Friday, October 31, 2008

Jazzman Presents: Peter Wermelinger

Checkout Jazzman Records latest podcast from Peter Wermelinger:

The 60s/70s – „45s Get On Down“ – Mix
1. Francis Kingue – Kolo kolo – afro funk soul
2. Geraldo Pino & His Heartbeats - Shake hands with your friends – funk
3. Kings of Soul – Girl what have you done – funky soul
4. Zion Jubilees – Ezekiel saw the wheel – gospel funk groover
5. Johnny Johnson & His Bandwagon – Soul sahara – early 70s funk mover
6. Collection – Ode to Billy Joe – 60s funky jazz
7. Suspicious Can Openers – Fever in your hot pants – early 70s rocky funk
8. Gary Brown Soul Machine 2 – Get down – early 70s Eddie Harris style funk jazz
9. Joe Mensah – The man inside do your own thing – funky afro/latin soul
10. Chelo Vasquez – The preacher – funky latin jazz
11. Galactic Light Orchestra – Also sprach Zarathustra – orchestrial classic jazz funk
12. Buddy Rich – The bull – jazz funk
13. Curtis Knight – Love in – vocal funk shouter
14. Bill Locke – Baby, baby, baby – R&B funk groover
15. Space – The shark hop – 70s big band funk
16. Mirageman – Hypnosis – psych organ/sax groover
17. Johnny Zamot & His Orchestra – I’ve got the feeling – soul funk JB style
18. Modern Detergents – Monkey hips and yice – 60s sax funky jazz
19. Apollas – Seven days – funky soul groover
20. George & The Highlanders – The hawk – sax organ funk jazz

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section Inducted In Hall Of Fame

Great to hear the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section getting due recognition for their work:

Here is an article by Russ Corey from the Times Daily

Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" never sounded better than when the past met the future Tuesday during the Musicians Hall of Fame Awards Show.

Fresh off their induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame, members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section joined Kid Rock for a rousing rendition of the Seger classic, which is just one of many hits the group was a part of.
"It's pretty cool," bassist David Hood said.

While he appreciated the recognition, Hood said he was honored to be inducted alongside the likes of Booker T and the MGs, Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets and country music legend George Jones.

"These are some of my personal heroes," Hood said.

Located in the heart of Nashville, Tenn., The Musicians Hall Of Fame and Museum, is the only museum that honors the talented musicians who actually played on what's considered by some as the greatest recordings of all time.

Drummer Roger Hawkins said he grew up in Florence listening to music from Nashville.

"To be honored by them is very special to me," Hawkins said.

Rhythm section guitarist Jimmy Johnson said the induction was special because of the hall's mission, which is to honor musicians.

The rhythm section also performed "When a Man Loves a Woman" with Shoals native Percy Sledge, who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hawkins said the rhythm section's induction validates the music that was recorded in the Shoals, New York and Nashville. He used the word "luck" to describe how it all came together, but added that it was really a combination of the right artist, the right song, the right producer - and luck.

"Those things always make the music sound real good," he said.

The rhythm's section's long list of hits include Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like a Rock," Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night," Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" and "Main Street," "I'll Take You There" by The Staple Singers, and, of course, Sledge's timeless classic, "When a Man Loves a Woman."

"There were a bunch of hit records when we hit our stride in the late '60s and early '70s," Hood said. "Pretty soon, we were cutting hits with everyone we worked with. We enjoyed hit after hit after hit."

Hood, Johnson, Hawkins and pianist Barry Beckett comprised the core group that became known as "The Swampers," but worked with several other musicians who were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame along with them.

"This is a great thing for me," said guitarist Pete Carr. "It's something to validate all these years of work."

Carr said it's also gratifying that many of the albums he performed on are still played every day all over the world. "That's hard to beat as far as satisfaction goes," Carr said.

Also inducted Tuesday were guitarist Will McFarlane, keyboard player Randy McCormick, who is known for playing the introduction to Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," fellow keyboardists Spooner Oldham and Clayton Ivey.

"It's wonderful to see my fellow Alabamians recognized for the amazing music they created," said John Briggs, vice-president of membership for the American Society of Artists Composers and Producers in Nashville, and a Killen native.

McFarlane said it was gratifying to be inducted along with his fellow musicians.

"Nothing compared to being in the studio with Roger and David," McFarlane said.

Also among Tuesday's inductees were Memphis Horns members Wayne Jackson, who played trumpet, and Andrew Love, who played saxophone and often collaborated with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

Jackson said the horns played on the first hit for Stax Records, "Last Night" by the Mar-Keys.

Producer Billy Sherrill, who has been regarded as being the defining influence of the "countrypolitan" sound, was also inducted into the hall of fame.

Sherill is famous for his associations with country artists Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Tanya Tucker, Charlie Rich and many others.

The "King of Twang" Duane Eddy was also inducted into the hall of fame along with producer Al Kooper, who was unable to attend the event because of an illness

The event was held at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall just off Broadway in downtown Nashville.

Jazzman Records Update

Hi folks, a few things new for our website this month:

- WELCOME TO THE PARTY album on CD. Another collection of recent Jazzman 45s, now on CD! Featuring Sister Funk, Latin Soul, Egyptian Jazz and more!
- NEW JAZZMAN 7" funk all the way from sunny Bermuda by The Invaders!
- NEW JAZZMAN 12" SOUL reissue with soulful disco grooves by SYLVESTER
- NEW SOUL45 another $1000 rarity on VERY LIMITED 7" vinyl, this one's by the Royale VII
- NEW RADIO SHOW with world renowned collectord and DJ Mr PETER "Funk Lexikon" WERMELINGER
- NEW rare records section! It's greasy RnB, it's sleazy surf, it's Las Vegas Grind - it's time to list some TITTY SHAKERS!!!

Check out Jazzman Records

Playground Studios Update

Friends of Playground,

We are changing tunes on our MySpace again (we were inspired by the latest issue of "In The Basement")!

We're previewing some of the potential tracks for "Lost Soul The Playground Story Vol. 2. Please feel free to comment.

The PRS Team

Bob Koester 76 Today

Kevin Johnson from Delmark Records has sent me the following message:

Today is Delmark's Bob Koester's 76th Birthday!! Bob has been in great spirits as of late, swimming everyday, and still working at Delmark and Jazz Record Mart 6 days a week- Truly an inspiration!

If you want to say hello, you can always call Bob at Delmark , 773 539 5001, or email him at (which might take him a while to respond!)

Happy Birthday Bob from IDR!!!!!

