Monday, March 30, 2009
Eddie Bo, an exuberant New Orleans pianist and singer who wrote for and worked with artists like Irma Thomas, Etta James and Art Neville of the Neville Brothers, and whose song “I’m Wise” became one of Little Richard’s biggest hits, as “Slippin’ and Slidin’,” died last Wednesday. He was 79 and lived in New Orleans.
The cause was a heart attack, said Karen Hamilton, his booking agent.
Mr. Bo, a rhythm-and-blues belter and florid barrelhouse pianist, came of age when New Orleans street music, based on marching band traditions, was being translated into a distinctive local rhythm and blues style. He flourished as a songwriter and performer, making the transition to funk in the early 1970s.
“He had a very percussive sound, more jazzy than Professor Longhair,” said John Broven, the author of “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans.” “He was always at the forefront of trends, right back to the Little Richard days and into the funk era, when he released some really revolutionary records.”
Read full obituary.
You can read and listen to some excellent tributes from here:
Eddie Bo In Soulville
If Its Good For You, Its Good For You
Three Faces Of Check Your Bucket
Eddie & His Heavy Friends
Pass Out The Hatchets One Last Time
Eddie Bo 1930-2009
Eddie Bo Let It Roll
You can also read a superb discography of Eddie Bo's music on Soul Generation
A bank account for the Eddie Bo Memorial Fund to help cover funeral costs has been set up. Those who wish to help can send contributions to:
Eddie Bo Memorial Fund
P. O. Box 57175
New Orleans, Louisiana 70157-7175
This is how I would like to recall Eddie - sitting at a piano playing his distinctive music at the Louisiana Music Factory in 2007:
Last week, I picked up this sad message from Souful Detroit:
Carlis "Sonny" Munro, lead singer of the Falcons passed away @ 4am today in Detroit from complications of leukaemia & pnuemonia. He was found lying unconscious in the middle of his living room floor after suffering a major stroke Feb.27,2009 . He was found by one of his children. He was comatose and was rushed to Saiani-Grace Hospital in northwest Detroit where he expired this morning. Funeral arrangements are as follows: the body may be viewed at Pye's Funeral Home,located on Plymouth & Southfield in Detroit,Tuesday,March 31st from 3pm-8pm. The funeral will take place Wednesday, April 1st@ 5:30 pm . More specifics may be obtained from www.pyesfuneralhome.com.
Sonny had no life insurance and the family is struggling financially to give this great individual a proper ceremony. Any wishing to contribute to the family of the late Sonny Munro can reach his widow, Deborah 3135448201.
Sonny Munro was one of my favourite singers and here is one of my favourites by him:
You can read more about Sonny Munro here:
A sad week with the passing of several great artists including one the main men behind the Motown Sound - drummer Uriel Jones.
Motown drummer who featured on many of the label's finest releases
Obituary; Guardian 26/3/09 Adam Sweeting:
The contribution of the Funk Brothers, the studio band that helped to create the Motown sound in the 1960s, achieved only belated recognition: it was in 2002, with the release of the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, that the wider world began to understand what a huge part they had played as the engine room of hits by such names as Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas.
The film prompted Uriel Jones, the last surviving regular Funk Brothers drummer, who has died aged 74, to comment that "a lot of people are calling it a rediscovery. But we were never discovered. How can it be a rediscovery?"
Jones was born in Detroit and, throughout his life, gave credit to music for saving him. He was sent to the city's Moore school for boys, a disciplinary institution, and it was there that he began playing drums. He realised that his aptitude offered him a valuable opportunity, and he stuck to his task diligently enough to land a job in Gaye's touring band.
Read full Obituary
Check out video of Uriel Jones in action here.
Here's a tribute from Ralph Terrana
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Check out this great show from Mr Finewine:
MARDI GRAS HANGOVER
27 FEBRUARY 2009
FIFTEEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF DOWNTOWN SOULVILLE COMING THIS SUMMER...STAY TUNED
Tommy Ridgley, Jam Up (Atlantic)
Irma Thomas, Break-a-Way (Imperial)
Art Neville, Arabian Love Call (Specialty)
Eddie Bo, Baby I'm Wise (Ric)
The Dixie Cups, Two-Way-Poc-a-Way (ABC-Paramount)
The Rubaiyats, Omar Khayyam (Sansu)
Sammy King, Ain't That Satisfaction (Marathon)
David Batist & the Gladiators, 6th Ward High Step (Fordom)
Lee Dorsey, Mexico (Amy)
Shirley Raymond, What a Wedding Day (At Last)
Hollywood Jills, He Makes Me So Mad (Capitol)
Huey Smith & the Clowns, He's Back Again (Constellation)
Smokey Johnson, Whip It (Pt. 1) (Nola)
Walter Washington & the Soul Powers, Pony Express (Pt. 1) (Scram)
Diamond Joe, The ABC Song (Deesu)
Rockie Charles, The President of Soul (Pt. 1) (Soul Gates)
The Velvets, Estelle Parker (Bofuz)
Earl King, Poor Sam (Hot Line)
Sunny Ridell, Come Out in My World (White Cliffs)
The Gaturs, Gatur Bait (Gatur)
Lee Bates, Gonna Make You Mine (Instant)
Little Buck, Little Boy Blue (Seven B)
The Soul Powers, Soul Power (Scram)
James Rivers, Let's Live (Eight Ball)
Playlist (all are vintage 45s except two selections as noted):
Willy McDougal "Don't Turn Away" (Kinard)
Little Charles "Let's Talk (About The Women)" (Starr Mount)
Guitar Slim "That's What Its All About" (BoRo)
Billy Mack "I Am A Son Of A Lover" (Tina)
Chuck-A-Luck & The Love-Men LTD. "Hard To Satisfy" (Tay-Ster)
Dennis Robinson "Hard To Handle" (Red Lite)
Dennis Robinson "Looking For My Baby" (TA)
Cliffhangers "Since You've Gone Away" (K-Cea)
Yakity Yaks "You, Ya, You" (Scope)
Rudy Mockabee "Sweet Thing" (Atco)
Moses Dillard and the Dynamic Showmen "I'll Pay The Price" (Mark V)
Moses Dillard And The Dynamic Showmen "Pretty As A Picture" (Mark V)
Johnna Ford and the "Hip" Huggers "Take What I Got" (Gervais)
Dreamettes "That's Not Love" (The Dream Makers)
Mighty Bill's Combo "Hot Fever" (Bill's)
Willie James & The Mighty Bill's Combo "The Way You Love Me Sometime" (Bill's)
New Cavaliers "My Love Has Gone" (Audiofonics)
New Cavaliers "My Dearest Shirley" (Audiofonics)
Travis and Pearl "Little Girl Don't You Cry" (P.J.)
