Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm gonna teach ya what it's all about......

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.

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get that funky groove.....

So, is Dennis Lee the same person who's now a DJ on Q106.5 in Baton Rouge?

Someone who identified himself as Tarik Thornton [who I believe is a friend of Larry Grogan's] reported as much in a comment on this piece by Dan Phillips over at The Home Of The Groove. Problem is [and was] that the link Thornton provided didn't work.....and since I was away on business during Ponderosa Stomp in 2010, I have no idea what, if anything, was presented by Mr. Thornton at that time as proof.

Yeah well, I could def hunt up Mr. Lee myself but as lame as it sounds I don't actually believe I have the right to bother people simply because I want information. And believe me, I learned that lesson the hard way. Ya know, some folks simply do not want to talk about the past for good reason, and I totally respect that. In short, a journalist, I am not.

Still, the question remains since basically nothing is known [by me] about Dennis Lee & The Notables. However, I have to say that 'Baton Rouge' does make a great deal of sense.

And in the mean time.....I just so happen to have a very nice copy of the group's best known record.

Hope ya'll enjoy........Pt.1 and Pt.2

Monday, February 27, 2012

Every time I see you girl....

I was all set to post the other side of this 45 [one of the truly great examples of quasi-suicidal soul], but decided that I'd rather hear something more upbeat. Luckily, the b-side fit the bill very nicely.

This is off Raymond Winnfield's only known 45. It's also one of only two records on which Ernie and The Top Notes played [back in the day]. Ernie Vincent is of course still performing, still recording, with a re-formed version of the Top Notes which sounds almost exactly like the old band.

Here's a very interesting interview with Vincent where he talks a bit about how Winnfield came to do the record. As you'll also read in the piece, this tune [along with the others] were recorded without the band's regular drummer. A good thing from the sound of it, as to my mind Peter "Rooster" adds a totally indispensable taste of New Orleans style drumming to the whole project.

Hope ya'll enjoy the tune even though the copy is far from mint. It's a very tough 45 to find. I'm lucky to own a copy at all........

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm going crazy, out of my head.....

I've written before about New Orleans artist Chuck Johnson. Unfortunately, information on the man is still non-existent.....and I still have a big question concerning his discography which apparently can only be solved by hunting down another 45. That is, unless someone out there can tell me if the recordings on Booker 301-Chuck Johnson "The Way You Treat Me/Your Little World" are the same as those released on C&E 400???

C&E 401 is one of Johnson's records I've bought just to flesh out my understanding of the discography. I had heard that it contained re-cut versions of two songs initially recorded for the Invicta label, but wasn't sure if that was the truth having never heard the original 45.

And yeah, that's exactly the case. Johnson re-recorded both tunes several years later. Possibly even ten years [?] later. The dating on the Invicta 45's is basically unknown. Certainly the man's voice is much lower on the C&E release.

The interesting thing here is that this song didn't exactly grab me the first time around. But repeated listenings [for comparison sake] have made me quite fond of both versions. Johnson was obviously a very talented piano player and I've mentioned before how much I like his voice.

So, here they are, both versions of "Trying Hard To Forget"......the first off of Invicta 509, the second off of C&E 401. Admittedly obscure choices, but I hope ya'll enjoy nonetheless.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Public Service Announcement

If you're anything like me, you missed Larry Grogan's note that he was having to change domains [very very quickly].....and then about had a heart attack when it appeared that Funky 16 Corners was gone.

Well, Larry's not gone and he has a new post up featuring "Hung Over" by The Martini's. You know you wanna check it out.

Here's the new link for Funky 16 Corners. Spread it around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh what a big affair....

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Here's something I'll probably never feature unless I do it now [thanks to scheduled posting].

The rip is from a new limited pressing issued by the fine folks at Jazzman Records. They cost about $10-12. You should pick up a copy now if you want one 'cause they'll probably become a little harder to find as time goes by. "Carnival Day" is listed as being 'sold out' on the company website.

The tune was originally issued in the late 40s on 78 only. I don't think it's ever been re-pressed before.

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

Monday, February 20, 2012

We got the whiskey tonight....

Quite possibly the silliest song ever written, "We Got A Party" nonetheless cuts very close to the Mardi Gras bone. Actually, the official Mardi Gras song, "If I Ever Cease To Love", climbs pretty far up the 'silly' list as well.

She can sing, she can play on the piano,
She can jump, she can dance, she can run.
For she's a wonderful girlie,
She's all of them rolled into one.
I adore her beauty, she's like an angel dropped from above

May the fish get legs, and the cows lay eggs,
If ever I cease to love,

If I ever cease to love,
If I ever cease to love,
May we all turn into cats and dogs,
If I ever cease to love.