Eccentric Soul -- The Young Disciples

Here's another killer from the Numero Uno guys:

A treasure trove of soul from the East St Louis scene -- all of it recorded under the Young Disciples program -- an effort to keep kids off the streets, and one with some very funky results! Although set up as a social program, Young Disciples had some amazing cultural results -- a legacy of very hip music with a full range of soulful expression -- mellow harmony soul, upbeat group numbers, hard-edged funk, and quick-stepping dancers -- all packaged together here beautifully by the Numero group! Like all of their other releases, the album's more of a musical story than just a simple compilation -- packaged with a wealth of detailed notes and vintage photos from the Young Disciples project -- more than enough to keep your eyes occupied while you listen to the wonderful grooves in the set. The whole thing's one of the heaviest releases to date from Numero -- and the CD features 21 tracks that include "Would You Rather" and "Hard Hard" by The Georgettes, "The World Is Changing" by LaVel Moore, "Crumbs From The Table" and "Girls Girls Girls" by The Young Disciples Co, "Third Flight" by Third Flight, "Tears" by Debonettes, "It's Not Your Business" by Sharon Clark & The Product Of Time, "Country Loving Country Style" by Bobby McNutt, "I Love You" by Dauphin Williams, "Anyone Or Anything" by DeDe Turner Happening, "People" by Ames Harris Desert Water Bag Company, and "Homeboy" by Eddie Fisher & Allan Dealth Merry Dusty Groove

O.V. Wright Night In Memphis 15/11/08

I thought I'd give this night another shout and remind people that the concert is part of a weekend dedicated to the memory of O. V. Wright:

Mark your calendars, buy your tickets, and head to Memphis, Tennessee the weekend of November 14-16.

We have an unbelievable line-up of events planned to honor the late, great, but underappreciated Memphis soul singer O.V. Wright! It all began here several months ago with this post about the saddening discovery that Wright lay buried in an unmarked grave outside Memphis.

His fans around the world refused to let this situation continue, and came together on a solution, the O.V. Wright Memorial Fund. I'm so proud to report that the fund collected over $2,000 to purchase a fitting monument for this great artist. The handsome marker will be unveiled Sunday November 16, 2008 at the Galillee Memorial Garden at 8283 Ellis Road in east Memphis. Time TBA.

Many of the generous contributors will be on hand for the ceremony, several from overseas.

Well it didn't seem like enough of an honor without music, so on the eve of the unveiling, some of O.V.'s colleagues will perform in dowtown Memphis for O.V. Wright Night! Check it out: O.V.'s brilliant back-up band, the one and only Hi Rhythm section will play, and O.V.'s Hi Records labelmate Otis Clay will sing. The celebration will happen Saturday November 15, 2008 at 8p.m. at the Ground Zero Blues Club at 158 Lt. George W. Lee Avenue in downtown Memphis.

Tickets are available online at

Also, locals can pick theirs up at three locations around the city- in Midtown at Shangri-La Records, 1916 Madison Avenue; Downtown at Pop Tunes, 308 Poplar Avenue; and Whitehaven at Pop Tunes, 4622 Faronia Road.

I encourage out-of-towners coming in for the show to stay at the Doubletree Hotel. They've given us a special rate for y'all (and you might even run into Otis Clay at the ice machine) which you can learn more about at
as well. The hotel is clean and nice and 1/3 of a mile from Ground Zero, so no need to curtail your celebrating or invite trouble.

In addition to the main events, attendees can also join the group tours of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and a very special behind the scenes go-round at Royal Studios, where O.V. recorded his masterful body of work. I'm told that a certain Poppa will be on hand for the latter event-- you don't want to miss that!

Please e-mail me with any questions:

Thanks to all who have given their time, money, and bandwidth to making this happen. See ya in Memphis!

Please support!!! Here is a glimpse of the man from 1975

"You Can't Keep A Good Man Down": Documentary On Hermon Hitson

I have been tipped to a documentary in the making about the life of Hermon Hitson called You Can't Keep A Good Man Down.

The documentary is being produced by Tyler Bell and you can check out more details on Tyler's Social Savings Club site.

I'll keep you posted of progress.

Ramona Collins

Ramona Collins You've Been Cheatin'

I was recently came across Ramona's website while carrying out some research. Ramona is best known in the UK for her Northern classic. Please drop by her site because there is a lot more to the lady than one 45!

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Ramona was reared in Lansing, Michigan, by a jazz pianist/singer mother - the late Alice (Collins) Carter - who encouraged her daughter to sing at an early age to combat her shyness. Today, anyone fortunate enough to witness the veteran performer at work will detect not a whit of shyness. Sultry, seasoned, witty and cool are words that come to mind when experiencing this engaging performer whose command of the stage and vast repertoire have helped her establish a solid rapport with club, concert and festival audiences wherever she goes.

Ramona recorded early in her career. She made her debut at 16 singing standards on a recording accompanied by her mother and a drummer. Her voice attracted attention from local musicians and before long, she was sitting in at jam sessions and clubs with her mother's musician friends. Her reputation as an exceptional song stylist and performer continues to attract musicians and songwriters of all ages, even today.

One such Toledo writer/producer recorded Ramona in 1970 in a studio located in the rear of his record store. The result, the sassy soul single "You've been Cheatin'", b/w "Now That You've Gone," is now a collector's item in the United Kingdom. Ramona was recently interviewed by Kev Roberts, a popular radio personality in the UK to find out what she's doing these days. He also wanted to let her know she has many fans in the UK who still enjoy dancing to that song she recorded so many years ago. In fact she was invited to attend the Classic Soul Festival in Hilton, New Jersey. The event is a celebration of lesser known heroes and heroines like Cuba Gooding, Barbara Mason, The Ambers, Sandra Philips, The Escorts, The Persuaders and many others. What a kick to meet and party with folks who are some of Ramona's favorite old-school artists. The Europeans love these singers and their music, and Ramona is one of them in addition to being a stellar jazz vocalist.

Read more

Here she is singing Around About Midnight:

Windy City Soul Club 1/11/08

Monday, October 27, 2008

In The Basement 52

Once again, In The Basement is jammed packed with quality features, reviews, spotlights on rare records, and even some news on what's happening in soul world!

You can obtain a copy from the editor Dave Cole:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dee Dee Warwick Tribute

Dee Dee Warwick Tribute

Here's my tribute to the beautiful voice of Dee Dee Warwick.

Track listing:

1. Gotta Get Hold Of Myself
2. Worth Every Tear I Cry
3. Another Lonely Saturday
4. I'm Glad I Am A Woman
5. Everybody's Got To Believe In Somebody
6. Only The One You Love
7. Standing By
8. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

Dee Dee RIP

Rudy Ray Moore 1927-2008

Yet more sad news with the death of Rudy Ray Moore.

Norton Records have sent me these memories of the man:

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of Norton Records' premier stars, the incredible Rudy Ray Moore-- world famous movie star, recording artist and comedian, known throughout the world as the bad, bad Dolemite. We pass along some in-house memories here, adding to umpteen accumulating accolades.


