Friday, December 04, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Performing with Scott Brothers World circa 1979
1979 in a South Chicago Suburb
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Amazing music video for one of the last and greatest tracks ever recorded by the Manhattans with George "Smitty" Smith on lead. This is a high quality version with no missing footage.
For an index of soul / funk performances across the internet where you can discuss and submit more videos, check out The Changing Scene
Friday, November 20, 2009
From the forthcoming Heavy Light Records release "Don't Let Me Fall." Performance by Dallas Gospel group, The Relatives, led by Rev. Gean West. Originally aired on Christmas Day 1974.
Mick O'Donnell from Soul Discovery tipped me to the above. You can listen and buy the album from Heavy Light Records:
Call it Gospel Funk! In truth, the sound of The Relatives is so much more. Brought together by veteran Gospel singer Gean West in 1971, their sound bridges the gap between traditional Gospel, Soul and Psychedelia. Over a span of four years, The Relatives recorded three obscure 45’s and a session with legendary North Texas engineer Phil York. These powerful, genre-busting recordings stand up alongside the best Group Soul and Funk recordings of the 1970’s—and give praise to the Lord like you’ve never heard before! Heavy Light Records is proud to bring together all of The Relatives’ singles and five previously unreleased tracks for their first-ever full length release, “Don’t Let Me Fall.”
Deluxe limited edition silk screened packaging
Extensive liner notes with unpublished photos
5 previously unreleased tracks remastered from the original reels
On a simmering Sunday morning in a tiny brick church in West Dallas, the Reverend Gean West delivers an ambling sermon to a congregation of 15 people. His gravelly voice competes with the constant hum of the air conditioner as he holds court on Psalm 23, comparing the late Michael Jackson to the biblical King David. The finer points of the sermon are punctuated by notes from an electric keyboard played by a young nephew of the Reverend. In fact, most of the parishioners at God’s Anointed Community Church of God in Christ are related to West, who has eight children and “a whole slew of grandkids,” in one way or another.
Like the phenomenal funky gospel band West fronted for a decade beginning in 1970, The Relatives would be a fitting name for this congregation.
Born in Marlin, Texas on April 3, 1936, God and music have long been guiding – and occasionally competing – forces in the life of Gean West. As a child he would mimic preachers to entertain his parents and neighbors. “I would shout – ‘Hah!’ – because that’s what I thought preachers did,” West remembers. “I would say, ‘My mama’s good! Hah! My daddy’s got the devil!’ They would be laughing, giving me quarters, you know.” Read the full story.
Also read a post about Gean West on The Corner blog
23 track compilation featuring rarities, classics and previously unreleased tracks from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, Binky Griptite, Lee Fields, Antibalas and more. Vinyl release is a double LP packaged in a deluxe gold foil gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes, and will include a poster, sticker and .mp3 download card.
Introduction by Binky Griptite
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “I�m Not Gonna Cry”
The Budos Band “Up From The South”
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens “What Have You Done”
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?”
Lee Fields “Could Have Been”
Antibalas featuring Mayra Vega "Che Che Cole Makossa"
The Budos Band “Budos Rising”
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Got A Thing On My Mind”
Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band “The World”
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Make It Good To Me”
Fields and Sugarman & Co. “Stand Up”
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens “What Is This”
Binky Griptite with the Sugarman Three “A Lover Like Me”
Menahan Street Band “Make the Road by Walking”
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Tell Me”
Sugarman & Co. “Down To It”
The Dap-Kings “Nervous Like Me”
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Giving Up”
The Budos Band “Ghostwalk”
The Gospel Queens feat. Cynthia Langston “I Need You To Hold My Hand”
Binky Griptite & the Mellomatics “The Stroll Pt. 2”
Sharon Jones & Lee Fields “Stranded In Your Love”
Get it here
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Great to see this video webcast made available from one of my all time favourite artists - Barbara Lynn!!
Barbara Lynn is a rhythm and blues singer and left-handed guitarist from Texas. In the 1950s, inspired by blues artists Guitar Slim and Jimmy Reed, and pop acts Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee, she created an all-female band, Bobbie Lynn and Her Idols. Her first single "You'll Lose a Good Thing" was a #1 R&B hit and a Top 10 pop hit in 1962, and was later a country hit for Freddy Fender. Soon Lynn was touring with such soul music greats as Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Temptations. She appeared at the Apollo Theatre and twice on American Bandstand, and her song, "Oh Baby (We've Got a Good Thing Goin')” was recorded by The Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone's David Fricke has noted that Lynn continues to display “undiminished grace and poise, pouring a lifetime of blues and wisdom into her delivery." Kennedy Center
Also check out this video about her career which I recently came across on You Tube:
In the last post, I featured the Timmion release by Little Ann - here is another which they put out earlier this year and which got lost in the back-log on IDR due to my other blogs etc!!:
This heavy new downtempo offering from Timmion features the unique voice of Willie West, who sings a haunting ballad from the darker side of the soul. From 1960's West has recorded for several labels including Frisco, Deesu and Seven B, making his career mostly in New Orleans.These days the singer resides in Minnesota, USA.
