Saturday, March 31, 2007
Falcons In Time For The Blues Big Wheel
I didn't intend on being away from the blog for so long but work gets in the way!!
Back with the A to Z of my 45s and we arrive at F - this Falcons track is probably my favourite from the Sonny Munro led version of the group.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Moving onto E in the A to Z of my 45s. Flipped this over from "I Get A Groove" - a nice piece of Andre Williams music - love Mr Williams - just listening to his great "Rib Tips & Pig Snoots" CD for Soul-Tay-Shus as I type - just good, fun grooves!!!!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Just got my hands on Concord's Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration Box Set. I must say that Concord have done an excellent job.
Cheryl Pawelski and Rob Bowman who produced and compiled the box set have put together a beautifully mastered and presented celebration deserving of some of the world's finest music. We may know the songs but they still sound as fresh as ever and the archives have turned up yet more unseen photographs of our heroes and heroines that are worth the admission fee!!!
Get yourself a copy!!!!
Back again with the A to Z of my 45s - Johnny recorded several 45s for the Magic 7 label back in the early 80's in Memphis. I can only presume that they were recorded at the Royal Studios because of Willie Mitchell's involvement.
I do recall that the old UK magazine Blackbeat did a feature on him so I must dig it out.
I have tried to find him on trips to Memphis without luck. My last attempt was funny in that I called a number and thought I was in luck when the woman at the end of the phone said; "Yes, my husband is a singer". Unfortunately for me, it was another Johnny Dean who had never recorded!
An old friend Paul Mooney has formed a new label called Selecta to provide his company Milbrand Enterprises with an outlet for contemporary soul music.
Selecta Records was launched in January with two new singles: "I Just Can't Walk Away" by popular Memphis singer Sheba Potts-Wright (SSP 8001) and "Twenty Years Later" by veteran Chicago soul singer Bobby Hutton (SSP 8002). Also scheduled for release on Selecta Records is "Since I Lost My Baby" by rising star Simone De from Mobile, Alabama. Simone has signed a European publishing deal with Millbrand Music and his first UK single will be released on Selecta SSP 8003 on April 16th
A sister label called Shotgun Records will be launched in April to focus on 'classic soul' product. The initial Shotgun release will be the previously unissued "Believe In Me" by David Sea (SHOT 101).
Music publisher Paul Mooney is responsible for A&R and business affairs for the Selecta and Shotgun labels and all enquiries should be addressed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul is managing director of parent company Millbrand and acts as production manager and A&R consultant to Grapevine Music Group who own the Grapevine and Soul Junction labels. He previously ran the Ardent, Zing and Forever labels and has worked with artists such as GC Cameron, Sam Dees, Ronnie Dyson, Marshall Titus, Byron Woods and John Ellison. At Ardent he negotiated major record and publishing deals with Polydor Records and PolyGram Music for the double-platinum selling pop group Lighthouse Family.
Selecta Records are distributed by Millbrand and are available from recommended outlets such as Crazy Beat, Record Corner, Soul Brother, Beatin' Rhythm, Voxpop, Fat City, Soul Supermarket, John Manship, Dusty Groove, Record Shack, Disk Union and many others.
We wish every success with the new label!!!!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Here's the first video taken from the excellent new Stax album "Intepretations: Celebrating the Music Of Earth, Wind & Fire"
Thanks must go to Ryan Hobbs of The Room Service Group, who are promoting the new album and other Concord distributed Stax material, for providing me with the video.
Last night, I spoke to Maurice White of EWF about his exciting "Intepretations" album and I will be posting about our chat in the near future.
In the meantime, enjoy Kirk Franklin tearing up "September".
Another random track in my A To Z series.
I have just discovered that Myron still lives in Mobile. I had a conversation with a woman with the same family name in his road but she didn't know his phone number - so close but so far!!!
Never have any luck with Mobile - I was once just around the corner from Larry Saunders's house but didn't know it at the time! In The Basement did catch up with Larry a few years later and you can read his full story there.
Continuing with random 45s from the A to Z of my collection.
Ray Dahrourge was a prolific writer in the 70's for many NY productions including Street People, Debbie Taylor amongst others. He also recorded his own album for Polydor in the late 70's.
