph, but it's still not-good no matter how you look at it.
That's right, Cat 2 pushing towards Cat 3.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Not funny. Not funny at all.
While we're of course hoping this scenario doesn't play out [on August 29th, of all days], it's not like I really want Isaac to hit any place else either. Truth is, we're probably going to have problems with the storm surge no matter were the storm comes to land.
Ironically enough, we just got home after spending a week and a half in Austin. So, now we have to turn around and go back???
My Boy definitely falls on the 'better safe than sorry' side, so it's entirely possible that Baby Girl and I will drive to Morgan City tomorrow morning and stay with relatives. My mother is probably coming as well. Possibly even a few others. That way, if need be, we'll be part of the first wave of westward evacuation. And if things change, we can simply turn around and go home.
What can I say? My husband is protective. No harm in that. Right?
Friday, August 3, 2012
Here's a cut a friend and I have been paying some attention to lately. Seems it may be a rare example of James Booker playing both piano and organ on a single record....the organ bit being overdubbed. Sure sounds like him, in fact I can't imagine it's anyone else.
Beyond that, this is the b-side of one of two 45s recorded by Katherine Holt, both on the Booker label. As far as I know, nothing is known about her.
The flip-side of this 45 gets the occasional play, but you rarely hear this tune. Checking DJ playlists online, I can only find two spins listed. Unsurprisingly, one of those being on WWOZ, New Orleans.....which is, without a doubt, one of the greatest radio stations in the world.
*Blows a kiss to Billy Delle* [wherever you are].
Hope ya'll enjoy. It's from 1963...........
[addendum: I don't think any of Katherine Holt's recordings have ever been comped]
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the band Black Merda. And I do understand that after playing on a number of great sides in Detroit, under several different names, that Anthony Hawkins, VC L. Weasley, Charles Hawkins, Tyron Hite, et al, wanted to do something different than play straight up soul/funk.
But....I really don't understand how the guys could record this absolutely amazing one-off 45 with Linnie Walker [the Hawkins brothers' sister] and apparently not consider the project worthy of more effort.
Actually, I'm a little pissed off that they didn't 'cause I think I deserve to hear more Linnie. How's that for being self-centered?
Btw, all of Black Merda's recordings are still available on one format or another. That includes the killer collection of rarities titled, "The Psych Funk Of Black Merda", on which both sides of this 45 can be found.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Here's some teaser footage from the yet to be released film "By And By: New Orleans Gospel At The Crossroads".
I feel really bad about this, but I somehow missed the film's Kickstarter campaign this past spring. I can't imagine how that happened. I've been keeping an eye on this project for a couple of years now. Such a shame that they didn't make their goal. A double shame that I didn't promote it here....'cause I certainly would've/should've.
Anyway, it looks to be a great film. Hopefully it'll be finished soon.
James Williams Sr. [guitar, vocals] is the last original member of the Crownseekers, but that doesn't mean the present line up is somehow inferior, 'cause it ain't.
Probably just a stylistic thing, but I'm seriously wondering if Mr. Williams didn't play/sing on the record I posted yesterday? I found info online that says he auditioned for the Southern Bells in the early sixties, but not whether he was ever a member. This would have been before the formation of the Crownseekers in 1965.
If anyone has more info, please pass it on.
Hope ya'll enjoy. It's a killer clip.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I'm never so much at a loss as when I try to write about Gospel music. Not only am I admittedly ignorant on the subject, but info is very hard to find even on relatively well known groups.
What I do know for sure is that the Southern Bells have been around a very long time [like 50 years]. I myself have seen a couple of incarnations of the group, several times over. But when it comes to knowing who's actually singing on this particular record, or for that matter, when it was made....I'm clueless.
Sorry folks, one of my many failings is that I'd rather spend money on records than on books about the people who make them.
Hope ya'll enjoy..............
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I doubt you'll see this clip posted anywhere else, but I think Unc would approve.
Looking sharp, dancing with the ladies, drinking Miller High Life. Notice the watch worn on the hand, not the wrist. That's whatcha call style darlin'.
Folks have been celebrating Lionel Batiste Sr.'s life for more than a week now, including a second line parade last Saturday.
The procession is tomorrow. It will undoubtedly be huge.