It's so hard to imagine that Rudy Ray Moore is gone. The phrase "larger than life" seems to have been coined just for him. The Dolemite character of his movies and comedy routines became part of his every day persona. I remember one time years ago, when Miriam and I drove over to pick up Rudy at his sister's place in West Orange, New Jersey. When we arrived at the address, I realized we had no apartment number so I went to use the pay phone outside to call him. There were two characters leaning against the phone booth, one drinking out of a paper sack. They gave me some grief about using “their” phone and a little uneasy banter was exchanged until Rudy strolled out the front door, resplendent in a long black coat with white ermine fur trim and a massive matching chapeau. The guy with the beverage's eyes popped out like in the cartoons. “DOLEMITE!" he cried out. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall the next morning when that cat tried to sort out his hangover.

Rudy may well have been the single most respected person I've ever met-- admired and revered by people from all walks of life. Once I was driving Rudy to the airport and he was jockeying two calls on his cell phone. He had a hip hop big shot on one line confirming Rudy's appearance at a Player's Ball, while he had a priest on hold. Rappers in particular all cited Rudy's groundbreaking films and records as an influence. One day while I was hauling records in and out of Coyote Studio basement here in Brooklyn, rap star Nas was shooting a video upstairs on North 6th Street. It was obvious that I was in the way, constantly coming in and out of the front door while they were trying to film. A crew member brought my interference to the attention of Mike Caiati, the owner of Coyote Studios. Mike told them to cut me some slack, that I was a friend of Dolemite. Suddenly everyone was my best pal and I was swapping Dolemite posters for delicious gourmet sandwiches.

Nathaniel Mayer, a major fan of Rudy's, pointed out after having his photo snapped with Rudy, “Where I live, if you show anybody a picture of you with Dolemite, you got gold…”

We had the great pleasure in recording Rudy along with Andre Williams on a cover of the Crawford Brothers' I Ain't Guilty, the pair belting out the duet like none other. Rudy arrived in the company of the immortal Jimmy "Mr. Motion" Lynch. Those guys were a non-stop riot! (Rudy climbing the three flights of stairs to the studio: "Jimmy, ain't they got an elevator?" Jimmy: "Sure, Rudy. You elevate one foot and then you elevate the other.") While in the studio, we asked Rudy if he would record a Public Service Announcement on the topic of his choice. He immediately chose AIDS as his topic, and proceeded to cut an excellent, informative off-the-cuff PSA. He then asked to cut another version with "hard words" for FM, and proceeded with a belligerent, hi-octane anti-AIDS rant that took even his saltiest "party records" one better.

When I told him I was booking him room at the Marriott Hotel when he emceed our Norton Soul Spectacular a couple of years ago, he refused to stay there, accusing me of overspending. “Billy, you're just like Busta Rhymes!” Rudy was total class on that show, bringing to the stage one star after another with the same fiery delivery he brought to the screen in DOLEMITE or PETEY WHEETSTRAW. A bad mother to the end and indeed, much, much larger than life.


Billy's always goofing on me for calling things "Old School". For me, that means the good stuff, better ways, the real deal-- as defined by Rudy Ray Moore! The man defined the limits of taste, humor, and style and left everyone around him agog with his regal personality. And you know, he wasn't pompous-- he just naturally oozed total class. Just gliding through a door, you knew with Rudy that you were in the presence of a true V.I.P. And when he spoke, in that astonishing baritone, he could make a simple sentence an awesome, lyrical pronouncement.

We first met Rudy many years ago at a comedy show. The Great Gaylord called and told us Rudy was going to be doing a show in Jersey City with Wild Man Steve. None of us really knew what to expect-- we loved the Dolemite movies and were crazy about his old 45s, but we didn't know how approachable he'd be with a bunch of goofy greenhorn fans. We needn't have worried. Rudy strode in from the shadows after Wild Man, a tall, insanely handsome man with a dazzling smile, and immediately the audience erupted into enthusiastic screams and applause, particularly from the women! From a ladies point of view, let me assure you girls (and Rudy had a delectable way of says "GIRLS" that could make a 90 year old blush and giggle) that when he started cat calling the big bottom dolls, baiting them with what might be considered insults to the uninitiated, it became obvious that this was a man whose craft was making everybody feel like part of the show. Even when he engaged various ethnic, overly-proportional, overtly interesting, and well, plug ugly, people, it was like a hazing into a esteemed club. Getting called out by Rudy was a badge of honor, a matter of pride. Rudy wrapped up the show by personally presenting the ladies in the audience with battery-operated, light-up, scented roses while reciting his Legend of Dolemite, which is as close to the Rime of The Ancient Mariner as rockin' folk care to teeter. We all jumped up for a standing ovation that went all for some time, and afterwards, we all bought Dolemite back scratchers and got autographs and pictures with the man.

It was obvious that Rudy wanted to reach everyone the world over with his talents. He was not content with being a Black icon in film, or heralded as the first Rapper. It was back at an early WFMU record show in a church basement in the East Village, that Billy and I started speaking with Rudy about his early musical days. He was somewhat shocked that anyone thought there was interest in his early R&B recordings. He was instantly on it, digging for scrapbooks, tapes, and any ephemera to help us document his early pre-comedy career. We started seriously pulling together old recordings, and began interviewing Rudy for biographical notes. Rudy told the stories with great relish. We had the tape recorder going in the car during a snow storm while Rudy was belting out Rally In The Valley and remembering the amateur shows in Cleveland, St Louis, New York, Los Angeles--- every city where there was a venue and audience for Black entertainers. Another time we were eating dinner with him at a hotel restaurant, again over a tape recorder, when Rudy pulled out one of his impromptu, gemaceous nonsequiturs. An airline pilot, evidenced as so by the uniform and hat, was eating alone at another table. Quite suddenly, Rudy called out to him, "Excuse me, young man!" and the pilot looks around and says, "Me?" "Are you flying to Dayton, Ohio this evening?" he asked with great pomp and circumstance, with an elegant English accent. Puzzled, the pilot shook his head, no. Rudy went back into his story with us, without missing a beat. Trust me, it was one of funniest moments, ever. Totally out of the blue, unexplained and OLD SCHOOL. Well, the R&B collection ended up as a double LP set called HULLY GULLY FEVER, the first collection of his early records, and the first thorough telling of his early days from the R&B chitlin circuit to his first moments in standup comedy. He said it reminded him of how much he loved to sing, and he took to including some musical numbers amongst his comedy routines.

The world will remember Rudy as an entertainment genius, as a man with great vision and daring, as a man who would continue working his craft until the end of his life. He will also be remembered as the last of the true gentlemen, a veritable Human Tornado whose work will never be forgotten and whose spirit will forever affect and inspire anyone who follows their heart, no matter what. We love you and miss you, Mr. Rudy Ray Moore.

You can read further obits here:,0,5052090.story?track=rss

Get Chakster St Petersburg 1/11/08

Mercy! @ Cous Cous 1/11/08

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dee Dee Warwick RIP

Alway one of my favourite femme singers and it was deep sadness that I heard of her death earlier this week. I will post an audio tribute in the near future.

