Archive for the ‘Stateside’ Category

Little Stevie Wonder

Thursday, December 19th, 2013


Side 1:

Listen: I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues (Part 1) /Little Stevie Wonder

Listen: I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues (Part 2) /Little Stevie Wonder

Side 2:

Listen: Workout Stevie Workout / Little Stevie Wonder

Listen: Monkey Talk / Little Stevie Wonder

When it comes to hitting puberty and it’s accompanying voice change for males, I often wish Little Stevie Wonder had never grown up to be Stevie Wonder. Michael Jackson’s keepers allegedly had the good sense to castrate the fellow in order to avoid losing that money printing vocal ability.

So when speaking of voice alone, I prefer the early days as exemplified on this EP, hand’s down.

Although ‘I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues’ may be one of the best song titles ever, it pales as rather standard early Motown next to ‘Workout Stevie Workout’ and ‘Monkey Talk’.

Now these two songs have the imaginary ability to transport me outside the window ledge at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, looking in. The songs are like a soul steam bath, possibly amongst the greatest examples of the assembly line sweat shop known to produce the Motown sound and all their wonderfully tambourine heavy swinging singles.

And then, there’s Little Stevie Wonder toiling away his publishing and performances in the middle of it all. Nowadays that might be considered a child labor offense. I never did follow the blow by blows of the label’s financial abuse accusations towards their artists, but he has stayed with the company for his entire career, so go figure.

It’s not hard to see why all those English soul nuts clamored over this initial UK EP release, with it’s aforementioned musical content and period piece primitive artwork.

The Ikettes

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

FINE, FINE, FINE / The Ikettes:

Side 1:

Listen: (He’s Gonna Be) Fine, Fine, Fine / The Ikettes

Listen: How Come / The Ikettes

Side 2:

Listen: Peaches ‘n’ Cream / The Ikettes

Listen: The Biggest Players / The Ikettes

Lord knows how many hours I’ve spent wondering what Ike Turner’s recording sessions with The Ikettes must have been like. Who exactly were The Ikettes in fact? Now there’s a mystery probably never to be unraveled lurking behind that curtain. No doubt these details have had inquiring minds swirling for decades.

Of equal interest is Steve Venet’s involvement, credited as Ike’s co-producer on these original Modern Records masters. Not only did he produce The Reflections, The Essex and the infamous GREATEST HITS FROM OUTER SPACE album, but he actually was in the studio with The Ikettes and basically, the players from The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Wow.

He’s also one in the same as songwriter to a couple of my lifetime favorites: ‘Action’ by Freddy Cannon and ‘Primitive’ originally released in 1966 by The Groupies then covered by The Cramps on PSYCHEDELIC JUNGLE. Have mercy.

Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Listen: I Need Your Loving / Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford

Despite having a Top 20 US Pop single with the edited, cleaner version of ‘I Need Your Loving’ in ’62, Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford always seemed relegated to the non-priority portion of the Fire label’s roster. Two further singles, one entitled ‘Don’t You Worry’ reaching #66, were released but still, they were dumped by the end of ’63. Don Gardner went on record stating he had never earned a cent in royalties from the company, one of the many injustices so common during the period. No surprise then that their presence and coverage on the THE FIRE / FURY RECORDS STORY box set was minimal.

In ’49, he put together his first performing band, The Sonotones, with Jimmy Smith of organ. Smith was eventually replaced by Richard Groove Holmes, who left in ’60. During March of that year, Don Gardner recruited Dee Dee Ford to double on both keyboards and as co-lead vocalist. Their call and response live shows are rumored to have been riveting as can be heard here. The single even managed a UK release on Stateside, with an invaluable deep groove promo pressing that’s basically impossible to top, in my humble opinion.

Vicki Wickham / Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Listen: The Flick (Part I) / Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers

Listen: The Flick (Part II) / Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers

Of Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers’ six Soul/Motown single releases, ‘The Flick’ is one of the lesser known.

Sounding very much like the casual late night jam at 2648 West Grand Boulevard that it probably was, Motown’s house band, as they were, or The Funk Brothers, as they became known, got to record some instrumentals under the name Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers. These guys really didn’t like the commercial records they were required to make by day, preferring jazz instead. So not surprisingly, these dabbles sound not unlike the Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff soul jazz releases from the period, and make for great jukebox ambience.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing like a late Sunday afternoon spent digging through a few hundred Motown promos. Happened yesterday, so I can attest.