[Update: unfortunately we had a lot of rain yesterday.......which always includes some flooding. The second line parade was re-scheduled for Monday]
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Derek See posted this 45 about six months ago and even though the record is apparently well known amongst the "northern soul" crowd, I'd never heard it before. Which isn't all that surprising.
Anyway, Derek's link is gone [in fact, the whole player is gone] and the tune is just too good to pass up. Basically, I started trying to find a copy from the moment I heard it.
And what a strange episode in record hunting that turned out to be. Ya see, it's not very often I go looking for a record which I know absolutely nothing about. Frankly, I can't ever remember being all that interested in any MGM release before. In short, I'm clueless.
So I hunt around and in the end I buy a copy which I'm pretty sure isn't a bootleg [there are a lot of them about], but on the other hand I don't really know what it is I have bought. I remember thinking that maybe it was a later 70s reissue because it was so very cheap [originals can be quite expensive].
Anyway, I get the 45 in the mail and it looks like it's NOS, even comes in a MGM sleeve....and I'm happy, never thinking twice about the purchase.
Months go by and the record sticks close to the turntable.
Then one day recently, I'm checking an online set sale when I spot a perfect twin of my 45, priced at 120 euros. What a shock. Ya see, I'd never seen a scan of a stock copy until then.....or so I thought.
Amazing. Seems I bought a beautiful original stock copy for $16 including postage....without knowing what I was doing. Even if the record more realistically sells for $80, it's still a very nice surprise.....and a tiny bit un-nerving. If there's such a thing as a Fairy Godmother of Vinyl Collectors, I think I may have one.
I'm hoping you followed the link to Derek's post, but in case you didn't I should point out that The Jewels are actually Lady Bo & The Family Jewels.
Here ya go, a record which virtually defines the term "stomper".
Hope ya'll enjoy..........
Monday, July 16, 2012
Sorry to be away so long. Duty called.....as well as the need to get out of town for a few days.
I'm not a huge fan of instrumentals but this one kills me. I can play it over and over and over.
Anyway, it's awfully quiet in here. Time to get the party started.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I've spent a fair amount of effort trying to trace this 45.....and every time I think I might have something, it turns out to be utterly inconsequential.
So, Hillery [Hillary on the other Electrostats 45] McGinnis? Well, beyond the fact that nobody knows anything about him, there are a number of Hillary, Hilary, and H. McGinnis' in Southern Louisiana. In fact, McGinnis, as a last name, isn't exactly what ya might call 'uncommon' in the area. I suppose I could spend a week calling them all..............
Three Oaks? Well, the only local reference I can think of is to the old plantation house that the corporate predecessor to Domino Sugar bulldozed in the late sixties for absolutely no reason at all. [A pox on those involved].
21st Century Studio in New Orleans? That's a real head scratcher. Outside of the releases on Three Oaks, I've only ever found that credit on one other record. The Isaac Clark 45 I posted awhile back on the Finger Tips label. If anyone has any info on the place, I'd love to hear about it.
Arranger Tommy Morel? Well, yeah, there is/was a rather well known man by that name in the city [I think he might live in Dallas now]. He's an ex-football player/business man. Having once met him about 10 years ago, I seriously doubt there's a connection.
As far as I can tell, none of the three [!] publishing companies listed on the label show up in the BMI database. However, there was a company called Mempro, which marketed itself as an "all-inclusive" artist representative, based in Memphis. Again, I doubt there's a connection...but who knows?
Obviously, I don't.
Hope ya'll enjoy. Sir Shambling calls the tune "insidious".
I call it a sleeper.........
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Because I tend to think everyone reads Dan Phillip's, Home of The Groove, I also tend to forget to mention when the man truly outdoes himself.....like his continuing series on Wardell Quezerque titled, "Tracking the Big Q Factor".
If you haven't checked out the series yet, then you definitely should. Loads of info along with a shocking number of rare records posted. Unfortunately, the links are now dead on Pts. 1, 2, and 3.....but they're still good on Pt.4a....and of course Pt.4b was just published a few days ago.
I would also advice that you check out the links Dan provides to pages on Sir Shambling's site within the text. Between the two of them they provide the best, most complete, overview available on several very obscure artists.