David Nathan's sent me the message below:

Hi everyone,

It is with deep personal sadness that I was informed this evening (October 19) that Dee Dee Warwick, one of the most soulful singers I ever had the privilege to know and the very first artist I ever interviewed when I was a young school boy in London, has passed away at the age of 63.

An R&B Foundation Pioneer Awardee, Dee Dee's legacy of recordings - albums for Mercury, Atco and Sutra and a number of singles - remains a virtual catalog of some of the best real soul music ever recorded included her Grammy-nominated "Foolish Fool" and "She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking)."

I've always treasured knowing her and truly loving her music. I am preparing a special personal tribute to Dee Dee with music at Soul Please click here for the page we've created for Dee Dee.

We invite those of you who would like to send comments, thoughts and reflections on Dee Dee and her music with subject line "Dee Dee Warwick" to and they will be posted on the page.

On behalf of everyone at Soul, I send my personal condolences and love to Dionne and her family. Rest peacefully, Dee Dee, your spirit and music live on.

With respect,

David Nathan, Michael Lewis and Jeff Lorez for Soul

Please leave a message.

Dee Dee - I loved your voice!!!!
Signed Dee Dee

G-Spot Presents Deep Funk @ Jazz Cafe 13/11/08

The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker European Tour November 08

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The 3rd Annual Emerald City Soul Club Weekender 7-9 November

Weekender Schedule:

Thursday, Nov. 6 - Meet & Greet (open decks)
George and Dragon Pub, Fremont - 10pm - 2am (This event is free)

Friday, Nov. 7 - Rare Soul Allnighter
Lofi Performance Gallery , 429 Eastlake Ave E
8pm - 4am

Saturday, Nov. 8 (Day) - ECSC Record Swap
Lofi Performance Gallery , 429 Eastlake Ave E
12pm - 4pm

Saturday, Nov. 8 - Rare Soul Allnighter
Lofi Performance Gallery , 429 Eastlake Ave E
8pm - 4am

Confirmed Weekender DJs:

Figgie (Right Track, Los Angeles CA)
Greg Belson (Soulside, Los Angeles CA)
Ron Wade (Twin Cities Soul Club, Minneapolis MN)
Mark Holmes (Hitsville Soul Club)
DJ Bywell (Hitsville Soul Club)
Jorge Brenner (Germany)
Andy Noble (KGF, Milwaukee)
Matt Finewine (WFMU, New York NY)
Liam Quinn (Beat Boutique, Manchester UK)
Lynne K. (Subway Soul Club, New York NY)
DJ Honky (Dig Deeper, New York NY)
George Gell (Seattle, WA)
Mike Crietzberg (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA)
Kevin Jones (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA)
Marc Muller (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA)
Alvin Mangosing (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA)
Mike Nipper (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA)
Gene Balk (Emerald City Soul Club, Seattle WA) - Friday
Ben Parani (Rare $oul Millionaires, Chicago IL)
Aret (Rare $oul Millionaires, Chicago IL)
Pete Kelross (Bisley Nightshift Club, UK)

2 rooms of Soul:
Front Room Friday - (funk and modern) - 10pm to 2am
Front Room Saturday - (RnB) - 10pm to 2am

Admission for this years event will be collected nightly (we are not doing a weekend pass
or pre-sale this year) and will be $8 per night.

Suggested Hotels near the venue:
We are once again this year attempting to work with the Seattle Visitors Bureau to get
discounted hotel rates for our guests. We will update you with info as this progresses,
but in the meantime, here are a few suggested hotels within walking distance of the venue.

Silver Cloud Inn-Lake Union‎
150 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA - (206) 447-9500

Springhill Suites-Downtown‎
1800 Yale Ave, Seattle, WA - (206) 254-0500‎

Residence Inn-Downtown‎
800 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA - (206) 624-6000‎

Pan Pacific Hotel
2125 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA - (206) 264-8111

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival In New Orleans This Weekend

A bit late with this but here goes!

The third annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a free celebration of Southern soul.

Produced since 2006 by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation (the nonprofit organization that owns the world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell), the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival brings to life New Orleans' historic role in making the blues one of the most influential sounds in the world.

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival presents many of the top performers from southern Louisiana and Mississippi, plus delicious food and unique visual art.

The 2008 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival will once again boast a who's who of Louisiana blues artists, including such perennial favorites as Marva Wright, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Little Freddie King.

This year, the festival welcomes for the first time John Mooney, whose mix of electric slide guitar and the street parade rhythms of New Orleans has made him one of the top attractions on the modern blues circuit.

Also new to the festival is Baton Rouge guitar ace Kenny Neal. The son of legendary harmonica player Raful Neal, Kenny comes from a large family of equally soulful relations.

Cedric Burnside - grandson of the late blues great R.L. Burnside, and a member of the Burnside Experience - brings a modern take on traditional juke joint blues in his duo with guitarist Lightnin' Macolm.

Purists will be flocking to see legendary 93 year-old David "Honeyboy" Edwards, who was a friend of the blues originator Robert Johnson and was first recorded by the famous musicologist Alan Lomax.

Full details here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Levi Stubbs RIP

Levi Stubbs, the renowned lead singer of the Four Tops has died aged 70. I recieved the sad message via the following source:

Motown Alumni Association:

Levi Stubbs the most profound lead vocalist in American history died this morning at his Detroit home sources have confirmed. Stubbs who suffered a series of strokes and other illnesses had been sick for a number of years prior to today's news. It was most visible during the televised "50 year anniversary Celebration of the Four Tops" broadcast a few years ago.

During the 80s and 90s the Tops were one of 3 Motown groups that still had all of their original members performing. The only other groups were the Velvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas.

The Four Tops started their career in the mid 50s, and were already professional recording artists and performers by the time they got to Motown.

They recorded for several labels before signing to Motown in 1963. "Baby, I Need Your Loving" (July 1964), written and produced by the team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, was their first substantial hit,

setting the pattern for a series of songs showcasing Stubbs's emotive wail set against the Benson-Payton-Fakir harmony line. Need and longing would be the hallmarks of Stubbs's singing on such songs as "Ask the Lonely" (January 1965), which launched a string of R&B Top Ten/pop Top 40 hits over the next two years.

Its follow-up, "I Can't Help Myself" (April 1965), hit number one and was itself followed by "It's the Same Old Song" (July 1965), "Something About You" (October 1965), "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" (February 1966), "Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever" (May 1966). A second no1, "Reach Out, I'll Be There" (August 1966), "Standing in the Shadows of Love" (November 1966), "Bernadette" (February 1967), "7 Rooms of Gloom" (May 1967), and "You Keep Running Away" (August 1967).

Holland-Dozier-Holland who wrote a ton of the Four Tops hits left Motown (1967). With fortitude and conviction Stubbs and the gang still cranked out hits such as "If I were You Carpenter",

"It's All in the Game," "Still Water (Love)," a duet with the Supremes on "River Deep Mountain High," and "Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)," all of which made the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 40.

