Archive for the ‘Carla Thomas’ Category

Jimmy McCracklin

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Listen: Dog (Part 2) / Jimmy McCracklin

‘Dog (Part 2)’ was the second of eight singles Jimmy McCracklin issued between ’67 and ’70 on Minit, a sister label of Imperial, where he’d been signed since ’62 and had an additional seventeen releases. All in all, twenty five 45′s during an eight year run with basically one label group, Liberty Records, of which both Minit and Imperial were imprints .

At 90 years old, he can boast a recording career that began in 1945, continuing until most recently, 1999. Yes, 54 years. Given that he performed during 2010, his recording days may not be over yet. I would sure like to shake this guy’s hand.

Like the A side, ‘Dog (Part 1)’, this flip is largely an instrumental style backing track. For all we know, those female voices just may have been The Ikettes. Remember, Ike & Tina Turner were on Minit during this period as well.

Having co-written the Otis Redding and Carla Thomas hit, ‘Tramp’ with Lowell Fulson, released in ’67, and this having been issued around that same time, maybe ‘Dog (Parts 1 & 2)’ were the formative demo beginnings of ‘Tramp’.

Regardless, a great jukebox filler on a winter Sunday afternoon, and a needed artifact, if only for the title.

Jimmy McCracklin

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

The Walk / Jimmy McCracklin

Listen: The Walk / Jimmy McCracklin

His biggest chart hit, ‘The Walk’, was the result of an AMERICAN BANDSTAND appearance in ’58, although the record had been released in ’57. Thus was the power of a very few, limited music outlets at the time. Then it was called television.

Dick Clark’s weekly program must have been aggressively worked for such precious exposure. To Dick Clark’s credit, many of the black acts, often who’s records were covered by white performers thus robbing the originals of the hit, were given shots. Jimmy McCracklin was one.

‘The Walk’ is a great combination of RnB and Jump Blues, which he carried over from the release of his first single, ‘Miss Mattie Left Me’ in 1945.

He went on to record for a few labels including Imperial and Stax, where with Lowell Fulson, co-wrote the massive ‘Tramp’ as recorded by Carla Thomas & Otis Redding, and as recently as 2007 played the San Francisco Blues Festival for the sixth time.

This copy came with the original jukebox tab stapled to it’s sleeve, where it shall remain.

Freddy Cannon / Where The Action Is

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

freddycannonaction, Freddy Cannon, Where The Action Is, Dick Clark, American Bandstand

Listen: Where The Action Is / Freddy Cannon FreddyCannonAction.mp3

Let’s face it. The theme song to ABC’s syndicated daily pop show, WHERE THE ACTION IS, titled ‘Action’ by Freddy Cannon, was so good, even The Ramones could have covered it.

I lived for WHERE THE ACTION IS and saw many a great act each day after school. Our local Syracuse affiliate, WSYR-TV, was wishy-washy, and many times pre-empted it with other things. Looking over the complete, chronological list of episodes and guests, I’ve only just discovered missing Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, The Action and Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich for just that reason. Indeed, I’m a bit crushed having now discovered these atrocities. Scumbags.

But seeing an LA centric act almost daily, given they were basically down the street from the studios, must have been daily bliss. To name a few: The Guillteens, The Ikettes with and without Ike & Tina Turner, The Vejtables, The Leaves, The Seeds, Gary & The Hornets, Love, Dino Desi & Billy, The Buffalo Springfield, Jan & Dean.

Not to mention the RnB stuff: Martha & The Vandellas, Doris Troy, The Royalettes, Mary Wells, Brenda Holloway, The Toys, Maxine Brown, Kim Weston, Carla Thomas, Billy Stewart, Bobby Hebb, Alvin Cash & The Crawlers or Felice Taylor. I still replay The Vibrations doing ‘My Girl Sloopy’ vividly in my memory.

Then there were the black and white segments from England, a real high for we Anglophiles: The Small Faces, Gary Farr & The T-Bones, Them, The Mindbenders, The Zombies, The Moody Blues, The Kinks, Unit 4 + 2, The Who, Wayne Fontana, Marianne Faithfull, The Yardbirds and The Cryin’ Shames.

Barbara Mason

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

barbaramasonreadyuka, Barbara Mason, Arctic, London American

Listen: Yes I’m Ready / Barbara Mason BarbaraMasonReady.mp3

barbaramasonshackin, Barbara Mason, Don Davis, Buddah

Listen: Shackin’ Up / Barbara Mason BarbaraMasonShackin.mp3

Basically, a Philly girl who came up through Gospel. ‘Yes I’m Ready’ reached #5 in ’65, with an intro the had me believing it was the soundtrack to being drunk. Her delivery drew me right in with that imaginery alcohol slur. Like Barbara Lewis from around the same time, she was one of the soul voices that sat nicely between all the English Invasion songs on Top 40 radio.

You wouldn’t know she was a church girl from some of her 70′s output, like the great ‘Shackin’ Up’. Not unlike Millie Jackson, and produced by Don Davis (Eddie Floyd, Bobby Womack, Albert King, The Dramatics, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Little Milton), it just sums up liberated female voices during the mid 70′s and deserved a way higher Billboard chart placing than #91.