Before I forget, I should post these two tunes. They come courtesy of regular reader, "Lance McCoy", who, I'm sorry to say, gets no prize beyond my sincere gratitude. Ya see, I've been begging for an mp3 of this record for over two years now. And that's because no one I know had ever heard the 45, much less ever seen a copy, that is, until "Lance" came through for the win. *big applause*
As far as I know, the record has never been comped. It's by Huey Smith and was released on Instant 3297 in 1969. Pt.1 is an instrumental jam. Side-B is where the vocals come into play. Unfortunately, there are no label scans.
I don't imagine there's any need to introduce Bobby Bland. Or for that matter, any need to fret about coming up with a song his fans aren't familiar with. Thus I'll stick to a tune I consider nearly impossible to forget.
From 1968. My only complaint is that it doesn't run for 20 minutes or more..........
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I've been looking for a cheap copy of this record for a good long while. Not that it shows up all that often, but when it does, it commonly goes for $60 to $80. Which, much more often than not, is enough money to remind me that I need to pay the bills.
Anyway, this is my score of the month. A totally beat up copy of a great two-sider that looks like it shouldn't even play through. But it does [ha!]. And even better, a little cleaning made it sound quite acceptable [ha! ha!].
Hope ya'll enjoy......
Thursday, May 17, 2012
This goes out to Doug Schulkind at WFMU who for some unknown reason happens to think what I do here, on the blog, is special. I've rarely been so flattered in my life.
While I agree that the dedication is a bit obvious, it's such a good excuse to play the silly thing that I can't resist the temptation.
Actually, while I'm at it, it's been far too long since I thanked everyone who visits, comments, sends emails. Ya'll are such a lovely crew. Thank you. My only regret is that I often don't have time to respond in the manner I'd like. In particular, finding time to answer emails has become a big problem.
Obviously I'm having trouble finding time to post as well. Between taking care of the Monster Child and running a business I'm lucky to get the laundry done much less do something I actually enjoy, alone.
Anyway, I'm still here, plugging along. Hope ya'll stick around too.
Adolphus Holcomb, aka Little Hooks, and his brother Ray Holcomb [on this record, Ray Nato] worked together for virtually their entire professional lives, starting in the early 50s and lasting into the late 70s. And they recorded quite a few records under various group names along the way.
The odd thing about this record is that the Holcomb brothers were basically through recording by the mid 60's, yet in 1972 they reappeared with this atypical, incredibly charming little record. I have no idea how well it sold, but it must have done something sales-wise because it was picked up for national release on the United Artists label. As far as I know, it was their last 45.
Charming? I'm not sure I've ever said that about a 45 before.....but yeah, it's charming. There's a nice lo-fi homemade quality to it. Less hard funk than a sweet little groover that almost always makes me smile.
Hope it makes ya'll smile too...........
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I often buy cheap beat-up copies of expensive records. And mostly this works out great for me. I'd say 80% of them just need a good cleaning to sound much much better. But that scenario doesn't always play-out as expected, so occasionally I'm stuck with a truly sub-par record. By which I mean one that I'm not happy with at any price.
This is one of those records. The 45 doesn't turn up all that often and when it does, it's pricey. Ya know, I thought I was being smart to buy a cheapie. But I wasn't. Now I just have to find another copy.
Wouldn't be such a big deal except I absolutely love the record. Right?
Awhile back, a friend of mine just about had me convinced that Lonie [also Lonnie] Jones was actually my beloved Diamond Joe recording under a different name. Now, Dan Phillips assures me this isn't true, but ya know, that I would even consider the possibility only goes to show how good the record really is [and how my enthusiasm occasionally gets away from me].
So, for the time being, until I find a better copy, here's the b-side.
Such a lovely thing. One of two records by the artist, one of four on the label. Charles Brimmer deserves major kudos for the production..........
What a drag. Belita Woods is dead.
I met her once several years ago when she and George Clinton were in town doing some recording. A very sweet, very funny lady. Very much full of life.
If you haven't already checked out Derek's post of her three early 45s then you most definitely should. The song, "Grounded" is a particular favorite of mine.
But ya know, as nice as those records are, Ms. Woods will always have a place in my mind as a member of the P-Funk pantheon. She spent something like 14 years working with that most democratic of all Funk Masters.
Over the past ten years, going to see Clinton & Co. has become a kind of personal ritual. And a big part of that ritual has been hearing Ms. Woods lead into "Sentimental Journey"......'cause that's when you know the moment of ritualistic closure is at hand.
