Archive for November, 2007

The Temptations – Lonely Lonely Man Am I

November 30, 2007

Example

The (real) Temptations…

Example

Listen – Lonely Lonely Man Am I MP3″

Greetings all.

Friday is here! HIYYYOOOOO!
I often head up my Friday posts with a generic gripe about how happy I am that the week is over, yet when I started to type this, I took a moment of existential reflection and realized that the passage of a perfectly good five-day block of time ought not be celebrated (unless of course you’re in a dungeon somewhere, clasped in irons).
In the past week I got to spend some quality time with my wife and kids, and while not nearly enough for my taste, it was still a lot better than nothing. I got a cool 45 in the mail, picked up a groovy boxed set at a bargain price and I’m in the middle of a good book; so, despite my inclination to complain, I really ought not to.
If I am besieged by morons at every turn, I must realize that most people are (the moron population increasing exponentially with every passing minute). If I can’t stand my job, and live in dire fear that the whole business might collapse at any minute, I need only notice that countless millions feel the same ongoing dread every single day.
Taken in the macro, the state of the world is depressing, but I’m inclined to think that it has always been thus, and will likely continue that way, so I think I’ll try a little Zen, reed-bending-in-the-breeze action.
So, what say we all take a deep, end of week breath, refocus our energy and listen to some good soul music?
A while back – in the Blogger era – I posted one of my all-time favorite soul sides, ‘Lonely Lonely Girl Am I’ by the Velvelettes. You can read the old post to see what I had to say in detail, but the short answer is that it is a brilliant record (thanks in large part to co-writer/producer Norman Whitfield).
It was a few years before I managed to track down – in a dusty flea market no less – the original recording of the tune, in which it is removed from it’s glimmering distaff presentation and reimagined (or pre-imagined) as a languid sea of male harmony.
That sea was being sailed by none other that the Temptations.
Appearing on their 1966 ‘Gettin’ Ready’ LP – which also contained ‘Get Ready’ and ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’- the Temptations version of the song slows the tempo down (as does the later cover by Chuck Jackson) and wraps the whole thing in a more subdued arrangement. As much as I’ve grown to love the Velvelettes version, the Temps take on the song really works for me to the point where I can appreciate both styles (still leaning toward the Velvelettes).
This is certainly not always the case, as many songs don’t readily lend themselves to reinterpretation. Happily, with ‘Lonely Lonely Girl/Man Am I’ this was not the case.
The creative world is always engaged in acts of reinterpretation. Sometimes this is part of a genuine creative search. Most of the time – as is the case with modern Hollywood – it’s born of unfortunate combination of arrogance and sloth (i.e. ‘I can do the Wizard of Oz BETTER!!’). I get the feeling that at Motown it was more the former than the latter. From what I’ve read there was a real sense of competition (not always healthy, but whatever) which pushed the writers and producers to redo material with a variety of artists until they hit the mark. When it came to this song, they hit it twice.
That said, I hope you dig the tune. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with a new edition of Funky16Corners Radio.
Peace
Larry

NOTE: Thanks to a couple of sharp-eyed readers who noticed that I grabbed a pic, not of the Temptations, but a bunch of actors playing the Temptations in a movie. Oh dear…The picture has been replaced. – Larry

Bad Habits – Night Owl

November 28, 2007

Example

(below) Tony Allen: the originator

Example

Listen – Night Owl MP3″

Greetings all.

Here we gather at the middle of the week, poised – after a few days of intense suffering – to turn things around. Knowing that – unlike Sisyphus – we’ve all crested the hill and that the weekend is but a few days distant has always been good for the soul, and since soul is the coin of the realm hereabouts, what better way to celebrate than a little more of same?
I found today’s selection a few months back in my record show haul. When I first pulled it from the box, I assumed that I was getting a garage punk 45, but when I dropped the needle on the old GP3 (currently ailing, maybe about to be put out to pasture) what I got was something else entirely.
Though I’d never heard of the Bad Habits, in the weeks that followed I would, courtesy of that band, be taught a lesson in misconceptions, factual wrong turns and the like. Certainly nothing profound, but with enough light at the end of the tunnel to clear things up.
‘Clear what up?’ you say.
Well, sit right back and you’ll hear a tale….yadda, yadda, yadda….
Label scanner that I am, the first thing I noticed about the Bad Habits 45, once I got it home and settled in, was the Delaney Bramlett credit on the song ‘It’s Been a Long Time Coming’. This, and the distinctly Bonnie-esque vocals on the record pushed me in the direction of assuming (and we know what Felix Unger had to say about that slippery slope) that what I was holding was some early incarnation of Delaney and Bonnie (and maybe some Friends, but who knows?).
A bit of Googling revealed that there were other folks out there on the interwebs who thought the same thing. Naturally, being constitutionally unable to leave well enough alone, I started digging around, and discovered that the Bad Habits 45 had been released in 1970, well after the Bramletts were a going concern. I thought that maybe this was an early, possibly unreleased recording that the folks at Paula records issued to take advantage of their success.
In the end (or at least the first “end”) it remained a mystery. The record was digi-ma-tized, the label scanned and there it sat in my ‘to be blogged’ folder for several weeks.
Then – as is often the case – I dug a little more, whipped a little Google Fu on the webs and discovered that the Bad Habits were not in fact any incarnation of Delaney and Bonnie, but had only covered one of their songs.
As it turns out, the Bad Habits were a white Louisiana band – originally called Debbie and the Lads (maybe that’s Debbie singing?) – that signed with Paula Records in 1969 and went on to record four singles for the label in 1970 and 1971*.
The song that we feature today, ‘Night Owl’ (originally spelled ‘Nite Owl’) was a cover of a multi-regional 1955 hit by Tony Allen and the Champs.
Allen, a native of New Orleans relocated to Los Angeles in the early 50’s where he hung with folks like Cornell Gunter, Jesse Belvin and Bobby Freeman. Allen recorded ‘Nite Owl’ for Specialty Records in 1955, and it went on to become a favorite of the lowrider scene, as well as with “Beach Music” fans in the southeast.
The tune was later covered by the Righteous Brothers, Dick Dale & the Deltones, Bobby Paris and John Fred & the Playboy Band (maybe the version that inspired the Bad Habits?). There was even a Jamaican version of the tune by Lee & the Clarendonians.
The Bad Habits version is a rough slice of R&B, with a particularly raw lead vocal. It sounds like it was recorded long before 1970.
I’ve never heard any of the other Bad Habits 45s, but you know I’ll be looking for them now.
Hope you dig it.
Peace
Larry

UPDATE 12/19/07:

Bad Habits keyboardist Ronnie Plaisance left a bunch of additional information about the band and the recording of this 45 in the comments section. I thought it only fitting that I move it up to the main page.

My wife was messin around on google and found your link, and strangely enough, I was the original keyboardist for Debby and the Ladds, who became the Bad Habits when we signed with Paula Records back in 69 or 70′Bad Habits Paula Record Single Releases

Debby Folse was the female singer and boy could she and still can belt them out. Married now and performs locally.

The most informatative info I can offer is, that the guitarist Pershing Wells was just a kid when Nite Owl was recorded in Tyler , Texas, so Gene Kent the manager of the Bad Habits, had to call on the guitarist from Mouse and the Traps from Tyler to create the guitar solo. A little know fact…
I think his name is Bugs Henderson, who went on to much bigger things. check him out when you get a chance..Bugs came in and nailed that lead in two takes, and it was exactly want the producers wanted, as they sang most of it to him before recording.

I am currently working with the blue eyed soul revue, a group together over 30 years, who backs atrist such as Percy Sledge, Jimmy Clanton, Fats, and many more…on my space as blue eyed soul revue.

I was a young lad of 19 when all this fame hit us, and basically signed everything they asked me to, and just went along for the ride. Great oportunity and loads of fun and experience. I remained in the group the Bad Habits for a couple of years, then moved on.

