Thursday, October 21, 2010

Duane Yates - Passin On By - N-Joy

Duane Yates sadly died earlier this year. You can read more about him at the Duane Yates Website

Nathan Lewis Beale Street U

I first met Nathan Lewis who sang with the Ovations in Memphis several years ago.You can read about that meeting on my Dark End Of The Street blog. Nathan is pictured above on the right with Dan Greer on the left.

He has recently been in touch to tell me about a book he is writing:

I have a forthcoming book (about me) and would greatly appreciate your help in its promotion. I want to share some excerpts from it with you and others and request you to please repost and help me and my team spread the word. You can find me below at - Colin when you visit will you leave a comment and name so we know you did come by. You might want to become a follower on there as well. Looking to see you there

Please drop by Nathan's blog to read his fascinating story.

Fabulous 3 + 1 - Bad Girl T&L

I have just been tipped to the above track which you can hear below after Mathias dropped by my post on different versions of the song Bad Girl. The version of the song is new to me hence the snagged scan above. I don't think this is another version of the Fabulous Denos but a new version - any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

David Hudson The Royal Sessions

I recall on my first visit to the Royal Studios in Memphis being mesmerised by tape boxes lying around the studio containing a host of unissued material. Amongst the boxes that I saw on that visit were ones containing the tracks released by Soul Junction. It is good to see companies such as Soul Junction, Soulscape, Ace/Kent and Numero Group continuing to dig into the vaults to unearth the music we love.

David Hudson
The Royal Sessions
Catalogue # SJLP5002

David Hudson has always been held in very high regard for the excellent southern soul releases which he recorded for the Alston and Waylo labels respectively.

It was during his time with Waylo that David was placed under the auspicious of producer Willie “Pops” Mitchell at his Royal Sound Studios In Memphis. Under Willie’s guidance, David recorded his excellent 1987 album “Nite And Day” of which 3 tracks would later gain a 45 release.

A further album project was planned but before it could be completed the Waylo label had decided to pull out of the Royal Sound Studios, thus leaving the project uncompleted.

A total of eight tracks (with a long and short version of one of the songs) had been laid down but were left to gather dust in the vaults. That is until now, so after over 20 years of anonymity you finally have before you David Hudson’s forgotten “Royal Sound Sessions”.

We have decided to release the album on the format that it was originally intended to have been released on at the time, good old fashioned vinyl. Enjoy!!
Soul Junction

GEORGE JACKSON All Because Of Your Love Soulscape

All Because Of Your Love
SSCD 7024

George Jackson is best known as a songwriter with many hits and classics to his credit but he is also considered by fans and connoisseurs to be a legendary artist in his own right. This is the third collection of masters and demos he recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound during the 1970s and all but two of these vintage tracks are previously unreleased. Liner notes by John Ridley.

01 Sweet Surrender
02 My Heart Won't Let Me Forget
03 There's So Much More Where This Came From
04 Can't Break The Habit
05 Play Something Pretty
06 Back Track
07 I Get A Rockin' Good Feeling
08 Instant Replay
09 All Because Of Your Love
10 Can't Make It Without You
11 Can I Take You Home
12 Hey Miss Lady
13 You Gave The Best Performance Of Your Life
14 I Was Trying Not To Break Down
15 Old Time Rock And Roll
16 Your Love Is Working On Me
17 Let The Funk Flow
18 Disco Granny
19 Fast Young Lady
20 Funky Disco Music

BOBBY SHEEN Too Many To Fight Soulscape

Too Many To Fight
SSCD 7025

Bobby Sheen cut these vintage tracks at Fame, Widget and Broadway Sound in Muscle Shoals in the early 1970s when he was signed to Wishbone Productions, owned by Clayton Ivey and Terry Woodford. Lease deals resulted in the release of four singles but the intended album was 'shelved', leaving the other nine tracks unheard for almost forty years.