Full biography and discography are available from Dan Phillips' blog Home Of The Groove.
You can also drop over to Willie West's MySpace
I picked up the following message from an old mate John Lias to say about Vermettya Royster:
I must tip the group to this excellent new CD which I only heard about by chance. As many of you may know Vermettya used to be in the Sisters Love and this new CD largely features re-cuts of Sisters Love tracks.
However, it is amazingly good and sounds as if it was recorded in about 1974 whereas it would appear to be all brand new recordings. There is absolutely NO concession to anything else out there today and the drums in particular are beautifully unobtrusive. Hell, there is even a conga player on here.( And real strings and real horns).
I wholeheartedly agree with John - a great release from one of my favourite femme singers!
You can pick up copies from CD Baby
By the way - background vocalists include Pat Hodges and Jessica Smith from Hodges, James & Smith.
Here's the lady:
My mate Andy Davies has been in touch to tell about the latest release on his Street Soul label:
Our latest release is the Ultra Rare 70's soul tune by Last Flight "Don't Give Your Love" b/w the sought after Funk b side "Shady Lady" Released on October 23rd 2009.
Already getting spins on the Soul Scene from Richard Searling,Soul Sam,Bob Cosby,Gary Dennis,Steve Connor,Steve Plumb,Terry Jones & Andy Davies!!
Take a listen over on the Street Soul site.
A fine addition to his catalogue - don't forget to take a listen to the other releases on the label from Jerline & Friends and Patrick Henry.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I have decided to start posting some sides to You Tube. You can find them on my Soul Of Liverpool You Tube Channel.
I will concentrate on posting sides which are currently not available on You Tube or sides mentioned on In Dangerous Rhythm before I started posting audio.
Please subscribe or just drop by and taken a listen.
Last week, I received the sad news that Bobby McNutt had died on the 7th November.
One of his relatives as been in touch and has kindly written a few words about Bobby with some photos of Bobby back in the day:
Bobby was a well-renowned vocalist and entertainer from the Metro-East area having appeared on 'The St. Louis Hop', 'The American Band Stand', and at numerous Blues festivals in Missouri and Indiana. He sang with 'The Oliver Sain Revue', Eugene Neal, Benny Sharp and The Sharpies. Bobby also sang with Bobby McClure and Shirley Brown as well as Albert King and the 'Ike and Tina Turner Revue'.
My father in law was born September 4, 1942 in Portageville, Missouri. He lived and worked mainly in the St. Louis and Chicago area. Later in his life he moved to Memphis, where he died after prolonged illness on November 7, 2009.
He was buried in his hometown St. Louis, Illinois last weekend. Together with my wife's family I spent four days there. It was cool to notice how the eyes of every elderly local we run into, lit up when the name Bobby McNutt was mentioned. He really seemed to be somewhat of a local hero.
It is a shame that Bobby didn't record more sides. These are the ones I know:
Roulette 4678 I'm Gettin' Ready/That's My Desire
Yodi 002 Hold Tight/ Country Loving Country Style
Plus he recorded several tracks for Charles Wilson's Wilson label issued in the late 90s.
Bobby McNutt RIP
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Every picture tells a story," some dude sang ages ago. That's certainly the case with Little Sonny Willis, the "new king of the blues harmonica" and one of Detroit's most unsung musical legends, who's documented damn near every facet of his life with photographs while, by association, also documenting the Detroit blues music scene of the past four decades.
"Both my grandmother and my mother were pack rats," Willis says, sitting and reminiscing in the basement of his lovely Detroit home, all blue and white outside, including the all-terrain carpet leading up the walk to his front door. The basement could serve as a Michigan blues museum of sorts — although John Penney, music expert and director of Farmington Hills' American Music Research Foundation, says only Willis' immediate circle of family and friends have ever seen the archives. In fact, he claims the artist himself hasn't looked at most of this archival treasure since his wife died 12 years ago.Read full article on Little Sonny Willis
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Bob from Sitting In The Park has been in touch to tell me about the following:
New Website Indexing Old Soul/funk Video Performance Clips On The Internet
My friend and I created a website that allows for the indexing of old soul and funk performance clips that are spread across different youtube, dailymotion, etc. accounts. The site is here:
The idea is that there is a bunch of cool video content spread across the internet and I wanted to collect and accumulate it in one place and index it by artist, date, TV show, etc. So I created this forum on this site. Anyone can go to the page I linked above and view the already submitted content. If you click on the "filter" tab you can browse the existing content by artist, year, TV show, etc.
Additionally, if people want to participate and submit new content or comment and rate existing content, they can sign up on the main page at www.changingscene.com, join the channel I linked above, and then they can comment on existing videos on submit new videos by clicking the "submit" link in the upper right hand corner. This isn't a video hosting site, you just submit links to existing youtube, dailymotion, or other video hosting site videos. You can also subscribe to the channel and get an email on each new clip on the "dashboard" page.
