Archive for the ‘HMV’ Category

Manfred Mann

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

If You Gotta Go, Go Now / Manfred Mann

Listen: If You Gotta Go, Go Now / Manfred Mann

Manfred Mann may have been the first rock band to successfully lose a lead singer, yet bounce back as popular as ever. Not once but twice. Therefore, there are several Manfred Mann lineups to write about. This was the first. Lead vocalist, Paul Jones, was from the blues blueprint prevalent at the time. His authenticity rings true to this day, as he still hosts one of the most popular and longest running BBC Radio 2 shows……about the blues.

This lineup released many greats. Despite ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ and ‘Sha La La’ being huge in ’64 – ’65, dependably wretched American radio just stopped playing their followups. It wasn’t possible to these ears that ‘If You Gotta Go, Go Now’ didn’t get traction in the States. Luckily, there were pockets of radio loyalty, and my hometown was one.

She Needs Company / Manfred Mann

Listen: She Needs Company / Manfred Mann

Wolf All American Survey 5-7-66

The very, very underplayed ‘She Needs Company’ was Top 5 on WOLF, see chart above. I foolishly passed up buying the only stock copy I’d ever seen at W.T. Grants on Salina Street for The Swinging Blue Jeans ‘Don’t Make Me Over’. Well, foolish is an unfair word given that record is life support necessary as well, it’s just a bit easier to find than a stock ‘She Needs Company’, which is plain and simple pretty impossible.

Thank God I had a few promo copies, as it took me until 2011 to find an elusive Manfred Mann stock.

Pretty Flamingo / Manfred Mann

Listen: Pretty Flamingo / Manfred Mann

Some airplay reprieve was granted Manfred Mann as ‘Pretty Flamingo’ did well during the summer of ’66. I always thought it sounded better than just about any other record current at the time, so its BILLBOARD peak of #29 was rather unsatisfying. To Manfred Mann, on behalf of all the deaf programmers during the period, I apologize.

On a side note, check out the Airheads Radio Survey Archive. It’s a website that has attempted to gather and document charts positions from many local stations in the 60′s. It’s easy to use and unfortunately horribly addicting.

Ray Charles & His Orchestra

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Listen: Worried Life Blues / Ray Charles & His Orchestra

Big Maceo and Tampa Red are credited with ‘Worried Life Blues’, sometimes known and recorded as ‘Someday Baby Blues’. Combined, the song(s) clock in as one of the most recorded blues tracks ever, with Bob Dylan, The Blues Magoos, Eric Clapton, The Animals, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Junior Parker, Keith Richards and B.B. King amongst the most familiar.

Ray Charles first cut ‘Someday Baby”, a very faithful version of ‘Worried Life Blues’ except for the title, on his THE GENIUS SINGS THE BLUES album. Later, this re-recorded and re-titled version made it’s way to a 7″ B side in the UK.

To some, ‘Worried Life Blues’ probably sounds like any old formula blues song 101. Despite his fetish for fur coats and loads of 70′s schlock covers, Ray Charles had the voice to always rise above the clutter, turning what might have been a throwaway single into a record I ended up playing a lot, and still do.

Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Ecstasy / Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

Listen: Ecstasy / Johnny Kidd & The Pirates JohhnyKiddEcstasy.mp3

Seems theater played quite the part for a few big UK bands from ’62 – ’64. Like Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates had their schtick as well. But despite the gimmick accusations heaped on both, there was an alarming reality to it all – they were both a little believable and frightening, to a little kid at least. With his pirate eyepatch, Johnny Kidd carried the rock and roll torch right into the beat group era, keeping a very bluesy raw sound to his band, that years later would be deemed quite influential. During ’62 – ’63, Mick Green handled lead guitar duties, and it’s from this period that ‘Ecstasy’ comes. His signature playing style, very evident here, was later religiously coined by Wilko Johnson. He added a near lethal dose of amphetamine to the recipe and Dr. Feelgood was born.

Timely even at this moment, ‘Ecstasy’ being co-written by Phil Spector and Doc Pomus, I always enjoyed the absolutely coincidental double entendre of the lyrics. “take me by the hand and lead me to the land of ecstasy” or “the first time that I saw you, you showed me the door to ecstasy”. Rave on.

Percy Mayfield

Friday, November 13th, 2009

percymayfield, Percy Mayfield, Tangerine, Ray Charles, HMV

Listen: River’s Invitation / Percy Mayfield

Don’t let his Brook Benton voice put you off, he stayed very pure to rhythm and blues. Ray Charles signed Percy Mayfield to his Tangerine label in ’61, after writing ‘Hit The Road Jack’. It’s Ray Charles playing the piano break on this, as he did with many of his recordings.