Archive for the ‘Ace Records’ Category

Baron Daemon & The Vampires

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Listen: Ghost Guitars / Baron Daemon & The Vampires
Ghost

Here’s one I never ever hear about anywhere. Not since it came out and I was a kid, until today. Sirius radio are doing a ton of great Halloween programs this weekend, and this popped up on XMU Channel 35. See my screen shot below, apologies, it was sunny and I was driving. I couldn’t believe my eyes nor ears. Damn, I am impressed.

Even Roger Armstrong from Ace didn’t know details surrounding Baron Daemon & The Vampires. Only as a result of his THESE GHOULISH THINGS compilation did I mention them in the first place. So that’s how scarce they and their only single are.

‘Ghost Guitars’ was a very local release in the Syracuse area, I’m guessing around ’64. Lots of cities had their own AMERICAN BANDSTAND record hop programs. Given that Saturday afternoon scary movies were the rage, they were usually tied in with teen music, and in this case, a home town radio personality host done up in vampire gear.

The local guy who did all this was Mike Price. He mc’d the scary movies job, on which Baron Daemon was his alias. And he’s still living there today, having recently retired from WSYR, where he began his career in ’62. During Mike Price’s Syracuse tenure, while doubling as Baron Daemon, he released this single. It’s exactly the kind of record that resulted in The Cramps eventually festering into a top rock and roll band.

Slim Harpo / Lazy Lester / Leroy Washington / Lightnin’ Slim

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

EXCELLO ROCKERS / Various Artists:

Side 1:

Listen: Shake Your Hips / Slim Harpo
Sahke

Listen: I’m A Lover Not A Fighter / Lazy Lester
LarryLesterLoverNotFighter.mp3

Side 2:

Listen: Wild Cherry / Leroy Washington
Wild

Listen: Hello Mary Lee / Lightnin’ Slim
Hello

EP’s came along from the labels for many reasons. Besides being generally rare due to their overall lack of substantial sales, as only the very biggest shifted sizable quantities, many were issued as promotional only. As a rule, they went to radio and the press, but on some occasions, to retail for in-store play, the latter being prevalent in the US during the early 1970′s.

EXCELLO ROCKERS wasn’t really any of the above though. It was about this time that England’s Ace Records issued a series of Excello artist compilations as indicated on the EP’s back cover. So what better reason was needed to create a classy promo only treat for the most informed industry friends and clients of the label? None. Clearly much care was taken in it’s preparation, right down to the cobalt blue and tangerine tri-centered pressing.

Three of the four acts here were amongst Excello’s best known and seemingly biggest sellers, given the number of singles each released during the label’s most active ten years, from 1962.

Then there’s Leroy Washington. His backwoods moonshine style was a template for so much of the mid and late 60′s output by the white British blues bands that I’m surprised he’s never name checked. Or maybe they didn’t even know he was their guy. Sounds to me like he, let’s say, rubbed off on many of his contemporaries. Perhaps without knowing, it could have been Leroy Washington who influenced Freddie King who influenced Peter Green or Kim Simmonds who influenced….the dominoes tip from there.

‘Wild Cherry’ was Leroy Washington’s first on Excello in 1958 with only two more to follow for the label during ’59 and ’60. The track is really blues on it’s way to becoming rockabilly, and wouldn’t have been out of place on the The Cramps BLUES FIX EP.

Maxine Brown

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

maxineohnouk, Maxine Brown, Ace Records, Wand, Manfred Mann, Carole King, Goffin, Fontella Bass, Dusty Springfield, Dee Dee Warwick

Listen: Oh No Not My Baby / Maxine Brown MaxineBrownOhNo.mp3

Infamous Carole King (did you know she married one of The Myddle Class) / Gerry Goffin classic. Like many of their compositions, ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ was recorded by a whole bunch of folks. Cher, Manfred Mann, Fontella Bass, Dusty Springfield and Dee Dee Warwick amongst my favorites.

The US hit version went to Maxine Brown (#24, 1964). Unfortunately, most of her singles for Wand (Pye International in the UK for this one), as well her duets with Chuck Jackson, achieved undeserved low Billboard pop chart peaks, Bubbling Under The Hot 100 entries or non hits whatsoever. Hence, their place in every last Northern Soul price guide.

As with most of her work for the label, Cissy Houston and The Sweet Inspirations provided backups. It had to have been a magical time around the New York studios that catered to the RnB sessions in those days. Seems a day didn’t pass without a classic being recorded, just think of all the unreleased, forgotten songs.