They scored one more R&B Top Ten on Motown, with "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It". They then moved to Dunhill, (later acquired by ABC, then by MCA) Records, where they enjoyed another string of hits. This included "Keeper of the Castle" (October 1972), the gold-selling "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)" (January 1973), "Are You Man Enough" (June 1973), "Sweet Understanding Love" (September 1973), "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" (April 1974), and "Midnight Flower" (July 1974). They returned to the R&B Top Ten with "Catfish" (August 1976), and moved to Casablanca (since acquired by PolyGram) for the R&B number one "When She Was My Girl" (September 1981).

Tragedy struck the group when Laurence Payton died in 1997, Obie Benson died in 2005, and now Levi Stubbs October 17, 2008 at the age of 70.

Funeral arrangements will be provided at a later date.


I've just picked up a message from my old friend Curt Obeda the leader of the Butanes:

Willie Walker & The Butanes recently returned from performing in Japan. Our first ever trip to Japan! Thanks to our partners at P-Vine Records for arranging this event...We noticed a fan in Kyoto posted a few videos from our show at the exceptionally cool club Taku Taku. Shot with a cell phone or digital camera they are simple and static but the sound quality isn't bad and I thought a few folks might like to give them a look.

This was the band's first trip to Japan where they performed at the P-Vine Blues Festival Kudan-Kaikan Tokyo, Takutaku Kyoto, and Tokuzo, Nagoya.

The Fantastic Johnny C Singles Collection 1967-1973

Another essential purchase from Jamie!

Cliff Nobles Singles Collection 1968-72

An essential purchase from usual stockists!!

Big Joe Louis @ The Hootananny London 18/10/08

Acid Rendezvous Paris 7/11/08

Paris Rare Groove Day 8/11/08

OO Soul @ Blue Cafe 25/10/08

Renaldo Domino Interview

I am still miles behind after that the time out from blogging last month!

Catching up with another cracking interview from Bob over at Sitting In The Park:

Hi. Today on my radio show I did an interesting interview with Chicago recording artist Renaldo Domino (aka Renaldo Jones). Renaldo started recording while he was still attending Calumet High School on the south side of Chicago. His first recording -- "I'm hip to your game" / "I love my girl" was recorded in a tiny, low-budget studio and pressed in small quantity on the Arnell record label. Renaldo and his manager William Sandy Johnson were able to use the record to get a recording contract with Mercury records.

Domino released two records on Mercury's Smash subsidiary -- "I'm getting nearer to your love" and a redone version of "I'm hip to your game". Both records got radio play in Chicago and Domino began to tour around the midwest with his band the Dots. Domino's final Mercury single, "Just say the word", was his biggest hit on the label. Due to lack of promotion, Domino left Mercury and signed to Chicago's Twinight label. He released three singles on the label, all produced by Richard Pegue. "Not too cool to cry" and "Let me come within" received local radio play but the final single, "You need to be loved on" had little promotion and Domino got a release from the label. After a few unsuccessful attempts to secure a record deal on other Chicago labels, Domino left music to pursue his career.

You can check out the interview at:

Cecil Lyde Aka Cecil Holden Interview

Picked up a message from Bob of Sitting In The Park Radio Show to let me know of his latest interview:

Hi. Today on my radio show I interviewed Cecil Lyde aka Cecil Holden. Cecil was a singer and musician that came out of the Evanston music scene. Cecil was related to members of the Foster Brothers and he first performed at a talent show at the Club Delisa when he was only 11 years old. In junior high school Cecil formed a vocal group with Bruce Fisher, Larry Fisher, Ricky Giles, and Sam Jackson; the group called themselves the Cavaliers and performed in local talent shows. After leaving high school, Cecil worked at different record companies on record row, singing backup on bigger groups' records and writing songs.

In the late 60s, Cecil joined the air force and went overseas. On returning in 1970, Cecil, the Fisher Brothers, and Ricky Giles got together to sing again, working with Chess records' producer Charles Stepney doing advertising jingles. Cecil ran into his friend Dudley Fair who had another local Evanston group called the Soul Experience that had just broken up. Dudley brought Cecil and Larry Fisher to sing in the new version of the group called Experience II. Experience II was not just a vocal group but a self contained band; musicians included Jerry Soto, Barry Collins, Tudy Bryson, and Bobby Stringer. The group performed in the Chicago area and, via manager Paul Gallis and Maury Lathowers, signed to Capitol records (the same label that Maury had previously helped sign Evanstonian Patti Drew to). Although the group recorded six songs, they only released one single: "Bout time that I told you baby" / "Freedom train" on Capitol in 1973. The group broke up shortly after the single was released.

Cecil left Chicago to go to LA to pursue music further. At the time Bruce Fisher started working as a songwriter, writing for such artists as Billy Preston, the Blackbyrds, and Quincy Jones. Cecil co-wrote a record, "At the end of a love affair", that was released by Bruce Fisher on United Artists. Bruce helped Cecil, along with Larry Fisher, and Rick Giles, get a deal with United Artists. Although they recorded an entire LP, only one single -- "I'll always love you" / "Serve me right to suffer" -- got released as Lyde, Fisher, & Giles on United Artists' Hab subsidiary. The group soon broke up after the release of the single.

Cecil recorded and released more music on his own Alwest label. He released a solo album called Stone Free that was recently reissued by the P-Vine record label out of Japan. He then released a couple more LPs and a single under the name Home Boy and the COL. He continues to record and release both Gospel and R&B music today. You can check out the interview at my interviews page at:

thanks for your interest,


Don't forget you can still pick up several CDs of Cecil's recordings from CD Baby

You could also read a feature on Cecil Holden over on Soul Treasures

Musical Celebration Of Ska In Liverpool 26/10/08

Prince Buster

Here's one in my local area at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool:

Join us for a musical celebration of ska.

Suitable for all visitors

Next date : 1-4pm, at intervals - Sunday, October 26, 2008

International Slavery Museum
Anthony Walker Education Centre
International Slavery Museum visitor information

Binky Griptite's GhettoFunkPowerHour!

Staying with Daptone Podcasts - check this one out:

Daptone Radio Show:
Binky Griptite's GhettoFunkPowerHour!

Daptone would like to present the one and only Binky Griptite in his natural habitat, showing off his skills on the radio waves at the WDAP studios click here to download the radio show!