The story that was given to us band members was that Paula records had two hits on the charts at the same time and had just enough money to promote one, which happened to be John Fred and the Playboys from Houma , La. with the tune Judy in Disquise with glasses, which was written about his sister who wore glasses. Our record had some success, but was not promoted to it’s full potential.
On another note, the members of our group were way against “bubble gum” commercial music and were asked to record Nite Owl as a flip side, never to be heard…LOL…We all were very serious musicians, who wanted more of a Chicago, or Blood, Sweat and tears, type audience…anyway…nite owl poped and off we rode in that direction.

Anyway hope this helps….”

 

327 Night Owl / It’s Been A Long Time Coming 1970

333 My Baby Specializes / Born On The Bayou 1970

342 I Don’t Wanna Discuss It / If The Whole World Stopped Loving 1971

353 Thank You For The Love / My Days Are Numbered 1971

*The Bad Habits guitarist Pershing Wells has an interesting web page. Check out the pics of him with Allen Toussaint, Oliver Morgan and Ernie K. Doe

Gene Waiters – Shake and Shingaling Pt1 b/w Asbury 45 Sessions Wrap-up

November 26, 2007

Example

Cinema Verite: Funky16Corners on the decks,

spinning the very record you’re listening to.

Example

Listen – Shake and Shingaling Pt1 MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope you’re all grooving on an excellent autumn weekend, and as prepared as possible for the beginning of another week strapped to the wheel.
I spent Friday night spinning with the Asbury Park 45 Sessions crew (more on that in a minute), but then spent five hours on Saturday, blowing, raking and bagging leaves.
Right now I feel as if I was run down by a bus.
Anyway, I didn’t feel much like doing anything today, but the keyboard and the interwebs beckoned, so here I sit hammering away at the laptop.
There have been some technical difficulties with the archiving of the DJ sets from Friday night (which should be resolved shortly, at which time I’ll upload the set), so I can’t offer you my full set, but I will bring you the record with which I opened.
Before I do that, a brief recap of the Sessions.
Things were – as they always are – supremely groovy, with an emphasis on heavy sounds and cool people.
This time out saw the return of Vincent the Soul Chef, and the mighty Devil Dick, as well as sets by your host DJ Prestige, Connie T Empress (thanks for that Shells side Connie!), MFasis, Jack the Ripper, DJ Prime and yours truly. Set lists to follow (as they become available).
Word up as well for the between set announcements by New York radio legend Bob Shannon.
The record I opened the set with, as always has to be something powerful, and I don’t think I disappointed.
Philadelphia’s Fairmount label – in addition to having one of my fave label designs – has in its discography a number of amazing 45s, including sides by Lonnie Youngblood, King Coleman, Shirley Vaughn, Bonnie and Lee (a personal favorite), Irma & the Larks and Frankie Beverly.
The record at the top of my list (and my set on Friday) is the storming ‘Shake & Shingaling Pt1’ by Gene Waiters.
Sadly, aside from a few vague clues that suggest to me that Waiters was a native Philadelphian, I’ve never been able to track down any information about him. This is especially disappointing because I’d be willing to go as far as to say that ‘Shake and Shingaling’ is one of the five or ten greatest records to come out of Phildelphia in the 60’s (and that is indeed saying A LOT).
‘Shake and Shingaling’ is one of those records that resides in the connective tissue between hard, sock soul and the birth of out and out funk.
While it is clearly built on a James Brown frame, it is no mere imitation. The production (by someone listed only as ‘Slater’) packs a huge helping of soul power into the grooves. I’d love to know who this guy was, because his work on ‘Shake and Shingaling’ is positively visionary.
 The opening seconds of the song, where the drums, and then the bass come in is a real smack in the face. Whoever was playing the bass and drums had serious chops. The bass is heavy without being distorted, and the drums are poweful and right on the money, never too busy, but always pushing the dancers forward.
When Waiters comes in, followed directly by the horns and organ, the record is elevated to an entirely new level. The sounds emanating from the wax make me wonder if it ever got played on the radio, because I can’t conceive of a world where a record this hot didn’t turn into a huge hit. There are so many records, soul and otherwise that contain moments of brilliance but hold within them some quirk, oddity or poor musical choice, or are so bloody obscure that a realistic assessment would lead you to conclude that its marginalization is in some way justified.
When I listen to ‘Shake and Shingaling’, I don’t hear any of those negatives. The song and arrangement don’t take any wrong turns, always moving upward and onward when they should, never lagging. I wouldn’t be foolish enough to say that I haven’t dealt with this scenario before, as my crates hold dozens of such records.
It’s just that when you find a 45 like this, and play it over and over again, always hearing something new and exciting, you have to wonder what went wrong.
Why wasn’t it a hit?
Why didn’t Gene Waiters ever make another record?
Was he so excited when he heard the record that he ran out of the studio and got flattened by a bus?
Did he insult someone powerful in the world of Philadelphia radio?
Or, as is more likely the truth, did ‘Shake and Shingaling’, released on a label that never saw a major hit – merely fall through the cracks, like hundreds of other records released during the mid-60’s (I think 1966) and in the years before, and since?
When you pull down the ones and zeros, I want you to do two things.
First, give ‘Shake and Shingaling’ a few serious listens on a nice pair of headphones.
Then, plug the ole pod thingy into some big speakers and turn the volume way up.
Put your hands on the woofers and feel the bass, then get up and start dancing (preferably with someone you dig).
It should become immediately obvious why I opened my Asbury 45 Sessions set with this record.
One of the really basic, primal reasons for wanting to DJ over a big PA is to be able to hear a hot record pulse from the huge speakers in a way that effects the listeners (hopefully dancers too) in a physical way. The bass thumps their chests, the treble lights up the pleasure centers in the brain and the beat possesses their hips and legs and makes them want to get up and move. It’s precisely the feeling that makes me into the soul music evangelist that I am, that makes me drag my tired, leaf-lowing bones over to the computer when I’d rather be falling asleep, and lay yet another sermon on you all.
Listen to ‘Shake and Shingaling’ and get some of this religion brothers and sisters.
When you’re done, and positively dripping with the soulful spirit, raise a glass to Gene Waiters – wherever he is – and say ‘Thank you soul brother!’.
Peace
Larry

PS Make sure you head on over to Iron Leg for a cool new podcast, the Freaked Out Mind Blowing Scene of Right Now!!

Example

Asbury Park 45 Session 11/23

Funky16Corners Playlist
Gene Waiters – Shake & Shingaling Pt1 (Fairmount)
Marlena Shaw – California Soul (Cadet)
The Highlighters – Lulu (Chess)
Gunga Din – Snake Pit (Valise)
The Fabulous Fantoms – The Mau Mau Pt1 (Big Deal)
Freddy Scott & his Orchestra – Pow City (Marlin)
Marva Whitney – Things Got To Get Better (Get Together) (King)
The Exotics – Boogaloo Investigator (Excello)
Lionel Hampton & his Inner Circle of Jazz – Greasy Greens (Glad Hamp)
Senor Soul – Don’t Lay Your Funky Trip On Me (Whiz)
Lavell Hardy – Don’t Lose Your Groove (Rojac)
Wee Willie Walker – Ticket To Ride (Goldwax)
Eldridge Holmes – Pop Popcorn Children (Atco)
Brother Jack McDuff – Theme From Electric Surfboard (Blue Note)
Roy Thompson – Sookie Sookie (Okeh)
Village Callers – Hector (Rampart)
Brown Brothers of Soul – Cholo (Specialty)
Spinners – It’s a Shame (VIP)
Laura Lee – Crumbs Off the Table (Hot Wax)
Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers- If You Love Her (Gordy)