Objectives "My Love Went Away" (Jewel)
Nick Allen "Hard Way To Go" (Walas)
Benny Hall "I Need You" (Mammoth)
Benny Hall "Your Love Got Healing Power" (Mammoth)
Sugarcreek "Running Out Of Time" (Beaver)
Living Color "Plastic People" (Sophisticated Funk)
Exit "Blow It Out" (Rex)
Jim Warner Jr. & The Sisters "Bus Stop U.S.A." (Jamark)
Benny Gordon & The Soul Brothers "Give A Damn About Your Feller Man" (Estill)
Entramations "My Love" (Jadel)
Clay Brown "Why You Want To Change - Part 1" (Florentine)
Clay Brown "Walk With A Groove" (Florentine)
Admiral Ice "My Carolina Girl" (Ocean-Side)
East Coast Jammers "Life's Little Games" (ECJ)
James Reese "Let's Go (It's Summertime)" (Tramp 45 - new release)
Frank James And Shadow "Summer Time" (Super Sonic)
Demoria And and The Cosmicnauts "Experiences" (King's Music City)
Cobra Heart Band "Thinking Of You" (Cobra Heart)
Vernon Young "Closing In On My Mind Pt. 1" (Outfront)
New Creation "Ain't No Right Way To Do Wrong" (New Creation)
Singing Tornados "Traveling Through The Land" (Expression)
Mellow Madness Band "Boogie M" (BR)
ASAP Band "Watch Me" (Duel)
Mellow Madness "Memories Of You" (Kay-Dee LP - forthcoming release)
Nathaniel Black "Freak All Night" (NDR)
T.M.S. Featuring Jimmy Graham "Get The Feelin" (Showcase)
Only recently tipped to this release from a few years ago:
The NRK Sessions
- Soul, Afro-Jazz and Latin from the Club 7 Scene
In 1970, Norway had a population of just over 3.8 million people, with a record market in accordance to that number. Genres such as soul, afro-jazz and latin were rarely recorded and therefore The Norwegian National Broadcasting Bureau (NRK) played a pivotal role for the music milieu. Since the bands didn’t have any records for NRK to play, NRK gave them studio time to record music they could broadcast. Hence, it exists recordings of artists that you never knew even existed.
The artists represented on this release were all connected to Club 7 that existed from 1963 to ’85 on different locations in Oslo. The name suggested that the intentions of the club were more than just sex and it soon became the stage for all experimental art forms in Norway. In the early days the scene was all about jazz, but soon opened up to R´n´B, psychedelica, blues, reggae and folk music. An important factor in this development was Earl Wilson, an actor from New York who in 66´ formed the first Norwegian R´n´B band, Little Earl and The Sapphires. After breaking up the group, Earl put together The Club 7 Explosion, which became an institution at the club under different names such as Little Earl & The Road Band and The Band No Name. After seeing the huge cues the band made, the management realized that R´n´B music was the new money. Karin Krog was a part of the early jazz scene but started experimenting with R´n´B after meeting the singer and pianist Arild Wikstrøm and later the R´n´B band Public Enemies at the club. Here she also met Fred Nøddelund, almost just a kid at the time, who convinced Karin to record and perform some of his arrangements, inspired by West Coast pop and soul. The cousins Magni and Geir Wentzel were both Club 7 regulars. Magni was educated as a classical guitarist in Spain and focused both on the jazz and folk scene while the pianist Geir was a pioneer on the R´n´B scene with his own orchestra and band Wentzel. He was set to record Norway’s first R´n´B LP when his collaborator suddenly died in a car crash. Theband Kjellerrockjazzbandet consisted of some of Norway’s most talented jazz and pop musicians from the groups Sapphires and Dream, and like all Club 7 musicians they played in a dozen different constellations a month. They got their name from Club 7’s director Attila Horvath, who one day needed to name the group for an ad in the paper, and the name stuck. But it wasn’t only Norwegian groups that played Club 7. The booking list is filled with big international names like Nina Simone or Keith Jarrett, and it wasn’t unusual that the guy sitting in the corner sofa next to you was Zappa or Sean Connery. One of the bands that used to visit was The Modern Sound Quintet, an afro-jazz group with musicians from the Caribbean, living in Copenhagen. They worked as session musicians and played clubs in Scandinavia and one of the regular stops was Club 7. Two mainstays on the club’s afro-jazz scene were the bands E´Olen! and Tamma, both with Gambian percussionist Miki N´Doye as backbone.Tammarefers to a talking drum from West Africa and the band was influenced by African folk music, Fela Kuti and Scandinavian jazz. The band eventually got so good at their craft that they went to tour Gambia.