1. The Sugarman 3 Feat. Charles Bradley “Take it as it Come”
2. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Give Me a Chance”
3. The Poets of Rhythm “More Mess on my Thing”
4. Antibalas “Che Che Cole”5. The Daktaris “Eltsuhg Ibal Lasiti”
6. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Why Don’t We All Stop Paying Taxes”
7. Binky Griptite & the Mellomatics “Mellomatic Mood”
8. The Sugarman 3 “Sugar’s Boogaloo”
9. Lee Fields “Could Have Been”
10. Bob & Gene “Sailboat”
11. Bob & Gene “I Can Be Cool”
(instrumental underneath talking is Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?” inst.)
12. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “How Do I Let a Good Man Down?”
13. The Dap-Kings “Nervous Like Me”
14. The Mighty Imperials feat. Joseph Henry “Never Found a Girl”
15. Charles Bradley & the Bullets “This Love Ain't Big Enough For The Two Of Us”
16. The Budos Band “Aynotchesh Yererfu”
(instrumental underneath talking is Binky Griptite & the Mellomatics “Brooklyn Soul Stew” inst.)
17. The Sugarman 3 feat. Lee Fields “Shot Down”
(instrumental underneath talking is Binky Griptite “Stoned Soul Christmas”)
18. The Sugarman Three “La Culebra”
19. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “The Dap Dip”
20. The Sugarman Three feat. Naomi Davis “Promised Land”
21. Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens “What Have You Done, My Brother?”
22. The Budos Band “Adeniji”
23. The Menahan Street Band “Make the Road by Walking” (short preview underneath talking) *Dunham Records
24. Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band “The World (is going up in flames)” *Dunham Records
25. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “You’re Gonna Get It”
26. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings “Genuine”
27. The Sugarman 3 “Honey Wagon”

“No Trespassing” Podcast by Mr. Fine Wine

The top man - Matt Weingarden aka Mr Fine Wine has laid a mix on the Daptone Jukebox:

“No Trespassing” by Mr. Fine Wine

Click here to download the podcast

Mr. Fine Wine is the host and programmer of WFMU’s "Downtown Soulville"
Fridays, 7-8 p.m., Jersey City, NJ (91.1 FM and

You can hear Mr. Fine Wine spinning soul, funk, gospel, R&B, and
blues 45's in NYC at:

Botanica (every Wednesday - 47 E. Houston St.)
Bumpshop (


1. Tears - 1808 East Broad (Chord)
2. Volcanos - No Trespassing (Virtue)
3. Hank Ballard - I'm a Junkie for My Baby's Love (Chess)
4. Danny Small - Peace Sign (Pisces)
5. Mel Hueston - Time and Patience (Chanson)
6. Williams Sisters - He's Got Everything You Need (Jewel)
7. Frisco Singers - My Girl's a-Waiting (Chess)
8. Lolita R. Smith -Your Love and My Money (Varbee)
9. Hollidays - I Lost You (Groove City)
10. unknown - Our Last Goodbye (unlabeled Ollie McLaughlin tape)
11. Four Sonics - Easier Said Than Done (Sport)
12. Johnny Starr - Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do (Mala)
13. Radiants - Don't Want to Face the Truth (Twinight)
14. Visitors - What About Me (Tangerine)
15. Clovers - Try My Loving on You (Josie)
16. Fabulous Holidays - Too Many Times (Marathon)
17. Ex Saveyons - Somewhere (Smoke)
18. Soul Chargers - My Heart Beats for You (American)
19. Hart and Shorter - I Shed a Tear (La Beat)
20. Tommy Turner - I'll Be Gone (El Bam)

Bettye Swann On Shindig

You can find Bettye's performance about 4 mins 30 secs into the Shindig clip!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I only recently discovered a superb selection of videos on You Tube posted by RobsBigCitySoul

It was hard to choose which one to post as an example because each song has a carefully selected set of moving and still images skillfully put together to illustrate the song.

Each song is also accompanied by an informative set of notes. Here is what they had to say about The Panic Is On:

LOU JOHNSON had a couple of minor hits in USA in 1963 and '64 with 'Reach Out For Me' and 'Always Something There To Remind Me'. However he is often remembered in the UK for his classic Northern Soul dancer 'Unsatisfied' 1965 (Big Top records).
Born in Brooklyn, 1941 Johnson studied keyboards and percussion at university and then sang lead with the Zionettes. In 1962 he signed to New York label Big Top that operated out of the Brill Building through Larry Utall's Hill & Range publishing house. Utall introduced Lou to Burt Bacharach who liked what he heard and saw great possibilities for him as a solo act.

Big Top had an album entitled 'Anytime' scheduled and pressed some review copies (without a picture sleeve) but the company went under again in '66 before the record was released. Contained on the album is Lou's version of 'The Panic Is On' - a great Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye song. G/B/F were an established song writing and production team who supplied Johnson with some great material. They wrote a lot of Lou Johnson's sides on Big Top, the VIP's "You Pulled A Fast One" (also on Big Top) and also Bill Giant's "Poof (Up In Smoke)" (MGM), which was later covered by Kenny Lynch (on Big Top) as "Puff (Up In Smoke)." They also wrote many famous songs for Elvis Presley and his movies.

Roy Hamilton is better known for his version of 'The Panic is On' recorded in 1964 for MGM records.

The second phase of Johnson's recording career began with Cotillion Records in 1968. Due to a lack of hits it turned out to be just a one-album deal --'Sweet Southern Soul'

Thanks to Peter Burns - SoulMusicHQ and 'hiroenouk' channel for some of the footage

Please check out the RobsBigCitySoul's other videos.

Best Of Hayley Records

Best Of Hayley Records Snippets

Another great compilation from my old mentor Rob Moss.

Here's a review by Eddie Hubbard, one of my longest running soul friends:

Hayley records is an independent record label from the Midlands UK , specialising in unearthing unreleased and rare 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Soul recordings , especially from Detroit . After over a decade of releasing quality CD compilations and limited edition ‘ 45’s they finally present “ The best of Hayley “ which contains 16 mouthwatering tracks plus one “ hidden “ bonus track !!

The first two tracks are covers of old classics ,“ Show and tell “ [ the old Al Wilson side ] is given a more uptempo treatment , performed by Deep Soul giant Charles Brimmer , and easily a match for the original , perhaps even better ? Next we have a brilliant version of Tony Clarke’s “ The entertainer “ , by Motown evergreen Jimmy Ruffin , with most of the Funk brothers in attendance , a simply stunning update .

The next three tracks are real desert island tracks for me , all deeply soulful ballads , which really hit the spot .Marvin Gaye is still missed so much by everyone , the tribute song “ Thank you Marvin “ performed by Tim Carter is the perfect tribute to a sadly lost mega talent . “ You’ve gotten to me “ by Karen Pree is beautiful slow burner , with the delicious Ms Pree delivering this song in brilliant fashion . Loretta Kendricks “ My feelings keep getting in the way “ is a fantastic song rescued from the vaults .

Clarence Jackson had many quality sides released in Detroit , here we can enjoy “ I miss you “ from the
80’s ,a quality track with an insistent beat . Another sadly recently deceased Artist is Emanuel Lasky , during the 70’s he actually shared a house with Marvin Gaye and “ A different kind of different “ is the result of this creative pairing , a superb lilting side which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Marvin Gaye or Leon Ware album .