On a good night [and there are definitely bad ones] that moment can make ya feel like you've just received holy sacrament at the Church of Funk. As a wise man once said, there ain't NO party like a P-Funk party.
Having seen a couple of clips of the band without Ms. Woods, I can honestly say it isn't the same. But then others have been saying the same thing for years as the old crew died off or moved on. And yet, the latter day incarnation of P-Funk has had meaning to me even as others scoffed. Ya know, I happen to like the older, wiser, possibly even more generous P-Funk.
Here's a cut from the album Ms. Woods and Mr. Clinton were working on when I met her. Belita sings on several of the songs including this one. I doubt the folks of The Big Ol' Nasty Getdown will mind me giving you a listen, but it's a relatively new release, thus I'll only leave it up for a few days. You can get the album via either Amazon or iTunes. It's called, The Big Ol' Nasty Getdown Vol. 1., and has some very cool stuff on it.....not the least of which is some tasty guitar work by the late Gary Shider.
I had some trouble coming up with a video clip. Ya see, the cleanest available footage comes from a show at Montreux, but that show is far too 'staged' for my taste and the audience seems about half dead. Which is to say that my personal P-Funk experience has been somewhat rougher.....and a good deal more sweaty.
Thus I've chosen these clips. The first was filmed on a TV set, and is a bit 'staged' as well, but the energy level is def set on high. The second looks to have been shot in a club, but even if it wasn't, it still rings truer to the nature of the beast than the Montreux show. You may want to check your sound level before watching it as the the audio is close to being fried [which is why I like it].
Monday, April 30, 2012
Ironing Board Sam [aka, Sam Moore] played at Jazz Fest yesterday. It was his first appearance in a very long time. I read something about it being 41 years since his last. Good for him.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the show. No free passes have come our way this year and we just sent the I.R.S. virtually everything we had in the savings account.
Too bad, as the Jazz Fest line-up is really very good this year. The most interesting I've seen since getting my degree.....and thus finally being able to attend. [As I've pointed out before, the scheduling of the festival conflicts with final exams.]
Anyway, Mr. Moore is now affiliated with the fine folks at the Music Maker Relief Foundation and that association appears to be doing him a boatload of good. Here's a link to his page on the Music Maker site where you can see a few video clips [the vodka ad is a hoot] and also listen to several mp3s ["Life Is Like A See Saw" is particularly nice].
Ya'll should def go see him if he comes to your town. On May 11, he'll be playing in both Durham and Hillsborough North Carolina.
Mostly you get to hear the funky flip-side of this 45, but I'm a fan of this ultra-nice cover of a tune originally recorded by Johnnie Morisette [I think that's right], on which Mr. Moore really gets to show off his vocal chops. Those horns are pretty sweet too.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Seriously ya'll, this is one of my all time favorite records.
So, were Jessie Hill and Shirley Goodman the most unlikely duo ever waxed? Possibly. To say both were highly eccentric singers is putting it mildly. Who'd have imagined they'd sound so crazy-cool together?
Huey Meaux probably deserves kudos for that flash of brilliance, but honestly, I don't think you need to look farther than the credit given to Hill and Mac Rebennack for the arrangement to know what's really going on in this session. As far as I'm concerned, this is another killer track put together by those two. I only wish there had been many more.
And speaking of 'more', most of what was recorded during these sessions was later released on Meaux's Crazy Cajun label as an Lp titled, "You'll Lose A Good Thing". I don't think it's ever been issued on Cd, but there seem to be plenty of copies of the original album floating around. I suggest you buy it if you see it.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I'm having equipment trouble. My amplifier problem [I've fried four since I started the blog] has been solved, but in the mean time [sure enough] my scanner has died.
I should be 100% by Saturday afternoon.
In the meantime, here are a few clips for your enjoyment.
Consider this post a mash note.
It's no secret [in some circles] that Frankie Vasquez is the shit. One of my present life goals is to either dance with the man for like maybe 15 seconds or alternatively give him a big smooch. Lets hope he doesn't have me arrested should the occasion arise.
Actually, you might consider this a mash-note to virtually the entire discography of older afro-cuban based music.
To say that the musicians in these clips are top-notch is such a major understatement. Most deserve a biographical notation of their own. But ya know, I'd rather just get on with it.
