Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic’

Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Listen: Black Woman / Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band
Black Woman / Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band

I don’t believe this story is uncommon amongst vinyl collectors.

Once an artist strikes that magic nerve in the system, you kind of need all of their records, or certainly the ones specific to the time period before they morphed into something way different.

This is exactly the case with Don Covay and me. I had many of those Atlantic singles, instinctively picking them up through the years based on an initial name introduction via early albums by The Rolling Stones. At any given moment, one of them hits you, all the rest get pulled out, examined and played. Then boom. The process begins. Regardless of day, time or convenience, a plot to complete the catalog materializes.

Ebay has made this so easy. A lot of my collector friends hate ebay, all cranky that it takes away from the back aching digs through boxes in record shops and rummage sales and things. I don’t get that, those moments will never go away. Ebay is like getting take-out food delivered. No different. Doesn’t mean you’ll never cook for yourself again. What’s the problem?

In an effort to complete the Don Covay Atlantic releases, I dig up a discography and think, the one that has forever eluded me is ‘Black Woman’ from ’69. It doesn’t sound familiar at all and I would’ve certainly remembered the Jefferson Lemon Blues Band bit. From the song title alone, it sounded very in tune with the times, black power fisted slants on records from Miles Davis to Jefferson Airplane being ever present then. ‘Black Woman’ had to be a great one.

So today I go digging through some .50¢ boxes at Academy Records in Williamsburg, and what do I find? Yep, the final component to having a complete Don Covay Atlantic singles library right here in the comfort of my own home.

I love that shop. Similar to most, the 45′s are second fiddle at best. Probably they don’t sell many, and great ones aren’t exactly walking through the door often. But the staff, as nice as they are, just don’t seem to have a consistent grasp on values or importance when it comes to Soul / Rnb / Northern / Jazz 7′s.

Perfect.

So now the follow-up punch line to my first sentence: I get home, clean the record up, give it a few plays and once totally satisfied, decide to file it away.

And what do I find? I already own a copy.

Well, one can always use a safety.

Wilbert Harrison One Man Band / Prince La La / Derek Martin

Monday, December 30th, 2013

THE SUE SOUL BROTHERS / Various Artists:

SIDE 1:

Listen: Let’s Work Together (Parts 1 & 2) / Wilbert Harrison One Man Band
WilbertWorkTogether.mp3

Side 2:

Listen: She Put The Hurt On Me / Prince La La
She

Listen: Daddy Rollin’ Stone / Derek Martin
Daddy

Just check my previous two posts. Not hard to guess, I’ve been picking through the various artists section of my wall shelf.

Weirdly enough, this is usually a head scratching process. I don’t do it often, but every time seems to unearth a multi-artist record, usually an EP, that I’d never really noticed before, suddenly falling into the ‘where on earth did I get this from’ category. And honestly, it happens every single time. One source, the UK weeklies, who for a few years there during the late 80′s/early 90′s were including free EP’s, whether it be NME, Music Week or Melody Maker, with each issue. I religiously grabbed every one and stuck them in that VA section for a rainy day. The entire chunk now being a treasure trove of both obscure and focus tracks.

When the Ensign label got all hot and bothered about the Sue Records catalog, which I’m guessing they could suddenly access via their 1983 Island distribution deal, they issued a series of four song EP’s religiously honoring the labels iconic history. Some were single artist compilation EP’s by Ike & Tina Turner or Inez & Charlie Foxx. Others were theme centric: SUE INSTRUMENTALS, THE SUE SOUL SISTERS and this, the latter’s partner, THE SUE SOUL BROTHERS. I played all three in the past few hours and basically did a blindfold drill to choose today’s 31 Days Of December – All EP’s post.

