I've received a message from Nany Yahiro telling me about her fund raising CD
Hi Everyone,We have put together a new 100% Collector's Choice Fund Raiser CD "SOUL CLASSICO" in order to raise funds for our upcoming Soul dance September 15, 2007, here in Cortona (AR) Italy.
Our DJ roster includes:
Cristian Rivera (Italy)
Karl Marton (Sweden)
John Carrier (England)
Mr. Lele (Italy)
Ralph Jefferson (England)
Tim Brown (England)
Entrance to the 'niter is free, so we are shaking the tin cup in order to collect money to pay the DJs and cover expenses. For your sponsorship, we are asking 10 Euro for each CD, which includes 26 tracks and our special full color artwork. Postage to European destinations is 2 Euro. If you'd rather not post cash in the mail, we are accepting Paypal payments to the firstname.lastname@example.org account name.
Please find my review of each of the songs and an image of the CD cover art. Gabriele and I hope you enjoy it and we thank you sincerely for your contribution to a soulful Tuscany. Our intention is that this will be our last dance that we organize so we hope some of you can attend.
Your stone soul sister, Nancy
100% Collector's Choice Fund-raiser CD
Kansas City Melody-aires "Don't Let It Be Too Late" (Simco)
Mildred Clark, recently deceased on April 23, 2007 in Kansas City, KS, was the lead vocalist on this raw gospel screamer. This unique gospel-soul track starts with a soul jazz flute. Mildred Clark, as well as being a middle school science teacher in Missouri, recorded music up to 1990 on the ABC Peacock label.
George Allen "Come On Back" (Sotoplay)
George Allen, originally from Helena, Arkansas, became George Harmonica Smith when he hit the Los Angeles, California music scene. Before recording under his Hollywood artist name on the Toddlin Town label, he was smoking with carefree bluesy abandon on ten releases on the Soto Play label, this one being a prime example, perfect for an R&B dance floor.
Louis Johnson "Please Look Out" (Nighttime)
This nearly anonymous record on an anonymous looking label (which looks like a low budget re-issue label more than anything) credits the singer as also being the song writer. Roy Louis Johnson, where are you? Did you make other cool records or was this your one and only attempt at fame as an artist? This classic mournful sound that seems at once familiar has nearly no mention on that great accumulation of digital information, the internet, which just goes to show that modern technology has some catching up to do with actual culture.
Virgie Till "I Didn't Steal Your Dog" (Glover)
This is only a sporting guess but I'd make a wager that her full name is Virginia Tillman. I love this raucous and rolling all-American R&B sound; it is full of energy and life and humor and sass. Virgie lets rip for just under two minutes, she's a vocal powerhouse strutting her soulful stuff with the talented writing abilities of Glover and Levy to back her up.
Joe Fritz "Aww, She's A Stepper" (Jet Stream)
This Pasadena, Texas recording on the infamous Huey P. Meaux's label, Jet Stream, features Joe "Papoose" Fritz towards the end of his R&B recording career. If he's heading towards R&B retirement age, you sure can't hear it through the chugging rhythm and energetic vocals. "Stepper", in the colloquial speech, refers at one's ability to dance in a pleasing manner.
Honey Welch "Woman Child" (Lin)
This record label takes us from Pasadena to Gainesville, Texas, where the white artist, Honey Welch, wrote and performed this R&B-influenced swinging soul side. On the flipside of this obscure record it seems as if he's going more for a Bobby Goldsborough thing.
Mel Davis "Just Another Smile" (Golden State)
This raw boogaloo track from San Francisco is just this side of out-of-control, straddling the wall between harmony and discord. For as primitive a recording as it is, you can hear all the instruments in the studio racing each other to finish the song, such is the energy and spirit and thankfully good production values of this single.
Burt Ward's Band "Robin's Theme" (Soultown)
Don't worry, it's only on the other side of the record that you have to suffer The Warbling Wonder. This is the instrumental side and it is flawless and soulful and beautiful, all thanks to Bobby Sanders. Holy Los Angeles soul wax, Batman!
Albert George "Soul Baby" (Prince)
Another simple, catchy and raw pounder of a record from Los Angeles. They don't make records like they used to. Hell, they don't make records. I wasn't old enough to walk when records like this were being made, but I can just about remember when I was able to buy these records in Los Angeles and that's amazing to me now, in this day of computer auctions and such.
Johnny Praye "Can't Get Too Much Love" (Sidewalk)
An old-timey piano serves as introduction and is quickly drowned out by the stomping production. Not for the faint of heart. My copy for this record has an old grocery store price stamp of 29 whole cents, but I paid several dollars more than that. Again, that old daydream to go back travelling in time, sup with Jesus, swing by da Vinci's place, have a chat with Shakespeare, then pop into mid-20th century and rifle through those glorious bargain bins of discounted obscure soul records. The flipside of this record is good, too.
Little Willie Faulk "Look Into My Heart" (M&H)
This record is probably faster than what I could dance to unless under the influence of jet fuel, but I could sure give it a shot. Great Hammond organ underlies quick-fire drumming and hasty backing vocals. The singer is going for a Little Anthony style on the flipside but in this quick, quirky and funky side he's singing more from his heart and pleading his baby to have some sympathy. I understand this is a version of a Ree Flores song, written by George Flores, but I don't have that one on the label so can't say anything about that.