Friday, April 20, 2012
I like to think every day is Record Store Day around here, but of course tomorrow there are a bunch of special events going on around the country. So, ya'll be good boys and girls and go support your local independent vinyl [and Cd] merchants. Right?
Here's several unrelated clips celebrating a few of the shops I patronize in New Orleans and Austin [some more than others, but I've def bought records in all].
Fyi, the fourth clip would only load if I included it as part of a play list, so you may need to manually stop the player unless you want to watch the rest of the clips.
It's not that great of clip but I wanted to be sure and include something on Breakaway Records, a great shop that only opened a few months before I moved back home. Fans of the now-defunct blog, Second Line Social, may remember Gabe the owner. Even though I don't get to the shop very often [like twice since I moved], I still end up with a fair bit of Breakaway's stock through trades with a friend.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
As I've mentioned before, the classic line-up of Cookie and The Cupcakes involved two lead singers, Cookie Thierry and Shelton Dunaway.....and generally speaking, when Dunaway did the vocals the records were credited to Shelton Dunaway and the Cupcakes.
Thus, this is actually a "Cookie and the Cupcakes" record.
The song has nothing to do with the largely New Orleans based Popeye dance craze of the early sixties. Ya see, 'Popeye music' is markedly down-tempo and this tune is of course 'up-beat'.
"Cindy Lou", another song recorded several years earlier by the Cupcakes under the name 'Boogie Ramblers', is very similar and of course makes no mention of the Popeye. In short, any references to the Popeye were included purely for the sake of making regional sales.
That's gotta be the great Katie Webster on piano. Totally besides the point, but ya know, if there was ever a woman who grew more beautiful as she aged, it was Katie. Girl def had the life-force in her. I saw her play when I was about 15 and won't be forgetting anytime soon.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Many of the old original press maroon Peacocks are tough to find. That's why I own a cheap copy with a badly off center label and some of the more outrageous vinyl blisters I've ever seen in any pressing.
Oh, and it's definitely been underwater as well.....and then had water dripping on it for some time afterwards. I can tell because the label partially dissolved into 'runs' which then dried in the grooves. In my experience, a very very difficult condition to clean.
So yeah, this 45 has seen some serious scrubbing, and now sounds about a thousand times better than when I bought it. But it's not perfect. The crackles you hear are left-over paper and ink in the grooves. There are no scratches in the vinyl.
Not to be flip, but if you don't know who James Wayne, aka James Waynes, aka Wee Willie Wayne, is, then you def need to use your google. I'm far too tired to lay it all out atm.
"Scott", listed as co-writer of the tune is very probably Joseph Scott, who more than anyone else is responsible for the 'sound' of Peacock/Duke recordings.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Cosimo Matassa is 86 years old today. Tomorrow night he'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
About frigging time.
I'm pleased that RRHF voters finally got their collective head out. It's a very nice, well deserved, honor. The man is a living legend. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 50% of everything I've posted on this blog was either engineered, mastered, pressed, or distributed by Mr. Matassa. Often enough, all of the above.
I pulled out a nice sized stack of "classic" records before deciding to go with this one. It was a tough choice. So many famous recordings were cut at one or the other of Matassa's studios that I could easily have chosen amongst 50 others.
Ultimately, what gets me about this particular 45 is not that it's just a great two-sider......more like, it's impossibly good. A vinyl jewel. Everything about it conspires to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Silly thing's probably only worth a couple of bucks but I keep it in a nice plastic sleeve just like I do my rarer 45s.
Btw, Smiley Lewis was not a pianist. I've run into several peeps under that impression. In fact, one of the reasons why some of Lewis' recordings are occasionally reminiscent of Fats Domino's is that they used the same piano player [a small joke]. Fats, of course, covered "I Hear You Knocking" as well.
Anyway, that's either James Booker or Huey Smith at the keyboard. Dave Bartholomew [who recently won a Grammy Trustee award] would have been running the session.
And Cos Matassa was there, as he was during so many sessions, making sure it was all captured on tape.
Both sides were cut at the old J&M Studio at Rampart and Dumaine in a room about the same size as one I'm now sitting in. I seem to recall that Cos charged $15 an hour for studio time......which included his services as well.
As you may know, Cos hasn't been doing so well over the past year. Here's hoping that the award does him some good.
