Posts Tagged ‘Ann Peebles’

Willie Mitchell

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

That Driving Beat / Willie Mitchell

That Driving Beat / Willie Mitchell

Listen: That Driving Beat / Willie Mitchell
That Driving Beat / Willie Mitchell

Seems Willie Mitchell had that soulful teen dance thing down, not too ghetto but just right. ‘That Driving Beat’ is one of the few he’s ever released with vocals, to my knowledge, and I’ve got about thirty of his 7′s. Admittedly not sure if it’s the man himself or one of his Hi rhythm section doing the singing, but it’s way hot. Check out the ‘Satisfaction’ riff in there too.

The single’s featured on many UK comps, being a well liked Mod track back in ’65 too. ‘That Driving Beat’ was exactly that, a purple hearts eye opening bumper. You can see why it became a favourite.

Listen: Bad Eye / Willie Mitchell
Bad Eye / Willie Mitchell

WOLF Chart 5-14-66

I actually got to hear Willie Mitchell regularly on my local Top 40 station in the 60′s. Yeah, for some reason WOLF always played his singles. Mind you only for a few weeks, just enough to chart in the 30′s then off (click on the WOLF survey above to enlarge and have a look). Maybe they did it for flavor or favor, the station did play a lot from London Records and their imprints. Lucky me.

Prayer meetin' / Willie Mitchell

Listen: Prayer Meetin’ / Willie Mitchell
Prayer Meetin' / Willie Mitchell

I took interest in the Hi Label as well, being part of London Records, one of my favorites. This led me to check out their other acts, thereby discovering Ann Pebbles, O. V. Wright, Otis Clay and Al Green, all of whom Willie Mitchell produced. His singles never ever disappoint. If you see them, buy them. And then buy a jukebox to put them in. Best money you’ll ever spend.

Willie Mitchell’s releases always had great titles, like ‘Prayer Meetin’ from ’68. This heavy Hammond Jimmy Smith written instrumental being his more typical vein, all bluesy with a bit of slither.

Ann Peebles

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Listen: Dr. Love Power / Ann Peebles

Some things are clearly questionable.

For instance, the fact that Ann Peebles endless line of superb Hi Records singles got less and less airplay through the mid 70′s and as a result, registered only on the RnB charts, never peaking higher than the mid-50′s. After ‘Come To Mama’ in ’75 (#62 RnB), it’s followup, ‘Dr. Love Power’ didn’t even register at all.

Should not this be grounds for incarceration of the radio programmers?

Instead, another out of jail free card was printed. Only in America, land of opportunity….if you’re a radio music director on the take that is. Or a promotion head, written into an artist’s royalty stream. Who cares if music culture is short changed?

This Willie Mitchell produced ‘Dr. Love Power’ sure does sound like a cheated masterpiece to me.

Now there’s a guy who must have had many a sleepless night. Recording, producing and releasing one fantastic single after the next, yet seeing little justice or return, bar the occasional solo record or Ann Pebbles or Otis Clay release. Hopefully, Al Green made it all a bit tolerable.

Ann Peebles

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Listen: I Pity The Fool / Ann Peebles
I Pity The Fool / Ann Peebles

Even for ’71 with blues-rock in powerful fashion, a pure blues song charting mainstream and crossing over was very unlikely, especially for a black female. Despite the tide, Hi Records released ‘I Pity The Fool’ that year. Against all odds, the single became one of her three to register on BILLBOARD’s Top 100, eclipsing Ann Pebbles’ more well known releases like ‘I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down’ and ‘Breaking Up Somebody’s Home’, by reaching a meager #85, but charting nonetheless.

Any version of ‘I Pity The Fool’ is a welcome addition to the collection. Easily, Bobby Blue Bland’s rendition from ’61, being the most successful chart wise, gets thought of straight away. Or for the hardcores, The Mannish Boys’ expensive Parlophone pressing from early ’65. A beat group DOA, the band broke up fast, with David Bowie moving upward and onward, while band member John Edward went on to a very brief Pirate Radio career, prior to starting Hollywood Records in the late 70′s.