Connie T Empress Playlist

Beware The Stranger – Hypnotics (La Coupe UK)
Keep On Keeping On – The Vibrations (Okeh)
Leaving Here – Tommy Good (Gordy)
Karate – The Emperor’s (Mala)
I Don’t Want Trouble – Barbara & The Browns (Stax)
Oo Wee Baby – The Ivy Tones (Red Top)
Whiplash – The Shells (Conlo)
Sweet Things You Do – Eddie Floyd (Stax)
I Wanna Jump – Ike & Tina Turner (UA)
Twist It Up – Herbert Hunter (Hit)
You Ain’t Ready – Lou Courtney (Riverside)
Why Girl – The Precisions (Drew dj copy)
You Hit Me Right Where It Hurt Me – Alice Clark (Canterbury)
Everybody’s Going Wild – Curtis Lee & The KCP’s (Rojac)
She Tried To Kiss Me – Butlers (Liberty Bell dj copy)
Skiing In The Snow – The Invitations (Out Of The Past reissue)

DJ Prestige Playlist

Intro: Lou Rawls – You Made Me So Very Happy/ Capitol
Jimmy Castor – Psycho Man/ Capitol
Stoned Soul Picnic – One Dollar Hotel/ Raw Wax
Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9/ Atlantic
Marsha Hunt – (Oh No!) Not the Beast Day/ Vertigo
Ground Hog – Bumpin’/ Gemigo
The Brothers and Sisters (feat Sister Gheri) – Chained/ Calla
Hot Butter – Getting It On/ Dynamo
Dennis Coffey – Getting It On ‘75/ Sussex
The 13th Amendment – The Stretch/ Soul Stream
Otis and Carla – Tramp (x2)
Lowell Fulsom – Tramp/ Kent
Gloria Taylor – Grounded/ Silver Fox
Gus “The Groove” Lewis – Let The Groove Move Ya/ Tou Sea
Nina Simone – Save Me/ RCA
Willie Gresham & the Free Food Ticket – Step By Step/ Majesty
Mophono – Tighten Up Remix/ CB Records
Della Reese – Compared To What/ AVCO Embassy
Elijah and the Ebonies – Hot Grits!/ Capsoul
TNT Band – Meditation/ Cotique

Devil Dick Playlist

Sir Joe and Free Soul – (I’ve Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind – Mantis
Bob Franklin’s Insanity – Don’t Lose What You Got (Trying To Get Back What You Had) – Westbound
The Moods – King Hustler – Red Dog
Fantastic Epics – Fun and Funk Part III – Tories
Third Guitar – Down To The River – Rojac
The Wild Magnolias – Smoke My Peace Pipe (Smoke It Right) – Polydor
Ike & Tina Turner & The Ikettes – Contact High – Liberty
Sound Experience – 40 Acres and A Mule – Soulville
Iron Knowledge – Show Stopper – Tammy
Masters Of Soul – I Hate You (In The Daytime And Love You At Night)- Duke
Bags – It’s Heavy – GSF

Vincent the Soul Chef Playlist

Soul Theme-King Curtis (Atco)
No Matter What Sign You Are-Diana Ross & The Supremes (Motown)
Tuck’s Theme-Bill Deal & The Rhondels (Heritage)
Here It Is-Dorothy Moore (Malaco)
It’s Your Thing-Dennis Coffey & The Lyman Woodward Trio (Maverick)
Filet De Soul-The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax)
Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On-Edwin Starr (Gordy)
Funky Worm-Ohio Players (Westbound)
I’ve Got Just The Thing-Lou Courtney (Riverside)
Got Myself A Good Man-Gladys Knight & The Pips (Soul)
Do What You Wanna-Ramsey Lewis (Cadet)
My Love’s A Monster-Clea Bradford (Cadet)
Get It (Come And Get It)-Jay Dee Bryant (Enjoy)
Shake And Fingerpop-Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Soul)
Ack A Fool-The Sister & Brothers (Calla)
O Wow-Panic Buttons (Gamble)
Get Into Something Pt. 2-Isley Brothers (T Neck)
Blow Your Mind-Sound Experience (Philly Soulville)

DJ Prime Playlist
tyrone davis – a woman needs to be loved (dakar)
screamin’ jay hawkins – i put a spell on you (collectables)
israel tolbert – big leg woman (warren)
isley brothers – work to do (t neck)
jean knight – you think you’re hot stuff (stax)
detroit sex machines – rap it together (soul track)
the meters – cabbage alley (reprise)
calvin arnold – funky way (venture)
midnight movers unltd – put your mind in your pocket (renee)
dyke and the blazers – funky bull pt. 1 (original sound)
the 8th day – it’s instrumental to be free (invictus)
don covay – ice cream man (atlantic)
linda jones – makes me surrender (loma)
dr. john – right place, wrong time (atco)
latin breed – hard to handle (funk45)
black heat – chip’s funk (atlantic)
james brown – ain’t it funky now (polydor)
the staple singers – this world (stax)
antibalas – family affair (mind)
jj malone – it’s a shame (galaxy)
a small change deconstruction – steviano italiano (bstrd boots)
soulful strings – within you, without you (cadet)
jerry o – karate boo-ga-loo (shout)
alvin cash – keep on dancing (toddlin’ town)
dyke and the blazers – we got more soul (original sound)
ricardo ray – nitty gritty (alegre)
the electric express – it’s the real thing pt. 1 (lingo)
hank ballard – come on wit’ it (king)
bronx river parkway – agua con sal (t&s)
peggy scott & jo jo benson – soushake (sss international)
spanky wilson – little things mean a lot (mothers records)

Marva Whitney – Things Got To Get Better (Get Together)

November 21, 2007

Example

Marva says “OH! OH! OHHHHH!”

Example

Hey! Look who scanned the wrong side of the 45!

Listen – Things Got To Get Better (Get Together) MP3″

Greetings all.

I wasn’t 100% positive that I was going to get something posted before Thanksgiving. As I’ve mentioned previously, I work in the production end of the newspaper business, and the days leading up to Thanksgiving (one of the biggest papers of the year) are pure hell.
However, I gave it some thought, and figured that if I was going to drop something, it should be especially hot as it should commemorate both Thanksgiving, and the impending arrival of the latest installment of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions.
On that note, I bring you a powerful little 45 by no less a diva than the mighty Marva Whitney.
But wait…on slightly freaky note, I remembered that I had posted Marva’s ‘It’s My Thing’ and went back pick up some background, and check this shit, I posted that burner right around Thanksgiving (shortly afterward) last year.
Spooky, n’est ce pas??? Methinks it’s kismet!
Marva Whitney was, like Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson, a crucial part of the James Brown Revue. She worked (including a tour of Vietnam) and recorded with Brown from 1967 to 1970, making several superhot 45s and an excellent (and rare) album.
Though all of the Brown-associated divas were powerful vocalists, I am of the opinion that Whitney was the most intense. One need only listen to ‘It’s My Thing’ to realize the eardrum stretching capacity of her voice. That she took that mighty power, and applied it to the funk is to the lasting benefit of all involved.
That particular record was an R&B Top 20 hit in 1969. I would posit that its failure to chart any higher (or perform similarly on the Pop side of things) is a testament to its intensity.
That the record she followed it with – ‘Things Got To Get Better (Get Together)’ – was less successful is, once you’ve heard it, inconceivable. Was the listening public so stunned by ‘It’s My Thing’ that they were unable to process further funk power properly, forcing them instead to fill their ears with bubblegum, hippie rawk and other unsuitable – yet easier to digest – substitutes?
As was the answer in the old ‘How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop’ conundrum – “The world may never know.”
However, that the listening public of 1969 did itself – and Marva Whitney – a disservice by failing to properly reward her genius, is undeniable, and getting this track up into the ether of the interwebs, where it might be exposed to a new world (and maybe a few old ears still searching for the truth) is the least we can do.
The tune, if you don’t already know, is a stone killer with an unstoppable groove rolling under Whitney’s blistering vocals. Give it a close listen and check the combination of organ, bass and sax that build the rhythm from the bottom up (there are points where the bass seems to be pushing the limits of the tape), especially during the breakdown in the middle of the song where Marva drops a couple of ‘OH!’s that are the very distillation of soul sisterhood.
Powerful stuff indeed.
In a further bit of grooviness, that picture above is a capture from a film (on YouTube) of Marva performing this very song on the David Steinberg hosted ‘Music Scene 69’ TV show (that’s James and the JBs in the background).