The channel above is only intended for artist performances or real artist music videos, not recordings or fan-made videos. There is also a gospel performances channel at:
There is also a sweet soul recordings channel at:
Eventually I will let users create channels for anything they want but the site is in beta for now so they can't. But if someone wants me to create, for example, a northern soul dance clips channel, or anything else (doesn't really have to be music related even), and you think you can get people to participate, I can do that for you, pm me. Thanks.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I just got tipped to this book which had passed me by:
Whether you grew up in St. Louis, like I did, or just love the Golden Era of Rock & Roll, Bob Kuban: My Side of The Bandstand is a true account of the life and times of Bob Kuban, a St. Louis music legend and superstar.
Bob is best known for his 1966 #12 pop hit, "The Cheater", and is honored in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's permanent exhibit on one-hit wonders.
His fascinating autobiography, which I couldn't put down until I had read every single page, covers Bob's early years in North St. Louis and his inspiring drive and determination as he built a fabulously successful career in the music business, which continues to the present time.
Co-written with the talented Nancy Wegner, this book also lays bare the incredible challenges Bob faced in dealing with the local draft board which ultimately prevented him from taking his band on tour after "The Cheater" hit the airwaves, climbing the charts, and ultimately becoming an International sensation.
This work was even more meaningful for me because Bob Kuban was my music teacher for four years at Bishop Du Bourg High School. So many of the stories in the book provided me with instant time travel into the past.
I vividly remember Bob talking to our music class about the gig his band did with the recently deceased George Carlin. I also remember his personal anguish during the loss of his beloved father and the break-up of his band, which is interesting to read about in Bob's book.
From a historical perspective Bob Kuban was a true rock and roll innovator and master on the drums who never gave up on music or entertaining his audiences. My Side Of The Bandstand explains how Bob added the brass sound which became his signature. He also shares details about the untimely murder of his former lead singer, Walter Scott.
Luckily for all of us Bob Kuban fans, this book, written in a chatty and fun manner, documents those special rock and roll times that will never come around again. Even better news, Bob Kuban continues to perform live in St. Louis (and around the United States) winning the hearts and souls of new generations of rock and roll fans everywhere he performs.
I have not enjoyed a book as much as Bob Kuban: My Side of The Bandstand for a very long time. This book is a must buy and a true keeper. Amazon Review
Here's Bob Kuban's classic Northern record The Cheater:
J5 era Michael Jackson is on the cover -- and this issue of Wax Poetics has far deeper perspectives of Michael from the early years with his brothers and well beyond than any mainstream coverage we've scene! It includes a nice memoriam piece on Michael, an article that's Goin' Back To Indiana for the wayback coverage, plus pieces chronicling the Jacksons years at Motown, Michael's later stratospheric solo years, and the always great Re:Discovery column looks at deep and rare Jacksons related releases and knock offs. But it's not all Jackson family articles -- with pieces on Phenomenal Handclap Band, Mayer Hawthorne, Illa J, Shawn Lee, Lee Fields, Nicky Siano and much more!
It was the early sixties in New York City. Alfred Hitchcock had already Released Psycho, the first televised presidential debates were held and America was already suffering the shame of the Bay of Pigs. Racial intolerance was still plaguing america and countries abroad. The streets of NYC, in particular the Bronx was no different. New York was facing grave economic times, with budgets being cut left and right from vital social programs, education and infrastructure. Many New Yorkers didn't know where their next meal would come from, or how to keep a roof over thier heads. These conditions forced many of the areas youth to turn to the streets to find a sense of identity. They found this identity through associations with gangs.
Although many of the areas gangs were violent by nature, the Ghetto Brothers started out on that path, but later on it proved to not be the destiny of its founder, Benjamin Melendez aka Yellow Benjy. He had a dream that his organization could be a positive rather than a negative in the community, to help Blacks and Puerto Ricans live better. He and his brothers began to re-shape the moniker of the traditional gang member, into something more dignified, community leaders. For too long the youth of New York City were oppressed and subjected to the humiliation of stereotype, and the insallation of the feeling that there could be no success in their inconsequential futures.
Besides being a community organization, Benjy Melendez (president of the GBs) and his brother Victor (vice-president), started a band as a way to bring togetherness throughout the community. Their message is best described on the back cover of their first and only record, Power Fuerza, which was originally released in 1971 on Mary Lou, a independent NY record label that released mostly salsa from the Bronx. The message reads as follows:
"This album contains a message; a message to the world, from the Ghetto Brothers. The Ghetto Brothers, a community organization dedicated to bridging the ever-increasing gap that exists between society and minority groups, believe music to be the common language of the world. Through music, they are able to inform society of the plight of the 'little people' in their quest for recognition. Therefore, the music of the Ghetto Brothers serves as a way of communication. If the Ghetto Brothers' dream comes true, the world will learn that the 'little people' wish to be acknowledged; wish to be properly educated in order for them to pass on their knowledge to their children and proudly inform them about their heritage and culture, and be a functioning part of the growth of America. If the Ghetto Brothers' dream comes true, the 'little people' will be 'little people' no more, and make their own mark in this world. Listen to the Ghetto Brothers…….and take heed."