Both the NRK studio productions and Club 7 fell apart during the mid eighties. Club 7 went bankrupt and the new standardized musician wages made NRK refrain from using self produced music in the broadcasts. Since Club 7 never managed to get their own recording equipment or label running, we are lucky they took the trip to NRK to record the only documents existing of one of Scandinavia’s most vibrant music scenes in the 70s.
Compiled by Lars Mørch Finborud & Tommy Søvik
Design: Bjørn Kowalski
Linernotes: Lars Mørch Finborud
Mastering: Erling Lydersen Hoff
NRK SESSIONS (PSPCD705)
1. The Band No Name “Whole lotta love” (J. Page/R. Plant/J. P. Jones) 2.16
2. The Band No Name “Hot pants” (J. Brown) 5.05
3. The Band No Name “Come on children” (M. White, W. Flemmons, D. Whitehead) 3.11
4. The Band No Name with Magni Wentzel “Love the one your with” (S.Stills) 4.07
5. The Band No Name “Tell it like it is” (M. Santamaria) 6.59
6. The Band No Name “Moment of truth” (M. White, W. Flemmons, D. Whitehead) 3.16
7. The Band No Name “Them changes” (B. Miles) 4.18
8 . Karin Krog & Fred Nøddelund “Groovin´” (Cavaliere/Brigati/Nøddelund) 4.37
9 . Geir Wentzel´s Orkester with Magni Wentzel “Don’t let me loose this dream” (A. Franklin) 2.58
10. Geir Wentzel´s Orkester with Magni wentzel “California soul” (Ashford/Simpson) 2.48
11. Kjellerrockjazzbandet ”A night in Barcelona” (H. De Vance Land) 4.33
12. Kjellerrockjazzbandet ”Unknown” (W. Bobo) 3.35
13. Kjellerrockjazzbandet “Oslo, late July” (K. Riisnæs) 2.59
14. The Modern Sound Quintet ”Otinku” (J. Roachford/K. Ayvor) 6.32
15. Tamma “Lite, lite” (Tamma) 4.28
16. Tamma “Tamma song” (Tamma) 6.33
NRK SESSIONS (PSPLP705)
Recent release of TK label rarity by Milton Wright by Jazzman records:
This is the second release in our new Jazzman ‘Holy Grail’ reissue series. ’Holy Grails’ are those super-ultra rarest-of-the-rare albums that everyone wants – but nobody can find! We aim to find and re-release these desirable and coveted soul, funk & jazz LPs on CD and limited edition numbered vinyl.
Rarely on eBay and extremely hard to find, Milton Wright’s 2nd album ‘Spaced’ is an ultra-rare LP that soul and rare groove collectors often talk about - but never get to hear. Recorded by the same enigmatic soul singer who gave us the immortal club classic ‘Keep it Up’, the album ‘Spaced’ was overlooked by his record company and the public because it was released just as superstar status was dawning on fellow label mates KC & the Sunshine Band. Overshadowed by the ensuing fame of their sidekicks, the album was suspended in a commercial no man’s land. Adding insult to injury, the piles of unsold copies were subsequently destroyed in a warehouse fire.
A few copies escaped the flames, and a few intrepid collectors have managed to track them down. Those lucky enough to hear one have been astounded that such a quality album of beautiful, soulful music has been allowed to remain unheard and unloved for so long. We’re here to put that right.
1. Laureda Holloway - Show Me (crossover)
2. Kittie Dosswell - Just a face in the Crowd (crossover)
3. The Experience Unlimited - You Got To Tell Me (crossover)
4. 2001: BLack Essence - Change In My Life (crossover)
5. Doc Peabody - Here Without You (crossover)
6. Prince Geno + The Tailormades - Brand New Man (70's)
7. Bataan - Woman Don't Want to Love Me (70's)
8. Headliners - Little Sister (70's)
9. Billy Byrd and the Black Cloud - Lost in the Crow (70's)
10. Ogletree Brothers - Gonna Keep A Check On You (crossover)
11. Dwight Franklin - Foxie Lila (crossover)
12. Blue Steam - I Want a Girl (crossover/northen)
13. Cake - Make Up Your Mind (Funky Modern)
14. Freedom - High On You (Modern)
15. Chosen Few Band - What It Takes To Live (Modern)
16. Black Rock Educators - Isnt it Nice (Modern)
17. Florecent Smogg - Little Joe (funk)
18. The Experience Unlimited - It's Alright (funk)
19. Equal Rights Band - Junky Twist (funk)
20. Sir Guy - Let Home Cross Your Mind (Funky Soul)
Podcast: Click here to download
News from Vampi Soul:
Black Merda, the first all black rock band to write and play their own music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, are considered to be Black Rock pioneers as well as the originators of their own style of Black Psychedelic Rock.
They released two albums in the 1970's "Black Merda" (Chess 1970) and "Long Burn The Fire" (GRT 1972) which weren't properly promoted when first released, but are now seen as Black Rock classics by a growing number of international music fans. Their 2005 release "The Folks From Mother’s Mixer" (Funky Delicacies 2005) containing both of 1970s albums on one CD, is lauded as the most creative, lyrically and musically diverse albums of that genre.