“ Thinking of you “ by Tim Murray was a popular dancer during the late 80’s early 90’s period , here we have the superior original by it’s songwriter Melvin Davis , a legend in his own right of course .Superlatives fail me when listening to Almeta Latimore’s “ These Memories “ simply one of the finest 70’s tracks ever , I’ll personally never forget her live performance of this stunning song , another desert island disc . Sweet James Epps of The Fantastic 4 has a highly collectable ‘45 in” Love at first sight “ on the tiny Motor -pool logo , here is the original version performed by the legendary JJ Barnes , which begs the question which ,is the best version ? Make your own mind up , I really can’t decide .

Another legendary track from the 70’s is “ I wonder why “ by the mysterious Sy Hightower , an ultra soulful vocalist who has this track included on this CD , an amazing record in every way . Stevie Wonder’s “ Contract on love “ is a popular early dancer on the Northern scene , here we have a modern update by Dathan Jones , with production by the legendary Cindy Scott , a very creditable version . Karen Pree makes her second appearance on this CD with the the uptempo dancer “ Can’t help loving the one who’s loving me “ this track is scheduled to be released on a ‘ 45 soon , sure to be a dance floor monster methinks .

Next up is the mysterious Thunderbird Sound ,with a stunning instrumental “ In heaven and on earth “ , rumoured to be The Funk Brothers moonlighting in Ohio , this track is indeed full of all the essential ingredients that made the Funk brothers such a hot studio outfit .

Cut at the same session as “ Sliced tomatoes “ The Just Brothers “ Honey “ is a storming vocal dancer rescued from the vaults by Hayley records and rebuilt from scratch , a great record in the traditional sense of Rare Detroit Soul .

From the same time frame as the Charles Brimmer track which opened this CD , comes an amazing dancer from the legendary Lynn Varnado with “ Ain’t that something “ a wonderful Clay McMurrey production that bridges the divide between Northern and Modern Soul .

And that should have been the end of the CD , already an essential purchase , but if you leave the CD running after the last track , after a couple of minutes an amazing unissued unknown duet ,performs a killer version of Omar Chandlers “ You come from heaven “ .A real surprise to the listener which takes this compilation to another level , a must buy compilation .

Eddie Hubbard Soul Source 2008

Please join Soul Source - one of the best sites on soul music in the world and mine of information!!!

Loraine (Lorraine) Rudolph

Lorraine Rudolph Keep Coming Back For More Jetstream

Here's an excellent feature on Loraine Rudolph by Marc Fisher in the Washington Post:

Forty-eight years ago, an ambitious teenager with a whale of a voice and a dream born of evenings singing doo-wop on street corners found her way from Louisville to Detroit, to an apartment just upstairs from the Gordy family's recording studio.

In 1960, Loraine Rudolph became a cog in the hit music machine later known as Motown. She sang back-up for one future star after another, toured with The Spinners, hung out with Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and lived with Motown mogul Berry Gordy's sister and her husband, the singer and producer Harvey Fuqua..............

Read the full article with embedded links to Loraine Rudoplh's songs.

Mighty Hannibal Who Told You That?

The Mighty Hannibal Who Told You That? Snippets
The Mighty Hannibal has made his CD Who Told You That? available again through CD Baby. Get it because it contains some fine old songs and some material which ahd in the can plus a couple of new songs.
I will be posting my article on the man, which was first published in In The Basement, on my Dark End Of The Street blog before the end of the year.

Here's an extract covering the period when some of the songs on the above CD were recorded:
During the early 70’s, he had occasionally gone back into the recording studios and to turn out some excellent songs. Hannibal produced Hermon Hitson’s classic recording on Sweet Rose – “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down”, he cut a few more sides on Delia including “Stand Up For Your Brother” for Bahith and another for Eclipse.

Hannibal returned to the church after the “Truth” album and continued to preach up to around 1977 when Jimmy Brown of Brick coaxed him back into the business. He worked on a 45 called “Instant Replay” written by Sam Dees backed with “So Wrapped Up In Your Love” but I have never seen a copy! In 1978, he had a 45 on Miracle out called “Ain’t Nobody Perfect”, which was a call to understand difference. This had actually been recorded during his time in L.A. in the early 70’s and featured Neil Diamond’s band.

He had 2 further 45s out in the 80’s. The first was another killer ballad entitled “When It Comes To You” which was written by Darryl Carter who had been introduced to Hannibal by long time friend Freddie Briggs who had worked with Darryl back at Stax. The song also featured another long time friend Kim Tolliver on backing vocals with Delia Gartrell. The label “My Record Kompany” belonged to Hannibal and the label features his step-grandson Glenn who was then a baby. The last 45, which Hannibal had out was around 1983 on the Real Good label. He cut 2 sides “Don’t Go Looking” and “Hoe Down” in Atlanta after he put up the money with one of his neighbours, Lowell Dickerson, who had played for the Kansas City Chiefs.
It wasn’t until 1997 that Hannibal went back into the recording studio to produce another anti-drugs record in the shape of “Who Told You That?” The album appeared on the Bad International label and was recorded up in Middlesex, North Carolina at the Gospel World Studios.
Also drop by to his MySpace to listen to his thought provoking Show Me The Money which he cut earlier this year.

Julie Driscoll Road To Cairo

Julie is an IDR favourite - search my blog for the other features on her!

Funkshone Shining

Check out the band's new album. Read a previous feature on Funkshone here

Hope you caught them on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show!

If not you can see them next month as follows:

In association with SKYLINE RECORDINGS and The Jazz Cafe we will be hosting a launch party for our debut album entitled 'SHINING' (Out Now!!)

The live set will consist of brand new unheard material alongside some established Funkshone bangers! DJs To be confirmed.
So join us and have yourself a night of the very best funk and soul!

Where: Jazz Cafe Camden

When: Saturday 22nd November

Price: £10 in advance, £12 on the door

Bring yourselves some spare pennies along also as we will be selling some very limited edition merchandise in the form of CDs and hard to get hold of Vinyl (that may include the very last copies of the 1st 3 singles!!!!!)

We hope to see you there and we also hope that you will support this Funk assault by buying the album....



Down To Earth: New Documentary On Soul Music And Civil Rights In Memphis

David Moreu who is a freelance music jounalist and independent filmaker has been in touch to tell me about an exciting new documentary he has made about soul music and and the Civil Rights movement in Memphis called Down To Earth.

Here is the publicity blurb:


Title: Down to Earth
Country: Spain
Year of production: 2008
Length: 27 minutes

Written and directed by David Moreu
Photography: David Moreu & Nuria Andres
Edition: Carlos Padilla
Sound: Nuria Andres
Audio mix: Marcos Casademunt
Radio voice: Tim Sampson (recorded at the Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN)
Producer: David Moreu

A unique glimpse at a key period in the history of the United States that can not be understood without its soundtrack.