Ann Duquesnay "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man" (Capitol)
I have been casually collecting records on the Capitol label but only came across this when a friend travelled up to Canada and found two of the Capitol 45s on this fund-raiser compilation. This is sassy, brassy dancer is a blinder with great vibes (a real Capitol Records trademark, don't you think?) and perfect production, in large part due to Duquesnay's expert striding voice as well as the song-writing and arrangement and production values of Ronnie Savoy. Ann Duquesnay went on to become far more famous for her ensuing Broadway theatre singing/acting/composing career.
Diane Hogans "How Does It Feel" (Capitol)
Here's a lush number, which actually predates the previous record but due to its midtempo pace makes it somehow more contemporary to our times. Diane Hogans sounds like a very young, timorous, Dee Dee Warwick, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
Magnificent Men "Lay Lady Lay" (Mercury)
This vocal group transferred their allegiance from Capitol Records to Mercury at some point in their history. Bob Dylan must be one of many antitheses of soul but this incredible version of one of his songs is grand, sweeping and unquestionably soulful. Now that's good song-writing.
Frank Hutson and the Exposures "Old Man Me" (Goodie Train)
Spare, elegant and refined, this oddball track struts along at its own gentle pace. The crisp drumming and subdued fretwork balance with the Exposures', the backing singers, haunting echo and Hutson's own tremulous tenor. Band and vocalists gain momentum over the brief three minute journey and finish all too quickly, like a slow-starting fire put out the moment you've become mesmerized by the flame.
Ruben Perez & The 13th Hour "You Girl" (Judnell)
Brown-eyed soul is offered up with great jazzy drumming, sparkling vibes, and a big fat horn section with that wide-open feel. This is music to be played from your front porch during a hot summer afternoon. And the flipside, "Homemade", is a precursor to low-rider music to come. Sorry 'bout the surface noise, folks!
Tom-Emmanuel and Ron Experience "When You Lose Your Groove" (Golden Three)
It was a really tough call which side of this record to put on the compilation. The easy going groove of this is pleasant enough but now I am thinking I might just prefer the moody midtempo on the flipside. Are you Tom-Emmanuel and Ron experienced? Well, now you are, with the loose production, straining vocal, catchy refrain and funky rhythm guitar.
David Morris "Snap Crackle Pop" (Plush)
Put aside the silly breakfast cereal title which couldn't be further from the essence of this lovely mid-seventies dancer from Philladelphia, PA. Great vocal and infectious melody, bubbling Hammond organ, choppy rhythm guitar, insistent rhythm all combine to pull you out onto the dance floor.
Nancy Wilson "There'll Always Be Forever" (Capitol)
Try to find a more beautiful and soaring and romantic song by Nancy Wilson. Go on, let's see you then. If I practiced transcendental meditation, this song would make me rise off the floor and float right out the window, in a full lotus position, right on up to the sun. That's how this record makes me feel. I think it helps me breathe better and remember important things. I have Nancy Wilson and Gene and Billy Page and Dee Ervin and D. McNeil to thank for these three minutes of utter bliss.
The Master Plan "Clinton Park" (De-lite)
In the same romantic, sweet and, admittedly, sentimental vein, is this fantastic vocal group finger snapper. Aside from the great production, superb vocals and harmonies, this ever so slightly funky mid-tempo has a surprise ending: ahhh! We've listened to this in the car millions of times and I have yet to tire of it.
The Headliners "Little Sister (Sho Nuf Fine)" (Super M)
Funky wah wah, jazzy flute and tight vocals join together in a connoisseur's call to get your groove on. It's uptite, all-rite, and outta-site.
Scheherezade "If You Don't Want My Love" (Mystic)
Stonking throwback disco from 1978. I've played this record for two house guests on two different occasions who gave it a penetrating look after hearing it, and then wrote down the label information. As you do.
Garry Glenn "I Need You In My Life" (PPL)
This is Eighties jazz funk from Detroit son, Garry Glenn. I would be very interested to hear his first LP on the PPL label from 1980, which seems to be widely available on CD and includes unreleased material.
Church "How Long" (Silas)
This song, arranged by Jdlinkomo (who is most likely also on vibes and backing vocals), meanders it's mellow way punctuated by layered vocals and dramatic pauses. It is simple, yet maintains your interest with it's creative and striking vocal arrangements and charming latin-influenced, jazzy instrumentation. At a certain point midway through the song you can hear someone shouting far off in the background, I thought it was our neighbors; the song should be called "How Odd".
Stephanie Clark "Liberate Yourself" (Sound & Soul)
Gorgeous deepie performed by Miss Black America 1971. I found images from a US military journal from the period, when she and other Miss Blacks from various states travelled to Vietnam to entertain troops. Where is Ms Clark now and what can she possibly think about the current Black standard of beauty, "Augmented Black Is Beautiful"?
Steve Parks "Still Thinking Of You" (Reynolds)
Haunting slowie from the same label that brought you Celeste Hardie. So slow, it nearly stops. So personal, it seems too sad to listen to. But, this is a universal sufferance shaped within a quietly beautiful ballad which pulls you along to the last flutterings of the flute, cello and acoustic guitar.