Now they're back! Like the Phoenix from its ashes! and the Butterfly from its cocoon, spreading their wings in the 21st century, funkier and musically diverse as ever, with a new batch of songs, to take you on a magical musical trip, that'll have your heads and minds bouncing and tripping, in some new directions and happy positions.
So sit back, and relax, and enjoy the Funk-Rock majesty of Black Merda's "A Force Of Nature".
Extensive liner notes by rock critic Michael Hurtt (Mojo magazine etc.)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Our landmark Jazz Issue (#34) is almost here, and this time we’ve got features on legendary figures like Creed Taylor, Melvin Sparks, Horace Tapscott, and Richard Evans. So don’t get caught sleeping; now is the time to make sure your subscription is up to date, or use this as an opportunity to upgrade your subscription to the new Premium Service. If you’re unsure of your current subscription status, just e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 718-624-5696 ext. 210.
Thanks for listing Chicken Raid 2008 on your blog!!
Here's a press release for this years festival!
What: Chicken Raid 2009
Where: Northside Tavern
1058 Howell Mill Rd
When: Saturday, March 21 from 2 PM - 2 AM
Sunday, March 22 from 2 PM - 12 AM
Cost: $15 Saturday, $10 Sunday
Contact: Daniel Dudeck
The Chicken Raid is an annual benefit honoring the late Atlanta country blues legend Mr. Frank Edwards (1909-2002). Proceeds from this event will be shared between the Edwards estate and the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research. This two-day music festival features a range of local and regional talents; headliners for Saturday night include the Music Maker Blues Revue and Sunday night a special all-star tribute to Sean Costello.
Confirmed acts include: Captain Luke, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Mudcat, Robert Lee Coleman, Sol, Bill Sheffield, Lola, Frankie Lee Robinson, the Breeze Kings, Fatback Deluxe, Little Brother, Skye Paige, Charlie Wooten, Soul Shakers, Liz Melendez, Uncle Sugar, Essie Mae Brooks, Maddy Moneypenny, Rough Draft, and many more.
A community website has been designed for this event, featuring footage of Mr. Edwards performing his classic tune Chicken Raid. Please visit myspace.com/thechickenraid.
Food will be available for purchase.
Frank Edwards left home at 14 and played guitar and harmonica alongside Tampa Red. As
World War II approached, Edwards joined seminal Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan
and headed North, recording eight sides for OKeh in 1941 with Washboard Sam. After being
discharged from the Army he cut two songs for Regal in 1949. He continued playing on
street corners, juke joints and restaurants before hitting the festival circuit during the folk
revival. Thanks to Pete Lowry, Edwards released his first full album Done Some Travelin in
1972 through Trix. When not onstage, the iconic Mr. Frank was a familiar face at the clubs,
supporting other blues musicians in Atlanta. He quietly passed away on his return home
from a recording session in North Carolina for the Music Maker label.
Additional Chicken Raid Festival musical alumni include: Eddie Kirkland, Willie King, Sean
Costello, Cootie Stark, Sue Foley, Abe Reid, Albert White, Neal Pattman, Atomic Boogie,
Blonju, Chicago Joe Jones, Cora Mae Bryant and JJ, Donnie McCormick, Eddie Boyd, Eddie
Tigner, Essie Mae Brooks, Joe McGuinness, King Johnson, Little Pink Anderson, Motor City
Josh, Precious Bryant, Roger Hurricane Wilson, Sammy Blue, Slick, Slim Fatz, Smokestack and the Foothill Fury, Tim Duffy, Tommy Brown, Willie Alvarez, and many more.
Just discovered the above tonight.
After the Budos Band show, Voodoo Funk's Frank Gossner will unleash the funkiest vinyl ever pressed south of the Sahara desert. The German ex-pat spent three years on a vinyl digging road trip across Western Africa where he unearthed all sorts of treasures, from Guinean Mandingo-Psych to Ghanaian Funk, Raw Nigerian Afrobeat or Twangy Garage Funk from Benin. The low lit back room of the club with its large wooden dance floor and potent sound system might just be the most fitting venue for this unique night of deep and earthy funkyness. http://www.voodoofunk.com
Frank has said on his blog:
I secured a new home for the Voodoo Funk party at Brooklyn's Union Pool. The first one will go down on March 14th and the Budos Band will open up the night at 9:00 pm with their intoxicating blend of Hypnotic Afro Funk and Psychedelic Soul Instrumentals. Starting directly after the show I'm going to unleash the funkiest vinyl ever pressed south of the Sahara desert. The party will continue on the second Saturday of each month. For April 11th I booked the astonishing Mandingo Ambassadors.
I recently recieved the message below telling me of Audioform becoming Groove 8:
We hope all is well over in your world. we just wanted to first thanks for always having our back bu sharing news on our band with your readers. it has helped drive traffic to our sites and brought us valuable new fans for our music. We have had to give up the name we have toured under for four years -AUDIOFORM. Seems someone owns the copyright and trademarks to the name. As our band has gotten bigger in stature they felt they did not want us to continue using it. It has worked out for us because we could not come up with a name for our new release/album. So here is the news about it all.
Audioform is now Groove 8. The new album which was recorded and produced by Alan Evans ( Play On Brother Studios), who is also the drummer for soul/funk/jazz outfit SOULIVE. It is entitled DEBUT. It has twelve tracks with the last being a radio ecit of THE DREAM which is the very first vocal track by the band. the first single is PROTOCOL. This single has received a lot of favorable reviews and praise as well as the new album. DEBUT is available now as a full download(details on groove8.com). It will be released on ITUNES on April 22, 2009. You can lsiten to the first single by simply visiting the new GROOVE 8 MYSPACE (myspace.com/groove8music)
Colin if you want a listen to the full album let us know. TThe myspace has three tracks that can be listened to. Thanks for any help. I have inlcuded some pics for you.
