Archive for the ‘Bob & Earl’ Category

Bob & Earl

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Harlem Shuffle / Bob & Earl

Harlem Shuffle / Bob & Earl

Listen: Harlem Shuffle / Bob & Earl
Harlem Shuffle / Bob & Earl

Talk about a period piece. ‘Harlem Shuffle’ makes me feel like I’m listening to late, well, very late night 60′s radio, when music this raw and blues based was kept off the air during the day…or more like, kept off the air almost entirely.

Released in ’63, then still considered race music, this record never got heard by white America. Wasn’t just the obscure English groups that had to sneak through via the late night airwaves ghetto, RnB had to as well. Growing up near Syracuse, we picked up AM stations from Boston and Ft. Wayne on our transistors, for rock that is. But we also managed a black station from Philadelphia and another from Baltimore. Not exactly Alabama or Mississippi, yet still very risky business for white bred upstate New York.

Got to hear a lot of seminal stuff that way, transistor under the pillow. In particular, Bob & Earl’s ‘Harlem Shuffle’, which still feels like a night time record with every time it gets a play. This single created a fantasy world, whereby living on the wrong side of the tracks seemed way far away and rather dangerous to venture too near.

The single had a deserved second life around the early 80′s, when a batch of this type stuff was reissued by some UK labels and the hip college DJ’s were mixing it in with ska revival bands like Madness and The Specials. Earl Lee Nelson had a pretty big hit ‘The Duck’ a few years later (’65) as Jackie Lee.

Roy C

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

RoyCShotgunUK, Roy C, UK, Jonathan King

RoyCShotgunUSA, Roy C, UK, Jonathan King

Listen: Shotgun Wedding / Roy C RoycShotgun.mp3

You’d think this was originally recorded down Jamaica way, given the record’s audio quality seemingly captures not only the sound associated with the lilting rhythms of early ska recordings, in that rock steady and blue beat style, but the very time period as well. Like Roy C himself, the recording is New York based.

A UK #6 in ’66 on Island, yet despite a dated sound even for ’72, it still re-entered and peaked at #8 in England when reissued on Jonathan King’s Decca distributed UK label. A bit of a timeless audio document, it’s addicting in the same way ‘Harlem Shuffle’ by Bob & Earl, another New York recording, still is today. The power of a great record seldom dies.


Thursday, October 30th, 2008

The Duck / Jackie Lee

The Duck / Jackie Lee

Listen: The Duck / Jackie Lee 19 The Duck.mp3

This is one of those records you heard a bunch for about 4 months, then never again – ever, until Northern Soul thankfully came along. It was probably a token RnB single, that somehow crossed into pop despite being on the small LA label, Mirwood. Not sure how those things happened back then but they did. Anyways it was danceable, which probably helped. He was one half of Bob & Earl (see an earlier post on them) – Earl to be exact – under an assumed name: Jackie Lee, but only for this brief solo run.