The music that was recorded for their one and only release is as special as it's intended purpose. The Ghetto Brothers, like most youths during the 60's, were forever changed by Beatle-mania, which still influences their music today. Their unique hybrid of The Beatles, Nu-Yorican Soul, James Brown, and groups like Santana and Grand Funk Railroad is something that remains as fresh today as it was in 1971. Their story and music is a testament to persaverance through struggle and refusing to succumb to the pressures applied to them and their community for so long. These are our American Hereos and they should be respected as such. Truth & Soul Records
Check out the Ghetto Brothers website
An incredible anthology of some of the best ever material from 60s & 70s exotica jazz genius Lloyd Miller -- a Lifetime In Oriental Jazz from the well travelled American jazzman -- put together by unrivaled rare groove diggers at Jazzman! Lloyd Miller is a multi instrumentalist and an ethno-musicologist, but there's nothing dryly academic about his work -- creating fantastic Eastern tinged jazz and privately pressing the recordings in the 60s & 70s and well beyond -- working with stringed and percussion instruments from Asia and else where in combos that combined these sounds with hard grooving west coast jazz, melding the influences impeccably and with an audible passion. This compilation is as great of an overview of his work as we could hope for, including recordings made with Press Keys Quartet, Jef Gilson Septet, his own trio and more -- largely recorded in his time in Paris and Utah. CD version has 14 tracks, including a couple of excellent later recordings from the mid 00s: "Gole-E Gandom (Wheat Flowers)", "Gozel Guzler (Amber Eyes)", "Bizz-Aire", "Indo-European Improvisations", "Hue Wail", "Chant Inca", "Khamaj", "Impressions Of Bhairavi Raga", "Shur Thing" and more. Dusty Groove
Great to see this get a release. I highly recommend Lloyd Miller's work which I was originally turned onto by the Jazzman collection Spiritual Jazz. Dr Miller dropped by the blog last year and sent me all his material which was wonderful.
Light On The Southside -- Photographs Of Chicago Southside Nightlife 1975 to 1977 (hardcover book with 2LP set)
Between 1975-1977 Chicago's South Side night clubs were a little lighter. Not just because of a lanky white guy skulking about, but rather because of the camera and strobe light he carried. Michael Abramson hit Perv's House, Pepper's Hideout, The High Chaparral, The Patio Lounge, and The Showcase Lounge, not to capture the artists on stage, instead popping off a half dozen rolls every night on the crowd. Light: On The South Side gathers for the first time over 100 of these images, as Numero shines its own strobe on yet another dark corner of the past.
The 132-page hard back book features photos, an ephemera section, and an essay by Nick Hornby. Housed in a gorgeous slipcase with the 12X12 book is Pepper's Jukebox, a seventeen track compilation of the kind of funky Chicago blues heard from the stage and the Wurlitizer. The deluxe 2LP set is packaged in a sharp gatefold jacket with two inner sleeves crammed to the gills with label scans and stories. All in all, it's the classiest Numero record ever made, spotted easily from across the room with it's near 2" spine.
But just when you thought we couldn't make it any more mouthwatering, we went ahead and upped the ante. The first 1000 copies contain a limited edition bonus 45.
Full track listing here.
Researched and written by Keith Rylatt, Groovesville USA is the ultimate reference for Detroit Soul & R&B record collectors and enthusiasts.
With over 240-pages, this paperback is packed with a depth of information Motor City freaks can only dream about. As well as a history of the development of black music in Detroit there is an exhaustive A-Z of the city’s artists and musicians, and an equally detailed A-Z of the area’s myriad labels and record companies. The book is beautifully designed with rarely seen artists’ photographs, press advertisements, radio station flyers, newspaper clippings, and 45rpm labels. See and read sample pages here.
Groovesville USA is only available from their website – priced £27.50 exclusive of post and packing. It will not be available from bookstores or online book retailers. The book will be published in February 2010.
Monday, November 02, 2009
I don't think I have posted anything on Carl Carlton before and I certainly didn't mention the release of the CD below by Hip-O-Select back in May:
For a teenager from Detroit, lightning struck not once but thrice. Having recorded sides for the Lando label which garnered him some local attention, Carlton inked with Don Robey’s Houston-based Back Beat imprint. Carl burst on the scene starting in ’68 with a string of soul stormers including “Look At Mary Wonder (How I Got Over)” and “Competition Ain’t Nothin’” and “46 Drums – 1 Guitar,” before shifting to the smoother Great Lakes balladry that echoed Jackie Wilson, Tyrone Davis and The Chi-Lites.