Antonio Diaz Percussionist Groove 8
You can pick up the CD and hear snippets over on CD Baby:
When you look back at the musical genre we know as Philadelphia soul, there are few who can claim to have both spanned and influenced its evolution and generational forms-from doo wop, funky RnB, the classic Philly sound, soulful disco and what we now call modern soul….unless your name is Weldon Arthur McDougal III that is!
Digging deeper into the Lansdowne vaults mainly laid down in Philadelphia over the last 40 years we have brought you a diverse collection of tracks that emphasize the full spectrum of Weldon’s independent productions. Never overly smooth or manicured nor fitting too neatly with one particular style- these cuts show a production hand that always emphasizes individuality.
Weldon’s production work often took place over many months, building the tracks, trying them out with different artists -always hoping that he could capture that special performance and give justice to the song. Often appearing under different production names the songs were often not given release or were held back as it would have brought him into conflict with his national prominent role as a promotions man for Motown. Bringing these tracks to CD now allows us to put them in their place and time. We can enjoy them properly, often for the first time
The songs featured on the CD highlight Weldon’s R’n’B sensibilities sometimes moving away from the sometimes routine Philly productions of the time and witness a great line up of lesser known talented artists. As in Volume one, Weldon worked alongside some of the finest players and musicians that reads like as ‘who’s who’ of Philly session musicians-the Romeos, MFSB, his band Universal love and other well know session musicians being on hand to complement either the soulful balladry or generate up-tempo dance tracks
We can again hear some of Weldon’s early harmony group work with the Larks ,Irma Jackson and Eddie Holman on newly remastered cuts from the early sixties and classic Philly sigma cuts of the 3 P’s, Gerri Grainger, Phyllis smith and Universal love.
Weldon quietly continues to inspire -as a true ambassador and role model for the city of Philadelphia and for those with aspiring musical ambitions. It has been an honor and a particular pleasure to help compile this second volume of tracks.
1. Would You Believe Me-The 3P’s – / MFSB (1976) 2:54 *
Opening us up from 1976 is an MFSB propelled Philly classic showcasing the talents of the three backing singers we now know as the 3 P’s. Propelled by a typically propulsive Ronnie Baker baseline and overlaid by a wailing Zach Zachary sax solo intro, the track was originally recorded by Gerri Grainger at Sigma sound studios. Ron ‘Have Mercy’ Kersey is on hand to ensure the horns and strings provide the pure Philly magic. This is Phil, Paris and Paul at their best as they whip up a Philly storm. The track was remixed by Tom Moulton, a long standing friend of Weldon’s from Weldon’s Philly International records days.
2. Nothing but Heartaches- Girl from NYC (1970) 2:56 *
Earlier, Weldon had begun his Philly-Motown affair with Holland-Dozier-Holland tracks, by his well know recording of Nella Dodd’s great version of ‘Come see about me’ on Wand which was recorded in 1965 at the Virtue studios. This time Weldon slows down the tempo and tries out another interpretation of a Motown recording of the 1966 Supremes track. Weldon recalls cutting the track with a girl from New York City in 1970 and gets a truly soulful performance which tears you up every time you hear it being complemented by Sharon Paige’s backing singers and the MFSB rythmn section.
The Supremes version was song always in Weldon’s view too fast and covered up the real heart of the song which the vocalist here makes her very own. The song was cut several times over the years by Weldon with artists including Lois Sneed on Capitol in 1973. A version of the Motown track ‘shop around’ was also recorded and may feature on a future compilation
3. I am Your Women-She Is Your Wife-Barbara Mason (1978) 5:33
Weldon continued his producing association with Barbara Mason in 1978 after she linked up with Weldon again on the well known Prelude album recorded with the help of Universal love. Barbara came to Weldon after recording an album with Bunny Sigler and Curtis Mayfield. Barbara didn’t originally like the rhythm track thinking it was too electronic and modern sounding but was eventually pleased with the result. Featuring the innovative work of Sal Gallina and for the first time the overlay of his electronic Cromuliser this track became a top twenty hit on the national pop charts and holds out as being one of the great later 70’s Philly albums for its distinctiveness and originality. Originally Weldon had been invited by Arthur Baker to go to New York to consider producing the new Edition and when things didn’t work out he secured a deal with Melvin Moore of prelude records and the rest is Philly history.
Sal Gallina who worked with Weldon on many of his late 70’s and early 80’s tracks recently passed away and will be remembered by Weldon and many as a brilliant inventor and musician who worked with a host of artists and was a good friend.
4. Bright Shining Angel-Dennis Rodgers with Universal Love (1977) 5:20 *
A song that for many years has been the favorite of Weldon’s son has finally been transferred from tape and highlights the beautiful vocal range of Dennis Rogers with the wonderful piano accompaniment of Les Paul. Whilst the song was never finished, it has an honesty and directness as its weaves and loops into your consciousness.
Sounding as fresh today as no doubt it sounded in 1977, the song rises and falls and sounds a little like early Donnie Hathaway. What makes the song is the simple combination of piano and guitar with stripped down shifting Philly chord changes that cut through the song. You can almost hear a pin drop as it eventually reaches its crescendo and final coda. A truly great soul ballad that I am pleased has been made available for the wider soul audience.