This all started at the Brooklyn Bowl 60′s Music & Memorabilia Show. One dealer displayed a Motown white label, and it set me off. To be honest, I’d been waiting a few years to start filing these, Vicki Wickham’s Motown singles, into my wall shelves. It suddenly felt like that moment had arrived.

Yes, Saint Vicki. This woman has performed many miracles in my world. As if giving me her record collection several years back wasn’t miracle enough, she out of the blue rang a few days before Thanksgiving 2010, announcing another multi-box discovery in storage. About a thousand singles from her READY STEADY GO days, completely forgotten about for decades.

“Might you want them?”

I nearly had to make the trip over to hers in an ambulance.

There they were, several white boxes, all stacked, labelled and waiting for me to collect. Plus perfectly separated out, a Vicki VIP section: two boxes of Oriole/Stateside/Tamla/Motown. All organized chronologically by label, then catalog number.

Now I have tripped out on these many times, even let a few friends have a look through, well Phil and Eric, and that’s about it. Duane wasn’t interested.

Yesterday began the process of folding these into the master collection. Playing many and nearly blacking out a few times.

No drug has ever gotten me this high. Not ever. Not any.

Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Home Cookin' / Jr. Walker & The All Stars

JrWalkerCookinUKA, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, Motown, Stateside

Listen: Home Cookin’ / Jr. Walker & The All Stars

It’s shocking how few Top 10′s Jr. Walker & The All Stars had, only two. ‘Shotgun’ went to #4 during February ’65 , then ‘What Does It Take’ again peaked at #4 in May ’69 via a noticeable about face in sound, but the switch up didn’t help in the long run. He never hit the Top 10 again.

‘Home Cookin”(#19 RnB/#42 Pop), released just prior to ‘What Does It Take’, was the last in a series of singles, starting in ’65, that were pretty much all similar in groove and tempo. Seems everyone took for granted his sound. Those releases between ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Home Cookin”, eleven to be exact, all mid charted, got a lot of play and served as an acceptable soundtrack to Motown, almost like wallpaper.

For all the championing he received in the UK, not many consistent sales followed. In fact, Jr. Walker & The All Stars never had a Top 10 there, and only two from that five year run even charted, ‘How Sweet It Is’ and a re-released ‘Road Runner’.

Well they missed out on ‘Home Cookin”.

As always, throw in a food lyric and I’m hooked. This sounds especially good in the jukebox.

Brenda Holloway / Vivian Green

Monday, June 27th, 2011

brendahollowayuka, brenda holloway, tamla, motown, vivian green

Listen: Every Little Bit Hurts / Brenda Holloway
Every Little Bit Hurts / Brenda Holloway

Listen: Every Little Bit Hurts / Vivian Green
Every Little Bit Hurts / Vivian Green

Written by Ed Cobb, ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ is nothing like his other massive hit, The Standells’ ‘Dirty Water’. With writing credits as diverse as The Chocolate Watch Band and Gloria Jones, it’s doubly impressive.

There was an HBO program several seasons back, AMERICAN DREAMS, all about Philadelphia in the 60′s. The daughter of the family it centered around was a dancer on AMERICAN BANDSTAND, so every episode featured a current artist kitted out as someone who had appeared on the show during that time period, and doing the same song originally performed. When they wanted Vivian Green, there weren’t many cover choices left as they’d already used material from Mary Wells and Tina Turner. The 60′s were an era of girl groups, but as Vivian was a solo artist, Motown acts like The Supremes or Martha & The Vandellas weren’t options. I suggested Brenda Holloway, never expecting them to go for it, but they did.

Doing the TV show was a two day affair. Day one, Vivian went in to record her vocal at Ocean Way Studios and on day two, she was dolled up in costume (looking exactly like Brenda Holloway to a T) and mimed the newly re-recorded version on a mock AMERICAN BANSTAND stage. It was a blast.

Vivian was completely prepared, plus being the flawless vocalist that she is, laid it down in one take. Everyone’s jaw dropped. The engineer said “You’re done” and her response was “I was only warming up. You mean I can’t sing it again?” Of course they let her, but also said if she wanted to bail and go shopping, they had what they needed. The above Vivian Green version is that first take.