Carl adapted easily to soul’s evolution, cutting a hallmark proto-disco pop-soul tune: “Everlasting Love.” A cover of Robert Knight’s ’67 hit, “Everlasting Love” gave Carl his highest charting record to date, despite being released in the midst of ABC Records’ purchase of Robey’s Duke/Peacock/Back Beat empire. After issuing some of the most soulful—and at times, smoky—disco records of the era, Carl and ABC parted ways, relocating to 20th Century Records where, under the guidance of Leon Haywood, scored the biggest hit of his career, “She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked).”
www.hip-oselect.com is proud to present, for the first time, Carl Carlton’s finest. Everlasting: The Best of Carl Carlton gathers 22 tracks—1968-1985—from the Back Beat, ABC, 20th Century and Casablanca labels. So come get it quick, ’coz this collection’s rated extra. Hip-O-Select
The Chancellor of Soul, Mike Boone interviewed legendary Detroit producer, Sammy Kaplan on his 'Chattin' With The Chancellor' Show. This portion of the interview focuses on his recollection of his collaboration with legendary DJ/ performer, Jerry-O on his 1967 masterpiece dance classic on Bert Berns' Shout label, 'Karate Boogaloo'. World-reowned Motown musicians, The Funk Brothers', moonlighted after a session gig at Motown, to play on this magnificent track. The gorgeous voices of the Debornaires are featured as background vocalists. Sammy Kaplan and Jerry-O formed Boogaloo Records in
Detroit in 1966.
We have lost several more heroes during my break from IDR. One of those was Chris Bartley who recorded some wonderful sides in the late 60's.
You can read about the man and listen to more of his music over on Soul Source.
Here is my favourite by him which is supposedly a Musicor unissued cut?:
There are so many amazing and almost unbelievable turns and coincidences in the production of the Green Brothers’ recent CD called Soulsville that it’s almost like divine providence, and when those twists of fate are entwined with music that you thought nobody makes anymore you know you’re dealing with a precious gem.
The two Green brothers, Bobby and Al, have a fifty-year musical history to share. Robert L. Green (Bobby) was born on August in 1943 in Fort Pierce, Florida, and Aaron Alexander Green (Al) was born on January 16 in 1946 in the same city. Bobby: “Our father was a pastor in Orlando, Florida, and minister of The Church of the living God. His name was Rev. Willie Green Sr. My biological mother died, when my brother Al was one year and six months old. Her name was Maggie Wright Green. My stepmother, Catherine Green, who was an evangelist, raised us. My biological mother Maggie played guitar with a bottleneck and sang too in church. My stepmother, who God blessed us with, sang and preached in the church.”
Read the full interview by Heikki Suosalo on Soul Express
Colton Thomas has posted part of a recent interview with John Gary Williams:
One of the coolest interviews I've ever done on my radio show "Soul Fm" was with John Gary Williams who was the lead singer of The Mad Lads. In this clip John tells me how the group started out and how they got a unique name like The Mad Lads. The songs used in this video are: "I Want Someone" and "Don't Have To Shop Around" thanks for watching...
If you enjoyed the above then you can check out my interview with John Gary over on Dark End Of The Street.
Check out the show here
Gap Mangione - Boy With Toys
- Mel Torme - Right Now
- Lonnie Sattin - Caravan
- Mandigo and his Orchestra - Blackrite
- Luis Enriquez Bacalov - Carrefour
- Quincy Jones - Hikky Burr
- Francesco de Masi & A. Alessandroni - Tema di Londra M. 1
- Bruno Battisti d'Amario - Su Delicia
- Wayne Henderson - Behold the Day
- Rolf Ericson - Rotar Rotor
- Ricardo Marrero - My Friend
- Patsy Gallant - Te Caliente
- Webster Lewis - El Bobo
- Monika Lingers - Too fond of Samba
- The Revelations - Sweet Daniela
- Mario Bondi & The High Five Quintet - This is what you are
- Tania Maria - Fio Maravilha
- Quartette Tres Bien - Kilimanjaro
- Composer's Workshop Ensemble - Substructure
- Archie Whitewater - Cross Country
- Eartha Kitt - Love for Sale
- The Young-Holt Unlimited - Baby your light is out
- Ramsey Lewis - Bold and Black
- Kenny Smith Quintet - Ooga Boo-ga Loo
- First Gear - I feel the Earth Move
- Paolo Zavallone - Papillon Rouge
- Eddie Harris - Get on down
- Bill Doggett - Fingertips
- Osaka Monaurail - Ceora
- Walter Bishop Jr. - Coral Keys P. 1
- Jimmy McGriff - Step One
- Screaming Jay Hawkins - I put a spell on you
- Della Reese - It was a very good year (live)
STILL LIFE IN SOUL: Contemporary Music Photography by Jacob Blickenstaff” November 6, 2009 – April 30, 2010
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music announces a new exhibition, “STILL LIFE IN SOUL,” opening November 6th, 2009. The exhibit explores the current life, activity, and resurgence in popularity of soul music through portrait, performance, and documentary photography made since 2005 by music photographer Jacob Blickenstaff.