"Sweeping You Dirt Under My Carpet" is one of his best songs and it was also recorded by Sammy Taylor for Genesis. To be honest I prefer this side which reminds me of many class sounds from Millie Jackson through Bessie Banks to Lynn Varnado and back again. I know nothing about Ann!
Must haves include "Change Is Gonna Come" - a collection of songs relflecting the politics of the African American struggle in the 60's for human rights; Hitsville West is a quality uptown soul collection featuring the Villa label out of San Francisco and the reissue of the Ohio Players classic Westbound albums.
Paddy Graddy, the promoter for the Northampton Weekender, has dropped me a line:
"I thrilled to be able to announce that the next act to be added to the live line up and making his very first appearance in the UK is one of Soul musics truly great talents, all the way from Chicago - Deon Jackson.Deon Jackson has got so many classic records that are massive on the Northern Soul scene, such 'Love Makes The World Go Round'; 'Just Like You Did To Me' and one of the biggest plays on the scene right now 'Someday The Sun Will Shine'. He will be performing all of these great songs and many more live on stage. This is one soul legend you do not want to miss!"
You can find out more details of the weeknder and the other acts appearing at the Northampton Weekender website.
I mentioned in a previous post that had purchased a Numark USB deck. To give the deck and software and good workout, I will be picking at random 45s from my collection to share on an A to Z basis. Here's the first from Buddy Ace....
Just discovered that you can pick up "It's Gonna Be Me" on a collection of his Duke 45s.
Unfortunately, a truncated version but worth viewing nevertheless for the powerful message it contains in the imagery of the film to accompany Mighty Joe's performance.
The footage was shot in Chicago featuring the old 1815 Blue Club which is long gone - and once owned by onetime Howlin' Wolf Sax Player Eddie Shaw.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Footage of Johnnie Taylor singing his classic Jodie at the Summit Club taken from the Wattstax movie. Johnnie famously didn't make the stage at Wattstax because of the huge overrun with the show that day. Stax ended up filming him perform at the Summit Club and inserted this footage of their best selling star into the Wattstax movie!
Watch out for the new CD of Johnnie singing live at the Summit Club. I will be reviewing the CD as soon as it arrives!!!
A real surprise find on You Tube. I presume this was a promo video from 80's? I am not even sure that this song was released? The company were behind the Pic & Bill album Taking Up The Slack released on Bandit in late 80's. Willie Hobbs did have a few 45's on Bandit but at an early date. A mystery???
Here is an extract from Concord's press release:
"This 10-song album (in-stores March 27, 2007) fits snugly into the legacy of Stax with first-rate artists including singer/songwriter Angie Stone (a 20+ years veteran of soul and hip hop who is also the New Stax label’s first signee), self-contained sextet Mint Condition (among the last of the bands in contemporary Black music), Meshell Ndegeocello (a mercurial all-around singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist), Lalah Hathaway (the golden-voiced daughter of esteemed soul man Donny Hathaway) and the legendary Chaka Khan. The project is rounded out by neo soul stalwarts Ledisi, Musiq, The Randy Watson Experience Featuring Bilal and Dwele who represent the evolution of soul music at its most illustrious and positive.
“When we (Kalimba) took the concept to Concord,” White shares, “they were very receptive and I felt confident that they would get behind the project and market it effectively. I am honored that this project was chosen as the one to re-launch a legendary record label for Black music.”
The album’s first single is an interpretation of “September” by platinum Contemporary Gospel artist Kirk Franklin, a man among the chosen few to successfully return more spiritual music to the secular airwaves. Dedicated to the people of New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama, Franklin’s rendition of “September” reinforces faith and fortitude using the seasons as a metaphor for the sunshine and rain of life. It will impact at radio on January 22, 2007.
“We believe that the artists participating on ‘Interpretations’ represent Stax’s legacy of soul music,” stated Collin Stanback, Vice President of A&R for Stax Records. “We’re looking forward to continuing that legacy with our upcoming releases including our first signing, singer/songwriter/producer Angie Stone.”
