Archive for February, 2009

Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade + News…

February 26, 2009

Example

Nanette Workman

Example

Listen – Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade – MP3″

Greetings all.

The end of yet another week is upon us and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m good and whipped, and by the time you read this I may well be on the road for a four or five hour trek (second busy weekend of three in a row).
Next week I’ll be hitting the road with my man DJ Prestige. We’ll be motoring down to Washington, DC and Richmond, VA for two nights of Asbury Park 45 Sessions style record slinging. I’ll be posting detailed information in the coming week.

Example

Anyway, enough about my exhaustion, how’s by you?
I’ll venture a guess that there are many among you similarly afflicted, so why not crash into the weekend with a hot one??
The tune I bring you today is one that I picked up sans-portable, but the price-tag (low, low, low) combined with a cover version of a hot song seemed like a good buy, and it was.
I had never heard the name Nanette Workman before, but once I got the record home and realized that her version of ‘Lady Marmalade’ was not only hot but sung in French, I set to Googling and found some interesting stuff.
First and foremost, Ms. Workman is not French, but in fact an American-born singer who made her career working not in France, but in French-speaking Canada. During the 1960s she worked on Broadway and TV, and after meeting Canadian star Tony Roman she moved to Quebec and started to record in French (apparently initially singing the lyrics phonetically since she could not yet speak the language).
Workman went on to perform in the UK (where she recorded with the Rolling Stones) and Europe, before returning to Quebec in the early 70s, where her version of ‘Lady Marmalade’ was one of her first big hits.
Workman’s version follows the LaBelle blueprint fairly closely, with the addition of some fat, fuzzy bass guitar, and of course the added attraction of the (entire) tune being sung in French. It’s very groovy indeed, and got a nice reaction when I spun it recently.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday with something cool.
In the meantime, don’t forget to fall by Viva Internet Radio tonight at 9PM for the latest edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Show. You can always check out the old shows in the archive.

Example

Have a great weekend.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for late 60s fuzz…

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Brothers Two – Boogaloo (Soul) Party

February 24, 2009

Example

Listen – Brothers Two – Boogaloo (Soul) Party – MP3″

Greetings all.

The middle of the week is here, the day of hump and all that and what better way to roll the rock to the top (and unlike Sisyphus, get it on over) that a solid shot of raving, funky Phildelphia soul.
Back in the day, when I was experiencing the first signs of a serious Philly soul fixation I was scouring the crates and grabbing pretty much everything I could find on Philly (and Philly associated) labels.
Crimson was neither the greatest, nor the most prolific of the local companies, but their short discography is packed with high quality (sides by Lee Andrews and the Hearts, and one of my fave Philly 45s by the Common Pleas), and at least one huge hit, ‘Expressway to Your Heart’ by the Soul Survivors.
One of the first post-Soul Survivors Crimson 45s I grabbed was ‘Boogaloo (Soul) Party’ by the Brothers Two. I picked this up blind (deaf) in the pre-portable days, but honest to god, how could I miss with a title like that. It was as if Brothers Two and the folks at Crimson looked into the future, saw goofballs like myself browsing through piles of old 45s and gave the song a name so obviously soulful, that only the densest rube would pass it by.
Good thing too because when I got it home and let the needle hit the wax I discovered a high energy soul duo working it out on one of those patented 60s soul namecheck-o-rama’s (like ‘We Got More Soul’ or ‘Sweet Soul Music’) in which the Brothers Two (James Tindal and Eddie Smalls) pay tribute to Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Sam and Dave (natch), Jackie Wilson, and Wilson Pickett, all the while wailing away against some solid drums and a tight horn section.
When I was researching this post I discovered that there were in fact three 45s by the Brothers Two, two of which I do not own and will now have to make it my business to track down.
As it is, I hope you dig the one I did find, and I’ll be back on Friday with something extra cool.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some arty late 60s pop

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Simtec & Wylie – Maggie May

February 22, 2009

Example

Simtec Simmons (I couldn’t find a good picture of Wylie Dixon…)

Example

Listen – Simtec & Wylie – Maggie May – MP3″

Greetings all.

