RUDY RAY MOORE
1927 – 2008
I come to you today with the sad news that Rudy Ray Moore, better known far and wide as Dolemite has slipped the surly bonds of earth and passed on to a special, profane section of heaven, dedicated to providing eternal rest for the truly outrageous.
Moore wore a lot of very funky hats (literal and figurative) during his five decade long career, working as an R&B singer, pioneering stand-up comic, actor and all around provocateur.
He is best known for creating the fast-talking pimp Dolemite and portraying him in the films ‘Dolemite’ and ‘The Human Tornado’, as well as including the character on some of his comedy albums.
In remembrance of the great one I’m reposting the special guest mix I did for Jazz Syndicate Radio back in January.
There are several sound bites from Dolemite films, and the mix closes out with what I consider to the RRM’s finest musical effort, ‘Put Your Weight On It’, on which he is accompanied by the Fillmore Street Soul Rebellion.
I hope you dig it, and that you raise a glass in memory of one of the baddest motherfuckers ever to walk the earth.
See you on Friday.
Funky16Corners Meets Dolemite!
Special Mix for Jazz Syndicate Radio
Bill Blacks Combo – Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Be Do Dah Day (Hi)
Mighty Hannibal – Jerkin’ the Dog (Shurfine)
Kool & the Gang – The Gang’s Back Again (Dee Lite)
Rufus Thomas – Sister’s Got a Boyfriend (Stax)
Johnny Goode – Payback (Solid Hit)
Bill Cosby – Road Runner (WB)
Mr C & Funk Junction – Hot Butter’n’All (Hurdy Gurdy)
Della Reese – Compared to What (Avco)
Toby King – Mr Tuff Stuff (Federal)
Marva Whitney – It’s My Thing (King)
Triplett Twins – Get It (Thomas)
Joe Haywood – Sing Me A Cornbread Song (Decca)
Willie Mitchell – Pearl Time (Hi)
Rudy Ray Moore & the Fillmore St Soul Rebellion – Put Your Weight On It (Generation)
I figured I’d finish out the week by posting the mix I put together for Tony C over at Jazz Syndicate Radio in the UK. The show will actually be rerun one more time (Friday morning 1/11 at 11AM EST) so if you’d like to experience the whole shebang (i.e. my mix surrounded by two excellent sets by Tony) then that’ll be your last chance since Jazz Syndicate Radio does not currently archive. This will be a quick one, and I’m sorry to say that there’s no ZIP file associated with this one (I never make them for the guest mixes I do), so you’re just going to have to listen to Dolemite laying it down between songs.
Some of the tunes herein will be familiar to longtime devotees of the Funky16Corners thang, as about half of them have appeared here over the years, but then we’re always picking up new visitors here, and since (as far as I can remember) I haven’t included any of these tunes in a mix before, the “experience” (as it is) ought to be fairly fresh (nice run-on sentence, huh?).
Things get started with a very groovy Stevie Wonder cover by Bill Black’s Combo (dig the electric piano and guitar on this one) and sail right on through one of my all-time faves (by anyone, maybe one of my Top 10) from the aptly named Mighty Hannibal. We move on to a tasty one from New Jersey’s own Kool & the Gang, head on to Memphis for a banger from Mr. Rufus Thomas, and then back on up to the Motor City for a classic by the great Sidney Barnes, working incognito under the nom de guerre ‘Johnny Goode’.
The next cut is another by the once funny, and occasionally musical Bill Cosby. Though the last tune I featured by Cos (his version of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’) drew some derisive hoots from the audience, I still ride for Cosby’s detours into the world of soul. Sure, his take on ‘Roadrunner’ isn’t going to make anyone forget Junior Walker, but I dig it anyway. Next up we flip over one of the truly brilliant funk 45s (Lou Courtney’s ‘Hot Butter’n’All’) for the instrumental version thereof, which bears the same title yet is credited to ‘Mr C and Funk Junction’ instead.
Fans of ‘Touched By an Angel’ might be shocked when they lend an ear to a funky side from Miss Della Reese. Here Della whips out a cover of Eugene McDaniel’s ‘Compared to What’ that – although she edits the lyrics a tad – is still smoking.
Things continue to smoke with Toby King’s contribution to the ‘Big Stuff’ wars of the early 70’s with his own answer, entitles ‘Mr Tuff Stuff’.
If that wasn’t hot enough for you, please fasten your seatbelts and put your seats in the upright position, because Miss Marva Whitney is about to bring the turbulence. Another “answer” record (though really a barely disguised cover), her ‘It’s My Thing’ is the very soul of intensity. How her vocal cords survived this session is a mystery.
I know little of the Triplett Twins other than they were from Chicago. I can only speculate on the fortuitous arrival of twins at the Triplett house (imagine, had they been triplets??).
Joe Haywood’s ‘Sing Me a Cornbread Song’ is – in the vernacular of the kids – HEAT. It resides on the border of Soulville and Funk City, and is as sweaty, heavy and groovy as they come. Dig that guitar!
The Master from Memphis, Willie Mitchell joins us with a cover of Andre Williams ‘Pearl Time’. It may lack the saucy je ne sais quois of the original, but – to paraphrase the mighty Lee Dorsey – EVERYTHING Willie Mitchell does is soulful, so…you know…dig it.
We arrive at last call with a musical contribution from the man who gave this mix its dramatic flavor, Mr. Rudy Ray Moore. There’s another – more Hammond-y – version of ‘Put Your Weight On It’ out there, but seriously, WHY would you want a Rudy Ray Moore record with less Rudy Ray Moore on it? Here, we meet (and exceed) USDA Rudy Ray Moore daily allowance. Put your weight on it INDEED.