Archive for the ‘Don Covay & The Goodtimers’ Category

Don Covay & The Goodtimers

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Listen: Sookie Sookie / Don Covay & The Goodtimers
Sookie Sookie / Don Covay & The Goodtimers

Somewhere in Island’s vaults exists a Don Covay album from around ’89. I know, I was there. It was one of many to be shelved during the label’s chaos of being sold to Polygram at the time. With all the majors scrapping the barrel to find sellable masters, you’d have thought this one may have hit the shelves by now. Except of course, most of the shelves are gone these days. Well it’s there somewhere.

I sure do wish I’d spent more time talking with him when he was around the W. 4th Street offices. What a gentleman, and so humble about his greatness. My mistake.

Steppenwolf covered ‘Sookie Sookie’ on their debut album, pretty well too. Now that was a good live band, a mix of biker and English group image, great material and John Kay’s black soul voice. Yeah, they were good.

This original Atlantic vinyl pressing of ‘Sookie Sookie’ is a beauty. You don’t get a warmer sound than on one of these.

Don Covay & The Goodtimers

Friday, June 12th, 2009

doncovaymercyuka, don covay, atlantic, the rolling stones

doncovaymercyukre, don covay, atlantic

Listen: Mercy, Mercy / Don Covay & The Goodtimers DonCovayMercy.mp3

I woke up one day realizing albums by The Rolling Stones serve as introductory encyclopedias for figuring out the best American RnB and Blues originals. I felt really behind the curve at that moment, but considering it was still 1969, I caught up ok. The band, or someone in their camp, had impecable taste when picking this stuff. I still read the occassional story of their early visits to the US, whereby they’d all flock to now infamous record shops in Harlem or East LA just to buy all the black releases. Man, those stores must have been amazing. And where are all those records now? There were plenty of those original US pressings amongst the Tony King collection…..

Don Covay entered my world via OUT OF OUR HEADS. The Rolling Stones started side one of the US version with ‘Mercy, Mercy’. OUT OF OUR HEADS was their fourth and final US album to pressed initially (first run only) in the UK, then exported to the US and sleeved here. Just recently have collectors been alerted to this detail, but for years I was buying up those UK copies at garage sales for $1. They are particularly easy to spot. The font is obviously different than US London labels, but they’re also deep groove, and they indicate ‘Made In England’. Quite helpful. A few other London releases during the era (’64 – ’66) were intially pressed in the UK as well: Marianne Faithfull, Tom Jones and Them.

When I worked at Island in the late 80′s, Chris Blackwell signed Don Covay, who came by regularly to see Holly Furgeson and her office was next to mine. She did the A&R admin, and Don Covay handled all his own business. I remember him working diligently on the project only to have it shelved, a bad habit Island always had.

I was well pleased to find not only the original DJ copy of ‘Mercy, Mercy’ amogst Tony’s records, but a very nice UK reissue as well, both pictured above.