Happy Birthday Mr. Matassa....and Congratulations!!!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Many thanks to Marc, who in the comments of the last post pointed out the existence of rare footage of Hop Wilson and Lee Semien in this film [at 6:11]. But that's not all, 'cause ya see "On The Road Again" is stuffed with outrageously good one-of-a-kind performances from beginning to end, some of which I'm sure you've seen as lower quality clips on youtube.
Anyway, I personally had never seen the movie in it's entirety, and if you haven't either, then you owe it to yourself to take a look.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Poppy/Poppa Hop is Hop Wilson, the steel guitar player. Here's a discography which just so happens to include one for the Ivory label as well.
Ivory was owned by Lee Semien, aka, King Ivory. It's been my experience that any recording he was involved with is worth checking out. But good luck finding those Ivory 45s......
For those not interested in hunting down the vinyl, there are several comps associated with these two men. "I Met A Strange Woman"is included on the super nice "Hop Wilson & His Buddies", and on "Steel Guitar Flash" as well.
King Ivory is well represented by both "Beating The Odds" and "The Bitch Done Quit Me".
Hope ya'll enjoy.............
Sunday, April 1, 2012
The original version of this song was recorded by the Georgia based Echoes of Zion in either 1949 or '50. Given that the Echoes were known for re-working much older songs, it's possible the tune dates from a good deal farther back. Anyone know for sure?
Actually, it doesn't matter if the song was old or new because the style of singing is what's important. Although somewhat gussied-up [the Echoes were pros after all], this is an example of a moaning-hymn. Or maybe I should say its done in the style of an old pre-Gospel moaning hymn.....which was never meant for 'groups'. It's purely a 'congregational' style.
Anyway, this is one of the few recordings of this type by a Gospel group that I've heard [not that I've heard everything]. What's interesting is that this later version sounds quite a bit like the original, perhaps even better, depending on your taste.
Relatively cheap, nice, copies of this record can also be found on the Nashboro label. Original label releases tend to go for more, which is why I own a beater.
Prepare to be awed.........
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
There were only about 20 releases on Rocky Robin's, Monroe La. based, N-Joy label. Many of those releases are a little bit too 'teen-pop' for my taste, but there's def some good stuff in the catalog [specifically John Fred's version of "Boogie Children"].
The a-side of this record fits the teen-pop mold well enough that it was apparently a big hit with the kids on American Bandstand when first introduced. Too bad Dick Clark didn't decide to flip the record over. Now that really would've been something.
Basically, it's impossible to write about Duane Yates without mentioning the Boogie Kings, the band with which he became lead singer after recording two 45s with the Capris. They were a very popular band in Southern Louisiana. Yates, along with G.G. Shin and Clint West, form the 'holy trinity' of Boogie Kings vocalists.
Unfortunately, Yates died in 2009.....that's after spending most of his life writing, recording, and playing music. Truly an epitaph worthy of envy.
Hope ya'll enjoy, it's from 1965......
Saturday, March 24, 2012
An atypical cut for a group more commonly known for sweet ballads of the sort beloved by the lowrider crowd. While these guys obviously knew how to funk it up, I've never heard anything else they recorded that even comes close to this monster jam.
Yeah you rite, the funkateers love it.....thus the 45 rarely goes for cheap.
The Enchanting Enchanters originated in East Chicago, Indiana and recorded this 45 for the owners of the Steeltown label [who first recorded the Jackson 5] in Gary, Indiana. BenMoKeith is a mashup of their names: Ben Brown, Maurice Rogers, and Gordon Keith. I may be wrong, but I believe the label is a 'one-off'.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
There are folks who find this record totally mystifying. And understandably so. On most levels, the lyrics make absolutely no sense at all.
But ya see, it's a 'Christian' record [whatever that means], and a damned catchy one at that. In fact, it's a bit of an ear-worm. That's why it gets plays, right?
Now, I can't say I'm privy to any special knowledge, but I do know that the title, "G O 2 And The Rest Of It", is a coded, 'Christian', way of saying 'go to hell'......which presumably helps clear up some of the mystery.....but still, there's that mandolin which after repeated plays continues to confound......
In short, this is comes from out in left field.
Myra Cormier is currently the choir director of a very large, well-known, evangelical church in Houston, Texas.
Consider yourself lucky if this tune doesn't stick in your head for at least a week.........
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I should've posted this along with the previous record. It's the instrumental version of "Things Could Be Better".......but not simply the backing track used on the vocal version. Sounds to me like a slightly faster take and there's some very fine horn work not included on the other record.