Brenda Holloway actually called later that day, having heard the new version, to thank Vivian for a job well done.

Marie Knight

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Listen: Cry Me A River / Marie Knight
Cry Me A River / Marie Knight

Hey thanks Vicki Wickham, for keeping this one since the 60′s. Yes, it was part of her 45 collection that I was gifted by Saint Vicki herself last fall.

You know, I love you Vicki Wickham.

Let’s talk about Vicki Wickham. We first met in ’89, when she managed Phranc during her Island days. I remember exactly where we first shook hands: backstage at the Beacon Theater, in the the very stairway where Ahmet Ertegan took his last spill. Phranc had just hired her, and was at that time on tour with The Pogues.

I was actually meeting thee Vicki Wickham. The one that booked READY! STEADY! GO!, managed Dusty Springfield, co-wrote ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ with Simon Napier-Bell, produced Labelle. The one who not only booked the infamous Saville Theatre series, brought the Motown Review to England, worked at Track Records with The Who, Thunderclap Newman, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Marsha Hunt, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, John’s Children, and yes, The Cherry Smash; but also knew Scott Walker…and Brian Jones. I was nervous and in awe. Vicki Wickham was a higher form of life.

Fast forward. Nowadays, we meet often for lunch, on 9th Ave and 44th Street at Marseilles, possibly her favorite restaurant. She always orders the asparagus omelette and eats about half. I grill her for details: RSG, The BBC during the 60′s, Rediffusion Television, Top Of The Pops not to mention every band and everybody she ever encountered. Did she visit the Immediate Records office, Deram, Philips, Fontana. What was the Ready Steady Go canteen like, did she know Tony Hall, Steve Marriott, Inez Foxx, Joe Meek, Dozy. When did she last speak with Andrew Loog Oldham, P.P. Arnold or Madeline Bell…..we cover, discuss, judge and trash tons of people. Yes, we are guilty. Needless to say, there’s never a loss for topics.

On one such occasion last year, she mentions having just found boxes of 45′s in storage, and the only one she can remember seeing in the whole bunch was the Bessie Banks ‘Go Now’ UK A label pressing. Was I interested in the lot? That’s like asking Alago, Duane, Joe and I if we’d like a free bump in the VIP bathroom at The Ritz in the 80′s. Ahh, yeah.

Vicki, you ARE a saint, and a beloved friend.

And you turned me on to Marie Knight. Praise be.

The Chiffons

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Listen: Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me) / The Chiffons
Listen: Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) / The Chiffons

’67 is generally credited as the year of psychedelia, but easily ’66 was when the arrangements that became quite specific to the sound started, as with ‘Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me)’. Often, this record gets included on psychedelic/girl group lists.

The Chiffions had bigger hits, but I do remember this, along with The Dixie Cups ‘Iko Iko’ and The Shangri-Las ‘Past, Present And Future’ initially grabbing my ear as being very different and dark, not only for the time but for each of their respective outputs.

Considered by some to be their best single. Agreed.

Betty Everett

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

BettyEverettShoopUKA, Betty Everett, Vee Jay, Stateside

Listen: The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) / Betty Everett
The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) / Betty Everett

Seems like a ton of people have covered this. Cher comes to mind. A perfect song for her. She could sing the phone book though, and pretty much has.

First things first. Betty Everett did the original and had her biggest solo hit with it too (#6 in ’64). ‘The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)’ as it’s also known, was a soul/girl group staple in ’64. I recall someone, maybe The Chiffons, doing it on SHINDIG. As ubiquitous then on US radio as Linda Lewis (see yesterday’s post) was on UK radio during ’75 with her cover version.

Darrell Banks

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

DarrellBanksOpenDoorUS,  Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

DarrellBanksOpenUKA, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

Listen: Open The Door To Your Heart / Darrell Banks
Open The Door To Your Heart / Darrell Banks

All the Northern Soul hits from this period, around ’66, sound like baby versions of The Supremes ‘Nothing But Heartaches’. Not that there’s a problem with that idea, you couldn’t find a better parent. Must be that xylophone bit, gives it a signature sound every time.

It’s easy to fall in love with the era as relived through the obscure club music of it’s day. Every time you hear a classic that should’ve been, you want more, a great example of why Northern is so addicting. This one’s of particularly good value for the money, given the record’s a true double sider.