The relevance of a project shining the light on Earth Wind & Fire as the springboard for bringing Stax back to life lies at the feet of the band’s leader/founder, Maurice White. The Memphis native went to grade school with a young Booker T. Jones who was already recording for Stax as a teenager. Inspired by his friend’s achievement, White traveled to Chicago to study music. After stints as a session drummer for Chess Records and member of jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis’ world-renowned trio, White started the band Earth Wind & Fire that became an international music phenomenon with its timeless fusion of uplifting lyrics wedded to music woven from the tapestry of the complete African American diaspora."
In the near future , I hope to bring you an interview with Maurice White so watch this space!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Concord Records have been in touch with news of an exciting new release to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Stax label:
STAX RECORDS/CONCORD MUSIC GROUP TO ISSUE STAX 50: A 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION BOX SET Deluxe 2-CD set, out March 13, 2007,
The 50th anniversary of the legendary soul label Stax Records will kick off with the release of a deluxe edition 50-song, 2-CD box set titled Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. The most comprehensive Stax hits collection ever — featuring for the first time all major Stax hit singles — Stax 50 will formally inaugurate Concord Music’s re-launch of Stax.
The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. Street date is set for March 13, 2007. Last month, Concord Music Group announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and the reactivation of the legendary label with a slate of new artist signings.
Stax 50 features hits from the Memphis label’s heyday of the 1960s and ‘70s, including the many legendary artists who jointly created the “Stax sound,” among them Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean Knight, and The Emotions.
Stax Records holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music.
Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts. In addition to the “core” artists who appear on Stax 50, the label was also home to recordings by Albert King, Big Star, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley and even the Rev. Jesse Jackson. As noted in Stax historian Rob Bowman’s extensive liner notes for the box, “The story of Stax Records is about as improbable and unforeseeable as any tale could possibly be.”
The label was launched in Memphis by a white country fiddler named Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton. The name came from combining the first two letters of each of their last names. Originally known as Satellite Records, with a roster that spanned pop to blues to rockabilly, the label’s 1960 name change to Stax cemented the label’s commitment to R&B and soul, commencing with Rufus & Carla Thomas’ “’Cause I Love You.” Within a short time, Stax, based in a former movie theater on Memphis’ McLemore Avenue, grew into a self-contained indie powerhouse with its own studio, A&R staff, writers, producers and house band.
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax’s 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year’s releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs. In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the power and legacy of their forbearers. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone.
TRACK LIST DISC ONE
1. CARLA THOMAS – “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)”
2. THE MAR-KEYS – “Last Night”
3. WILLIAM BELL – “You Don't Miss Your Water”
4. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Green Onions”
5. RUFUS THOMAS – “Walking the Dog”
6. OTIS REDDING – “I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”
7. THE ASTORS – “Candy”
8. OTIS REDDING – “Respect”
9. SAM & DAVE – “You Don't Know Like I Know”
10. THE MAD LADS – “I Want Someone”
11. SAM & DAVE – “Hold On I'm Comin’”
12. CARLA THOMAS – “Let Me Be Good To You”
13. MABLE JOHN – “Your Good Thing (Is About To End)”
14. EDDIE FLOYD – “Knock on Wood”
15. CARLA THOMAS – “B-A-B-Y”16. OTIS & CARLA – “Tramp”
17. THE BAR-KEYS – “Soul Finger”
18. ALBERT KING – “Born Under a Bad Sign”
19. SAM & DAVE – “Soul Man”
20. OTIS REDDING – “(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay”
21. OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES – “I Got a Sure Thing”
22. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Soul Limbo”
23. EDDIE FLOYD – “I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)”
24. LINDA LYNDELL – “What a Man”
25. WILLIAM BELL & JUDY CLAY – “Private Number”
26. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Who's Making Love”
27. WILLIAM BELL – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”
28. CARLA THOMAS – “I Like What You're Doing (To Me)”
1. BOOKER T. & THE MGS – “Time Is Tight”
2. THE EMOTIONS – “So I Can Love You”
3. ISAAC HAYES – “Walk on By”
4. RUFUS THOMAS – “Do the Funky Chicken”
5. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone”
6. JEAN KNIGHT – “Mr. Big Stuff”
7. ISAAC HAYES – “Never Can Say Goodbye”
8. THE DRAMATICS – “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”
9. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “Respect Yourself”
10. ISAAC HAYES – “Theme From Shaft”
11. THE BAR-KAYS – “Son of Shaft”
12. LITTLE MILTON – “That's What Love Will Make You Do”
13. FREDERICK KNIGHT – “I've Been Lonely for So Long”
14. SOUL CHILDREN – “Hearsay”
15. THE DRAMATICS – “In the Rain”
16. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “I’ll Take You There”
17. MEL & TIM STARTING – “All Over Again”
18. THE TEMPREES – “Dedicated to the One I Love”
19. THE STAPLE SINGERS – “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”
20. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – “Cheaper To Keep Her”
21. SOUL CHILDREN – “I'll Be the Other Woman”
22. SHIRLEY BROWN – “Woman to Woman”
For more information on all things Stax, please contact:
Cary Baker, conqueroo
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Ricky Allen Get Out Of My Window Mel
I didn't expect to be away for so long from the blog! Back with the first side recorded with my new Numark USB deck which will make life a lot easier for recording vinyl!