I trust that everyone spent he weekend getting your ya yas out, and that like almost everyone, the beginning of the new week sees you strapped securely into whatever bag it is that takes up the majority of your time, whether it’s riding a desk, working with your hands, providing care for ones offspring (that’s where I’m at) or what have you.
I spent the weekend spinning soul and funk 45s, then digging in at the family table with some long out of touch relatives, and then chilling (literally and figuratively) on the couch with the immediate family.
I decided to start the week with a very groovy bit of uptempo, early 70s Chitown soul, from a couple of fairly prolific, if not very well known (outside of the collectorati) fellows by the names of Simtec and Wylie.
Simtec Simmons (guitar/vocals) and Wylie Dixon (vocals) recorded in a variety of settings, together and in several groups through the 60s and early 70s.
Simmons is particularly interesting for having attempted to make a career out of gimmicky records made with a primitive electronic rhythm box, recording as Simtec Simmons and the Mechanical Monster, the Computer and the Little Fooler, and the Tea Boxes (you can hear one of these tunes, ‘Tea Box’ in Funky16Corners Radio v.9 – Soul Food Pt2, follow the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive link in the sidebar).
By 1969 Simtec and Wylie had decided to get it together in a Sam and Dave stylee, recording 10 45s for the Chitown labels Shama and Mr Chand (that being Gene Chandler, visible on the label above) and a full length LP for the latter. Some of these 45s (‘Do It Like Mama’, ‘Gotta Get Over the Hump’, ‘Bootleggin’) are quite funky and should be grabbed if you see them in the field.
Though I dig their funky stuff, my personal fave from the S&W discography is an unusual 1971 cover of Rod Stewart’s mega-hit ‘Maggie May’.
Now, before you go and get your pants wet, pull down the ones and zeros and give it a listen, because I assure you that it’s quite excellent.
Where Mr. Tartan Plaid was working the mandolins and such, Simtec and Wylie get down with some snapping drums and bass, and a nice loud horn section, and if that isn’t enough for you, check the label and realize that it was arranged by none other than the master himself, Richard Evans.
It’s quite a nice cover and I’m a little surprised that it didn’t end up as a hit, at least on the R&B charts.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with some tight, funky Philly soul.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some arty late 60s pop

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

2/20 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Wrap Up

February 21, 2009

Example

Example

Listen – Memphis Black – Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man – MP3″


Joe Cuba Sextet – El Pito (Tico)
Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade (Pacha)
Albert King – Cold Sweat (Stax)
Apostles – Six Pack (Kapp)
Tony Newman – Soul Thing (Parrot)
Establishment – House of Jack (King)
Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers – Raw Funky (Uptown)
Lionel Hampton – Greasy Greens (GladHamp)
Memphis Black – Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man (Ascot)
Martinis – Hung Over (Bar)
Big John Hamilton – Big Fanny (SSS Intl)
TSU Toronados – Play the Music Toronados (Volt)
Meters – Look Ka Py Py (Josie)
Soul Tornados – Crazy Legs (Westwood)
BW Souls – Marvin’s Groove (Round)
Hank Ballard – Butter Your Popcorn (King)
Mohawks – Champ (Philips)
Freddie Scott & his Orchestra – Pow City (Marlin)
Donald Austin – Crazy Legs (Eastbound)
Gayletts – Son of a Preacherman (Steady)

Greetings all.
Last night marked the two year anniversary of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions. There was a nice turnout on a positively frigid night. No matter, we were all inside the lanes, insulated from the Arctic winds, heating up the joint with stacks of smoking OG soul and funk 45s with sets from DJ Bluewater, Jack the Ripper, MFasis, DJ Prestige, DJ Prime Mundo and yours truly.
It was – as always – a gas.
Those of you south of the Mason Dixon line who seek a similar form of succor should be alert, since DJ Prestige and myself will be hitting the road in a few weeks to bring the AP45 vibe down to Washington DC (Fri 3/6) and Richmond, VA (3/7). More detailed info as the dates get closer.
I’ll leave you with a repost of a tune from a few weeks back.
See you on Monday.