DarrellBanksOurLoveUS, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

DarrellBanksPocketUKB, Darrell Banks, Stateside, Revilot, Northern Soul

Listen: Our Love (Is In The Pocket) / Darrell Banks
Our Love (Is In The Pocket) / Darrell Banks

This was actually the original US A side. I first knew ‘Our Love (Is In The Pocket)’ as one of the best tracks from ROUND by The Amen Corner, who were England’s version of Wayne Cochran and The C.C. Riders I guess one could proclaim. Their version indeed did go out as a single in Holland. But little did I know at the time, Darrell Banks had slam dunked this right here at home, in fact, just a town or two away, in Buffalo.

John Lee Hooker / Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I really do appreciate Van Morrison for many reasons. He toured about 10 years back, maybe more, with Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames as his band, and John Lee Hooker supporting. I figured the Georgie Fame bit would mean more cohesive song structure as opposed to some of the free form shows he’d done. True, it did. But not before giving Georgie and his band a 4 song spotlight set, whereby they played his biggest US successes (‘Get Away’, ‘Yeh Yeh’, The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde’ and remarkably ‘Daylight’). In addition Van did ‘Gloria’ much to everyone’s surprise, especially as he and Georgie kept it pretty close to the original.

JohnLeeHookerBoom, John Lee Hooker, Vee Jay, Columbia UK

Listen: Boom Boom / John Lee Hooker JLHookerBoomUKA.mp3

Up first was John Lee Hooker, during possibly his last tour. What an unexpected treat. There was none of that new material stuff to endure, instead the classics, played raw and fluidly, all the while seated. No surprise for him to play ‘Boom Boom’, ‘I Love You Honey’ and ‘Dimples’.

JLHookerBigLegs, John Lee Hooker, Vee Jay, Columbia UK

Listen: Big Legs, Tight Skirt / John Lee Hooker JLHookerBigLegs.mp3

Most surprising was when pulling out a more obscure favorite ‘Big Legs, Tight Skirt’. Not only was hearing the song a thrill, but the set up story was hysterical beyond belief. You can just imagine.

GeorgieFameYehUKA, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Imperial, Columbia UK

GeorgieFameYehUSA, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Imperial, Columbia UK

GeorgieFameYehUS, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Imperial, Columbia UK

Listen: Yeh Yeh / Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames GeorgieFameYehYeh.mp3

To be honest, I hadn’t realized Georgie Fame was even involved until a few days prior. Nor did I expect a solo set. To say it was a treat is vastly understating the moment. Voice still perfectly intact, players easily replicating the groove.

But the most unexpected bonus of the night: a jukebox tab.

It was originally set up for Van Morrison to do the honors via management. Rumored to be difficult, I was pretty shocked when a confirmation call came through with instructions to meet stage door right post show, and get escorted in to see Van, which I promptly adhered to. In a small dressing room, Van was standing waiting. This seemed rather bizarre. Why was I so lucky? He’d been briefed on my request, so when he inquired about song choice, I asked would he do one for Them as well. “Sure, just show me what to write and where”. ‘Richard Cory’ was my choice, I indicated clearly where to write what, Van took the penned signed his name (see tab below) and huffed from the room. Although disappointed at being so close to a signed jukebox tab for Them, I thought it was pretty interesting that this signature, and the accompanying story, was how he wanted to be remembered:

VanMorrisonJukeboxTab, Van Morrison

Georgie Fame, on the other hand, was just the opposite, even recalling the B side, which I hadn’t had the chance of researching prior to the show:

GeorgieFameJukeboxTab, Georgie Fame


Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

SteppenwolfRockMeUKA2, Steppenwolf, Stateside, Dunhill

Listen: Rock Me / Steppenwolf SteppenwolfRockMe.mp3

Some great early albums, one right after the other. Their debut included ‘The Pusher’. Being able to hear anyone sing ‘goddam’ over and over on a record was a big deal at the time. As well, a song about drugs. How awesome was this?

“Rock Me’ was not as cliched as the title suggests. It’s the breakdown at exactly 2:00 lasting over a minute that, despite the cowbell, was almost gospel-like. It sounded way more happening and hip than just about anything getting Top 40 play in 1969. It didn’t take much convincing to purchase a ticket for their show in support of the 3rd album, MONSTER on March 30 of that year. The real miracle came after I’d bought it, the opening act was announced: Julie Driscoll / Brian Auger & The Trinity.