Worth getting: BEST OF THE WAND YEARS, a flawless cd comp from Ace UK with the usual amazing booklet. The details will have you drooling.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Maxine Brown

The Vibrations

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Listen: End Up Crying / The Vibrations VibrationsEndUp.mp3

Been meaning to create a section somewhere on the blog’s layout for great double siders. Once I do, this will reside in a new home. Until then….

I admit it, my knees go weak for the sight of a 60′s Okeh pressing in it’s original company sleeve. Usually I prefer a dj copy of any record, but with a few labels, Okeh being one, I love both.

These records always struggled for pop airplay in those days, well it’s still that way I guess. Just baffles me how something as good as ‘End Up Crying’ didn’t catch fire. Probably down to hindsight being 20/20. At the time, this was most likely considered just another Motown-lite, having peaked at 130 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart in May ’65. If not for that, there’d be no Northern Soul, so give thanks at the end of the day.

Listen: Ain’t Love That Way / The Vibrations VibrationsAintThatLove.mp3

To think though, Carl Davis and Curtis Mayfield were all over Okeh releases, this being just one. Talk about an insurance policy. Despite all eyes and Northern Soul book values focusing on the A side, ‘Ain’t Love That Way’ feels equally deserving of such status. It might be the one I ultimately favor. I think.

Check my previous post on The Vibrations, and how I was lucky enough to see them live as a little kid, vivid memory cells still intact of their on stage somersaults, backdrops and flips.

Until you find your own version of this 7″, I can’t recommend strongly enough getting THE VIBRATING VIBRATIONS:THE OKEH AND EPIC SINGLES 1963-1968, released last year by UK’s Ace/Kent label – if only for the booklet.

The Ikettes

Monday, May 24th, 2010

This blog began two years ago with The Ikettes post below. As with SO MANY RECORDS SO LITTLE TIME’s first birthday, on this it’s second – I am re-posting that very first entry, and plan to do it every year to come.

An added bonus this time round is the addition of the single’s B side and accompanying story.

Listen: What’cha Gonna Do / The Ikettes
ikettes.mp3

The Ikettes only Phi-Dan release came out in early ’66. This was around the time of Phil Spector’s involvement with Ike & Tina, not just producing, but also including them on his Big TNT Show, filmed in November of ’65. The lineup on this record, courtesy of the fantastic booklet from Ace Records’ recent Ikettes anthology, CAN’T SIT DOWN….’COS IT FEELS SO GOOD, was P. P. Arnold on lead vocals, with Tina, Brenda Holloway and her sister Patrice on backgrounds. I’m launching this blog with The Ikettes simply because it’s a record I’m currently nuts about. Actually, right now, I’m in a serious Ikettes phase, fueled by the aforementioned CD. I was in London last week with Matt & Kim, and staying with Roger Armstrong, a great friend who founded Ace. It was one of the discs he gave me, and I just poured over the booklet on the entire flight back home to New York. The CD is a must. And also try finding the single (the CD only draws from their releases on Modern Records). As you can hear, it’ll be worth the search. I picked it up off eBay a few months back having no idea it had existed. $65 later, it’s one of those great moments when you realize there’s always something else to add to the collection.

Listen: Down Down / The Ikettes
IkettesDownDown.mp3

On May 16th – just last week, I had the shocking honor of receiving an email from Rose Smith aka Rose Ikette. Rose, along with Pat Arnold (P. P. Arnold) were in the ’65 – ’66 lineup of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue featuring The Ikettes.

Rose had found the blog while searching for a copy of ‘What’cha Gonna Do’ and it’s flipside ‘Down Down’. She was at these sessions and as it turns out, does the lead vocal on ‘Down Down’.

What a fantastic song, it feels very gospel, almost religious. Apparently getting some decent airplay on LA soul radio at the time of release, Rose hadn’t heard it for years. I sent her an mp3 of the track, and we plan to talk, later today in fact. How’s that for a coincidence? She has kindly promised to share many details about the period, lineup, various sessions and her infamous trip to the UK when they shared a tour with The Rolling Stones. Pat never came back, but instead became P. P. Arnold, signed to Immediate and had a decent run of UK hits. Rose also hung around London long enough to contribute some vocals on various Immediate singles as well.

Meanwhile, here’s ‘Down Down’, with Rose and The Ikettes.