5. Keep on Holding on- Phyllis Smith (1966) 3:18 *
First recorded by the larks and backed by the original members of the Romeos-Winnie Wilford, Karl Chambers, Roland Chambers with Thom Bell on Piano this track is driven by Roland’s punchy staccato guitar lick and its impassioned vocals by close friend Phyllis Smith. Weldon first used the Romeos on several tracks before using Ronnie Baker, Norman Harris and Earl Young as his main rhythm section
The Romeos later famously linked up with Kenny Gamble to become Kenny and the Romeos and became Cameo-parkway session musicians. This track has been a Philly bomb waiting to explode for years and is one of the standout tracks from this second volume. Phyllis recorded several tracks with Weldon has a sweet vulnerability in her voice but still makes this a great up-tempo track.
6. The Lover Man-Weldon A. Mc Dougal III (1975) 5:48 *
Written by Weldon with his cousin Weldon C McDougal, who plays the keyboard on the track ,this soul-jazz Philly number sees Weldon rub shoulders (and goodness knows what else) with the sublime vocals of Dahlia who featured on volume one. This track hits all the highs and with Dahlia’s helps heads off into a sultry seventh heaven. The track was again recorded at Sigma sound. Weldon recalls originally recording the track as an instrumental and then overlaying the vocals. I remember first hearing this when I first met Weldon and saying that lover man was a giant track in the making.
7. I Need Somebody to Love-Phyllis Smith (1969) 2:54 *
Another fine Philly ballad written by Kenneth Kelly of the Manhattans who was friend of Phyllis’ from North Jersey and used to appear at the Uptown Theater with other members of his group. This track is reaching CD for the first time and features a great vocal backed only by the guitar of Norman Harris with Luther Randolph on organ. The song was co-arranged by Weldon, Norman Harris and Thom Bell. The orchestrated version of the song was originally released on J&M records and later Yew records. The label release stood for the first letter of Joe Tamburro, a famous WDAS DJ and M for McDougall.
8. Come Share My Umbrella -Rhonda Burg (1978) 4:04 *
Featuring again the talented Rhonda burg who hailed originally from Houston Texas this track came about from Weldon’s brief post Prelude records association, when David Porter who commissioned him to record Rhonda after being impressed with his album he did with Barbara Mason. Although the tracks have remained unreleased till now, it is surprising that David wasn’t happy with the product.
Rhonda Bird also recorded with David Porter for Fantasy records but don’t compare to the tracks heard here. Rhonda was in Weldon’s view a ‘real firecracker’ who had an almost operatic range of voice-singing in a jazzy vocal style. Interestingly Rhonda always wanted to put the background vocals down first which was highly unusual (and very difficult!).
9 With Out You Baby- Irma Jackson & the Larks (1963) 2:09
When Jackie Marshall left the group, Irma Jackson a college friend of Weldon’s, joined forces with the Larks to record this well know northern favorite that was released twice on both Fairmount and originally on Weldon’s own Priority records imprint. The song was written by Eddie Holman and James Saloman, two budding songwriters who wrote many well known tracks for the Harthon label and provided a great Motown influenced finger snapper which has become a perennial favorite in British dance halls.
This is a great early northern soul track and features again the Romeos. Weldon recalls playing a particularly rhythmical wooden block to add to the proceedings when it was laid down at Frank Virtues studios in North Philly.
10. Been So Long-Eddie Holman & the Larks (1967) 3:26
Weldon first met Eddie Holman when Eddie and James arrived touting their songs to the Harthon offices in Philly. Eddie puts in a performance equal to if not surpassing the original version by Dee Irwin when with the Pastels Eddie Holman belts out this track with the ever tight harmonies of the Larks and a classic bassline form .
Weldon indulges for the first time in giving some prominence to his own booming bass vocal. The larks used to sing the track in their shows and strangely Weldon narrowly missed recording the track with the Pastels as he used to bump into them from time to time at the USO club for service men-Weldon was in the marines at the time and Dee and the rest of the Pastels where in the Air corps.
11. Would You Believe- Gerri Grainger (1975) 2:30 *
Gerri Grainger originally recorded the track in 1975 after Weldon wrote the track for her first sessions at Sigma sound. Whilst the track was never released it has been a favorite of mine ever since I first met Weldon and I knew it needed to be heard by a wider audience. The background is provided by the ubiquitous Bunny Sigler who helped with the background for many artists at PIR at the time. Gerri became friends with Weldon and was also acquainted with Sammy Davis Junior at Motown. Gerri was working with Sammy at the time, and opened Sammy’s shows.
Due to family circumstances, Gerri’s recording career came to a sudden end the same year these tracks were recorded.
12. Sweeter-Rhonda Burg (1978) 4:29 *
We return to another jazz soul outing from Rhonda which shows her gifted singing and vocal range- truly astonishing. This track was cut at Sigma but mastered at Stax in Memphis. Weldon recalls vesting Memphis many times in the early 1970’s and often hung out with Rufus Thomas. He recalls visiting Elvis at Graceland and watching a movie or two!
Surprisingly the tracks he cut never got released. Weldon lost touch with Rhonda in the eighties, at last count she was working as a psychiatrist in Singapore.
13. Why can’t you be nice to me?-Gerri Grainger (1972) 2:32 *
This track was featured on the first volume recorded by the three P’s but this is the original version which was recorded without the horns which were layered over the 3P’s version. This version hear makes an interesting comparison, but is a sweeter rendition with Gerri also doing background with Weldon. I never get tired of hearing its descending baseline and drums which hold the vocal beautifully together.
14. Never Let Me Go-Eddie Holman & the Larks (1966) 2:22
This great Johnny Ace standard not only highlights Eddie’s golden voice, but the great bass singing of Weldon. Whilst with the Larks he would never turn up his voice at the expense of others.