More about "STILL LIFE IN SOUL":
Soul music was a nuanced, emotional, and energetic idiom that reached a worldwide audience at its height in the 1960s but then virtually disappeared by the end of the 1970s. After subsequent decades of disco, hip-hop, rap, and modern R&B – much of which covered and sampled original soul music classics from Stax Records and other labels – the roots of authentic soul are sprouting again with revived careers of veteran artists, dynamic new acts, successful concerts and festivals, reissue projects, soul-driven independent labels, and the Concord Music Group, which purchased Stax Records in 2004 and revived the label for the first time in 30 years in 2007 during the yearlong 50th anniversary of the label, re-mastering and reissuing numerous records, signing new artists to Stax, and hosting the Stax 50th Anniversary Concert that year in Memphis.
According to Blickenstaff, “This started out as a project about music history, but I quickly found a community of music lovers, labels, bands, festivals, and DJ’s that were all coming together to support and create great music with the older artists. This work focuses on the current lives of the artists but the story is really about everyone working together to make it happen. It’s an amazing, passion-driven phenomenon that soul music is growing again in the 21st century.”
Artists represented in the 40 photos in the exhibit include Bettye LaVette, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Barbara Lynn, Maxine Brown, Roscoe Robinson, Harvey Scales, Candi Staton, Sir Lattimore Brown, Otis Clay, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Skip Pitts, Ben Cauley, Mighty Hannibal, John Gary Williams (of the Mad Lads), and many others. The work chronicles performances at The Ponderosa Stomp, Lincoln Center, Dig Deeper, and the Brooklyn Soul Festival, as well as recording sessions at Daptone Studios. Performances were backed by contemporary soul bands the Bo-Keys, The Sweet Divines, and Eli Reed and the True Loves.
As the only soul music museum in the world, it’s an essential part of our mission to recognize these incredible artists and organizations that are dedicated to authentic soul music who are bringing a whole new generation of fans to the scene. It is also very much in keeping with the philosophy of our Stax Music Academy, where we carry the Stax Records legacy of playing real music into the future with a new generation.
Jacob Blickenstaff is a music photographer based in New York City. His work has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers including Rolling Stone, WIRE, Wax Poetics, No Depression, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Offbeat, Gambit Weekly, and Time Out New York. He has also been an official photographer for the Ponderosa Stomp since 2007. Additional music clients include Lincoln Center, NPR Music, Daptone Records, and Proper American Records. This is the first major exhibition of his photography.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held November 6th at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, during which students of the Stax Music Academy will perform for guests and former Stax Records artists.
For more information, images, or to schedule an interview with the photographer, please contact Tim Sampson at 901-942-2535 or email email@example.com.
To learn more about Jacob Blickenstaff and to see more of his photography, visit his website
Chancellor of Soul, Mike Boone interviews legendary Northern Soul artist, Tony Drake on two of his masterpiece recordings on Brunswick Records, 'Suddenly' written and produced by Eugene Record (lead singer of the world-reowned group, the Chi-Lites and Barbara Acklin of 'Love Makes A Woman' fame) and 'It Hurts Me More' composed by legendary songerwriter/ producer Van McCoy (known for his 1975 international hit, 'The Hustle').
Tony Drake signed with Brunswick Records in early 1970 and immediately began recording both singles in February of the same year. Legendary artist, Jackie Wilson was in the booth with Tony when he recorded both songs.
The incomparable Bettye Lavette performs "Drown In My Own Tears" after her heartfelt homage to Jerry Wexler at Jerry's memorial October 30, 2009 in NYC. With Spooner Oldham on piano, Bernard Purdie on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Jimmy Johnson, Jon Tiven and Jen Leigh on guitar, Mike Finnegan on the organ, The Uptown Horns, and Ellis Hooks, background vocals.
I was sad to hear of Johnny Jones's death. Tonight, there is a tribute to the man in Nashville by some of his friends:
A team of blues, R&B and soul talents that includes famed Jimi Hendrix bassist Billy Cox, soul belter/Dynamites leader Charles "Wigg" Walker, blues great James "Nick" Nixon and a host of other impressive names will join in a tribute to Nashville blues mainstay Johnny Jones, planned for Mon., Nov. 2 at downtown venue the Place, which is headed up by Jones' longtime friend and fellow musician Jimmy Church.
Longtime Nashville guitar hero and Hendrix mentor Jones died earlier this month; Church talked then of his hope to arrange a tribute show in place of a traditional funeral.
"He didn't want a funeral," Church said. "He didn't believe in them. ... I'd like to have a celebration of his life at the Place with all of his friends and fellow musicians."
Other friends and fellow musicians scheduled to join in tribute to the musician, who was a figure on the Jefferson Street blues scene here in Nashville in the 1960s and continued playing through the last year of his life: Doc Blakey, Tina Brown, Clifford Curry, the Dynamic Five, Earl Gaines, Gorgeous George, Herbert Hunter, Rufus Hunter, Marion James, Les Kerr, John Richards, Tyrone Smith, the Valentines and White Chocolate.
The Jimmy Church band will serve as the house band for the event, and the stage will be open to any attendees who'd like to share their own remarks and/or music.