THE SUE SOUL BROTHERS, most likely by design, builds around much covered songs from Sue’s UK catalog. And there were many songs to choose from here, not forgetting, the Sue UK label issued the American Sue releases along with various blues and RnB singles from small and indie US labels. Initially, Juggy Murray, who owned Sue in the US was reportedly furious with Chris Blackwell and Guy Stevens, the day to day guy at Island/Sue in London. Apparently, neither had cleared the idea of picking up product from other US companies and slapping a Sue label on it for the UK.

As a result, other than the bothersome bad blood, Sue’s British catalog and discography rivaled the majors like Decca’s, who bolstered their output and image by repping Atlantic, Monument, Tribe, RCA, Coral and others in Britain. Island became the little indie that could, even harder in the 60′s, when swimming against the tide of Decca, CBS, EMI and Pye was near impossible.

And so, the team at Ensign picked some solid originals here that went on to become widely popular as covers. Loads of bands, including The Who and John’s Children released Derek Martin’s ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’ during the Mod era.

Canned Heat, blues experts themselves, took Wilbert Harrison’s ‘Let’s Work Together’ Top 40 in 1970, delaying their version to give the original a chance to sell and reach #32 on BILLBOARD. In a loose full circle chain of events, John Mayall chose to record Wilbert Harrison’s ‘Let’s Work Together’ for his fantastic, and I do mean fantastic, Island album, A SENSE OF PLACE from 1990.

Brian Auger & The Trinity

Monday, December 16th, 2013

DEFINITELY WHAT! / Brian Auger & The Trinity:

Side 1:

Listen: Red Beans And Rice / Brian Auger & The Trinity
Red

Side 2:

Listen: George Bruno Money / Brian Auger & The Trinity
George

It was February 2001 when my assistant Steve, at Sony, buzzed me about an incoming cold call from a Brian Auger.

“He sounds English” was the helpful detail.

I just figured it was one of my pals lazily playing our game. We’d often ring each other’s office and announce ourselves as an impossibly impossible famous caller, a person from our ultimate wish list.

But shockingly it was the real Brian Auger, making the label rounds via phone, shopping his daughter Ali Auger’s then current album, as well his catalog, including all the full lengths by Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and even earlier titles like DEFINITELY WHAT!, the first as Brian Auger & The Trinity, from which these two songs come. I still have his letter from the huge package that arrived a few days later.

Atlantic and sister label Atco issued a handful of these 7″ promotional EP’s to radio during the late 60′s and early 70′s, all in similar generic information/picture sleeves with short explanatory notes on the back cover from the head of radio promotion or press. Oddly, most had simply one song per side, thereby not in keeping with the EP’s original configuration of two per side, four total.

In this case though, both tracks from DEFINITELY WHAT!, including Booker T & The MG’s ‘Red Beans And Rice’ were quite long, essentially filling out the same time as two shorter, single length tracks would have.

You don’t see the Atlantic series EP’s much these days, and hardly ever in the rather thin plain paper stock information/picture covers mentioned above.

Dave & Ansil Collins

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Listen: Double Barrel / Dave & Ansil Collins
Double

Once Desmond Dekker & The Aces’ ‘Israelites’ became a US hit in ’68, occasional ska tracks began getting domestic releases, usually on small indies. Occasionally, as with Johnny Nash or Prince Buster, a major might take a chance, but not often.

Such was the case with Dave & Ansil Collins ‘Double Barrel’. Future Atlantic subsidiary Big Tree, then funded by Apmex Tape, took a shot, so to speak and ended up with a #22 US hit. And believe me, it cleansed the ear palate when it hit the airwaves back then, the song sounded fantastic.

By this time, I was blagging risqué RnB, soul and English rock singles every Friday evening from the local easy listening station, WMCR, who had absolutely no use for them, and certainly no use for ska. Half the fun of the impending weekend for me was tearing out of school right after last period and biking it to the station, rain, sleet or snow. Nothing stood between me and those 45′s. My pile was always waiting, and the anticipation was a buzz in itself. Size did matter here, the bigger the stack, the better.