Dyke & The Blazers / Wilson Pickett

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

DykeFunky, Dyke & The Blazers, Original Sound, Atlantic, Wilson Pickett

Listen: Funky Broadway (Part 1) / Dyke & The Blazers DykeFunkyBroadway.mp3

Unrefined, impolite and uncouth. Some of the words used to describe Dyke & The Blazers as successful catalysts in the evolution of RnB into Funk. Traveling a parallel musical path to James Brown at the time, their records always maintained a homemade sound, and in fact most of the early 7′s like ‘Funky Broadway’ were just that. Rough, unpolished in-your-face lengthy jams with a focus on feel as opposed to precision, edited into singles – many as Part 1 and Part 2′s.

Having relocated to Phoenix, Dyke and band were always marketed as local, being originally from Buffalo. Luckily, that meant ‘Funky Broadway’ was ever present during what I recall being a very cold and snowy upstate winter ’67, though not until April did it make the Billboard chart. Peaking in one market, then spreading to the next, meant it’s chart high of #65 didn’t really represent the sizable hit the single actually was.

Worth getting are both the WE GOT MORE SOUL anthology cd and accompanying double vinyl edition which includes the extended versions of their biggest breaks, both on UK’s Ace Records label.

WilsonFunkyUS, Wislon Pickett, Atlantic

WilsonFunkyBroad, Dyke & The Blazers, Original Sound, Atlantic, Wilson Pickett

Listen: Funky Broadway / Wilson Pickett WilsonFunkyBroadway.mp3

Why waste a hit. Given the purity of Dyke & The Blazers’ chitlin’ circuit original, it wasn’t allowed full exposure on most Top 40′s. Even in ’67, a slicker produced, Motown-like, less street sound was required for airplay. In no time, Atlantic got the wicked Pickett to bring it home chartwise, hitting #1 RnB in autumn ’67, less than a year after the original first hit the charts earlier that same year.

Jackie Day

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

jackieday, Jackie Day, Sue Records, Ace Records

Listen: Get To Steppin’ / Jackie Day JackieDaySteppin.mp3

Like the rest of the world, I know very little about Jackie Day. She had a single on UK Sue, was married to Big Jay McNeilly, and ‘Get To Steppin’ was, prior to this promo only 7″ release, never issued on a 45. It’s featured on the Ace 6TS 100 CLUB ANNIVERSARY SINGLES compilation cd – and in true form, Kent Records have made the DJ only single available in a plain white, as opposed to full colour company sleeve, just like in the 60′s.

Tobi Lark

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

tobilark1, Tobi Lark, Aretha Franklin, Ace, Roger Armstrong, Kent, Columbia, Atlantic

Listen: Sweep It Out In The Shed / Tobi Lark TobiLark.mp3

This one’s from the latest batch of Kent 7′s, released by parent company Ace Records on a regular basis. Roger Armstrong has kept me up to date on these since single number one. They’re all still shelved together as a series – I’ve yet to have the courage of filing them separately like just about every other single I own.

Hey, this is the third Tobi Lark Kent single to date. In the current world, that’s a configuration privilege reserved for superstar artists. Does Beyonce even get three singles on 7? No.

‘Sweep It Out In The Shed’ was a very favorite from the DETROIT DANCERS comp CD, and it’s an absolute joy to have on a single. Not expecting it made for even more fun when I opened the package. It’s the kind of song someone should have found Aretha back in ’66 during her hitless Columbia streak. Or it could have worked just as perfectly being a Muscle Shoals production had Atlantic made the suggestion a year or so later. But to be honest, I’m glad no one did.

The Ikettes

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Listen: What’cha Gonna Do / The Ikettes Ikettes.mp3

May 24, 2009: one year since the launch of and first ever post on SO MANY RECORDS, SO LITTLE TIME.

What better way to celebrate the occasion than:

1) Improve the blog by creating expansion abilities to include new features over the next few months. And to achieve that, we’re moving to our own .com (bookmark this new address please):

SOMANYRECORDSSOLITTLETIME.COM

2) Re-post that original entry from May 24, 2008. The Ikettes / What’cha Gonna Do (music above/text below)

3) Take a week off. Never one to sit still, I’m going to Europe with Matt & Kim – and also acquiring one sick ass 45 collection in London – lots of amazing new records to write about as a result. My dear friend, and ska/reggae expert/addict Duane Sherwood will be filling in for the next week or so. Watch for his first post tomorrow!!!!

