Archive for the ‘Upbeat’ Category

Inez & Charlie Foxx

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

Listen: (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx
(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

There’s not a person I play this to who doesn’t, after one spin, decide they need a copy.

I was always extremely partial to this poor man’s Ike & Tina Turner, as I’d seen them referred to. Inez & Charlie Foxx had their biggest love in the UK, like so many before and after would too. But seeing them perform on Cleveland’s UPBEAT show in the 60′s confirmed my loyalty. UPBEAT was a weekly music program, with a good six to ten acts miming their latest releases on every episode. I guess the local network cornered all of them as they passed through Cleveland, happy to get any TV exposure. It was syndicated to various cities in the US, including Syracuse hence I got to see it every Sunday.

There’s a website for the show, and it is particularly boring to navigate – I believe the producer’s son deals with the estate, and basically highlights only the name acts, when the true interest in the show would be the many obscure ones that were on. Hopefully that footage was preserved and will be freed up. There is definitely a goldmine there.

So it was May of ’67 when I saw Inez & Charlie on that very show. We had recently upgraded to a family color TV, so everything was a technicolor dream come true. No bigger one than Inez Foxx in a skin tight floor length carnation pink dress playing a matching pink Stratocaster; and brother Charlie off behind her to the left singing and dancing on a very small riser perfectly clad in a matching pink chino suit, black shirt and pink tie. Talk about having your visual together. And ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’ was the song they performed. Produced and written by Charlie Foxx and Swamp Dogg, Gene Pitney covered it a year or so later. As great a singer as he definitely was, it was no match for Inez Foxx’s delivery. Along with Inez & Charlie Foxx’s ‘Come By Here’, ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Hurt By Love’, it’s a life long favorite.

Otis Redding

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

OtisPain, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Pain In My Heart / Otis Redding
Pain

Leave it to The Rolling Stones, they turned all us really young white kids on to the great RnB and Soul that was right here at home. Yeah it’s the oldest story in the book, but 100% true. I for one, was completely oblivious to Otis Redding until they came along. And so I started to ask for his records at WMCR, the little adult station near my parent’s house that gave me all their unusable Rock and RnB singles. Unfortunately, most of the labels only serviced them with non-RnB stuff, logically as they were playing Eydie Gorme, Dean Martin and such. Atlantic was an example, so I had to buy the occasional one, if I’d find it that is.

The first time I saw The Rolling Stones, see my Alvin Robinson post, they played this. Can remember it like yesterday. I needed this original and within days….it was mine.

OtisDirect, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Direct Me / Otis Redding
Direct

His last known TV performance was on Cleveland’s UPBEAT, a weekly pop show that rivaled any national counterpart, in fact preceeded both SHINDIG and HULLABALOO as well as outlasting them (’64 – ’71). Seems everyone passed through town, probably intentionally to get the coverage. I’ve mentioned the show in previous posts, and without question, even a partial list of performers is pretty impressive.

Well it’s hard to forget seeing that episode, watching Otis Redding, knowing what had just happened asit was never broadcast live) Despite being endlessly respected and always name checked, he’s seldom heard. Oldies radio overplaying ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ is almost an injustice. Despite all his classics, ‘Direct Me’ comes in as my favorite. Co-written with Steve Cropper, it may have been a castoff, but I don’t care. Got it in one of those ten for a dollar boxes. Despite the B side status (‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ was the A), the single just holds a memorable place in time for me. Woolworth’s, summer ’69.

There wasn’t a bad record in that box, which also included The Pretty Things ‘Cry To Me’.

Inez & Charlie Foxx

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Listen: Come By Here / Inez & Charlie Foxx InezComeByHere.mp3

Starting the New Year off with a classic has to be good luck. There are about six desert island essentials by Inez & Charlie Foxx on my list – and ‘Come By Here’ is one. Now live, they were hard to beat. Crawling the sweaty chitlin circuit, crowds would urge Inez to even greater vocal heights while Charlie and the band drove a relentless groove. Their well oiled touring machine made for consistent studio performances. With it’s rich blend of blues and gospel, ‘Come By Here’ is one of the two songs they performed on Cleveland’s UPBEAT show in May ’67 (the other was ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’ – see my post from 6/6/08 to listen). UPBEAT is a TV cult classic, and it would be huge if someone could free up all those episodes. Word is they still exist. There was a pretty weak website for the program at one time, but it focused on the bigger names (like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) when in fact, many obscure acts were on as well (Love / The Seeds / The Hullaballoos / Terry Knight & The Pack / The Velvet Underground). A weekly hour long show, syndicated in many markets, it predated Shindig but then survived concurrently – and in short, any act passing through the Cleveland area got herded in to mime a couple of numbers. On this particular episode, Charlie, wearing a black shirt with matching carnation pink chino suit and tie, sang and danced on a small circular podium behind Inez. In her pink dress and heels, she sang a live vocal over the prerecorded bed, picking on a pink stratocaster and strutting not unlike The Duchess. Have mercy indeed.

Please God let this footage resurface.