Archive for the ‘Lonnie Youngblood’ Category

The Sandpebbles

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Listen: Love Power / The Sandpebbles
Love

Clocking in at just over two minutes, ‘Love Power’, like The Flirtations ‘Nothing But A Heartache’, could qualify as one of the greatest Motown tracks never to be issued by Motown.

Instead, the independently owned soul label, Calla Records out of New York, distributed by Roulette, released ‘Love Power’ in late ’66, and by the end of winter ’67, it was both an RnB and Pop hit (#14 / #22).

Nate McCalla was the guy, keeping his company active from ’65 to ’77 . Originally being both a bodyguard for and associate of Morris Levy, Roulette Records legendary owner, connects the dots to the label’s distribution setup and supposedly Nate’s execution style demise in ’80.

Calla Records was a rather unsung entity, and Nate McCalla certainly seemed to have an ear. In addition to The Sandpebbles, his roster included J.J. Jackson, Little Jerry Williams (aka Swamp Dogg), Jean Wells, The Emotions, The Fuzz, Lonnie Youngblood, The Persuaders and Betty LaVette. Not shabby.

‘Love Power’ was one of many greats written, and in this case produced, by Teddy Vann. Revived years later by Luther Vandross and made into an even bigger hit meant Teddy finally achieved a long awaited Grammy for such a powerful track.

The Sandpebbles may be little known. Still, lead vocalist Calvin White along with his two musical partners Andrea Bolden and Lonzine Wright, can always put claim to their performance on ‘Love Power’, one of soul’s best records ever.

I know, I sprang an entire week’s allowance for it, and my single still has the original price sticker to prove it.

Lonnie Youngblood

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Listen: Soul Food / Lonnie Youngblood
Soul Food / Lonnie Youngblood

I’m a sucker for food songs. It probably explains my fascination with the Food Network, which my pal Maridi coined so well as ‘comfy’. Anyways, sonically, this track just captures a time period that, if you’re hooked on, you can’t get enough of. Specifically, 1965 RnB or Soul, and sometimes referred to as a chitlin’ circuit sound which I find a little offensive.

It was during Lonnie Youngblood’s period with Fairmount that his band included Jimi Hendrix – who in theory is on this. Never mind, it’s a food record favorite (along with ‘Breakin’ Bread’ by Fred & The New JB’s (see that post) and The Soul Runners ‘Grits & Corn Bread’). Not that I would eat most of the items he sings about, but he does make me feel like I want to join in.