Other than the evening DJ, and station owner Mrs. Warner, the place was deserted. She’d encourage me to sit in their production studio, complete with two turntables, full broadcast board, headphones, microphone, the works and just play the pile to my heart’s content. Clearly she got a charge out my hysteria for the records, and told me such many times through the years. Honestly, I don’t think records have ever again sounded as good as they did in that fluorescently lit, climate controlled, new equipment, newly pressed vinyl scented studio so many years ago.

Like when this would come on the air of the local Top 40′s after charting nationally, that first listen in the WMCR studio just wiped clean my ears. Ska, blue beat and reggae were in short supply then.

Listen: Double Barrel (Instrumental) / Dave & Ansil Collins
Double

My first knee jerk about the infamous instrumental B sides were that we were getting burned. I recall the flip to Napoleon XIV’s ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Haa!’ being the A side backwards. If ever there was an act I wanted to hear another song by, it was him, so it seemed cheating. Same with all those Philles B sides. No Ronettes or Crystals on the flips, instead dreadful instrumentals that took me years to appreciate. And so with this, on first look, I was annoyed.

Turns out the much anticipated dub B side was just ahead, and this instrumental ended up getting played almost as much as the A side that night, and at home. In fact, I probably choose it on the jukebox 2 to 1 over the A.

Carmen McRae & Herbie Mann

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Listen: Cottage For Sale / Carmen McRae & Herbie Mann
Cottage

During the mid 90′s, I spent a ton of time in Seattle. We nearly bought a place there in fact. They were almost giving away 60′s houses back then. In one way, it might have been a great move. I could have bought even more records, and just left them in the new place. Because let me tell you, they were nearly giving away records then too.

Golden Oldies was the local chain that sold only used vinyl. There were like five stores in the greater Seattle area. And the main one, on NE 45th Street, was my shrine. I spent hours in the place.

Everything was beautifully organized, basically by genre. The jazz singles took the least time to scour. Not because of quantity. No, there were a ton. But they were all 50¢, tops. I bulked out a massive jazz singles library by default. Grabbed everything remotely interesting. Never left a Verve, Prestige, Atlantic or Blue Note single behind. And the jukebox worn copies, loved those too.

Combine that with a seemingly bitchy drug and alcohol abusing dame, doing lounge covers from the 50′s or 60′s, and I’m grabbing a copy. Not that Carmen McRae was necessarily any of those, but I can fantasize and did.

‘Cottage For Sale’, on Atlantic, black vinyl turning white from years in the jukebox of an old man’s bar for 50¢.

Sold.

The Coasters

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Listen: Shoppin’ For Clothes / The Coasters
8-21 Shopping For Clothes.mp3

There’s just not a lot I can tell you about ‘Shopping For Clothes’ that the record itself can’t.

But my little story about it is a follows: In ’87 Dan Baird was at the Altantic Studios in New York recording and mixing the second Georgia Satellites album. Howard and I headed over from Elektra, a few blocks away, one late afternoon to hear some of the tracks in progress and we were kind of accosted the second we walked in. Dan was all smiles excited and said you have got to hear something. He sat us down at the the board and hit play. I don’t know if I loved ‘Shopping for Clothes’ or Dan’s face lighting up the room more. It’s certainly the sort of record you just know is going to floor any living soul who hasn’t heard it.

These how the fuck did I get here moments from my record company days, now long gone, seemed to come like miracles, except more often, which as we know miracles don’t. This particular one was a chilling rush, being right there where it was recorded decades before. Imagine that high. I definitely twitched.

We must have played ‘Shopping for Clothes’ half a dozen times in a row, maybe more.

Travis Wammack

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Listen: Scratchy / Travis Wammack
Scratchy

I’ve never been able to figure out why soul collectors included this single in their world of must-haves. Because ARA Records was distributed by Atlantic? Or maybe it’s the middle bit that has that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins moment. Regardless, in the UK, where the 7″ came out on Atlantic proper, it usually sells for around $100. It’s not the price that irks me but instead the chances of finding one. Well, a yellow labeled demo that is. Meanwhile, my US pressing will have to do.