Peace

Larry

DJ Prestige Setlist

Intro: Rudy Ray Moore – This Pussy Belongs To Me/Kent
The New Birth – You Are What I’m All About/ RCA
Myron & E with the Soul Investigators – Cold Game/ Timmion
Mophono – Tighten Up Remix/ CB
Wilmer Alexander & the Dukes – Get It (Instrumental)/ Aphrodisiac
We The People – Breakdown/ Davel
Brother Soul – Feelin’ Funky/ Elmcor
The DT6 – Don’t Doubt Me/ Starla
Jessee Gresham Plus 3 – Shootin’ the Grease/ Head
Creative Funk – Funk Power/ Creative Funk
Soul Searchers – Blow Your Whistle/ Sussex
Roger Collins – She’s Looking Good/ Galaxy
The Emperors – Karate/ Mala
Alvin Cash & the Registers – Philly Freeze/ Mar-V-Lus
Willie & the Mighty Magnificents – Funky (8) Corners Pt. 1/ All Platinum
The Joe Cuba Sextet – Sock It To Me/ Tico
Wee Willie Mason – Funky Funky (Hot Pants)/ Jay Walking
Wilbur Bascomb & The Zodiacs – Just a Groove in “G”/ Carnival
Pamoja – Oooh, Baby/ Lotus Land
The Boys In the band – Sumptin’ Heavy/ Spring
El Michels Affair – C.R.E.A.M./ Truth and Soul

DJ Prime Mundo Setlist

quincy jones – money runner (reprise)
syl johnson – let them hang high (twinight)
howard tate – look at granny run run (verve)
pieces of peace – pass it on pt. 1 (twinight)
the sylvers – stay away from me (pride)
julius brockington – this feeling (freedom) pt. 1 (burman)
rufus thomas – funky bird (stax)
frederick II – groovin’ out on life (vulture)
wisdom – nefertiti (adelia)
sons of slum – right on (stax)
della reese – compared to what (avco)
reginald milton – clap your hands (funk45)
jomo – uhuru (african twist) (checker)
the hidden cost – bo did it (marmaduke)
sharon jones – how long do i have to dub for you? (daptone)
quantic/flowering inferno – juanita bonita (tru thoughts)
u roy – tide is high (state line)
garry davis & the vendors – funk machine (20th century)
tnt band – the meditation (cotique)
sam hutchins – dang me (gap)
alice clark – you got a deal (rainy day)
jimmy hughes – i’m a man of action (fame)
funkadelic – better by the pound (westbound)

DJ Bluewater Set List

sugarman 3 – solid funk
sugarman 3 – funky so and so pt. 1
brother williams – cold sweat
lee fields – give me a chance
the collegiates – red beans and rice
delores ealy – honeydripper
marva whitney – unwind yourself
dee dee gartrell – second hand love
a.b. skhy – camel back
eddie bo & inez cheatham – lover and a friend
the dirte four – on the move
the grips – tennessee strut
honey & the bees – baby do that thing
delores ealy – its about time i made a change

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

Joe Cuba RIP

February 18, 2009

Example

The always stylish Joe Cuba Sextet

Example

Listen – Joe Cuba Sextet – Psychedelic Baby (You’re Psychin’ Up My Mind) – MP3″

Listen – Joe Cuba Sextet – El Pito – MP3″

Listen – Joe Cuba Sextet – Que Son Uno – MP3″

Greetings all.