01 Too Many To Fight
02 I'm Not Strong Enough (To Love You Again)
03 You're Messing Up A Good Thing
04 If You're Ever Gonna Love Me
05 Trying To Get To You
06 Something New To Do
07 I'm Sorry
08 I May Not Be What You Want
09 Can't Keep My Mind On What I'm Doing
10 If I Ever Dreamed I Hurt You
11 It Ain't Easy Being Your Fool
12 She Hit Me From The Blind Side
13 Give It Up
14 Don't Make Me Do Wrong
15 Payback
16 Love Stealing
17 Come On And Love Me

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Let Me Lose This Dream

The best and original version of the above song is by Aretha Franklin but here are 3 other cracking femme versions:

You can listen to Esther Phillps's live version here

Thursday, October 07, 2010

P.P. Arnold Interview

P.P. Arnold - or Pat she's known to friends, fans and peers alike - has had one of the most longstanding careers in music. She started out as an Ikette, moved to London, was produced by rock and pop royalty (Mick Jagger, Barry Gibb, Eric Clapton), was a key member of the U.S. expatriate community in the UK alongside Jimi Hendrix, Doris Troy and Madeline Bell, has experienced the ups, downs, ins and outs of life in music biz, has faced her share of personal and professional challenges, is the voice behind more than a few massive UK pop hits...oh and was the original recording artist of the now-classic "First Cut Is The Deepest"! Although she and Soul's David Nathan have known each other and been friends since the '60s, this is their first-ever full length interview, a fascinating read... Read interview

Take a listen to some of her music:

Absolutely love this next video:

Syl Johnson Unboxes Complete Mythology

On October 19, 2010, The Numero Group will release Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology in a four CD + six LP box set (both formats, one package). Four years in the making, this is by far the most exhaustively researched and meticulously presented work from The Numero Group to date. Encompassing the first fifteen years of a career that spans half a century, Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology not only covers his obvious hits but shines a light into the dark corners of a true musical visionary.

Born Sylvester Thompson in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf in the 1950s, before recording with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. His break was to come recording for Twinight Records of Chicago in 1967. Johnson dominated the label as both a hit maker and producer, providing such hits as "Come On Sock It to Me", "Different Strokes" (one of the most heavily sampled songs in the history of recorded music--paid homage by Public Enemy, N.W.A., Kid Rock, Michael Jackson, J. Dilla and dozens more), "Is It Because I'm Black" (which reached Number 11 on the Billboard R&B charts in 1969), among many more.

Included on Complete Mythology are re-mastered versions of no less than twenty eight singles from the Twinight, Federal, Cha-Cha, Tmp-Ting, Special Agent, and Zachron labels, facsimiles of the Dresses Too Short and Is It Because I'm Black albums, ten previously unreleased tracks and detailed track by track notes from acclaimed music historian Bill Dahl. The fifty-two page booklet contains a thirty-five thousand word essay, scores of previously unpublished photos, a sampling index, and complete discography--all presented in a lavish hardbound box. For the uninitiated this is history, for those familiar this is respect for one the greatest musical artists of our time.

Visit Numero Group for more details

Pat Powdrill & Nick Risi

I have posted some photos of Pat and Nick before on IDR. Paul Rice who kindly sent me the photos has now written the piece below on Pat and Nick:

Pat Powdrill’s mother and Nick Risi’s father worked for the same company in Los Angeles. They started talking about Pat and Nick’s interest in music and came to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for them to meet each other. At that time, Pat was under contract to Frank Sinatra’s Label, Reprise.

Pat Powdrill was born in Birmingham Alabama and moved to Los Angeles with her family. Pat was eight years old.

Nick Risi was born in Great Britain during the Second World War, who came from a family of musicians and enjoyed all kinds of music, his paternal grandmother and her two brothers migrated to Great Britain from Casino, Italy. They were Street entertainers in the winter and Ice Cream vendors in the summer.