So, dig the song, have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and if there’s any way you can drag yourself to Asbury Park on Friday night, do so, because if you like what your hearing, you’re gonna get about 100 times that goodness at he Asbury Park 45 Sessions (check out this article on DJ Prestige in the local paper). Vincent the Soul Chef will be joining us again, as will the ultra-deepcrated Devil Dick. It’s going to be heavy brothers and sisters.

Dont forget to head over to JamNow on Friday night (or any time afterward) to hear the live stream of the 45 Sessions.
Peace
Larry

PS Make sure to stop by Iron Leg for some Freakbeat by the Equals

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.38 – Fall Funk (plus some news…)

November 18, 2007

Example

You Gotta Wash Your Pumpkin…

Funky16Corners Radio v.38- Fall Funk

Playlist

1. Manu Dibango – Moni (Atlantic)
2. Fatback Band – Njia (Nija) Walk (Perception)
3. Bird Rollins feat the New Jersey Burners – Do It To It (Calla)
4. Gene & Eddie – Sweet Little Girl (Ru Jac)
5. Bill Coday – Get Your Lie Straight (Crajon)
6. James Rivers – Fonky Flute (Kon Ti)
7. Dave Baby Cortez – Do the Funky Dance (Sound Pak)
8. Brother Jack McDuff – Theme From Electric Surfboard (Blue Note)
9. Ramsey Lewis – Since You’ve Been Gone (Cadet)

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

 

Greetings all.
A new week is upon us, and I am overcome by a grey indifference, due no doubt to the strange autumn weather. As I’ve related several times in the past, here in New Jersey, we go through bizarre seasonal transitions, where the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind, hurtling back and forth through diametrically opposed periods of warmth and cold, stitched together by a vague, unpleasant wetness.
I suppose I should be thankful that in this part of the country we rarely experience extreme weather (raging brushfires, tornados, floods, hurricanes or softball-sized hail), but I cannot deny that the current state of affairs does something to the equilibrium.
I an effort to combat this malaise, and to right the ship as it were I have decided – with the help of my recent Baltimore digs – to assemble a batch of funky grooves, engineered to lift the spirits and move the feet. All but two of the 45s in this mix were procured last week in the Charm City (I put aside a couple of choice bits for presentation by themselves), and I have Vincent the Soul Chef to thank for putting me up on one of his spots, where these sounds were found (literally in a back alley, behind a locked gate).

On that note, make sure you head over to check out the Fufu Stew Thanksgiving extravaganza, a three part Turkey Day themed mix with contributions from several other bloggers (myself included).
The preamble now dispensed with, I bring you some info (on account of it wouldn’t be Funky16Corners if I didn’t, right?) to peruse while you’re soaking in the funk.
But first, some news…
After a long delay, the Funky16Corners Radio Archive has finally been assembled, wherein one will find links to download mixed MP3s and Zip files for every edition of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast. As I said this was a longtime coming, but thanks to the aid of a friendly reader – who sent along the files I was missing – it is now a reality.

Example

I’ve also consolidated the pre-Wordpress blog archives (or at least the links thereof) into a single page, truncating the sidebar considerably.

Example

I considered moving the blogroll off onto a separate page, but at least for the moment, I like having the links on the main page, so that’s where they’ll stay.
To access the new pages you can click on the appropriate graphics in the sidebar.
That all said, I hope you like the improvements – as they are – and would like to hear what you think.
This edition of Funky16Corners Radio has a running time which is a little on the short side (just under a half hour), but I figured maybe instead of sitting in front of the computer all day, you might want to get a concentrated dose of the funk, which you might carry with you out into the streets, spreading the love wherever you go. Dig also the interstitial interjections from the legendary Redd Foxx
Things get off to a rousing start with a side by the Lion of Cameroon, the mighty master of the makossa, Manu Dibango. Dibango’s ‘Weya’ is a longtime fave, and though I already have the French issue on Fiesta, I figured it couldn’t hurt to pick up a nice copy of the US issue on Atlantic. Good thing I did too, because the b-side ‘Moni’ is a searing bit of Afro-funk (the Fiesta b-side is ‘Pepe Soup’). Dig the heavy fuzz guitar herein.
I have DJ Prestige for turning me onto the Fatback Band, via his inclusion of ‘Goin’ To See My Baby’ on our ‘Beat Combination’ collab. Thanks to that, I have been on the lookout for Fatback 45s ever since. Good thing too, since ‘Njia (Nija) Walk’ is a funky killer – not to mention the fact that it carries on its flipside a tasty version of ‘Soul Man’.
I haven’t been able to track down much in the way of concrete info on Bird Rollins. Though he’s backed by the New Jersey Burners (dig those tasty breaks) on ‘Do It To It’ (originally issued on Andee) he appears to hail from the south. He recorded two 45s for the Calla label in the early 70’s, and for a couple of other imprints (Rol Cal, Magnet, Disco) into the disco era.
One of the things a digger hopes for when exploring new territory, is to come up on local vinyl. I was lucky enough while in Baltimore to score a copy of ‘Gene and Eddie’s ‘Sweet Little Girl’ on the Ru Jac label. Between 1963 and 1972 Ru Jac released a grip of quality sides by Baltimore/Washington DC area artists including Winfield Parker and Butch Cornell. Gene & Eddie had five singles on Ru Jac between 1968 and 1971, with ‘Sweet Little Girl’ coming out in 1969. Though the tune isn’t out and out funk, it surely is funky with a bit of Sam and Dave-ish interplay.
Though he got his start in Mississippi, Bill Coday was “discovered” in Chicago by Denise Lasalle and her husband Bill Jones (owner of the Crajon label), who took him to Memphis where he would record under the aegis of the great Willie Mitchell. ‘Get Your Lie Straight’ was a Top 20 R&B hit in 1971, and features a gritty vocal by Coday with some signature Memphis backing. Coday went on to record for Galaxy and Epic, and continues to tour and record to this day.
Followers of New Orleans sounds will find the name James Rivers a familiar one. Adept on both sax and flute, Rivers recorded for a variety of local labels (Instant, Eight Ball, Kon Ti) through the 60’s and 70’s (I’ve features some of his stuff in previous New Orleans mixes). The aptly named ‘Fonky Flute’ is one of his rarer 45s, so I’ll ask you to forgive the noise at the beginning. The record has an edge warp that had the tone arm bobbing like a drunk on a mechanical bull, and it’s a miracle that the record got recorded at all. However, a little surface noise is a small price to pay, as the normally restrained Rivers uses ‘Fonky Flute’ as his opportunity to go 100%, Rahsaan Roland Kirkified, batshit crazy during his solos, making Jeremy Steig look like the light entertainment for a meeting of the Garden Club. It’s one my fave flute sides, and I’m always on the lookout for a clean copy.
If you stop by here on the reg, you already know I love me some Hammond, which is what I was expecting years ago when I first grabbed ‘(Do It) The Funky Dance’ by Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez. Imagine my surprise when I slapped it on the turntable and it turned out to be a funk vocal, and a good one at that. I was unaware that Cortez had done any singing (which it turns out he had, occasionally), and this 1971 45 is proof that maybe he should have done so more often. I’m not saying that he was going to give Wilson Pickett anything to worry about, but as singing organists go, he wasn’t bad.
Also on the Hammond tip, and quite heavily at that is one of the masters of the genre, the mighty Brother Jack McDuff with ‘Theme From Electric Surfboard’. I love McDuff’s Blue Note recordings (‘Hunk of Funk’ is an all time fave), and ‘Theme..’ has a very groovy, almost Blaxploitation feeling to it, with a serious amount o swing. Brother Jack must have dug it a lot, because he rerecorded it a couple of times for Cadet.
Speaking of Cadet, we close out the mix with one of the labels stalwarts, the great Ramsey Lewis. His cover of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ (the flip of the oft sampled ‘Les Fleur’) appeared on his 1968 ‘Maiden Voyage’ LP. I really dig the mix of Lewis’ trademark soul jazz piano/bass/drums groove with the backing vocals and the horn section.

