Archive for the ‘Mike Goldsmith’ Category

Floyd Robinson

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Listen: Motorcycle Man / Floyd Robinson

Mike Goldsmith called one Friday jonesing for a vinyl trawl, and so we headed toward Long Island early the next day to sniff out a comic book/toy store tipped to have a bunch of weird records in their back room. Sure enough, the tip was accurate. And by weird, what our friend meant was he hadn’t recognized any of the artists. Basically, what we uncovered were the remnants of an old radio station library previously picked clean of any and all known acts. This initially gave us both the shakes, but on closer examination, realized we’d stumbled on an incredibly sick collection of rare and remarkable obscurities. About four or five hundred singles later, we headed home ecstatic.

‘Motorcycle Man’ was one such gem, and upon hitting the turntable, it became totally apparent that ‘Motorcycle Man’ was a cocktail of surf, country vocals and garage trash. Not successfully uncovering a stitch of info on this Floyd Robinson has made me nuts for ages. By all counts, not the same Floyd Robinson who had RnB success in ’59 with ‘Makin’ Love’ on RCA. When I picked this up, I just figured they were one in the same, and the single would add to my small collection of his 7′s. Not so.

Any insight on this Floyd Robinson is welcome.

Big Maybelle Smith

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Listen: Blues, Early Early (Part 1) /Big Maybelle Smith

Okay, so Big Maybelle deservedly received a Grammy Hall Of Fame Award in 1999. Commendable gesture, generous even, given the deciding NARAS members in no way were to blame for the obscurity she endured during her lifetime. And to be fair, they clearly knew she earned such a recognition.

But Big Maybelle really did get shafted in her day. For instance, in ’55 she recorded ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On’, produced by Quincy Jones, a solid two years before Jerry Lee Lewis’ version. Both were full throttle rockin’, but being black of course meant the white guy got the airplay.

Her run with Savoy Records lasted between ’57 – ’61, and even in her professional lifetime, only ever released one single, ‘Blues, Early Early (Part 1)’, oddly in the middle of her string with Savoy, as Big Maybelle Smith.

Laying my eyes on ‘Blues, Early Early (Part 1)’ gave me a tingly jolt I will take to my deathbed. Was I frozen in that spot the moment I stumbled on it? Take a guess.

Mike Goldsmith rang me late one Friday night. He was jonsing to do some record digging, suggesting we hit random spots on Long Island that next day. I agreed. Somehow he’d sussed a comic book store that stocked records and so we leisurely dropped by. Holy whatever. The owner had stumbled on a radio station find. His store, including the backroom, was brimming, more liken heaving, with the most obscure promos I have truly ever seen in one place. Clearly a mainstream dealer had combed them first, leaving behind what was unfamiliar. Fine. Thank you God.

I picked up easily five hundred 7′s, hitting the cash machine several times. All in original sleeves. Note the period brown, ribbed, fold over bottom on this particular copy as proof.

And all mint. We were both experiencing tremors that cocaine crack can’t touch.

Miracles happen.

UK Records

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Listen: Excerpts From ‘What’s So Great About UK Records’
Excerpts From 'What's So Great About UK Records'

Thursday May 12, 2011. Mike Goldsmith is driving toward his parking garage on W 57th Street, and spots the daily church sidewalk sale’s tables, just between 9th and 10th Ave, are filled with boxes of records. First rule: abort all other plans and check out records at just this type of miracle, which he does. What does he find? Hundreds of UK Records and UK Records related items, including master tapes, acetates and more. So my phone rings around 9:30am, with a quick order to get over there fast. Fifteen minutes later I’m double timing out of the Columbus Circle subway stop and hoofing it towards the sale.

Turns out this stash represented what was left behind by Jonathan King, who kept a NY apartment just one doorway down from the church’s location. His relatives cleaned out much of what they thought he might want, and the rest was going to charity. Luckily, I had a connection to the great man, and he emailed to confirm and explain. So there you go.

Even these left overs included an array of jaw droppers. The first of which I’ve posted above. Good thing I had no idea this teaser 7″ sampler existed prior, or I’d have been searching hard for years.

I must say, for a guy with such an ear for pop, I admit baffle when it comes to JK’s faith in Ricky Wilde’s vocal capabilities. Maybe he was angling toward sister Kim. That would make sense. Poor Tina Harvey, well she’s not far behind. Offset that with 10cc and Roy C, and all is forgiven, easily forgotten to be exact.

Another UK Records find in tomorrow’s post.

Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Don't Stop Loving Me, Baby / Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

Don't Stop Loving Me, Baby / Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

Listen: Don’t Stop Loving Me, Baby / Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours PinkertonsDontStop.mp3

True story. I know you will think this is a lie, but I swear on a stack of Ramones albums that it is not.