This was a Parkway single which is testament to the quality of the production as well as treatment of the track. Johnny Ace who was accidentally killed in a Russian roulette game, recorded the track on Duke Records in a more a plaintive and easygoing style but here it is given a sympathetic and more upbeat vocal rendition by Eddie and the Larks.
15. Willing to bet cha-Rhonda Burg (1978) 4:00 *
We return for a final installment of Rhonda’s vocals which combine with a deep and punchy bassline to complete the trio of tracks cut with Weldon. Rhonda went on to record a single with David Porter on a Stax label subsidiary. This has a gritty rhythm track which complements Rhonda’s vocals perfectly. Weldon always emphasizes the rhythm rather than the pop elements in his productions and this is a particular favorite of mine.
16. No Other Love-Barbara Cole (1979) 6:16 *
Originally recorded by Barbara Mason on her Prelude album, Barbara turns in an infectious pop-infused version that makes you feel good with every play. Again with Sal Gallina in the background, Weldon on Cuica, Dr Gibbs on bongo and Les Paul on keyboards the track just trucks along for us to enjoy.
17. A Philadelphia Groove (1981) George Howard, Weldon C McDougal,Gerald Veasely, Kae Williams,Dennis Rodgers,Weldon A. Mc Dougal III
We finish the compilation with a buried jazz-boogie instrumental treasure which was written by Weldon and his cousin Weldon and recorded in New York with a stellar cast of session musicians. George Howard on saxophone leads the pack with Gerald Veasely on bass and Dennis Rogers on guitar Weldon C Mc Dougal. Keyboard, Kae Williams on moog, The track was originally recorded by a girl group entitled ‘You came through’. You get a sense of the great time they had recording and the sheer class of musicianship on view.
* Never Released
As I mentioned last week, radio personality and producer Richard Pegue died in Chicago in February. I have been listening to his music over the last week and dug out the above side to demonstrate the man's creative talents.
You can hear one of Richard Pegue's radio shows over on Stepfather Of Soul blog.
Richard Pegue's own website is still running and you can read more about the man there.
I was tipped to the above book by Jason over on The Stepfather of Soul blog.
Here's the Amazon reviews:
"This fine gentleman is loved by everyone, and was born to be 'the Greatest Jock' ever, and that's what he is." --The Mighty Dells: Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Michael McGill, and Johnnie Carter
"Truly, a legendary radio personality. Like all of his adoring fans, I applaud Herb for his nearly 65 years of contributions to Chicago’s radio airwaves and for furthering his inspirational reach through this book." —Richard M. Daley, mayor, Chicago
"Herb Kent is one of the great DJs of all time, and one of the great human beings of all time." —Gene Chandler, "Duke of Earl"
"Herb Kent is more than a radio legend. He’s an American icon, and anyone who has ever heard him on-air knows why . . . Mr. Kent’s charm and wit have earned the respect of millions of devoted fans and listeners and have inspired a number of aspiring African-American broadcasters . . . as far as I'm concerned, the Cool Gent’s story is long overdue." —Rod R. Blagojevich, governor, Illinois
"Herb’s distinctive voice has entertained and informed Chicagoans for more than 60 years . . . this book will give readers a tremendous opportunity to experience the life, both personal and professional, of Herb Kent, one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!" —Earl Jones, president, Clear Channel Radio Chicago
"Herb Kent paved the road of success that I'm on today." —Tom Joyner, radio host, The Tom Joyner Morning Show
"Very good read from a legendary radio giant." —Otis Williams, The Temptations
"This fine gentleman is loved by everyone, and was born to be 'the Greatest Jock' ever, and that's what he is." —The Mighty Dells: Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Michael McGill, and Johnnie Carter
Friday, March 13, 2009
S.C. native James Jamerson gave Motown its soulful sound, but today nobody knows his name
‘The granddaddy of the electric bass’
By OTIS R. TAYLOR JR.
Picked up this article on one of the mainstays of the Motown sound - James Jamerson:
Think about the first few seconds of The Temptations’ “My Girl,” that syrupy bass line leading to the opening flourish. That was James Jamerson.
Or the rushing current underneath Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “The Tears of a Clown.”
For almost a decade, the South Carolina native was the backbone of The Funk Brothers, the house band that defined the sound of Motown Records.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Just got tipped to this interview on the US company Crutchfield's website from a few years back which is a fascinating glimpse into delving into the vaults of Motown to issue the Complete Motown Singles CDs.
The Complete Motown Singles
An interview with Harry Weinger, Vice President of A&R for Universal Music
Lindsay Planer — Apr 05, 2005
For nearly half a century, the name Motown has been an integral component in the vernacular of popular culture. Ask practically anyone, and the mere mention of the fabricated contraction of 'Motor Town' (aka Detroit, Michigan) immediately conjures specific sonic imagery. For some, the word might evoke a particular artist. It often represents a specific musical style that wasn't quite soul (yet remains eternally soulful), and yet not exactly straightforward pop, either. That said, during its halcyon heydays, Motown racked up more chart-topping singles than The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John combined!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Detroit area jazz organist Lyman Woodard passed away on February 24, 2009.
Since then Wax Poetics have been in touch to say:
The Lyman Woodard Legacy Lives On: Pre-Order Now!