I had something else planned for the end of the week, but then the sad news that the mighty Joe Cuba had passed on hit the interwebs and I was duty bound to mark said passing.
If you’re a fan of boogaloo/Latin soul, then the sounds of the Joe Cuba Sextet loom very large. Cuba (born Gilberto Calderon in 1931) made some of the greatest party starters in the genre, including the 1966 hit ‘Bang Bang’ (Top 40, Top Ten in many markets), and my personal boogaloo fave, ‘El Pito’.
The tunes I’m posting today include ‘Psychedelic Baby (You’re Psychin’ Up My Mind)’ – which appeared here a few weeks back, ‘El Pito’ (which was included in Funky16Corners Radio v.51 – Spanish Grease, originally posted back in June of ’08) and a track that that’s never been posted here at the blog, a taste of the mellower side of Joe Cuba, ‘Que Son Uno’.
They’re all quite groovy.
I hope you dig the sounds, and that you raise a glass this weekend in memory of one of the true greats of Latin soul, Mr. Joe Cuba.

Peace

Larry

Example

PS Don’t forget that this Friday night (2/20) marks the return of the Asbury Park 45 Session at the World Famous Asbury Lanes in (where else) Asbury Park NJ. If you’re withing driving distance you’d do well to fall by, soak up the heat of funk and soul on 45, and if you’re hungry, you can soak up some tater tots and beer too.

Example

Also, leep in mind that the Funky16Corners Radio Show on Viva internet radio returns tonight – Thurs 02/19 at 9PM . The show will play at 9PM, and will be archived thereafter at the Funky16Corners Radio Show Page (where you can still hear many old shows if you haven’t checked it out yet).

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

Funky16Corners Radio v.65 – The Return of Secret Agent Super Funky16Corners

February 15, 2009

Example

Funky16Corners Radio v.65 – The Return of Secret Agent Super Funky16Corners

Playlist

Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll – Indian Ropeman (Polydor)
Peddlers – Last Train To Clarksville (Philips)
Joao Donato – Lunar Tune (Blue Thumb)
Louis Prima w/ Sam Butera & the Witnesses – Pick Up the Pieces (Pr1Ma)
Neal Creque – Bacalau (Cobblestone)
Joe Thomas Group – Comin’ Home (Cobblestone)
Richard Groove Holmes – Isole Natale (World Pacific Jazz)
Eddie Jefferson – Freedom Jazz Dance (Muse)
Mongo Santamaria – Night Crawler (Atlantic)
Enoch Light & the Light Brigade – Season of the Witch (Project 3)
New London Rhythm & Blues Band – Soul Man (Vocalion)
Reuben Wilson – Superfly (Groove Merchant)
Don Ellis – Put It Where You Want It (Columbia)
Joe Thomas Group – You Can Bet Your Sweet Bippy (Cobblestone)
Tamba 4 – California Soul (A&M)

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

Greetings all.