UK manager Dennis Muirhead paid me his yearly visit at Columbia Records in the late 90′s. We’d met back in ’85 when I’d first joined Elektra and he always stopped by when he came through town. One of his clients at the time was Stuart Colman. Stuart lived then in Nashville and had produced many successful country acts, but had prior UK hits with Shakin’ Stevens. Dennis gave me a package including all his producers latest discographies which I browsed while catching up. I noticed Stuart had started his career in the 60′s with The Shadows. So I said to Dennis, hey this guy goes back a bit, is he English? Affirmative. I proceeded to say I wish these fellows would list all those really early engineering jobs they would have started out doing prior to that first producer opportunity. “I mean, Dennis, he could have worked on something obscure like…..Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours or something”. I just grabbed that fun, eccentric example out of my head.

Dennis looks me square in the eye and says “He was IN Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours”. Silence. Neither of us could believe what had just transpired. “You’re not kidding are you, well call him now”. He suggested one better, that I ring his place asking for him as a member of the band, which I did. I let Stuart know fairly fast that Dennis was there with me, and we had a very nice chat. I mailed him this jukebox tab, he autographed it and sent it straight back.

Pinkertons Jukebox tab

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Stuart Colman

As for the group, I was interested because of the name. When I saw their first single ‘Mirror Mirror’ entering the UK charts, I had to hear them asap. But it wasn’t to be for ages. Even though released Stateside, it was nowhere to be heard or found. WMCR, the little station that gave me all those unwanted promo singles at the time, weren’t serviced by London, parent company of Parrot Records – home to Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours. Damn. I was jonesing by the time their second single hit. ‘Don’t Stop Loving Me, Baby’ limped into the UK Top 50 at #50 for one week. I love a good followup flop usually more than the previous hit, so this was reaching fever pitch.

Finally I was successful, finding it in a 25ยข bin at The House Of Oldies on Bleeker Street in NYC when my Aunt Nancy invited me along to visit some relative for a few days. I got a ton of London titles there – The Cryin’ Shames, Lulu & The Luvvers, The Gonks, Hedgehoppers Anonymous and Jonathan King among them – all nice orange swirl promos. This is a great double sider. Not overly special but a solid British staple. Actually, just tonight I realized some similarities to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich thereby explaining a lot of it’s appeal for me.

Will Ya / Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

Will Ya / Pinkerton's Assorted Colours

Listen: Will Ya / Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours PinkertonsWillYa.mp3

The B side ‘Will Ya’ is my favorite of the two, but just. That timid but still wildish fuzz solo is the tie breaker. Mike Goldsmith picked me up the stock copy pictured, only a few months ago, at Academy Records in Brooklyn. I had never seen nor heard of one being pressed as it seemed likely this would never have made it beyond the promo stage – but here it is.

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 Koobas

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

koobastakemeuk, koobas, columbia, capitol, kapp, keith ellis
koobastakemeps, koobas, columbia, capitol, kapp, keith ellis

Listen: Take Me For A Little While / The Koobas KoobasLittleWhile.mp3

I originally passed up the US ‘Take Me For A Little While’ sleeve upon release, and never ever saw another. Desperate for it as the years past, Mike Goldsmith came to the rescue while at a record fair a few years back. What a relief. Sometime during the 90′s, I stumbled on a UK pressing at London’s Record & Tape Exchange in Notting Hill. This copy appeared to be autographed. How does one ever verify that?

koobasfirstcutuk, koobas, capitol, columbia, kapp
koobasfirstcutusa, koobas, columbia, capitol, kapp, keith ellis

Listen: The First Cut Is The Deepest / The Koobas KoobasFirstCut.mp3

The record itself was most pleasant British Beat at the time, but in no way hinted toward the psychedelic greatness that their ‘First Cut Is The Deepest’ would be. Despite being dwarfed chart-wise by P.P. Arnold’s version, historically it’s equally vital.

The Brotherhood Of Man

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Reach Out Your Hand / The Brotherhood Of Man

Listen: Reach Out Your Hand / The Brotherhood Of Man BrotherhoodReach.mp3

No question about it, THE ESSENTIAL NORTHERN SOUL PRICE GUIDE is one of the best books ever. It’s my idea of what to read by the fireplace on a snowy winter afternoon. But I really do have one complaint. This single is not included. Clearly authors Martin Koppel, a particularly nice fellow who ran Toronto’s Kop’s Collectabiles for ages nd Tim Brown know what they’re talking about. I know Martin is English, as I’ve bought many a single from him through the years, and I guess Tim is too. So understandably, sometimes the Brits have their heads in spaces other than their own backyard, yet all is forgiven. Basically, this fits really nicely into any mix of Northern I’ve ever done. Plus it’s on Deram. I like anything on Deram, even the schmaltziest stuff, which The Brotherhood Of Man would dependably deliver on a regular basis. Keith Mansfield was involved in this one, he did some great stuff for The Love Affair too.

If you’re in New York, go now to Bleeker Street Records. There’s a ton of 7″ warehouse fresh finds in the basement 3 for $1.00. Mike Goldsmith alerted me to them. Been twice, between the two of us, we’ve lightened their load by a few hundred. Returned today and picked up three more copies of this, and plenty are left. Have fun.