Nick’s family migrated to the USA in 1957, at first living in Detroit and later moving to Los Angeles, where Nick became an independent record producer. He worked with various artists in Los Angeles during the 1960's.

Pat invited Nick to her recording session of “Breaking Point” b/w “Luckiest Girl in Town” which was Pat’s third and final single released by Reprise?

Pat was a young and talented singer, vibrant and full of enthusiasm. Pat was always interested in listening to other people’s music. Pat and Nick became friends and she occasionally attended rehearsals of other artists.

In December 1964 Pat attended Jane Canada’s rehearsal and later a practice session of ‘The Togas’ at Record City, owned by Nick’s friend Jim Thomas.

Pat was just 15 years of age at the time and too young to attend events and functions by herself. So on occasions, Nick escorted Pat. In February 1965 Nick produced Jane Canada with “Just Before the Night” b/w “Just Imagination” released on the Crusader Label.

Also in 1965, Nick Risi and Jim Thomas produced ‘The Togas’ first single “Baby I’m in the Mood for you” (written by Bob Dylan) b/w “Hurry to me” (words by Chris Morgan and music by Nick Risi) released on the Challenge Label, part of the 4 Star Music Group.

The original ‘Togas’ consisted of five musicians, Chris Morgan vocals, John Bauman drums, Brian and Doug Decker guitar’s, and Pete Parker keyboards. Nick stated that the Decker brothers and Pete Parker were good young musicians. Pete Parker played the keyboard and contributed to the backing vocals on Pat’s Downey singles.When Pat’s contract ended with Reprise Records, Pat agreed to record some masters for Nick and Jim. Two singles were released on the Downey Label in 1966 within a three month period. At the time in the USA, most DJ’s were reluctant to Play ‘DO IT’ on air, as it was too suggestive?

Barry White suggested one of his songs ‘Together Forever’ to Nick and Jim for Pat’s second single. Barry believed that it was the right song for her voice. Barry also had some releases on the Downey Label under the name of Lee Barry. A few years later, Barry White became a household name.

The Powerdrills, Pat’s backing group were session singers which included Pete Parker and Jim Thomas.

Also in 1966 Pat became an Ikette, backing Tina Turner and went on a World Tour. Pat and Nick met again in late 1968. Pat finished touring as an Ikette. A few months earlier Nick had an accident resulting in a traumatic amputation of his ring finger.

Pat asked Nick to manage her, but Nick was reluctant to do so and did not want to get involved with the artist management side of the business. Nick only agreed to take on this role temporarily until he could secure a record deal.

Nick and Bob Summers agreed to produce Pat for Sidewalk Productions. Nick and Bob had worked together with various other artists from 1965 to 1969.

Nick said that Bob Summers was a fantastic musician and music arranger. Bob also composed and supervised music for Film and Television. Bob’s brother-in-law was the famous Les Paul, who married Bob’s elder sister Colleen Summers, known on stage as Mary Ford. They sold millions of records in the 1950’s.

Pat had changed from a young vibrant enthusiastic teenager, to a Glamorous Young Woman. Pat needed some professional photographs to reflect this change. So Nick commissioned his friend, Hollywood Photographer Don Perry to do some portraits of Pat. Don Perry was not only an excellent photographer, he also supervised music for Television.

Nick negotiated a deal with Forward Records, Pat and Nick mutually agreed to end the management agreement.

In late 1969, Nick returned to the UK and in the 1970’s produced a few artists including Eddie Buchanan a regular entertainer on the Benny Hill Show.

'DO IT' produced by Nick Risi and Jim Thomas is very popular in the Northern Soul Scene and the original Downey 45 Vinyl in good condition can fetch up to £200.00 on EBay.

Here are some samples of Pat's recordings:

Thanks to Paul Rice for the article and special thanks to Nick Risi for the photographs from his archives.

You can read more about Pat Powdrill over on Spectropop