Although Detroit is best known for fostering the musical talents of countless Motown artists,the Motor City always played host to a wide spectrum of scenes. As the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” was incinerating dance floors nationwide in 1975, an accomplished organist named Lyman Woodard was putting the finishing touches on Saturday Night Special, a funky collection of working-class jazz that, to this day, stands as a testament to the amazing relics of artistic expression born from this industrious place and time in American music. Unfortunately, Woodard’s label, the proletariat resource Strata Records, lacked the funds and distribution required to match the record’s musical propulsion. The rich layers of sound, befit for a double LP, were confined to one piece of vinyl, compressing the recording’s sonic brilliance to fit the more economical format.
Since most albums released on this now-legendary label tended toward the avant-garde, this recording—equal parts jazz exploration, R&B sensibilities, and funk meanderings—was marginally out of place in the contemporary Strata catalog. For whatever reason, this recording never received its proper acknowledgment. This is no longer the case. The release of this long-overdue reissue gives the album the treatment and loving attention it has always rightfully deserved.
Saturday Night Special, the fifth release by Wax Poetics Records, comes in the wake of Lyman Woodard’s recent and untimely passing at the youthful age of sixty-six. To commemorate his magnum opus, Wax Poetics Records releases Saturday Night Special as a 180-gram double LP, limited to 1,500 numbered copies and featuring original liner notes by John Sinclair, new interviews, never-before-seen photos, and a replica of the original promotional poster. The iconic cover photograph, “The Equalizers” taken by Detroit’s Leni Sinclair, has been presented in its original form. More a rerelease than a reissue, this is the way that the world was supposed to experience Saturday Night Special. The result is an album masterfully restored in the utmost respect for a true Detroit jazz and funk icon.Saturday Night Special will also be released digitally, in 320 kbps MP3s, at Wax Poetics Digital
(http://digital.waxpoetics.com) and other fine outlets.
Also check out these pages:
Detroit News Obit.
Shiawassee History page
Metro Times Feature
Unreleased MONSTER from 1970! Has been burning up dance floors at quality venues over the last couple of years on acetate & is NOW finally available! Killer stuff!Soul Music.co.uk
Dave Thorley says:
Due to the fantastic response to our first release.
The Rotations-When he slowly moves away from you/We want freedom-Roxanne Records
We have stepped the release date up to 1st March.
These two tracks come from the Lawton sessions recorded in the early 70’s in Philadelphia. This is the same group that recorded on Frantic in the late sixties and also shares one member with the original group that came from Ohio.
The session was produced by Manny Campbell, now owner of Coastal records in Atlanta and the man behind the much sought after Nu-Rons and Tearra. Manny has licenced these tracks to us to launch our new label Roxanne Records. The label’s aim is to bring the occasional high quality, much sought after release to soul fans around the world.
This release will be retailed at £20 + P&P, which is a little higher than some other new releases, due to a higher licence fee than normal to persuade Manny to put the track out. But we thought it well worth it, so we could have the oppertunity to put out these two stunning tracks, we hope you agree.
The record will be ready for posting from 1st of March from these highly reputable companies. So get your pre-orders in today, remember this is a limited 500 pressing and no more will be pressed.
Dave & Malayka
I hope you are keeping well!?
Was reading your excellent blog again today and spotted an earlier post re Ms. Nickki and thought you might like to know that she’ll be appearing at this years Dublin City Soul Festival with her band the Memphis Soul Survivors and special guest star Vince Johnson of the Plantation All Stars!
They’ll be performing two special shows in the Sugar Club, an excellent and intimate venue in the centre of Dublin. Should be two great nights of fantastic and soulful sounds.
Keep on keeping on…
Founder & CEO
The Dublin City Soul Festival™ - a celebration of "peace, unity & love"™ - May 21st - May 24th
Mobile: +353-87-603 1022
www.musicalyouthfoundation.com / www.soulkitchen.ie
Dublin City Soul Festival - Winner – Irish Times Living Dublin Award for Culture & Tourism 2007
Picked this message up from Bob over on Soul Source:
Hi. Today on my radio show I did a radio show in memory of legendary Chicago DJ Richard Pegue, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away last Tuesday. Pegue was one of the few remaining DJs who truly loved the music. He was a mentor to younger DJs and was an important member of the community. On my show I played all records written, arranged, or produced by Pegue. You can check out the show at:
Playlist follows. You can listen to my 2004 interview with Pegue at:
You can listen to previous shows at:
Here is the playlist. Thanks.
Norvells - As I walk alone - Checker
Cheers - I'm not ready to settle down - Penny
Renaldo Domino - I'm getting nearer to your love - Smash
Jackie Bee - It's a possibility - Salem
Halleluiah Chorus - I've got to find a way - Nickel
Voices - Forever is a long long time - Penny
Extentions - Your heart belongs to me - Nickel
South Suburban Electric Strings - (Pisces) signs of the zodiac - Nickel
Sidney Pinchback - Soul strokes - Twinight
Billy Mitchell Group - My sisters my brothers and all you others - Calla
Norvells - (why don't you try that) greasy kid stuff - Checker
Sidney Barnes - The ember furniture song -
Bull and the Matadors - If you decide - Toddlin Town
Renaldo Domino - Not too cool to cry - Twinight
Norvells - Without you - Janis
Little Ben and the Cheers - Nevermore - Penny
Brothers and Sisters - I am somebody - Toddlin Town
Brothers and Sisters - Nobody is gonna turn us 'round - Toddlin Town
Roy Wood - The tale of three monkeys - Penny
South Shore Commission - Shadows - Nickel
Renaldo Domino - Let me come within - Twinight
Voices - Fall in love again - Penny
Lucky Cordell - This is the woman I love - Nickel
Bob played some beautiful music in memory of Richard Pegue - thanks Richard RIP