“A Tribute to the Legend – Johnny Jones” will kick off at 6 p.m., and admission is free; donations are welcome, and will go toward establishing a scholarship in Jones' name. The Place is located at 217 Second Ave. S.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I just read on Soulful Detroit that that Alfred Pelham of the The Ponderosa Twins + 1 died unexpectedly on July 15, 2009 at the age of 51.
This five-member vocal group consisted of two sets of identical twins (Alfred and Alvin Pelham, Keith and Kirk Gardner), and the "plus one," (Ricky Spicer). They grew up and received their education on the north side of Cleveland, Ohio; all attended Patrick Henry Jr. High where they formed the group. Tony Wilson, who became their road manager, discovered the lads and brought them to the attention of Bobby Massey (at the time a member of the O'Jays). Massey was producing records for Chuck Brown's Saru label. Realizing their potential, he quickly sold Brown on them, who signed them to his Astroscope label in 1970.
Massey rushed the youngsters, all in their early teens, to the studios and cut six exciting sides. Massey shopped the sides to Sylvia Robinson, owner of All Platinum Records (later Sugar Hill). Previously, Robinson recorded with Mickey Baker as Mickey & Sylvia scoring big with "Love Is Strange"; she entered the top ten again with "Pillow Talk" on All Platinum. Robinson loved them and agreed to distribute the sides nationally. The first release, "You Send Me," would turn out to be the group's best-selling single. Its success enabled the guys to tour with the All Platinum/Stang record gang, up and down the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. The shows consisted of the Moments, the Whatnauts, Linda Jones, Lonnie Youngblood, and others. According to Ricky Spicer, the late Harry Ray (Moments, Ray, Goodman & Brown) was like a big brother to him on the tours. An album, 2 + 2 + 1 = Ponderosa Twins Plus One, was released. The six sides produced in Cleveland were augmented by six sides produced by Michael Burton, a writer and producer for All Platinum records. Their second release, "I Remember You" backed with "Bound," was a two-sided hit. Both sides did well, almost equaling their previous success. The guys' schedule consisted of traveling, recording, and rehearsing. School became secondary; they thought they would be the next Jackson 5. And with good reason: they had an exciting stage act, were mature beyond their years, and knew how to use sex to sell their songs despite their youth. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (the Frankie Lymon tune) became their third and shortest release; the recording, produced by longtime Parliament/Funkadelic member Calvin Simon, was barely two minutes long.
A couple more releases and the group's career was over. Dismayed by the lack of royalties and money from their live shows, the guys felt used and became totally disillusioned with the music business. And by 1975 it was all over. Life after music hasn't been smooth sailing for some of the members either. One of the Pelham twins experienced mental problems; one of the Gardner twins has been incarcerated in an Ohio penitentiary since 1980 for committing a variety of offenses; and Ricky Spicer, the smallest member, the squeaky-voiced lead, does construction work in the greater Cleveland area. P-Vine Records in Japan reissued the 2 + 2 + 1 = Ponderosa Twins Plus One compilation on vinyl. A couple of the group's cuts can be found on a compilation CD with other All Platinum/Stang record artists. As a bonus, P-Vine included the twins' third release and its flip "You Got to Take the Bitter With the Sweet" on the reissue. It can be ordered through some Internet sites. An original copy of the album sells for more than 50 dollars. ~ Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide
Chancellor of Soul Mike Boone, interviews Northern Soul legend, Tony Drake, on the making of his Musicor masterpiece recording of 1969, 'Let's Play House'.
More music from Tony Drake:
Starting with a record which still send shivers down my spine as soon as I hear that unmistakenable introduction! What a grrove:
You can catch up with Tony Drake on his website and listen and buy more of his music.
I came across the above video on You Tube of an unedited interview with Ila Vann - you can find part 2 below:
Here is some of the lady's music:
Ila Vann - Keep On Laughin' Baby / Every Little Living Dream (1969) on Roulette 7036 below:
Ila Vann You Made Me This Way PIP - my absolute fave - I've worn my copy out!
And finally her cut of the standard Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man on Roulette.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Bob has been in touch to say:
Today on my radio show I interviewed two members of legendary Chicago soul group the Radiants, the original lead singer Maurice McAlister and member Wallace Sampson, the only singer who was a member of every lineup of the group. I usually write up a bio of the group but it was a great interview and it's worth listening to Maurice and Wallace tell all the stories of all their songs, check it out at the bottom of my interviews page:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A fabulous side! Thanks to Soln4suhreborn who has some great tunes loaded up.
More info on Freddie Briggs in a previous post on IDR
A gret tune from a band better known for the Act 1 album which was reissued by Luv N Haight:
One of the last great years for funk music. Real funk music. Raw and gritty. The way it's supposed to be. Funk was the peoples music, played in BBQ joints and dive soul brother bars. It was music aimed directly at the ass. With the exception of George Clinton and a select few, funk went into hiding during the late seventies disco craze. Forward 25 years later, and enthusiasm for the funk phenomenom is stronger than ever.
One look at the cover art for the newly re-issued Turner Bros. album "Act 1," will quickly clue you to the fact that this is no light weight one-track wonder soul album, but rather a sweet and funky long player, brimming with funky bass lines, oo-wee vocals, fat breaks, and afros. Lots of afros. And yes, it was recorded in 1974.
