Archive for the ‘Kate Hyman’ Category

Lorraine Ellison

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Stay With Me / Lorraine Ellison

Listen: Stay With Me / Lorraine Ellison LorraineStay.mp3

I was thinking about my previous post (The Exciters) and a whole lot of Bert Burns details kept coming to mind, like one of his reportedly last songs, written with Jerry Ragovoy, being ‘Piece Of My Heart’. After being made super famous by Big Brother & The Holding Company, there really was no point in trying to compete with a re-recordings, although some did. Janis Joplin clearly had a definitive knowledge of the great RnB singers at that time. I remember her being interviewed by Dick Cavett and mentioning her favorite being Tina Turner. Neither he nor the silent audience knew who that was. She dug up and recorded greats by Garnet Mimms, Bobby Womack, Howard Tate and obviously Jerry Ragovoy (who wrote many of the aforementioned); undeniably making them hers.

There’s a cd compilation currently available, TIME IS ON MY SIDE – THE JERRY RAGOVOY STORY 1953-2003. I highly suggest getting a copy. It overviews an impressive array of styles, but mostly pure RnB. One of the songs it includes is ‘Stay With Me’ by Lorraine Ellison. Now oddly enough, I love her version even though I don’t love love love her voice. I like her an awful lot, but prefer a bit more husk. When combining her with Ragovoy’s songs though, it always works.

Now the following is a true story. If someone were to tell it to me, I wouldn’t believe them – it’s so far fetched. About 8 years ago, I went down to the village to meet Kate Hyman for lunch. She was looking at a small, really run down (needed gutting to be exact), brownstone and suggested we meet there (just off Carmine Street), have a look and go eat. I love looking at property and she knew it – so bang, we had a plan. A mutual friend, Glen Schiller, was the agent and he walked us through the then rotting, water damaged debris of a home – now renovated and clearly worth a fortune. I was a little timid about going up the stairs but followed along. There was literally nothing, and I mean nothing, in the building except a perfect, US promo copy of Lorraine Ellison’s ‘Stay With Me’ (the second issue – pictured at the top) propped against a bedroom wall. I know – you think I’m lying. I swear on my Mother’s life – this is true. I couldn’t believe it. There should have been a faint sound of ‘magic’ or ‘angels’ or ‘fairydust’ backgrounding my arm reaching down and chiming when as fingers met the sleeve, just in the movies.

This copy was mint. The sleeve factory fresh. What the fuck was this doing here? I asked Glen – he didn’t have a clue and said “Take it”. Well you only need to say that to me once. I did. So there you go – meant to be.

Hamilton Bohannon

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

BohannonSouthAfUS, Hamilton Bohannon, Brunswick

BohannonSouthAfUK, Hamilton Bohannon, Brunswick

Listen: South African Man / Hamilton Bohannon BohannanAfrican.mp3

In the late 80′s, the Record & Tape Exchange in Notting Hill Gate was just giving away records. Yeh, they had that second level, higher priced collectables floor, but all the £1 DJ and average, common ones on the ground floor were an awesome deal. In fact, for a while, they took over an empty store front a few doors down and opened a 10p shop. Everything was 10p, seriously. There was a lot of garbage, but also a lot of gems. Even more so for an American becoming more obsessed with owning everything on a UK pressing as well as the US one.

I couldn’t wait to get there – and usually would head over as soon as I’d land at Heathrow. Started staying at The Pembridge Court Hotel, just off Notting Hill High Street – an outrageously convenient block away. What a great place, with the two orange cats that’d come to your room and sometimes stay the night. It was a pretty popular place, Kate Hyman turned me on to it. The downstairs bar was a well known but secret hangout, Annie Nightingale came by one evening. Talk about a treat. What stories.

I couldn’t resist those Brunswick Hamilton Bohannon 7′s. They were forever in that £1 ground floor bin. He’d basically passed me by when current, especially the later disco and 80′s stuff. But these early/mid 70′s singles are really worth finding. ‘South African Man’ is probably my favorite, and I must have half a dozen UK pressings of it. I couldn’t leave them behind, they were such a bargain.


BohannonDanceUKA, Hamilton Bohannon, Brunswick

Listen: Dance Your Ass Off (Edited Version) / Hamilton Bohannon BohannonDance.mp3

Anything that sounds great in the jukebox gets a leg up. Bohannon’s endless grooves always fit the bill. In fact, nothing much really happens on a whole lot of his tracks but that endless groove, especially ‘Dance Your Ass Off’, not until the very end. Makes me want the long version, as those strings had to go somewhere. With a song title like that back in ’76, you were sure not to get radio play, and this didn’t, being one of his few Brunswick singles to not chart in the US.