I hope that the beginning of a new week finds you all well, and ready to dig into a big, steaming dish of funky, jazzy and all together groovy.
This is kind of a companion mix/flipside, yin to the yang, of Radio v.64, in which the downtempo vibe was explored. This time around there are a few of the same artists, the tempo is decidedly up, with a similarly jazzy bent.
I actually put a little more work on this mix than usual, working my way through two distinct versions, adding a few tracks here, subtracting a few there until the original vibe I sought was finally there.
The first track is a stone killer, and if it doesn’t get you up out of your seat, in your embroidered djebella, doing that Playboy After Dark uptown hippie frug, then you need to hit the pause button, go fill up on the stimulant of your choice, and then fall back into line for a second helping. ‘Indian Ropeman’ is Brian and Jools taking a Richie Havens tune and gassing it up to the nth degree with the Hammond, the drums and bass and the strobe light (you can hear it if you listen closely), and it is a thing of beauty. Definitely an automatic lead-off track is there ever was one.
We follow it up with a little stick of dynamite from the Monkees catalog. If that sounds a little weird, give the track a listen because only Roy Phillips and the Peddlers can take a bit of pure pop like ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ and apply the bang pow – like the kick of defibrulators – shifting into jazz rock overdrive, also with the groovy Hammond.
Things take a tiny step down with something funky from Joao Donato. ‘Lunar Tune’ (from the LP ‘A Bad Donato’) is more of that groovy Brazilian keyboard action that we’ve come to expect from Mr Donato.
If you were given pause when you saw the name Louis Prima in the playlist, rest easy. I would not steer you wrong, and Mr. Just a Gigolo and his band were recording funky, era-appropriate grooves well into the 70s on his own Pr1ma label. Their take on the Average White Band’s ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ goes into synthesizer overload and features some very snappy drums.
Keyboardist Neal Creque (who appears in this mix as a leader, and as a sideman with Mongo Santamaria) lays down a very nice Rhodes groove with his tune ‘Bacalau’.
Joe Thomas is well known to crate diggers, for his increasingly funky work in the 60s and 70s on the soul jazz tip (if you find a copy of ‘Chitlins and Cuchifritos’ on Today, grab it). His smoking flute-heavy take on Bob Dorough and Ben Tucker’s ‘Comin’ Home’ is a smoker from the get go.
Richard Groove Holmes was one of the great past masters of the Hammond, and should be a very familiar name to followers of Funky16Corners Radio organ mixes. ‘Isole Natale’ is from his uniformly excellent 1969 LP ‘Working On a Groovy Thing’ which also features an interesting cover of David Frishberg’s ‘Oklahoma Toad’.
If you’re not ready to have your mind blown, take a break and come back in a minute. Eddie Jefferson was featured in this space recently, but that track was a mere amuse bouche when compared to the jazz funk buffet of ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’. As close to a modern jazz standard as you can get (written by Eddie Harris, covered by Miles Davis among others), ‘FJD’ is given a fiery vocalese reworking by the legendary Mr. Jefferson.
Layin jazz genius Mongo Santamaria recorded a number of funky albums during his late 60s/early 70s tenure at Atlantic Records. ‘Night Crawler’ is from his ‘Mongo ’70’ LP and is one of the few tracks on the album not written by Neal Creque (it was penned by Charles Williamson).
Next up is an unusual cut from Enoch Light. Known mainly for his “easy” sound LPs for the Project 3/Command labels, crate diggers in the know will tell you that his albums are an untapped source of funky sounds. One such cut is his fuzzed out, drum heavy take on Donovan’s oft-covered ‘Season of the Witch’.
I’ve owned and treasured the New London Rhythm and Blues Band LP for years – real heads do in fact know the deal – and despite mining the intertubes for information I have yet to figure out who’s playing on it. My suspicions have always been that it was UK studio/library heads, but I have yet to receive confirmation in that regard. Their booming, atmospheric take on ‘Soul Man’ is a gas.
Hammond heads will already be hip to the keyboard work of Mr Reuben Wilson, from his early days as part of the Wildare Express, right on through his solo albums for Blue Note and Groove Merchant. Dig his very funky take on Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’.
Don Ellis was an unusual cat. He had a long career writing and performing experimental jazz, yet by the late 60s his big band was playing rock covers on the stage at the Fillmore West. His cover of the Crusader’s ‘Put It Where You Want It’ is from the band’s last Columbia LP, 1972’s ‘Connection’ which also featured a cover of Yes’s ‘Roundabout’.
We go back to Joe Thomas with another smoking cut from his ‘Comin’ Home’ LP on Cobblestone. ‘You Can Bet Your Sweet Bippy’ is a powerfully swinging number with some shout outs in the breaks that older heads will recognize as references to ‘Laugh In’.
We close out this edition of Funky16Corners Radio with a tune that was featured by itself last year. Tamba 4’s version of ‘California Soul’ is from sessions for an LP that was never issued. ‘California Soul’ was released on a rare, promo-only 45, and is one of my favorite versions of the tune.
That all said, I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back later in the week with something soulful.
Peace

Larry

PS Make sure to stop by Iron Leg for some classic, mid-60s folk rock perfection.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider as well

The Parliaments – Time

February 12, 2009

Example

The Parliaments

Example

Listen – The Parliaments – Time – MP3″

Greetings all.