ORIGINAL POST FROM MAY 24, 2008:

The Ikettes only Phi-Dan release came out in early ’66. This was around the time of Phil Spector’s involvement with Ike & Tina, not just producing, but also including them on his Big TNT Show, filmed in November of ’65. The lineup on this record, courtesy of the fantastic booklet from Ace Records recent Ikettes anthology, CAN’T SIT DOWN….’COS IT FEELS SO GOOD, was PP Arnold on lead vocals, with Tina, Brenda Holloway and her sister Patrice on backgrounds. I’m launching this blog with The Ikettes simply because it’s a record I’m currently nuts about. Actually, right now, I’m in a serious Ikettes phase, fueled by the aforementioned CD. I was in London last week with Matt & Kim, and staying with Roger Armstrong, a great friend who founded and owns Ace. It was one of the discs he gave me, and I just poured over the booklet on the entire flight back home to New York. The CD is a must. And also try finding this single (the CD only draws from their releases on Modern Records). As you can hear, it’ll be worth the search. I picked it up off eBay a few months back having had no idea it existed. $65 later, it’s one of those great moments when you realize there’s always something else that needs to be added to the collection.

Snooky

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Listen:  Sugar Lips / Snooky

Listen: Sugar Lips / Snooky 01 Sugar Lis.mp3

I spoke with Roger Armstrong today. He was one of the guys who opened London’s Rock On record shop in the 70′s, having started out with a few standups of used records just off Shaftsbury Avenue and later, founded Ace Records, the catalog/reissue company, which he still owns and operates. Like the rest of us, he’s just a plain old record junkie. Luckily, when I bought Tony King’s 45 collection back in May, Roger offered a helping hand, and as a result, they’re still all boxed up and sitting in one of Roger’s spare rooms, waiting to come home to NYC. So we had a fun hour catch up call today. He mentioned the Camden Record Fair from a Sunday or two ago, whereby he picked up 70/80 singles, about two thirds of which he’d never heard of. Even the deepest record collectors and musicologists always are finding more records to collect. That’s the beauty of it all, there are so many records, not only to play but to discover as well, and the search is never ending. Wonderful.

Tonight Phil stopped by. We played singles for a good three hours. I pulled out a stack of Contempo releases I’d faithfully bought in the late 80′s and tucked away on a bottom shelf. The Notting Hill Record & Tape Exchange was the place to be then, for me that is. I always stayed at the The Pembridge Court Hotel, a mere block away. Sometimes I’d make a few trips to and from the shop with armloads of singles, dumping them in my room and resuming the digging minutes later. One time, Corinne dropped me off around 10 AM on her way to Soho to shop, and noticed me in the ground floor 7″ section around 4 PM that afternoon when she returned. I’d been there the whole time, by now starving and needing to piss badly. True story. All the 7′s were around a pound or so a piece then. I remember loving the look of the Contempo labels, and their stock sleeves, despite being pretty unfamiliar with the company. I did know of the BLUES & SOUL magazine that the label was loosely associated with from the 70′s. A good publication, even if they over celebrated themselves a bit too often. Well all these years later, I finally got around to playing through this chuck of Contempos, finding this, ‘Sugar Lips’ by Snooky, licensed from Feelgood Records Ltd in 1975.

Phil didn’t know a thing about this record’s history, not did I. We Googled Snooky. Googled Feelgood Records. Checked the RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE. No info, not anywhere. Who is this? Who are Feelgood Records? No idea. Very bizarre. But in keeping with one of the great consistencies of record collecting, there’s always more records to discover. It never ever ends.

Interestingly, for such a hardcore soul label, this track sounds quite like The Tremeloes. I love it.

Swamp Dogg

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Did I Come Back Too Soon? / Swamp Dogg

Did I Come Back Too Soon? / Swamp Dogg

Listen: Did I Come Back Too Soon? / Swamp Dogg 01 Did I Come Back Too Soon_.mp3

Seemingly an ever present bargain bin resident, like everyone else, I just passed all his releases by in the day. Then I read he and Jerry Williams were one in the same. Wait, the Jerry Williams who had produced Inez & Charlie Foxx? It pays to read label credits.

Before that stuff vanished from those bins for good, I picked up a bunch. It was down and dirty. I liked this guy.

The great list of singles he’s written or produced or both is pretty impressive: ZZ Hill, Patti La Belle & The Bluebells, Arthur Conley, Ruth Brown, Gene Pitney etc etc. Being the Inez & Charlie freak, stalker, that I am, he’s a saint in my book, having co-written my all time favorite ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’.

In the 70′s he signed to Island, and released a great album from which they pulled two singles. This is one, with a fun story line that sounds as country as it does funky – was oddly a US B side but UK A side. If only it had been a hit.

Check out the CD compilation of his work on Ace: Blame It On The Dogg – The Swamp Dogg Anthology.