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, we do have a party going on. There are six house guests this year along with the usual crowd floating in and out. And as if on cue, there's my Dad at the door with what looks like a mess of boiled crawfish. Excellent.

In years past I would have been running on very little sleep at this point.....absolutely would have stayed up all night partying tonight....but no more. My Boy and I have a big shindig to attend after the parades this evening, but I'm hoping to slip out sometime before midnight. That's so we can get up nice and early, catch the parades as they roll down St. Charles Ave.

We're not going anywhere near the Quarter/Marigny/Bywater tomorrow. I'll miss strolling with the Society of St. Anne, but truthfully, I'm about ready for Carnival to end. Which is a good thing 'cause it means we did it up right.

Big respect to those who can keep the party going till midnight tomorrow. I've just never been one of them. Not even before I had my daughter. Not after the weekend that always precedes.

After the parades tomorrow morning we'll have a nice lunch at my sis' and then, hopefully, a long afternoon nap. That's my own personal Mardi Gras tradition.

Hope ya'll enjoy...Pt.1, Pt.2.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boogaloo Mardi Gras...

The Endymion parade rolled last night even though the weather yesterday was dicey. And it was huge. The paper said 27 floats long.

Fortunately, it's much nicer out today. We caught both Thoth and Iris earlier and Bacchus is starting up right now. We're only a couple of blocks from the parade route but I let Daddy and Baby Girl go without me just so I could have a little time to myself.

Once again I'm gonna piggyback onto one of Dan Phillips old posts. His links are dead, so I'll provide the music.

I own the local Seven B release of the 45, but this copy is much much cleaner....and since it's one of the most unlikely records ever released on Capitol, it just seems fitting to feature this pressing.

As Dan points out in his piece, the sides of the 45 were reversed on both issues, so I'm posting them "backwards".

Hope ya'll enjoy.....Pt.2, Pt.1.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Big Chief holler.....

I'd never heard this recording until Dan Phillips posted it several years ago. Unfortunately, I misread his piece at the time and was left with the impression that it was only available on the "Riding High" album....or, as Dan presented it, on an apparently quite rare 7in jukebox Ep.

Now, the album was fairly easy to find, but trying to find that Ep was like chasing a ghost. In fact, no one I checked with had ever heard of it. Very very frustrating.

Then, last year Larry Grogan posted the same tune on his blog....and lo and behold, there it was, ripped from a 45 single.

Seriously folks, I'm not usually so stupid. The 45 release is listed on numerous discographies......all I had to do was look at one to see that the record was the Dixie Cups' first single on ABC-Paramount. In fact, Dan's original piece says as much if I'd ever bothered to re-read it.

Ugh. I probably would've found the single several years ago if I hadn't so insistently pestered everyone for a copy of the Ep.

Anyway, you can read Dan's original piece, here, and Larry's post, here. As a bonus, you get to [re]read Larry's hilarious take-down of last years Grammys, which is of course just as valid this year.

Btw, the question I asked a year ago in a comment on Larry's piece is still unanswered. Has anyone ever seen or heard Huey Smith's "Two Way Pockaway Part 1/Part 2" on Instant 3297 from 1969? Nobody I know has a copy and as far as I can tell it's never been released on Cd.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We the soul of Mardi Gras.....

Carnival season is well under way, has been for more than a month. But in terms of what most people associate with Mardi Gras [the big public parades], the celebration shifted from first to second gear last Friday. This coming Thursday is when things really get revved up. [Sorry for the lame metaphor, in my spare time I'm learning how to drive a car with a stick shift].

Yeah right, spare time.

I'm very busy at the moment, but I'm gonna try to post a few Mardi Gras related tunes before Ash Wednesday. Some have been previously posted by folks who write better than I, so I'll mostly be sending you off to other blogs for the real scoop.

Btw....Baby Girl's first birthday was last week. Hard to believe it's been a year.
Dan Phillips wrote a nice piece on this record 4 years ago. You can read it, here.

As is mentioned in the post, this tune can be found on the re-release of the Wild Magnolias first two Lps, titled "They Call Us Wild".

I'm including a clip which is ostensibly about making a 'suit'. The interviewer is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if you manage to watch it all there are a few telling moments, such as when Agee makes a point of stating that it's a 'new suit'. There are also a few hints concerning history and background.

The second clip shows Agee with The Rebirth Brass Band and includes shots of the suit he's working on in the first clip.

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