I recall this one on the the jukebox at Emmy’s, our local small town malt shop. My older, babysitting cousin would drag me round there after school daily. The place was a snapshot right out of AMERICAN GRAFFITI despite being the 60′s. Upstate New York was not current back then. I’d just stand by the Seeburg content to watch records spin round the machine’s turntable for hours, most of the 45′s having a white sheen from repeated plays.

Despite sounding off-centered to this day, ‘Scratchy’ ignited my interest with instrumentals, as did Jack Nitzsche’s ‘The Lonely Surfer’, another well played single at the time.

Wow, did these records ever sound great in that jukebox, and in fact, they still do. all these years later, both are in my Seeburg now, so I know. And yes, I can stand and watch them play for hours, completely content with life.

Johnny Adams

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Listen: Salt Of The Earth / Johnny Adams
Salt

Save your money for a rainy day, an old wive’s tale. It was one of my parent’s commandments. I learned well and let it spill over to records too. In the busy peak years of focusing on work and career, I’d just blag or buy tons of singles, on road trips around the US and UK, as well, out of other people’s collections. By the eighties, even pre-CD, most industry folks were dumping their 45′s, an apparently embarrassing possession. Never understood that one, but certainly was happy with the trend.

Likewise with label sales and promotion reps. They couldn’t unload 7′s from their trunks fast enough. Well I advocated a no single left behind policy, and hoarded every last one, tucking them away in parents attics, in-laws cellars and various garages for years. Finally consolidated them into a couple of locations with all intentions to organize the lot. That was twenty years ago.

So on the occasional Saturday, like yesterday, I undo the locks, and dig deep, going back in time, opening boxes whose contents are complete surprises. One such surprise: ‘Salt Of The Earth’ by Johnny Adams on Atlantic.

Don’t even ask me how this single, or for that matter, Johnny Adams slipped past me all these years. I have no answer. It was amongst a box of untouched, unplayed WEA promos from ’72. I know exactly where they came from too. The local sales guy, Jack Riehle. The heavens above walked me into his life, and I think I became his human recycling bin. Jack would dump trunk loads on 7′s my way regularly. The senses would throttle into overload each time. I’d pull out the obvious ones then box up the rest, for a rainy day.

The Brother Jack McDuff Quintet

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Listen: But It’s Alright / The Brother Jack McDuff Quintet
But

Brother Jack McDuff had an amazing two year run during ’65 and ’66, releasing a total of twelve albums on Prestige. Such was the demand for long playing records, many chocked full with jazzy soul renditions of contemporary hits, all done in a nightclub style. Along side Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff, seems these Hammond mod interpretations were a license to print money.

In ’68, under a one time tag, The Brother Jack McDuff Quintet, with David Newman on brass and guitarist Melvin Sparks, he recorded DOUBLE BARRELLED SOUL. Keeping with the tradition, the project was a grab bag of well known currents including the much covered ‘Sunny’ and J. J. Jackson’s ‘But It’s Alright’. The two were also paired for 7″ release as Atlantic 2488.

If nothing else, the record’s superb live drum sound will turn any low key get together into a proper swinging party.

The Olympics / The Young Rascals

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Listen: Good Lovin’ / The Olympics
Good

One of the obscure RnB singles that got Top 40 play on WOLF, the miracle pumping AM radio anomaly transmitting 24/7 in upstate New York from ’64 – ’67. The station is referenced many times on this blog, and introduced endless English bands, as well American RnB acts to it’s teenage listenership. Myself included. Bless whoever was in charge.