Actually, "Things Are Better" is a monster in it's own right.
Just to be clear, this is a reissue of the 45. I believe it was offered as part of a limited edition box set [by Rhino?]. It's the copy I usually play because it sounds gorgeous and my original is like one step away from the trash can.
Clean original copies of this record are very scarce on the ground and thus usually go for more than I can justify spending. From what I can tell, even these re-issues don't turn up all that often.
Btw, I must apologize for the 'snow' in some of my recent scans. I don't know what it is, but believe me, it's not dust. Could it be that my six year old $99 printer is finally reaching the end of its usefulness?
Hope ya'll enjoy the tune.......
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Marguerite Wright, aka Margo White, made a scarce few records but damn they're nice.
Actually, I forget the exact count. One with Cookie & The Cupcakes on Khoury [?]......a couple more for Floyd Solieau's Jin label....a couple with Bill Parker for Goldband.....and two [or is it three?] for Huey Meaux owned labels.
After that, nothing, not a peep. She could well have died in 1970 for all anyone knows.
While I wouldn't say her version of Bobby Bland's "I'm Not Ashamed" is exactly 'revered' in Southern Louisiana.....it still comes awful close. Last time I was up by St. Landry Parish I heard a local band cover the tune and I guarantee you they'd never heard of Bobby Bland.
Anyway, I'm a huge fan of both sides of the 45. In fact, I initially meant to feature "With All Of My Heart" all by itself.....but then, I don't know that you'd get a true feeling for how good this 45 is without including "I'm Not Ashamed".
In my part of the world this is a $5 record, but ya know, I'd never give up this copy. It would simply leave too big of hole in my collection if I did.
So, big news huh?, local girl loves perennially popular local record. Hope ya'll do too.
Monday, March 12, 2012
As you can see from the label scan, a previous owner of this 45 saw fit to mark this cut as 'bad'. And ya know, maybe the song itself isn't the greatest....might even have shown itself as weak pop in the hands of someone else....but Lord-Have-Mercy, once Armstrong tears into it, he never lets up. The result is positively shocking.
Sir Shambling's got the scoop on Jimmy Armstrong, here, along with several other cuts, including the 'good' side of this record [it's superb].
Anyway, take my advice, don't be put off by the beginning. Hold on and I swear you'll see what I mean by the time the side is over. Highly recommended to those who enjoy 'screamers'.
Hope ya'll enjoy......
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
As I've mentioned before, my extremely meager knowledge spreads increasingly thin the farther I travel from home. Thus I can honestly say I don't know anything at all about this record or Willie Smith.
That is, except that the 45 is usually a cheap buy and totally kicks ass [even though the mix isn't the best]......and well, that I'm pretty sure Cliff Driver [who's band provides the instrumentation] is still alive and well. He shows up on several fairly recent Daptone/Desco releases.
Here's a clip of Cliff Driver playing keyboards with the fabulous Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens in 2006.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I'm almost certain that the Isaac Clark who sings on this record is now the Rev. Isaac Clark who sings lead with the very fine gospel group, The Christian Brothers. I believe he's associated with the Loving Four Baptist Tabernacle up by MLK and Claiborne.
Interesting if true, because Rev. Clark was the man quoted as saying, in a very famous AP story published on Sept. 1, 2005, "We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help." He was at the New Orleans Convention Center at the time along with 15 to 20 thousand other people. The dead bodies were, of course, out front under blankets.
As I recall, it was the day before President Bush did his infamous fly-over of New Orleans....and a few weeks before St. Louis Cathedral could be sufficiently "Disneyfied" with the addition of a huge black backdrop and specially brought-in generators and spotlights so that Bush could finally descend from heaven and make his official speech to the nation while the rest of the city was without electricity, water, food......
For that matter, wasn't that the day when Condoleeza Rice was filmed shopping for very expensive shoes in Atlanta?
Sorry ya'll, I really shouldn't have read the old AP report. I'm angry enough as it is.
While I can't say this makes a great deal of obvious sense, I'd like to dedicate this tune to the recent crop of pandering, self-serving, proto-fascist shit-bags competing for the Republican presidential nomination.
If nothing else, it amuses me to do so.
I'd like to think Rev. Clark would get a good belly laugh as well.