You can read an excellent article by Sebastian Danchin for the Swedish magazine Jefferson which gives a good account of Ricky Allen's career. The article is based on an interview with Ricky while he was in Sweden for the the 2001 Monsteras Blues Festival.
Ricky Allen recorded a number of 45's in Chicago for the Age, USA, Tamboo labels amongst others. Unfortunately, there is only one collection on Age which has 25 tracks but it is a good starting point and worth picking up.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
As far as I know this was the only side Johnny produced on Jimmy Castor. You can read about his early career in a couple of interviews on the Net at Soul Patrol and 70 Disco.Com . Neither interview mentions anything about his work with Johnny and I can only presume they met and worked together on the New York circuit around 1965?
Jimmy Norman I'm Leaving Mercury
Jimmy Norman worked with Johnny Brantley on a number of 45s for Mercury and Samar and I am still working on a full post on Jimmy to be published in the next few months.
Ohio Players It's A Cryin' Shame
As with Jimmy Norman, I am working on a fuller post on the Ohio Players involvement with Johnny Brantley. I mentioned a week or so ago that Niko from Early Hendrix has sent me some tracks on CD-R which I believe are un-credited Ohio Players tracks. These tracks will feature in the forthcoming post.
It is International Book Day and my selection is Magnificent Montague's autobiography. I picked up on this after a post on Brown-Eyed Handsome Man blog.
Magnificent Montague was the charismatic voice of soul music on the radio in the late 50's and 60's. He was much more than a DJ and became a voice for the black community reflecting their concerns. Most people recall Montague for his radio show slogan "Burn Baby Burn" which was seized on by people of the Watts when they rose up in rebellion in 1965.
His autiobiography tells of the tumultous times in the 60's and the people he met and worked with including Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, James Brown etc.
The book also tells of how Montague has amassed a treasure trove of artefacts of African-American life and arts which is a unique source of black achievement.
By coincidence, an e-friend Phil Milstein has just sent me a collection of tracks featuring Montague anmd I have featured his Minit 45 "This Is Soul" which reminds me of Jack Kerouac!
I have posted before on Jimmy Radcliffe and the large number of tracks by him which lie in the can.
Chris, Jimmy's son, has been posting a selection of these unissued tracks on the excellent Soul Source site. Please join Soul Source and listen to Jimmy's wonderful music.
I hope that all these unissued tracks will see light of day on CD because Jimmy's creativity needs more recognition as one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century.
Chris says of Insults:
"Insults, 8 minutes of taking it to the streets and tellin' it like it is by the one and only Jimmy Radcliffe. This is a 1968 studio take of a protest a song that had been performed live in a show with Richie Havens. It's About Bein' Tired!, tired of inequality, tired of un-fulfilled promises, tired of segregation and the frustration, Tired Of Institutionalized Oppression, Tired Of The Games That Keeps A Soul In Shame And We Won't Take One More Insult."
A true masterpiece - thanks Chris!