‘Good Lovin’ rocked my little red transistor, and always sounded way dirtier being broadcast via a compressed AM signal than off my vinyl pressing at home. The single stalled at #81 nationally, like so many others did when from the wrong side of the tracks. Ironically, these records never seemed to get the BILLBOARD chart moves local airplay implied they should. As a result, The Olympics ‘Good Lovin’ disappeared off the airwaves rather fast and temporarily felt like an anthem never to be.

I picked up my copy in the 39¢ bin at W.T. Grants only weeks after initially hearing it.

Listen: Good Lovin’ / The Young Rascals
Good

Within a year though, the more established Atlantic Records issued The Young Rascals version, a result of band member Gene Cornish allegedly hearing The Olympics’ original and suggesting his band cover it live. Without question, they documented a livelier performance onto vinyl, added some garage rock, and went to #1 on the Hot 100.

Despite The Young Rascals having recorded the wilder, many I say better, version doesn’t take away from The Olympics tempered and understated cool. Both are lifers in this collection, convenient necessities for different occasions.

Wilson Pickett

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Listen: In The Midnight Hour / Wilson Pickett
In

The UK promo above came from Vicki Wickham’s collection, which she so generously donated my way. Let me tell you one of many things about Vicki, she’s a saint. Who else rings up, finding boxes of forgotten, valuable records, and just offers them to a friend? Not many, maybe no one. Well that’s Vicki.

The way I put it back on her was, there’ll always be yours, and here if you ever need them. She was happy, me too.

Nothing I can tell you about ‘In The Midnight Hour’ that the readers of this blog don’t already know, so hopefully giving it a play now will at least bring you back to when you first heard it. Dare I proclaim, that moment has to be impossible to forget.

Listen: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love / Wilson Pickett
Everybody

It was ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’, another one from her lot, that really brought me back, not only to Solomon Burke, but The Rolling Stones. Yeah, as a little white kid growing up in the no black folks allowed sticks, it made a very deep imprint on my life, opening side one of THE ROLLING STONES, NOW!. An all time favorite album, the origins of that memory are chronicled elsewhere on this blog.

The real flashback though is them opening both their ’65 and ’66 Syracuse shows with it, Mick Jagger pointing in every possible direction around the arena, while singing the lines “I need you, you, you”. Each of those finger points resulting in even louder shrieks from that section than the rest of the venue, all losing their gear uncontrollably regardless.

Not that Wilson Pickett doesn’t reel this in on his own. Man, these guys could sing the phone book and it would be a hit. Released in early ’67, a track from his then brand new THE BEST OF WILSON PICKETT collection, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ still found a path to #29 Pop / #19 RnB. The power of greatness.

Ben E. King

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Listen: What Is Soul? / Ben E. King
What

Bob Gallo’s name, like Ben E. King’s, always draws me in. The two have written together for decades. As well, Bob has produced a bulk of recordings, not only for Ben E. King, but also Atlantic Records, including The Young Rascals’ ‘Groovin’. This guy has basically worked on every kind of music from James Brown & The Famous Flames’ ‘It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’ to ? & The Mysterians’ ’96 Tears’.

‘What Is Soul’ was oddly a non hit at pop when released in ’66. Despite being the B side to ‘They Don’t Give Medals to Yesterday’s Heroes’, ‘What Is Soul’ suddenly got play in Detroit, New York and Washington DC, so Atco repressed it, changing the label copy to indicate ‘What Is Soul’ as the plug side. It’s under performance from RnB radio’s listeners, entering Billboard’s Soul chart for a mere two weeks, and peaking at #38, discouraged the label to attempt spreading the record Top 40. A very pop leaning song structure may have been the culprit to the hardcore, but I still think, what a missed opportunity every time I play it.

Professor Longhair

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Listen: Mess Around / Professor Longhair
Mess

‘Fess, as he was known to friends and fellow musicians, waited thirty years after releasing his first single before making a lone trip to the UK. The master of “rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing”, to quote journalist Tony Russell, was promoting his PROFESSOR LONGHAIR LIVE ON THE QUEEN MARY album and ‘Mess Around’ single. Recorded on board said ship during a party thrown by Paul and Linda McCartney, the album is an oasis worth searching out.

Through time, his invention of what became known as the New Orleans Mardi Gras sound has been revered by everyone from Fats Domino and Huey Piano Smith to Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. Despite a most productive period on Atlantic Records in the 50′s, he never had mainstream success, instead spiraling downward during the 60′s and 70′s, landing work as a janitor saddled with a gambling addiction. Only during the last years of his life did he begin to see royalties of any kind. And so with little fanfare, bless Paul and Linda for coming to his aid, helping secure a deal with Harvest, and giving him a deserved, overdue break.

Your initial listen through ‘Mess Around’ will simultaneously reveal everything about his distinctive, one of a kind style, apparently the result of learning to play on a piano missing several crucial keys.

Many times when legendary players, years on, try to recapture their spark via a current, contemporary album, the magic sounds tired or lost altogether. Not the case here. Not in the slightest.

Ann Mason / Little Mac & The Boss Sounds

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Ann Mason / You Can't Love Me (In The Midnight Hour)

Listen: You Can’t Love Me (In The Midnight Hour) / Ann Mason featuring Little Mac & The Boss Sounds
You

Although this one is somewhat known as the answer record to Wilson Pickett’s ‘In The Midnight Hour’, I’ve never been successful in uncovering a drop of info about Ann Mason.

‘You Can’t Love Me (In The Midnight Hour)’ was recorded with Ranstoff, North Carolina’s Little Mac & The Boss Sounds in ’65. It’s B side is the instrumental version. In the UK, both sides were issued under the band’s name, with no mention of Ann Mason. Yes, the plot thickens.

Meanwhile the song, already suggestive, is even more blatant from a woman’s harsh point of view.

Phoebe Snow

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Poetry Man / Phoebe Snow

Poetry Man / Phoebe Snow

Listen: Poetry Man (Mono) / Phoebe Snow
Poetry

The nice thing about double A promo singles, up until the late 70′s, was you got an otherwise unobtainable mono mix on one side. Being a mono collector, these are now coveted.

I hated Phoebe Snow when this single was current. I went to see The Pretty Things in Niagara Falls during their SILK TORPEDO tour, and Carol Hardy, who worked promotion for Atlantic at the time, took me backstage to meet the band. I’d already booked them two years earlier at my college in ’73, which unbelievably was during their first ever US tour. Can you believe this seminal band didn’t tour here until ’73! Still I was well up for hanging out with them.

John Povey, Phil May and I got to talking about current records, and they proclaimed their love of ‘Poetry Man’ and Phoebe Snow, who they’d not heard until arriving Stateside. I was mortified. How could The Pretty Things liked this record?

Didn’t change my mind. I proceeded with nose in the air towards her for years.

But my tastes changed and one day, I just had to hear Phoebe Snow. Just like that. Snap.

Now I worship her voice, it’s huge and thunderous. I love all her Shelter Records releases. Leave it to Denny Cordell.

Eddie Harris

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Listen: Is It In (Mono) / Eddie Harris
Is

In the early 70′s, a lot of these credible jazz players leaned disco or dance-y, I assume looking for more mainstream exposure. After all, Deodato had hit big on Top 40 with ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ while with CTI, actually getting to #2 on BILLBOARD. It was an audio oasis on the AM dial at the time.

So guys like Wes Montgomery, Grover Washington, Jr. and Eddie Harris either made attempts at singles, or their respective labels would edit down longer album tracks in hopes of some pop airplay.

I was working for DISCOUNT RECORDS in Syracuse at the time. All the label’s sales guys would donate their boxes of promo 7″ allocations my way, given that no one else at any of their accounts wanted them. The store managers and clerks were generally album whores. It was a God-send for me.

‘Is It In’ became a big hit, well in our store that is. We had a sturdy Garrard stacking turntable behind the counter, and I played it ad nauseam, resulting in some LP sales. At home, even Corinne found the lyrics amusing in a sort of risque way and ended up tolerating it, an anomaly for her when it came to anything jazz.

Hoagy Lands

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Listen: Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands
Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands

Anything associated with Bert Berns gets my radar sky high. A master of New York RnB productions, I grabbed this in a stack somewhere along life’s journey years ago. The not often used black and white, as opposed to red and white, Atlantic promo label giving this obscure single from ’64 even more of an odd one out feel.

There was no way ‘Baby Come Back Home’ was going to disappoint despite the rather un-soulful sound of an artist named Hoagy Lands. Gladly, that first instinct, triggered by the Bert Berns namecheck, was right. The record is a gem.

Through the years I’ve picked up his other titles on Laurie and ABC, yet always found it baffling that, for such an obvious musical fit, ‘Baby Come On Home’, with Cissy Houston, Dee Dee Warwick and Judy Clay on backups, became his only Atlantic release.

Roscoe Shelton

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Listen: Wedding Cake / Roscoe Shelton
Wedding Cake / Roscoe Shelton

Always moth to flame when it comes to food related songs, I can admit an implied dessert tray will always, hands down, be the most attractive. From that box in storage mentioned a few posts ago which my sometimes fried memory does not recall the origins of, that same brain has no problem recognizing the ripping power of a God given voice. Enter Roscoe Shelton.

As for ‘Wedding Cake’, marvel at the building swagger of the song’s greatness, but howl too at it’s double entendre lyric. Plain and simple, they’re brilliantly clever and a Blowfly style riot.

The guy was close friend to Bobby Hebb as well. Hard to top that.

Roscoe Shelton. One of too many unsung, under appreciated RnB gems.

Bob Brady & The Con Chords

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Listen: More, More, More Of Your Love / Bob Brady & The Con Chords
More, More, More Of Your Love / Bob Brady & The Con Chords

Not only did Bob Brady sound like Smokey Robinson, but for this 1967 single, he and the band, or maybe their label Chariot, decided to cover one of his songs. Like many Motown knock offs and/or non hits, it’s picked up a Northern Soul following. Great single, and not too expensive having just done a quick eBay search.

No idea when or where this one entered my life, but it wasn’t at the time. Randomly pulling a box of around 300 singles out of storage earlier today, yet another treasure trove got unearthed. Seriously, why I have absolutely no recollection of this box or it’s history is fascinating.

Bob Brady & The Con Chords were a white act from Baltimore, and the intro and verses of ‘More, More, More Of Your Love’ sound so much like The Amen Corner’s ‘Bend Me, Shape Me’, I’m wondering who was zooming who. I’ve played this so many times this morning, my entire family literally fled to safer ground.

More on the band and their history courtesy Funky 16 Corners.

Don Covay & The Goodtimers

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Listen: Sookie Sookie / Don Covay & The Goodtimers
Sookie Sookie / Don Covay & The Goodtimers

Somewhere in Island’s vaults exists a Don Covay album from around ’89. I know, I was there. It was one of many to be shelved during the label’s chaos of being sold to Polygram at the time. With all the majors scrapping the barrel to find sellable masters, you’d have thought this one may have hit the shelves by now. Except of course, most of the shelves are gone these days. Well it’s there somewhere.

I sure do wish I’d spent more time talking with him when he was around the W. 4th Street offices. What a gentleman, and so humble about his greatness. My mistake.

Steppenwolf covered ‘Sookie Sookie’ on their debut album, pretty well too. Now that was a good live band, a mix of biker and English group image, great material and John Kay’s black soul voice. Yeah, they were good.

This original Atlantic vinyl pressing of ‘Sookie Sookie’ is a beauty. You don’t get a warmer sound than on one of these.