Brought to our attention by DJ Sureshot of the seattle based Sharpshooters, the Turner Bros. album is a highly collectable slab of wax that is so unbeleavably rare, that even hardcore funk collectors are not familiar with it, or may have only heard it rumored to exist. So, Luv N Haight, America's premier jazz, funk, and soul re-issue label comes to the rescue. The album has been given a face-lift by way of re-vamped cover art, and a digital remaster from the original tapes.
Need proof of the booty-juice? Drop the needle (or lazer, whatever the case may be) on "Cause I Love You," and "Sound of the Taurus". Need a funky drum break? Check "Sweetest Thing in the World". It's all there.
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, the blue print of the Turner Brothers was laid out in 1955 when leader Calvin Turner was but a tot in his family's gospel group, titled The Turner Singers. The Turners relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1963, and local gigging and a strong repuation brought them to the attention of Chess Records, where they released a number of well received doo-wop singles.
Eventually, in an effort to keep up with the times, the Turner Brothers revamped their sound, and at one point they were the biggest soul act out of Indianapolis, having toured with the likes Rufus Thomas, Tavares, Chi-Lites, Ohio Players, and many other major acts in soul music.
"Act 1" was originally released on their own label and was a huge local success, earning the brothers a level of respect that they still receive in Indiana today. Eventually the band disintegrated. Today most of them are preachers and deacons, electricians and accountants. All are flattered that once again their music is being exposed, this time to a new and eager, funk hungry audience.
Always great to see artists getting in touch when people post songs on the Net.
Barbara Green got in touch with PGH Pookie on You Tube:
This record epitomizes Chicago Soul from the mid 60's. Not much was known about Barbara Green, or this record until recently, when she contacted me thru You Tube. Barbara was 13! when she recorded this song in 1964 for Vee-Jay records. Production was by Richard Parker, and backing vocals by the Dells. Released in Sept. of that year, 'Young Boy' became a huge hit in Chicago and the Midwest. In 1968, it was re-released on Renee records and it charted #50 R&B, and #86 Pop. Barbara is now a Special Education teacher in Milwaukee, as well as holding degrees in the Arts, Voice and Theatre. So young when she recorded this, I don't believe she has an idea how special a record she made. This is simply superb Chicago Soul.
Check out PGH Pookie's other posts on You Tube
There were several groups with the name The Enchanters. Moving On Groove, who posted this on You Tube states:
Soul crossover dancer by The Enchanters taken from one of only a few known copies of Sound Studio acetates. Dont know who is on lead vocals?
Does anyone know which version of the Enchanters the above group is?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I have decided to revamp my Spencer Wiggins Story over on Dark End Of The Street following on from posting his brother Percy's story yesterday.
The revamp includes the full 2003 article from In The Basement plus new photographs with some in colour which haven't been published before.
You can read the story here:
Spencer Wiggins Story Part 1
Spencer Wiggins Story Part 2
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I have finally got round to posting the Percy Wiggins Story, prompted by Percy's appearance at the recent Porretta Soul Festival in Italy, over on my Dark End Of The Street blog.
The story originally appeared in the UK magazine In The Basement back in 2003.
You can read the 2-parter here:
Percy Wiggins Story Part 1
Percy Wiggins Story Part 2
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Musical variety show filmed at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City featuring a cast of popular performers: Willie Bryant, Freddie Robinson, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Faye Adams, Bill Bailey, Herb Jeffries, Amos Milburn, Sarah Vaughan, Nipsey Russell, Big Joe Turner, Martha Davis, Little Buck, Nat 'King' Cole, Mantan Moreland, Cab Calloway and Ruth Brown.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Cecil Washington recently dropped into Soul Source - check out what he had to say about his classic.
I posted a feature on this 45 a few years back but I realised I had not posted this sides so when I saw this video I thought I'd post it up. Some great scans in the video. Dundee 2 Wigan uses a similar technique on his other videos - check them out.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Dave Moore has written a very poignant piece about the plight of Mel Britt who he met on the last US Soul Trip in Chicago earlier this year.
Dave was moved enough to initiate the Friends of Mel Britt appeal. Please read Dave's article which contains details of how to contribute to the appeal.
If you want to buy after watching the video then go to There's That Beat.
This is a highly consistent magazine with great content and fabulous pics and layout mostly in colour.
The late pianist and composer, Walter Bishop, Jr., played with Max Roach in Charlie Parker's group, back in early days of Bebop. While both were active in the 80s, he wrote this poem for his friend Max.
If you want to find out more about Walter Bishop Jr. then drop by Never Enough Rhodes.
Here's the song which first got me into Walter Bishop Jr:
Bass - Reggie Johnson, Drums - Idris Muhammad, Producer, Engineer - Gene Russell Saxophone, Flute - Harold Vic.
Written By, Arranged By, Piano - Walter Bishop. Issued on the Black Jazz label which is another jazz label like Strata East whose sides are well worth searching out.