So, I hope you dig the mix, and that if you’re missing any of the Funky16Corners Radio podcasts, you spend some time catching up.
Peace
Larry

PS Don’t forget the Asbury Park 45 Sessions are this Friday 11/23 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes!!

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PS Check out the tunes over at Iron Leg

Friday Flashback – Funky16Corners Radio v.1 – Philly Funk

November 16, 2007

Greetings.

Today’s post is a reprise of the very first Funky16Corners Radio Podcast, originally posted in May of 2006. For a long time I wondered if I was ever going to be able to do a proper repost on this one, as the ZIP file for this mix (and several others) was lost when I switched computers some time ago. Thanks to reader James Mayfield, who had the missing files and was kind enough to send them to me, the next few months should see the completion of the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast archive.

The inaugural edition of Funky16Corners Radio was devoted to some of my favorite Philadelphia funk 45s. I think you’ll dig it, and I also think I’m going to have to go back into the lab and create a second volume of Philly Funk.

Until I do, dig this one, and I’ll be back next week with a new mix.

Keep in mind that next Friday (the day after Thankgiving) the latest Asbury Park 45 Sessions will be happening, and as always, if you’re within 100 miles, you need to check it out.

So, have a great weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday.

Peace

Larry 

Funky16Corners Mix v.1 – Funky Philadelphia

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The Nu Sound Express Ltd.

Track listing The Show Stoppers – Shake Your Mini (Showtime) Interpretations – Blow Your Mind (Jubilee) Panic Buttons – Hitch It To The Mule (Chalom) Alfie & The Explosions – Safire (Phil-L.A. of Soul) Hidden Cost – Bo Did It (Marmaduke) Alliance – Pass The Pipe (Wand) Landslides – We Don’t Need No Music (Huff Puff) United Image – African Bump (Branding Iron) Broad Street Gang – 12th Street Man (Cougar) Big Al T Orchestra – Do The Slide (Virtue) Nu Sound Express – One More Time You All (Silver Dollar) Nat Turner Rebellion – Plastic People (Delvaliant) Fantastic Johnny C – Let’s Do It Together (Kama Sutra) Radars – Finger Licking Chicken (Yew) Georgie Woods – Potato Salad Pt 1 (Fat Back) Four Larks – Keep Climbing Brother (Uptown) Brothers of Hope – Nickol Nickol (Gamble)

 

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

Greetings all. The beginning of another week is here, and I’ve decided to do something new here at the ole Funky16Corners blog. For quite a while I’ve been thinking about presenting something a little more substantial than a single (or double) song download, and though what I’m about to do doesn’t technically rise to the level of podcasting (I think…) it is a “cast” of sorts. Starting this week, and repeating periodically (maybe once every few weeks) from now on I’ll be posting themed mixes for download. Keep in mind that these will be comparatively large files and if you’re working with a slow connection they will take a VERY LONG TIME to download. However, if you have a faster connection it won’t be nuthin’ but a thang. I will continue the regular Funky16Corners format, i.e. one record/one story for the vast majority of the posts, so if you’re still on dial-up, you’ll still be able to get your regularly scheduled soulful taste, same Bat time, same Bat channel. Just keep checking back. Now, to the mix…. When I sat down to put this mix together, I decided that along with some personal faves (some of which – 4 of the 17 tunes – have appeared in this space previously), I was going to try to go for some of the more unsung 45s in my Philly crates.

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Things start off with ‘Shake Your Mini’ by the Show Stoppers. Featuring a couple of Solomon Burke’s nephews, the Show Stoppers are best known for the classic ‘Ain’t Nothing But a House Party’. ‘Shake Your Mini’ (which includes a Hammond version of the cut by Ronnie Dee on the b-side) is by far their funkiest outing, and was their last US release (they went on to record a few 45s for a UK label).

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The Interpretations had an interesting history. There were four 45s released under that name, two (Snap Out b/w Soul Affection and Automatic Soul Pts 1&2) on Bell, and two on Jubilee (Blow Your Mind b/w Trippin’ and Jason Pew Mosso Pts 1&2). Both Bell 45s – one of which which was originally released on the local Haral label – and the ‘Blow Your Mind’ side of the first Jubilee 45 featured the original Interpretations. The ‘Trippin’ side of that 45, and both sides of the ‘Jason Pew Mosso’ 45 are in fact the MFSB rhythm section, i.e. Ronnie Baker, Norman Harris, Bobby Eli and Earl Young et al. That same core group appears on this mix under the pseudonyms The Hidden Cost, Landslides and the Brothers of Hope (and probably play on many of the others as well).

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The Panic Buttons were the work of Philly saxophonist Lou Lupo. They recorded 45s for their own Chalom label, some of which were reissued on Gamble. They are all worth checking out.

I know nothing about Alfie & The Explosions, other than they seem to have recorded into the disco era. ‘Safire’ certainly has a touch of that feeling, but stays funky.

The Hidden Cost, as I said before were one of a number names under which the MFSB rhythm recorded. Marmaduke records was owned by Bernie Binnick and Len Barry, and released a number of 45s on that imprint by Norma & The Heartaches, Power Play and Daley’s Diggers, as well as productions by the Electric Indian. The spoken parts on ‘Bo Did It’ are exchanges between Earl Young and Bobby Eli.

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The Alliance was another studio group (and another Marmaduke production), this time featuring Daryl Hall (who’s voice is recognizable in the mix) and Bobby Eli (who are credited with the arrangement) among others. The flip side of ‘Pass the Pipe’ is an instrumental mix of the tune entitled ‘Cupid’s Holding’.

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The Landslides were another Baker/Harris/Eli/Young alias. The Huff Puff label (with one of the coolest Philly label designs) also released sides by Ruth McFadden and the Producers. The flip of this one is an instrumental version, cleverly titled ‘Music Please Music’.

By the time the United Image recorded ‘African Bump’ for Jesse James’ Branding iron label, they had already recorded a few 45s for Stax. They later recorded as Double Exposure.

I wish I knew more about the Broad Street Gang. I have three 45s by the group, one on Cougar, one on Condor and another on Avco, all excellent. I’ve heard rumors that there was also an LP, but I’ve never seen it.

The ‘Big Al T Orchestra’ cut ‘Do the Slide’ was the flip of their cooking instrumental take on Edwin Starr’s ’25 Miles’. I believe ‘Big Al T’ was the same cat as ‘Al Thomas’, as in the Al Thomas Ork’, also on Virtue. It’s a nice jazzy slice of guitar funk.

The Nu Sound Express recorded two 45s for the local Silver Dollar label. The first, ‘Ain’t It Good Enough’ was sampled on DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s Brainfreeze mix. ‘One More Time You All’ was the a-side of their second 45.

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The Nat Turner Rebellion is another extremely intriguing Philly group. They released several 45s, on Delvaliant, Philly Soulville and Philly Groove (one as just ‘Nat Turner’), but I have never really been able to track down any info on them. ‘Plastic People’ was the b-side of their Delvaliant 45.

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The Fantastic Johnny C is best known for his Phil-L.A. of Soul 45s and LP (especially ‘Boogaloo Down Broadway’), but ‘Let’s Do It Together’ on Kama Sutra is by far his hardest hitting funk side.

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‘Finger Licking Chicken’ b/w ‘Soul Serenade’ by that Radars was originally released (as ‘The Radors’) on the Leoso label. The Yew 45 is easier to come by and one of my favorite Philly funk sides.

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The late Georgie Woods was one of the great Philly radio personalities in the 60’s and 70’s. ‘Potato Salad Pts 1&2’ borrows the tune from Lionel Hampton’s funky ‘Greasy Greens’, and was arranged by the great Vince Montana.

The Four Larks made some of the greatest Philly soul sides of the 60’s. ‘Keep Climbing Brother’ was an unusual instrumental b-side of one of their last 45s.