Greetings all.
I hope everyone has had an excellent week, and that you’re all ready to take a step into the weekend with a taste of classic soul.
While I’d venture a guess that most folks are familiar with the name Parliament – as the P in P-Funk – many of you may not be as familiar with the early days of Mr. Clinton and his friends, when they straddled the landscape of Detroit soul, be-conked and harmonized, as the Parliaments.
If you are familiar with that group, it’s probably via their best known record ‘(I Wanna) Testify’, which was covered numerous times (including a P-Funk remake) and is rightly remembered as a soul classic.
In the years before Funkadelic came together, the Parliaments recorded a number of uniformly excellent soul 45s for the Golden World, Revilot and Atco labels. If you’re not wise to these sounds, you can grab most of the 45s without dropping too much cash*, or you can pick up any of a number of reissues that gather this material.
Though some of the Parliaments cuts lean in the direction of the rougher sound of ‘Testify’ (they had a tendency to back a harder, more innovative tune with a more classic soul sound, i.e. ‘Testify’s flip ‘I Can Feel the Ice Melting’), the group’s brief discography includes a couple of outstanding bits of sweet, danceable soul. ‘Time’ is one of those records. As is the case with all of their sides, the song has a memorable melody, outstanding vocals (I think George Clinton is the lead on this one) and a very solid Motor City arrangement. I really dig the opening horns, as well as the rhythm guitar and drums in tandem running through the verse.
If you listen closely at the end of the record, there’s a bit of what sounds like extraneous studio dialogue.
It’s a very groovy side, and I hope you dig it.
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday with a new edition of Funky16Corners Radio.

Peace

Larry

*With the exception of their Golden World 45 ‘Heart Trouble’ which will run you a few hundred dollars

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some dreamy psyche

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners Radio Show Tonight 9PM

February 12, 2009

Example

Greetings all.

This is just a note to let you know that the Funky16Corners Radio Show on Viva internet radio returns tonight – Thurs 02/12 at 9PM . The show will play at 9PM, and will be archived thereafter at the Funky16Corners Radio Show Page (where you can still hear many old shows if you haven’t checked it out yet).
Also, the next installment of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions is dropping next Friday 2/20 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ. Fall by if you’re in the area.

Example

And, if you’re on Facebook, stop by and join the Funky16Corners group.

Peace

Larry

Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson – Two For the Price of One

February 10, 2009

Example

Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson posing on what

may very well be the greatest soul LP cover of all time…

Example

Listen – Larry Williams and Johnny Guitar Watson – Two For the Price of One – MP3″

Greetings all.

The middle of the week is here, and I’ve decided to drop something explosive on you. I would normally do this on a Friday, but sometimes you need that boost midway through the work week in order to get all the way to Friday.
I first heard Larry Williams and Johnny Guitar Watson’s ‘Two For the Price of One’ back in the mid-80s, when I was doing my first real digging for soul vinyl. One fine day at the Princeton Record Exchange – back when those word really meant something – I happened to turn up an OG copy of the Williams/Watson LP on Okeh, which immediately became a cornerstone of my newly minted soul collection*.
My man Johnny ‘Bluesman’ Rahmer – with whom I trod the boards in the Phantom Five – and I use to take the Guitar Watson and Williams parts in this tune respectively, and “recreate” this record every time we got together in the presence of alcoholic beverages. I won’t yank your chain and tell you that you “had to be there” (you didn’t, really…) but it was a hell of a lot of fun, as is the record itself.
Williams started his career in 1957 as one of the true rock’n’roll OGs (out of New Orleans no less), writing and performing a number of amazing records like ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, ‘Bony Moronie’, ‘Slow Down’ and ‘Bad Boy’. If the names sound familiar it might be because:

a) The tunes are certifiable rock standards
b) A few short years later a young hood from Liverpool named John Lennon did his damndest to recreate Larry’s howl when he recorded these songs with a little garage band known as the Beatles.

