The Late, Great Billy Preston
Funky16Corners Radio v.42 – Soul Organs Vol 3
1. Charles Kynard – Where It’s At (World Pacific)
2. Jimmy Caravan – UFO (Vault)
3. Labert Ellis – Batman (A&M)
4. Bull & the Matadors – Funky Judge (Toddlin’ Town)
5. Little Mac & the Boss Sounds – Midnight Hour (Atlantic)
6. Drippers – Honey Bunch Pt2 (Moon Shot)
7. Derek David – The Morning After (Pagan)
8. Leon & the Burners – Whiplash (Josie)
9. Larry Hale – Organ Shout & Do the Duck (Columbia)
10. Pacesetters – Freedom and Justice (Kent)
11. Jimmy Caravan – Higher & Higher (Vault)
12. JC Davis – Monkey (Chess)
13. Billy Preston – Billy’s Bag (VeeJay)
14. Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers – The Flick Pt2 (Soul)
15. Wild Bill Davis – Breaking Out Pt1 (RCA)
16. Freddie Roach – One Track Mind (Blue Note)
17. Hank Marr – Marr’s Groove (Wingate)
Man…I know I go on and on about this, but I am tired.
I spun at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions on Friday, went out and ran errands on Saturday (though I got some fresh new kicks…) and this morning I had to be pried out of bed with a crowbar.
However, like the postal service, we get our MP3’s up in the spot no matter what brothers and sisters, and this has been a two podcast weekend. I’m posting a very groovy, now sound-ish mix over at Iron Leg (with a HUGE accompanying post) and, as promised Funky16Corners is back with yet another dip into the Hammond crates.
I know that not everyone is as much of a Hammond nut as I am, but when the spirit strikes I must follow, and I think I’ve whipped together a very nice selection of 45s for your delectation.
Though the title is Soul Organs Vol. 3, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that things might slip into the realm of funk now and again, but since we have 16 corners, and all of them happen to be funky there’s not much I can do about that (not that I anticipate many complaints).
Since most of you will be pulling down the ones and zeros as a start to your week, I figured that I ought to get things started with something a little – how do they say – lively, and things don’t get any livelier than Charles Kynard’s ‘Where It’s At’, which shoots out of the gate at 100MPH and just gets faster. Kynard absolutely sets the Hammond on fire. If you’re lucky enough to fid yourself a copy of this 45, be forewarned that the flip is just as hot.
Jimmy Caravan’s ‘UFO’ is – much to my chagrin – making a return appearance (it was part of Radio v.34, which I didn’t recall until after the mix was done – but since it’s such a groovy track I hope you’ll forgive me. That said, Caravan, who recorded two excellent Hammond LPs in the late 60’s, makes two appearances in this podcast.
Labert Ellis made one 45 in his lifetime, and it is one of the great Hammond two-siders I have ever encountered (the flipside, ‘Dancing In the Streets’ was on Radio v.27 Soul Organs Vol 1). Ellis’ fired up version of the Batman theme is a killer.
You may be familiar with Bull & the Matadors’ ‘Funky Judge’ but how many of you knew that its b-side was an organ instro of the same song? I have no idea who the organist is, but he does a fine job.
Little Mac & the Boss Sounds version of ‘Midnight Hour’ appeared on the flipside of a vocal (You Can’t Love Me” (In the Midnight Hour) ) by Ann Mason. I believe this record is of North Carolina origin and I’ve heard say that Little Mac was originally a church organist and may have been blind.
I’ll go ahead and admit that I know nothing about the Drippers and ‘Honey Bunch’. I always assumed that Moon Shot was a Philadelphia area label, having also released sides by Cliff Nobles and the Delfonics, but even that’s just a guess.
As far as I’ve been able to tell, Derek David is the vocalist on the flipside of ‘The Morning After’. Pagan was a Washington, D.C. based label, and David had recorded other vocal sides for the label. Either way, ‘The Morning After’ is one of my favorite moody organ sides.
Leon and the Burners were a Cleveland, Ohio group, who recorded one excellent two-sider for the Josie label in 1965. Opening with a slow drumbeat, ‘Whiplash’ picks up speed gradually eventually working into a nice groove. The flip side ‘Crack Up’ is also quite good.
‘Organ Shout and Do the Duck’ (the flipside of ‘Shout and Do the Duck’, natch) is credited to Larry Hale, but due to the fact that Hale was a vocalist; my suspicion has always been that the organist is someone else (who, I don’t know).
The Pacesetters ‘Freedom and Justice’ has long been rumored to be the work of none other than Bootsy and Phelps Collins, who had played and recorded under that name prior to joining the James Brown band and are believed to have revived the name for this one-off 45 for Kent (the flip is a tune called ‘Push On Jesse Jackson’.
I don’t have anything more to tell you about Jimmy Caravan, other than his take on Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’ is a gas.
As far as I know, the J.C. Davis that recorded the wild ‘Monkey’ was in fact a sax player and vocalist. The identity of the organist is a mystery.
Everyone is familiar with Billy Preston via his big hits in the 70’s, but only the Mods among you will be hip to his early work for Veejay and Capitol (among other labels), his time as a sideman to giants like Ray Charles, and as a regular on Shindig. Preston recorded a number of fantastic organ instrumentals, my favorite being the UK dance floor fave ‘Billy’s Bag’.
In his capacity as leader of the Funk Brothers, Earl Van Dyke was the keyboardist on the lions share of Motown recordings in the 60’s. Aside from backing any number of singers, Van Dyke and the Soul Brothers recorded a number of excellent organ instros, including the Northern Soul fave ‘Six By Six’ and my personal fave ‘The Flick’.
Wild Bill Davis was a pioneering jazz organist who was also spent time working as a pianist with Louis Jordan during his hitmaking years. Like many Hammond jazzers, Davis moved on through R&B and soul in the 60’s. and the finest of his sides from this era is the hard charging ‘Breakin’ Out’.
The New York based organist Freddie Roach recorded a number of albums in the 60’s as both leader and sideman for the Blue Note and Prestige labels. ‘One Track Mind’ has a relaxed, yet funky groove’
The mix closes out with a real Funky16Corners favorite, Mr. Hank Marr. Marr recorded the bulk of his work for the King label, but for me his finest sides were waxed for the Wingate label in Detroit. ‘Marr’s Groove’ (actually one side of a split 45 with ‘Stitt’s Groove’ by Sonny Stitt on the other) is a great showcase for Marr on both piano and organ.
So, I hope you dig the grooves. I’m off to try and grab a little extra sleep.