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Last but certainly not least is ‘Nickol Nickol’ by the Brothers of Hope. This 45 is what is known in the digger community as “slept on”. It’s a dark, thumping piece of instro-funk and still one of the great 45 bargains (cheap and plentiful, that’s the way to go). Once again the MFSB guys, this also features Vince Montana on vibes (check out that ‘Eleanor Rigby’ coda).

Kenny Smith – Go For Yourself

November 14, 2007

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Mr. Kenny Smith

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Listen – Go For Yourself MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope all is well on your end.
If you were watching closely, you might have noticed that I just got the very first “take-down” notice (however polite) in the three year history of the Funky16Corners blog. It was in regard to the Ernie K. Doe track ‘Here Come the Girls’, and came from the good people at Soul Jazz Records in the UK. Though the ‘New Orleans Funk’ CD appears to be out of print, Soul Jazz is apparently offering downloads of the material on their site. If you hadn’t already grabbed the track here, it’s definitely worth your while to head on over there and pick up the ones and zeros.
It also behooves me to remind you all that the next installment of the legendary Asbury Park 45 Sessions is close at hand, happening Friday 11/23 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes.
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The usual crew of resident selectors will be on hand (with a few special guests), and I don’t think I have to remind you (though I will anyway) that heat will most certainly be delivered by all hands. If you’ve never been to one of the 45 Sessions, you need only search the archives of this blog to check out a few sample playlists. You can even hear my set from the last 45 Sessions, and I expect that once again all sets will be streamed live – and then archived – over at JamNow.
That I mention the AP45 Sessions is fortuitous, because today’s selection was procured by me, from a certain DJ Bluewater, at the last edition thereof. Had never heard Kenny Smith’s ‘Go For Yourself’ before, but a few seconds after I dropped the needle on the record I knew that I needed to give it a home in my crates.
Kenny Smith was a Cincinnati, Ohio based singer/songwriter/producer who recorded (for Chess, Fraternity and a number of local labels) a number of soul and funk sides during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, including 1971’s ‘Lord What Happened To Your People’. Originally released on Smith’s own Goldspot label, and picked up by General American Records for national distribution, the record was largely forgotten until it became a major favorite on the Northern Soul scene at the Blackpool Mecca (it was eventually bootlegged for the Northern market).
Smith apparently went on to work in several capacities for General American, including acting as host for a TV show called ‘Soul Street’ (anyone know if there’s any surviving video?).
Today’s selection, ‘Go For Yourself’ was recorded in 1969 and released on Flo-Roe, before it was picked up for national distribution by RCA.
‘Go For Yourself’ is a really unusual side, combining funky soul with just a taste of late-60’s au-go-go pop. The track starts off with a slow piano line that brings to mind the Marathons ‘Peanut Butter’, but quickly morphs into something much more interesting. Smith’s excellent lead vocal combines with a great horn chart, a gutbucket sax solo and a short but brilliant Albert Collins-esque guitar break that takes the record to another level entirely.
Kenny Smiths best material has been reissued by Shake It Records in Ohio, and you should take a minute to fall by their web site which features a wealth of material about Smith, including label scans, and several photos from his time hosting ‘Soul Street’, including a great shot of Smith with Little Royal.
Peace
Larry

Earl King (and Ernie K. Doe) Meets the Meters

November 12, 2007

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Mr. Earl King

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Listen – Street Parade Pt1 MP3″

Greetings all.
I have returned from the family’s regularly scheduled (however brief) mid-November vacation, if not well rested, at least happy I got to spend some quality time with the wife and kids.
Though this’ll be posted Sunday night/Monday morning, I’m actually writing this late on Saturday after being dosed by a careless Starbucks java jerk who, when asked for decaf, sold me a large cup of hi-test. As a result, I sit here shaking like a leaf and unable to sleep.
We just got back from a long weekend in the Baltimore area. We took the boys to the National Aquarium, where in an unbilled tribute to edible fish, we were packed in like sardines. Other than that we had a wonderful time just being together. I even got to get in a little digging (how cool is my wife??).

Before I go any further, I should mention that I did a short mix for the cats over at the Hook and Sling Blog, which can be found here.

 

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You should check it out when you get a minute (or 20…).
Today’s selection is a record that I chased for quite a long time, got outbid on more than once and – as often happens with these things – ended up getting it at a bargain price. Good things do come to those who wait.
Earl King – and if you don’t know, stop here, open up Google in a new browser, and as the kids say, get familiar – was one of the major movers and shakers of New Orleans music in the 1950’s and 1960’s, writing and recording a number of amazing records under his own name for Imperial (like ‘Come On’, ‘Trick Bag’ and ‘Mama & Papa’) and ghosting on famous sides like Professor Longhair’s legendary ‘Big Chief’ (that’s Earl whistling/singing along while Fess tickles the ivories).
Like many of his Crescent City brethren (and sistren) King (born Earl Johnson, thus all of those mysterious “E. Johnson” credits on New Orleans records) moved easily between R&B, blues, soul and (as you’ll hear today) funk, more often than not combining any and all of the above in a particular record.
The record which I have digi-ma-tized for your delectation this fine day, ‘Street Parade’ is as New Orlean-sy a record as you’re ever likely to hear, sounding like someone freeze-dried just over three minutes of Mardi Gras and pressed it into convenient 45 form. That the record’s impeccable pedigree draws from the involvement of King, Allen Toussaint and, yeah you right, the Meters adds to its mighty second line swing. Sure, your neighbors might wonder why you’re strutting around your living room waving an umbrella and a handkerchief, but let them wonder. You’re the one with the shiny new Earl King MP3.
Though Messrs. King, Toussaint, Neville, Nocentelli, Porter and Modeliste whipped this (and a full albums worth of tracks) together in the studio back in nineteen and seventy two, ‘Street Parade’ was the only track that got released (at least in ’72). There was apparently some major label interest at the time, but it dissipated and it wasn’t until almost a decade later that the full album saw the light of day (and then, only as an import).
As it was, ‘Street Parade’ was only issued on Kansu* – only one of two records I’ve ever found on the label – and was probably little heard (if at all) outside of New Orleans. That is of course a shame, and if you follow the goings on hereabouts, a fate that befell a grip of seriously tasty NOLA records. Dwelling on such injustice tends to put me off my gumbo, but giving the record another spin should remedy the situation, at least for a moment.
Now, Part two (not part two of ‘Street Parade’ but rather part two of the post…).
Recently a chain of shoe drug stores in the UK called Boots has started to use Ernie K. Doe’s ‘Here Come the Girls’ in their TV ads, and as a result, Funky16Corners – probably the only current source of an MP3 of the track – has been getting a huge amount of hits.
I thought it only fitting, since ‘Here Come the Girls’ is also a Toussaint production with backing by the Meters, that I should bring Ernie K. Doe and his amazing song back to the front page.
So, here’s the original post, with the MP3 link.
See you soon.
Peace
Larry

PS If you get the urge, head on over to Iron Leg for some spy theme organ groove…

___________________________________________

Originally posted 8/30/06

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Mr. Ernie K. Doe

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UPDATE: SoulJazz Records have informed me that they have the license for ‘Here Come The Girls’ and have asked me to take down the link. If you want the tune, head over to their site….

Good day to you.

I hope you’re all digging the mix from Monday.

I had a complaint from a reader that he was having some difficulty getting it downloaded, but I’ve tested it a bunch of times, and found no file corruption, so I’m guessing it might be a traffic issue, or problems with an individual user’s ISP. If anyone else is having problems getting ahold of the whole file, drop me a line.

On a related note, those that pay attention to such things may have noticed that the bit rate on the mix is lower than some of the individual tracks I’ve been posting. I tried ripping the mix at a higher rate, and the resulting file size was MASSIVE, so much so that I figured it would cause most listeners a major inconvenience, in addition to taking up a huge chuck of my dwindling storage space.

Here in beautiful NJ – a statement I make by the way without the slightest hint of irony – the weather has been absolutely dreadful. I know that I’ve complained incessantly about the glut of tourists that clog the local roads between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but I didn’t want the summer to end prematurely, in a wet, grey haze with October-esque temperatures.

Despite the long term atmospheric downer, I like to keep the Funky16Corners Blog a place where – in the words of the late, great Slim Harpo – “the music’s hot”, so in furtherance of that cause, and in keeping with the New Orleans vibe, I bring you a tune that I tracked for years, like some deranged big game hunter. The tune I speak of, ‘Here Come the Girls’ is a later, superb effort by the man once described (possibly by himself) as “the Greatest Boy-Child ever conceived at Charity Hospital in New Orleans”, Mr. Mother-In-Law, the late, great Ernie K. Doe.

I should preface this by saying that despite by deep and abiding love for the music of New Orleans, I have been remiss in gathering the recorded works of Mr. Kador (as he was born) – aside from a few of his best Minit 45s. When K. Doe hit the charts in 1961 with ‘Mother In Law’, written, produced and arranged by the mighty Toussaint, with backing vocals by none other than Benny Spellman, he hit them HARD, riding the Top 10 of the R&B and Pop charts for several weeks. ‘Mother In Law’ was one of the biggest records to come out of New Orleans in the 60’s, and is probably the one Crescent City R&B song that everyone, from your sainted white-haired grandma to the snot-nosed kids loitering down at the 7-11 has heard, and in all likelihood, loves. Who can resists attempting to sing Spellman’s bass part when the chorus comes along? Not me.

Anyhoo, K. Doe had a few minor follow up successes (and by minor, I make reference only to their comparative lack of chart success, in no way slighting their musical quality, which was of course considerable) for the Minit/Instant organization, and spent the bulk of the 60’s making 45s for the Duke/Peacock labels. He hooked back up with Allen Toussaint in 1970 to record the amazing LP ‘Ernie K. Doe’ for the Janus label.

I first heard today’s selection – which hails from that LP – some years back when Soul Jazz released the ‘New Orleans Funk’ compilation. It came as something of a shock because I had no idea that K. Doe had done anything in the funk era, let alone anything of such high quality. I searched for years, either for the 45, or the LP, and was consistently stymied, often outbid by those with deeper pockets (or more rabid devotion to the K. Doe vibe). It was only recently that I cornered my prey as a “Buy It Now” item on E-Bay. To be sure, the Lp wasn’t cheap, but my want list these days is relatively short and sweet, I was flush (in relative terms) and decided that to strike while the iron was hot was my only choice. I did so, and let me tell you friends, when I laid that platter on the turntable, and released the beautiful sounds contained therein, I was satisfied that my investment was a wise one.

While ‘Here Come the Girls’ is a stone killer, the rest of the LP is fantastic, moving from soul, to funk to R&B and even pop, with Toussaint writing all but a few songs. It certainly deserves to be reissued. ‘Here Come the Girls’, which starts out deceptively with a march-time beat, rolls on into a funky tune, with a fantastic vocal by K. Doe and tight backing by the Meters**. The ‘Ernie K. Doe’ LP was not a commercial success, and was for all intents and purposes the last time he would produce wax that would find national distribution. He went through some hard, alcohol soaked times in the coming years, but came out the other side, eventually opening the Mother-in-Law Lounge in New Orleans where he would act as host, as well as performer until his untimely death in 2001. As I said before, I don’t think the LP has been reissued – and if it has, is not currently available. ‘Here Come the Girls’ is still available on the ‘New Orleans Funk’ comp, and much of K. Doe’s earlier material can be found.

*Kansu being Marshal Sehorn’s  ‘sister’ label to Deesu

**The original version of this post included a paragraph where I expressed some uncertainty about the involvement of the Meters on ‘Here Come the Girls’. I was corrected (in the original thread’s comments) by Dan from the mighty Home of the Groove blog, who confirmed that it was in fact the Meters.

R&J- Sunshine of Your Love

November 7, 2007

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Everybody Dance!!

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Listen – Sunshine of Your Love MP3″

Greetings all.

I know I said that I might not be posting again this week, but I figured I couldn’t go away for the rest of the week without leaving you something to tide you over.
Fittingly, it’s a record that’s an almost complete mystery.
I kind of know what it is, but I have no who it is.
Some weeks ago I was out on a digging expedition with my man DJ Prestige and I happened upon this disc in a big box of $3.00 45s. It looked interesting, and once I popped it on the old GP3 I soon discovered that it sounded interesting as well, and tossed it on the “keeper” pile.
Chapter One – What it is…
Those of you hat are familiar with the name Hoctor, and the records associated with it will know that there were companies (of which Hoctor was one) that produced records for use in dance schools, i.e. reworkings of the hits of the day created so that rooms full of students might have something to shuffle along with. Having discovered that the ‘Roye Dodge’ listed on the label was a choreographer, I have little doubt that this is such a record.
Chapter Two – Who It Is…
I have no idea. As is the case with some of the better Hoctor records, the playing is better than what one might expect from such an enterprise, however not so good that I’d harbor any illusions about it actually being someone “big” performing incognito. The likelihood is that the folks that whipped up this groovy, organ-led rendition of the Cream chestnut were studio heads picking up a few hours of work. Theyplay the tune with just enough verve to suggest an affinity for reinterpretation of the material. Whether that means they were jazzbos slumming for a day, or merely competent professionals, I do not know. What I do know is that I dig the vaguely soulful, au go go vibe herein, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular cut was to reappear in a Hammond mix somewhere down the line.
I hope you dig it.
I’ll see you on Monday.
Peace
Larry

Funky16Corners Blog 3rd Anniversary Mix – Funky16Corners Radio v.37 – Illuminated

November 5, 2007

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Ti Jean Speaks…

Funky16Corners Radio v.37- Illuminated

Playlist

1. Ulysses Crockett – Major Funky (Transverse)
2. Jimmy Owens Quartet Plus – Chicago Light Green (Polydor)
3. Gary Burton Quartet – Sweet Rain (RCA)
4. Grant Green – Cease the Bombing (Blue Note)
5. Sonny Phillips – Bean Pie (Prestige)
6. Jack Wilson Quartet – Ramblin’ (Vault)
7. Leon Spencer – The Slide (Prestige)
8. Al Hirt – Harlem Hendoo (RCA)
9. Lonnie Smith (Slow High)
10. Mose Allison – I’m Not Talkin’ (Atlantic)
11. Les McCann – Compared to What (Limelight)
Also featuring Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs, Herbert Huncke and the mighty Lord Buckley…

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

 

Greetings all.
I never thought I’d see the day come, but today (11/5) marks the third anniversary of the Funky16Corners blog.
Originally conceived as an extension of the Funky16Corners web zine, it came (fairly soon) to be a replacement for it. Though I always enjoyed the longer form zine format of the web site, following the birth of my first son, I no longer had the luxury of the extended work periods necessary to put an entire issue together.
When I decided to switch to the blog format – though in the very beginning things were a little different format wise – I fell into a very comfortable groove. I was able to do the preparation necessary in small, concentrated bursts of activity, and writing the smaller features on a one-record basis (most of the time anyway) proved to be a perfect fit.
For the first time I was able to post entire songs (the zine only ever featured short RealAudio snippets), and after about eighteen months I began creating and posting the Funky16Corners Radio podcasts, which themselves have evolved considerable since their inception in May of 2006.
When I began doing the Funky16Corners blog, I had no idea that it would still be going strong after three years. Though it requires a fair amount of work and commitment (struggles which have been recounted in this space time and time again…) the rewards have far outweighed any investment of time.
Through the blog I’ve met (and “e-met”) tons of cool people, all of whom share my passion for music (soulful and otherwise). The support from the readers of this blog gone far beyond any expectations I may have had, starting with the ongoing conversation we have about the music posted here, and the amazing amount of material support that many of you have given during the yearly fundraiser, which has kept the blog up and running, and allowed me to assemble the podcast archive, which gets closer to completion every day.
Since moving to WordPress – about a year and a half after starting out at Blogger – there have been more than 600,000 hits on the blog (we’ll have to have some kind of party when we cross the million mark), which compared to some of the bigger blogs is small potatoes, but three years ago a number like that would have been inconceivable.
The bottom line is that I couldn’t do this without your input. I mean, I suppose I could, but it wouldn’t be any fun.
Special thanks go out to all the folks in the blogroll, and especially to the people I’ve met and spun records with. Big ups to my man DJ Prestige and all the Asbury Park 45 Sessions crew (and Sascha at Lucky Cat). The nights we’ve spent together spinning vinyl at the Asbury Lanes have been inspirational, spiritually and musically. Every single 45 Sessions has been a learning experience, and there hasn’t been a single one where I haven’t finished the night with a grip of new sides on my want list, and a deep feeling of satisfaction.
How long can this go on? Forever probably.
I’m in no danger of running out of records, and I’m finding new stuff all the time. I love to hunt for new stories about records, and to finally sit down and write it all up. Maybe someday, round about 2025, one of my sons will take over and I can retire into a life of full time digging (though I suspect by then we will literally have to dig for records in landfills and elsewhere).
Until then, keep on stopping by and checking out the sounds.
And now, to the special 3rd Anniversary Mix.
I’ve been planning on a new jazz mix for a while now, and when I started to pull out records this week, the upbeat sounds I was originally thinking of morphed into a mellower, pensive, yet still somewhat funky vibe.
Earlier in the week, a buddy of mine sent me a box of books, including – fortuitously – a selection of Beat and Beat-related titles that I had yet to read (and there aren’t too many of those). As you can imagine, Inspirado snuck up behind me and smacked me in the back of the head.
I began to troll the interwebs looking for spoken-word elements by BeatGen figures. I tracked down a bunch of cool ones (including a couple of interesting and unexpected bits) and worked them into the mix. I think the end result is kind of cool, and as always, though I’m posting up a zip file of individual tracks, I’d ask that you take the time to check out the mix.
Things get started with a rare 45 that I scored not that long ago. Vibes player Ulysses Crockett was a Bay Area fixture through the 1960’s, playing with a number of his own groups, and recording two hard to find 45s for the Transverse label. ‘Major Funky’, while not “funky” in the James Brown sense, is certainly funky in the pre-JB soul jazz sense. There’s a great groove here and I love the tune.
The first of a couple of very nice electric piano features in the mix is ‘Chicago Light Green’ by the Jimmy Owens Quartet Plus. Led by trumpeter Owens, this 1970 session features pianist Kenny Barron. The date moves back and forth between straight ahead stuff, fusion and cuts like ‘Chicago Light Green’ which hover somewhere between the two.
Gary Burton’s ‘Sweet Rain’ has long been a favorite of mine. I first heard the tune years ago as covered by Stan Getz (an early employer of Burton’s). Hailing from the 1967 LP ‘Duster’, the tune is positively dreamlike and at times almost seems formless, yet always manages to come back around. Burton’s quartet at the time, which featured Steve Swallow, Larry Coryell and bop veteran Roy Haynes made some of the most interesting albums of the mid-60’s, edging ever so slightly into fusion without ever losing the group’s unique flavor.
Next up is ‘Cease the Bombing’ from Grant Green’s 1969 LP ‘Carryin’ On’. Written by keyboardist Neal Creque (who plays on the date) the song has a wonderful melody and the solos by Green, and vibist William Bivens (I think that’s him grunting along with the solo) are outstanding. The tune was later covered by Charles Earland and Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers.
Sonny Phillips
is best known for his work on the Hammond, but his three LPs for Prestige, recorded in 1969 and 1970 also feature him working it out on the electric piano. One of the better cuts in that vein is ‘Bean Pie’ which appeared on his 1970 ‘Black Magic’ album, which also features Prestige session burner Melvin Sparks on guitar.
Jack Wilson recorded a number of excellent LPs in the 60’s for Atlantic, Blue Note and Vault, as well as working as an arranger/accompanist for a number of big name singers. I picked up his 1966 Vault LP ‘Ramblin’ many years ago, either at a garage sale or flea market (I only mention it because of the dire condition of the cover) and it quickly became a favorite. It was one of the very first pieces of vinyl I ever digitized (I don’t know that it has ever gotten a CD reissue), and the tune I feature here today has gotten many, many plays over the years. ‘Ramblin’’ is a cover of the opening track from Ornette Coleman’s 1959 ‘Change of the Century’ LP, and like Bobby Hutcherson’s cover of Coleman’s ‘Una Muy Bonita’ (also from 1966) Wilson gives the song an distinctly un-Coleman-like reading. The tune features the vibes of the young Roy Ayer’s, who had gigged with Wilson as early as 1963 with saxophonist Curtis Amy and trumpeter Dupree Bolton. If you ever get the chance to track them down, Wilson also recorded some sessions on the organ, for Atlantic and Vault.
Like Sonny Phillips, organist Leon Spencer was a major part of the late-60’s/early 70’s Prestige soul jazz scene. ‘The Slide’ appeared on his 1970 ‘Sneak Preview’ LP, which also featured covers of ‘Message From the Meters’ and the Presidents ‘5-10-15-20’, and contributions from Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad and Grover Washington Jr.
A while back I featured Al Hirt’s recording of the Mar Keys’ Honey Pot’, from his 1967 ‘Soul In the Horn’ LP. The better known track from that album (if any song from it can rightly be described as “better known”) is the smoky ‘Harlem Hendoo’. This is due to its having been sampled by no less than De La Soul on ‘Ego Trippin Pt2’. I love the slow, vaguely Arabic vibe of the tune, especially the harpsichord flourishes by Paul Griffin.
Lonnie Smith (better known these days as the be-turbaned Doctor Lonnie Smith) recorded as a sideman for George Benson and Lou Donaldson before doing his own dates for Blue Note in the late 60’s. ‘Slow High’ appeared on the 1969 ‘Turning Point’ album, which also featured both Melvin Sparks and Idris Muhammad (billed here as Leo Morris), as well as the heavy, heavy front line of Lee Morgan and Bennie Maupin.
It was at this point in the mix that I decide to take things out a little more on the upbeat, and I pulled out a side by one of the coolest heads ever to tickle the ivories, the great Mose Allison. Allison – mostly known as a jazzbo – is really something much more complicated, dwelling in a grey area equal parts blues man, singer songwriter, beatnik, proto-soulman, and every bit cool. If ‘I’m Not Talkin’ sounds familiar, it’s because it was later supercharged by none other than the Yardbirds. While I’m a big fan, Mose’s original is by far the definitive reading. Though the Mississippi to Eel Pie Island connection might seem tenuous, Allison was something of a touchstone for London R&B/Mod musicians in the early 60’s, covered by the Yardbirds, Brian Auger, John Mayall and the Who, and providing a crucial ingredient in the stew that would turn Clive Powell into Georgie Fame.
The mix closes out with a track that I didn’t even know I had until recently. I picked up the LP ‘Les McCann Plays the Hits’ years ago, breezed through a couple of interesting pop covers and never noted that the 1966 album included what I now believe to be the original recording of Gene McDaniels’ ‘Compared to What’, which McCann and Eddie Harris would ride to worldwide fame three years later at Montreaux. The 1966 take is, if anything a touch more restrained than the hit version from ‘Swiss Movement’, but the same soulful vibe is here, along with McDaniels’ powerful lyrics. If you’ve never heard Roberta Flack’s version of the tune, you ought to head out and grab it.
So, there you have it. Three years behind us, and hopefully many more ahead. I hope you dig the mix. If you’re a long time Funky16Corners reader, thanks for being here. If you’re just coming on board, there’s a lot more to come.
I’m not sure what I’ll be posting later this week, as the fam and I are heading out of town for a short vacation.
Either way, I’ll see you soon.
Peace
Larry

PS Check out the garage punk over at Iron Leg


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