Rosco Gordon

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

RoscoGordonJustUKA, Roscoe Gordon, Stateside, Vee Jay, Flamingo

Listen: Just A Little Bit / Rosco Gordon
Just A Little Bit / Rosco Gordon

Who knew. Rosco Gordon is cited as having created a style of piano playing known as ‘The Rosco Rhythm’, placing the accent on the off beats, which is credited as the foundation of Jamaican bluebeat and reggae music. Besides which, he lived a few blocks away from me – something I also didn’t know until recently. Maybe I stood behind him Pathmark. How great would that have been?

‘Just A Little Bit’ was a well covered song by London’s Flamingo Club regulars. Even Rory Gallagher did a version around the time of TATTOO, which was eventually included as a bonus on the CD reissue.

RoscoGordonWhatUKB, Roscoe Gordon

Listen: What I Wouldn’t Do / Rosco Gordon
What I Wouldn't Do

His New Orleans blues stylings were way more obvious to me than bluebeat though, as on the single’s B side, ‘What I Wouldn’t Do’.

Lonnie Mack

Friday, September 11th, 2009

lonniemackwhamuka, Lonnie Mack, The Move, Fillmore East, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fraternity, Stateside

Listen: Wham / Lonnie Mack LonnieMackWham.mp3

lonniemacksuzieukb,  Creedence Clearwater Revivial, Lonnie Mack, The Move, Fillmore East, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fraternity, Stateside

Listen: Suzie Q / Lonnie Mack LonnieMackSuzie.mp3

Often lumped with Duane Eddy and Link Wray, contemporaries of the day, Lonnie Mack’s musical distinction is the blues as opposed to a rockabilly instrumental slant. Not surprisingly, he’s widely regarded as a ground-breaking rock guitarist, whose artistic impact far outreaches his commercial accomplishments, although he had a few massive records. His first, ‘Memphis’ hit Top 5 in early ’63 on both Billboard’s Pop and RnB charts.

Things were clearly different in those days. It’s not the first time that a record, recorded quickly during some down time, post a proper session, somehow got released without the artist knowing, and ended up a hit – again to said artist’s surprise. Such was apparently the case with ‘Memphis’

‘Wham’, a followup, has significance for (a) being another unlikely instrumental success and (b) for actually describing a sound both unique and original at the time in it’s title. The culprit, a whammy bar, in reality a Bigsby tremelo arm. To further enhance the vibrato on his tunes, Lonnie Mack employed a variant of Robert Ward’s distortion technique, using a 1950s-era tube-fired Magnatone amplifier to produce a ‘rotating, fluttery sound’. Hence, the blues guitar revolution began, at least according to some.

Either way, this is a great double sider. Adults and children alike should own a handful of his 7′s for when the appropriate party moment occurs at one’s home.

I was quite excited back in September ’69 when Lonnie Mack was on the bill at The Fillmore East as main support to headliners Crosby, Stills & Nash. Opening that weekend: The Move. I just sent away for two tickets and announced to my Dad that he was either taking me or I was hitch hiking. Mind you, we lived in Syracuse and NYC was a good 300 miles away. To be honest, this was all about seeing The Move, but planning to stay long enough to gawk at Lonnie Mack and his wire-fire fingers.

Sadly, The Move never did play New York, so I exchanged my seats for another weekend’s triple header: Spirit / The Kinks / The Bonzo Dog Band. A life changing tradeoff, I can assure you.

The Jaynetts

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

jaynettesuka, Jaynetts, Stateside, Tuff Records, Zelma Sanders

Listen: Sally Go ’round The Roses / The Jaynetts JaynettesSallyUKA.mp3

jaynettsukb,  Jaynetts, Stateside, Tuff Records, Zelma Sanders

Listen: Sally Go ’round The Roses (Instrumental) / Sing Along Without The Jaynetts JaynettsUKB.mp3

Again, gospel rooted, but with a constant revolving door of members (there were five in the group yet only three pictured on the album sleeve), who could really become a fan? Plus they were constantly changing their name. Go figure. Still, nice single. Fun to play every once in a while, and it does sound pretty natural amongst a bunch of soul singles in my jukebox.

You gotta love the B side label copy. Just pull the band-aid off and tell it like it is. The Jaynetts aren’t even on it.

The Impressions

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

impressionswinnerus, The Impressions, Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, ABC Records, Stateside

impressionswinneruka, Curtis Mayfield, The Impressions, Stateside, ABC Records

Listen: We’re A Winner / The Impressions ImpressionsWinner.mp3

Never ever occurred to me that on this single from ’68, Curtis Mayfield not only recycled the lyric ”movin’ on up” but also “keep on pushing”. He did it often. Let’s call it his style, because there are too many great qualities about the guy to imply it’s a negative. Hadn’t heard this for ages until I spent an afternoon a few weeks back spinning records at Mike Goldsmith’s. He’s getting a pretty decent 7″ collection together and wanted the above UK A label off me, I was too greedy and diseased with whatever that new condition is (ADD, ADHD or something, probably plain old addiction) to trade it away. Maybe someday. He has a few nice US Reprise Jethro Tull stocks that I need. Badly.

The Ikettes

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

ikettesimblueuka, ikettes, ike & tina Turner, london, atco, modern, stateside, polydor

Listen: I’m Blue / The IkettesIkettesBlue.mp3

All the behind the scenes drama, politics, tension and sleeze associated with Ike & Tina Turner is an endless source of stimulation for this voyeur. Get hold of every last cd booklet accompanying their reissues, and especially the box sets (the Time/Life one is hugely advised) and study. The countless sessions and musical chairs will never really be figured out, but when this bunch was on – they were truly on. Whether as an after thought, or a genius parallel business model, The Ikettes were the bomb. ‘I’m Blue’ premiered them to vinyl and was probably an unexpected hit. The first of many sizzling, gutteral vocal performances – you could always depend on an Ikettes single.

ikettespeachesuka,  ikettes, ike & tina Turner, london, atco, modern, stateside, polydor

Listen: Peaches & Cream / The Ikettes IkettesPeaches.mp3

‘Peaches & Cream’ sounded fantastic on AM radio in ’65, and I was well excited to see that summer’s Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars make a Syracuse stop. The Ikettes took the stage in silk fringed orange mini dresses and gyrated though four numbers including this one. Being afforded the benefit of headliner Tom Jones’ full brass back up band transformed it into a crazy wild Soul revue. Not surprisingly, these weren’t The Ikettes at all, at least not the ones on record. Still through Ike’s revolving door it seems everyone was an Ikette for a minute, so who’s complaining. Considering they followed Them on stage after ‘Here Comes The Night’, ‘Call My Name’ and a rousing ‘Gloria’, and upped the stakes is proof of their power.

ikettesthankfuluka,  ikettes, ike & tina Turner, london, atco, modern, stateside, polydor

Listen: I’m So Thankful / The Ikettes IkettesThankful.mp3

Like The Flirtations’ ‘Nothing But A Heartache, ‘I’m So Thankful’ is one of the great Motown records that was never on Motown. You’d swear it was recorded right there on Grand Blvd.

Lee Dorsey

Monday, July 6th, 2009

leedorseygetuka, lee dorsey, allen toussaint, mala records, amy records, stateside

Listen: Get Out Of My Life, Woman / Lee DorseyLeeDorseyGetOut.mp3

leedorseyworking, lee dorsey, allen toussaint, bell, amy records

Listen: Working In The Coalmine / Lee Dorsey LeeDorseyWorking.mp3

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s version from their EAST / WEST album was my inroduction to Allen Toussaint’s ‘Get Out Of My Life, Woman’. Seemed like all of a sudden, I was seeing Allen Toussaint’s name in the fine print on a bunch of records. All those ignored-by-everyone-else details on the labels were fireside reading for me. A $1.99 mono cut out of his RIDE YOUR PONEY / GET OUT OF MY LIFE, WOMAN album was irresistible around the time, brimming with Allen Toussaint this and that. I was hooked.

‘Working In The Coalmine’ always felt just like…working in a coalmine. Even though I was a youngster addicted to English rock music, it still left loads of room to fantasize about the deep south and it’s chitlin circuit. Anything ethnic was a big magnet, and always on first listen. I’d heard Sam Cooke’s ‘Chain Gang’ but this sounded like working on a chain gang. The pipe clinging sound effect probably being the clincher for a kid. Yeah, Lee Dorsey has the vocal torture down pat too. Definitely rivals ‘Honky Tonk Women’ for best intro.