On April 4 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on the eve of a peaceful march. On the 40th anniversary of this tragic event, we present “Down to Earth”, a short-film documentary about the almost magical relationship that flourished between the civil rights movement and soul music in the 60s, when the black community fought for equal rights in a country that still lived under racial segregation.

A fascinating story told in first person by some famous musicians and local celebrities in Memphis, like the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles (civil rights activist), Deanie Parker (Stax Records), David Porter (Stax composer and musician), Willie Mitchell (Hi Records president, awarded with the Grammy Trustee Award this year) and Zelma Redding (Otis Redding wife).

“Down to Earth” also talks about the legacy of that convulsive era thanks to the participation of anonymous characters and young musicians who have been interviewed in some of the most famous barber-shops in Memphis. It is the sincere vision of a generation that did not live directly those days of struggle, but it has inherited his ideals and continues to enjoy its music.

“Down to Earth” was first screened last September at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis and it will be screened at the opening act of the Barcelona Blues & Boogie Festival (23rd October).


"Down to Earth is utterly charming, informative and a true look at the people of Memphis who lived the Civil Rights struggle and the music that was its soundtrack."
Tim Sampson (Communications Manager Stax Museum of American Soul Music)

David has sent me a short clip of the end titles to the film which are mouth-watering. I hope he is able to get distribution into the UK. I share David's affinity with Memphis having visited the city many times to research the rich soul history and wish him every success with the film.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stu Gardner In Night Club Scene From Point Blank Movie

John Boorman's Point Blank has been described by Tom Supten in Illusion Travels By Streetcar Old and New Writings on Film as:

one of the most brutal works of poetry in film history

One of the most memorable scenes of brutality in the film is the night club sequence which included a demented performance by an uncredited black singer which adds to the tension of the action.

Last night, I checked out You Tube and found the above clip. A quick check of IDMB stated that it is Stu Gardner. The track is called Mighty Good Times and draws heavy influence from James Brown of the 1967 period. You can find it on the soundtrack of the movie.

Here is a review of the soundtrack from Screen Archives:

The character of Parker has endured in the crime novels of Richard Stark (a pen name for Donald E. Westlake) for 40 years: a relentless, unstoppable thief typically seeking money owed him by the Mob. The character was most recently portrayed on screen by Mel Gibson as "Porter" in Payback (1999), adapted from the first Parker novel, The Hunter (1962). However, The Hunter was first filmed in 1967 as Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin as "Walker" under the direction of John Boorman (Deliverance, Excalibur).

Point Blank is a landmark of 1960s American cinema, a neo-noir thriller set amidst the steely, impersonal architecture of Los Angeles. The film was influenced by the French new wave, turning the book's simple story into a kind of avant garde fable that is possibly a revenge fantasy: Walker, shot and left for dead by his friend Reese (John Vernon), awakens to wreak havoc through the criminal organization that has wronged him.

Scoring Point Blank was Johnny Mandel, a widely acclaimed composer and arranger whose film credits include The Sandpiper and MASH. Mandel's score is a singular achievement: he uses the twelve-tone system of atonal composition not for shocks but for emotion in the style of Alban Berg, creating a type of trance-like cage in which Walker mechanically but artfully tears through the underworld. Combined with chamber-style accompaniments particularly for woodwinds (a Mandel trademark) and gorgeous, tonal variations for Walker's romantic relationships, the score has virtually no peers. FSM's premiere presentation features Mandel's complete work (including unused cues) along with source cues and Stu Gardner's "Mighty Good Times" from the film's nightclub sequence.

Stu Gardner had releases on a number of labels including Revue and Volt as well as being Bill Crosby's band leader for years.

Check out a previous post on Stu Gardner on IDR from last year.

Menahan Street Band Release Party 17/10/08

Menahan Street Band

"Make the Road by Walking"
Record Release Party sponsored by Wax Poetics
with guest: The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Complimentary pour provided by: Heineken

Friday October 17th
125 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$14 - Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm
Click Here to get tickets

"Make the Road by Walking" OUT NOW
Available on CD & LP As well as iTunes & eMusic

A Taste Of Honey @ The Waldorf Hotel Manchester 24/10/08

Laura Lee Women's Love Rights Live In Detroit

I just received the above from Laura. You can also see her singing a version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow from the same performance at the Shrine Center in Detroit on October 4th.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roy Budd Get Carter

Wonderful piece of video from possibly my all time fave UK movie - must be everyone's top 10????

Alton Ellis - Godfather of Rocksteady - 1938-2008

Picked up the news of Alton Ellis's death from the Jamaica Gleaner:

Alton Ellis, died Friday at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, 10 months after he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. He was 70 years old.

Ellis was at the peak of his powers in 1967 when he cut I'm Still in Love for producer Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd at Studio One. It was one of many hits he recorded during that decade, which earned him the undisputed title of 'Godfather of Rocksteady'.

Ska, rocksteady star

Unlike some of his ska and rocksteady contemporaries such as Jimmy Cliff and Ken Boothe, Ellis never made overseas charts during his heyday. But he was a major influence on the next generation of Jamaican pop singers including Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor and Sugar Minott.

"His voice was as smooth as silk, he always worked within his range so you never heard him cracking. He wasn't classically trained but had a great sense of timing," said musicologist Bunny Goodison, who knew Ellis for over 50 years.

That timing was fine-tuned at talent shows like the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour which Ellis first entered as a dancer in the late 1950s.In 1959 alongside Trench Town colleague Eddie Perkins, he hit the charts for the first time with the ballad, Muriel, for Dodd.

Ellis split with Dodd in the early 1960s but went on to form a fruitful partnership with producer Arthur 'Duke' Reid's Treasure Isle studio. Some of the records he made for Reid's label include Dancecrasher, Cry Tough, Ain't That Loving You and Girl I've Got a Date which he consistently tagged as the first rocksteady song.

He never reaped financial rewards from his chart success. Ellis said he was living in a Trench Town slum in 1969 when he went to Canada where he lived for nearly three years, before moving permanently to Britain.

"It was pure hit tune an' Alton live inna a one room inna Trench Town same way," an angry Ellis told The Gleaner in November, 2006. "Mi all start fi think 'bout pick pocket like dem bwoy pon the bridge 'cause dem have pretty bicycle an' look clean every day."

He clashed with Dodd over royalties from his songs including I'm Still in Love. They were at odds over money from the Sean Paul/Sasha song at the time of the producer's death from a heart attack in 2004.

Ellis made his reputation as a balladeer through songs like Girl I've Got a Date and I'm Just a Guy. Yet, he touched social issues by chastising rowdy rudeboys on Dancecrasher and tackled inner-city poverty in the Lloyd Matador Daley-produced Lord Deliver Us.

It made him, Goodison said, a 'rounded performer'.

"He never had formal training but he was very articulate. Alton Ellis was really a student of the streets," Goodison said.

Alton Ellis RIP