He went down with a drug bust in 1960 and all but disappeared from the musical landscape.
Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson had recorded some prescient, raw blues guitar sides in the 50s (including the seminal ‘Gangster of Love’) for a number of labels, and spent a lot of time working as a sideman.
The early 60s come along and Larry and Johnny get a band together, and the magic started to happen*. They recorded a live album in the UK – with a group called the Stormsville Shakers – in 1965 (which was reissued by Edsel in the 80s) which included a tight version of “Mojo Hannah’, and several 45s for labels like Jola, Magnum and Decca before signing with Okeh in 1966.
The duo recorded the ‘Two For the Price of One’ LP in 1967, and it was a killer from start to finish. In addition to the positively storming title track, the LP included the original vocal version (which they wrote the lyrics for) of Cannonball Adderly and Joe Zawinul’s ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy’ (later ripped off by the Buckinghams) and the Northern Soul fave ‘Too Late’.
‘Two For the Price of One’ is – as previously stated – a veritable stick of dynamite with Williams and Watson batting the lead vocal back and forth like a hot potato, dropping all kinds of jive.
The arrangement is fast and furious, but the vocals are the highlight.
If the song wasn’t already a favorite, I’m sure it will be once you check it out.

Peace

Larry

*In the service of full disclosure, I should mention that my original ‘original’ copy of ‘Two For the Price of One’ was sold back to the Record Exchange (along with a ton of other amazing records) a few years later when I was in the grips of the original compact disc frenzy. I only re-purchased another copy (also OG) last year. As the audience of Funky16Corners is my witness, I promise never to do anything that stupid again.

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a late 60s freakout

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

The Artistics – What Happened

February 8, 2009

Example

The Artistics

Example

Listen – The Artistics – What Happened – MP3″

Greetings all.

Here we are again at the beginning of yet another exciting week and I figured that I couldn’t very well get things started here at Funky16Corners unless the tune in question was also (exciting that is)…
Anyhoo, I can’t recall exactly when I picked up ‘What Happened’ by the Artistics, but it was a long time ago. I remember that much because this is a 45 that came recommended by a friend, fell into the abyss known as my record room, and then popped up again and again over the years. Why it took me so long to finally pull the record out and give it a serious listen, I cannot tell you, other than to admit that this is a scenario which is played out on the reg.
It may have had something to do with my ego, i.e. if I didn’t find it on my own, I need to bury it deep enough in the crates that when I finally do find it, that it was kind of like finding it on my own (but not really, and how neurotic is that???).
That admission out of the way, my thanks go out to whoever tried to turn me on to this record lo those many years ago. Your name has been forgotten but your good deed is remembered every time I give this one a spin.
This is – as you’ll see after you pull down the ones and zeros – because ‘What Happened’ by the Artistics is a very solid bit of late 60s Chitown soul on it’s way to the land of funk. It has a super classy arrangement by Carl Davis and Eugene Record (of the Chi-lites, who cowrote the song with Barbara Acklin) that starts out with the strings and the piano before the thumping bass, slightly fuzzed out guitar (I LOVE that guitar) and snapping drums fall by to remind you that you are in fact listening to a soul record.
This motion is seconded as soon as the Artistics themselves get started with the falsetto and the harmonies and all is groovy.
The opening of ‘What Happened’ is a great example of how semi-baroque pop touches were finding their way into the sounds of soul – check out ‘At the Top of the Stairs’ by the Formations for another example – a la the work that Norman Whitfield was doing up in the Motor City.
It’s a killer record, and I hope you dig it.
See you on Wednesday.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a late 60s freakout

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers