Archive for the ‘Curtis Mayfield’ Category

Jesse Anderson – Mighty Mighty

January 14, 2010

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The Mighty Mayfield

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Listen/Download -Jesse Anderson – Mighty Mighty

Greetings all.
The end of another week is at hand, and despite the usual lack of energy I find myself faced with at these junctures, I’m raring and ready to go. I’ll be joining the rest of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions crew – we’re nearing our third anniversary! – for another evening of the hottest funk and soul jams, all spun at 45rpm.
I should also mention that I’ll be heading up to New York City for another guest spot with DJ Bluewater at Forbidden City, Wednesday night January 27th.
The tune I bring you may sound familiar, since it has been covered a couple of times. It appeared here in the past as done by Baby Huey as ‘Mighty Mighty Children’ and by the legendary Curtis Mayfield (who had a hand in all three records) as ‘Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)’.
The credited artist on today’s version of ‘Mighty Mighty’ is Jesse Anderson. I make that distinction, because as far as I can tell, Anderson was strictly a vocalist, which brings into question who is in fact playing on this (instrumental) side of the 45 (the flip ‘I Got Problems’ is a vocal).
Anderson got his start early in the 60s recording for Federal, moving on to Cadet, then the revived Thomas label, and finally the Outta Cyte imprint. Anderson also co-wrote Syl Johnson’s ‘Come On Sock It To Me’ along with Johnson and Jo Armstead.
The Anderson version of ‘Mighty Mighty’ is a very heavy, very groovy slice of Chitown funk, with a powerful rhythm section (dig that throbbing bass), wrapped up in a river of wah-wah guitar. There’s a meaty drum break midway into the record, and the chorus features some sweet, funky flute action.
Despite the fact that I verily idolize Curtis, I’d have to say that as a single in my DJ box, the Jesse Anderson ‘Mighty Mighty’ is my fave (with Baby Huey a close second).
I find it interesting that the flipside of the 45 (the hit, actually) ‘I Got a Problem’ was co-written by Gene Barge, another Chicago fixture who worked with Jesse Anderson on a number of his records. The fact that only the ‘Mighty Mighty’ side is credited as having been produced by Curtis Mayfield, suggests to me that Anderson may not have had anything to do with the instrumental at all, and that it was slapped on the B-side as filler by Eddie Thomas, Chitown soul mover and owner of the label that bore his name. This is only a guess, and if anyone has any firm information as to the recording’s provenance, I’d love to hear about it.
’Mighty Mighty’ was also sampled (the guitar line and the break) by Main Source for the track ‘Snake Eyes’.
That said, I hope you dig the tune, and if you’re in the area, fall by the Asbury Park 45 Sessions and maybe I’ll be giving this one a spin.

GIG NOTES

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In other news, this Friday, January 15th marks the return of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions to the World Famous Asbury Lanes with DJ Prestige, yours truly, DJ Bluewater, M-Fasis, DJ Prime Mundo, Jack the Ripper and guest selector DJ Devil Dick. If you’re in the area, fall by for some heat of the 45RPM variety.

Also…I’ll be returning for another guest spot with DJ Bluewater at Master Groove @ Forbidden City in NYC on Wednesday night January 27th. It’s a very chill night so you should fall by if you’re in the City and down for some funk. The Master Groove line-up for the coming weeks is as follows:

This week – Jan 13th: M.fasis, Nick Cope
Jan 20th: DJ Prestige, DJ Prime Mundo
Jan 27th: M.fasis, Funky16Corners

I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Peace

Larry

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Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

August 2, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

Playlist

Titanic – Sultana (CBS)
Santana – Jin-Go-La-Ba (CBS)
Simon Kenyatta Troupe – Soul Makossa (Avco)
Curtis Mayfield – Future Shock (Curtom)
Cymande – Bra (Janus)
Eddie Kendricks – Date With the Rain (Tamla)
Cold Blood – Valdez In the Country (WB)
Rufus – Half Moon (MCA)
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars Part 1 (Philly Intl)
Hank Ballard & the Midnighters – Freak Your Boom Boom (LeJoint)
Kool & the Gang – More Funky Stuff (Dee Lite)
Disko Band – Pick Up the Pieces (Pickwick)
Gene Faith – Lowdown Melody (Virtue)
Barrett Strong – Stand Up and Cheer For the Preacher (Epic)
Gladys Knight & the Pips – Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (Motown)
Heatwave – Grooveline (Epic)
KC & the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight (LP Edit) (TK)
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real (Fantasy)

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

I’m back from DC, and though I’m tired as hell (I feel like I was dragged home behind a truck belching oily smoke) I’d be a liar if I said that I had less than an absolutely amazing time in our nation’s capitol.
First and foremost I have to offer thanks to my gracious hosts DJ Birdman and his lovely wife, who gave me a comfortable bed in which to sleep in addition to all manner of great hospitality.
I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon in the Funky16Corners-mobile, making extraordinarily good time and arriving in DC a little on the early side. Naturally I took advantage of the hole in my schedule to fall by Som Records on 14th St to say hi to my man DJ Neville C and pick up some fresh vinyl for the upcoming gigs. If you’re in DC and you need a vinyl fix make sure you stop by and tell the man behind the counter that Funky16Corners sent you.
After that it was a quick turnaround to drop off my stuff and head back out with Birdman for the Jazz Corner of the World 5th anniversary party at Cafe St Ex.
I have to take a moment to say that I have been extremely lucky in my DJ travels this year. All of the venues have been next level, and St Ex and Marvin (the places I spun at this week) were no exception. Wonderful spaces, great staff (outstanding cuisine) and all around chill environments made for great experiences.
The Jazz Corner party was a subdued spin on off-the-hook-ness, giving me a chance to DJ alongside Birdman, DC Digga, Fatback, Neville C and a the rest of the crew. The sounds included everything from old school New Orleans jazz, right on through to hard bop and jazz funk (breaks included, natch).
We headed out on Thursday for some Virginia digging, ending up in Richmond where I scored some very cool 45s.
Friday morning we were out digging again where I scored some cool stuff that I ended up taking with me to Marvin that night.
If you make it down to DC, you absolutely MUST make it over to Marvin. I had been to Marvin once before to see DJ Birdman spin but split for my own gig early on. This time out Birdman and I split the night (one hour on/one hour off from 6PM to 3AM), keeping it jazzy and mellow for the first half and then turning up the heat around 10. My first heavy set was mostly funk and breaks, with the later set including a healthy selection of disco.
I got to spin Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel Mighty Real’ over of a club sound system for the first time and it was a transcendent experience. As stated in this space before it is a positively explosive record, and quite frankly, if you aren’t digging Sylvester you need to get your ass out of the club.
Other highlights of the evening were the sister who lost her mind (she reached into the booth, grabbed me and then screamed!) when I dropped ‘Hot Pants’ by James Brown, everyone who danced (and there WAS dancing!) and the cute girl who asked if there was any chance I would play some Vanilla Ice, to which I responded politely:

No.
Never, under any circumstances.

I was actually able to fulfill a couple of requests (it helps when people request cool songs) and had an absolute blast. Big ups to Sheldon, who runs an absolutely incredible place.
Saturday Birdman took me to some more digging spots and It turned up some excellent stuff, including a couple of soul 45s that I’ve been chasing for a long time.
In honor of the folks at Marvin, I’m dropping this edition of Funky16Corners Radio that includes some of the stuff I played on Friday, some new finds and a couple of old faves. There’s over an hour of funk, disco, funky disco and disco-y funk. I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with some breaks and what not.

Peace

Larry

PS You can check out some pics from Marvin over at the Funky16Corners Facebook Group

PPS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for some sunshine pop

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6/12 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Wrap-up

June 13, 2009

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Your’s truly massaging the mixer “just so”

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Listen – Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul – MP3″

Funky16Corners 6/12 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Set List

Dixie Cups – Two Way Poc-a-way (ABC/Paramount)
Jimmie Preacher Ellis – Put Your Hoe to My Row (Round)
Bar-Kays – Give Everybody Some (Volt)
Scatman Crothers – Golly Zonk!(It’s Scatman) (HBR)
JJ Barnes – Day Tripper (Ric-Tic)
Fabulous Emotions – Number One Fool (Nico)
Otis Goodwin – Mini Skirts (Walker-Reeder)
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul (King)
Gene Chandler – In My Body’s House (Checker)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Exotics – Boogaloo Investigator (Excello)
Gunga Din – Crab Cakes (Valise)
Meiko Hirota – On a Sorrowful Day (Columbia)
Lulu – Love Loves to Love (Epic)
Baby Huey & the Babysitters – Mighty Mighty Children Pt2 (Curtom)
ST-4 – Funky (Scepter)
Charles Brinkley – In the Pocket (Music Machine)
Eldridge Holmes – The Book (Deesu)
Little Royal & the Swingmasters – Razor Blade (Trius)
Freddie Scott & the Four Steps – Same Ole Beat (Marlin)
Johnny Otis Show – Country Girl (Kent)
Etta James – Tighten Up Your Own Thing (Cadet)
Rumplestiltskin – Rumplestiltskin (Bell)

Greetings all.

Just a quick note to say that last night’s edition of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions was -as expected – a banger, with a lively crowd getting down to repeated helpings of funk 45 heat.
In addition to my own, there were smoking sets by DJ Bluewater, DJ Prestige, MFasis, and DJ Prime Mundo (who dropped a 45 so heavy that my mind was good and truly blown). Make sure you head over to Fleamarket Funk for some more pics and set lists.
The next Sessions will be sometime in August, so set aside the entire month, lest you miss the action.
I’m reposting the Bobby Byrd 45 that I spun last night.
I’ll be back on Monday with the regularly scheduled goodness.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

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Chicago Sound Pt3 – Baby Huey – Mighty Mighty Children Pts 1&2

May 28, 2009

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James ‘Baby Huey’ Ramey

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Listen – Baby Huey and the Babysitters – Mighty Mighty Children Pt1- MP3″

Listen – Baby Huey and the Babysitters – Mighty Mighty Children Pt2- MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope the end of the week finds you all well.
I also hope you’ve been digging the Chitown theme we’ve been working this week.
As promised, we’re going to close things out with something (very) funky, that being ‘Mighty Mighty Children Pts 1&2’ (you really need to dig both sides) by Baby Huey and the Babysitters.
Born James Ramey, Baby Huey and his band hailed from Richmond, Indiana (about halfway between Dayton, Ohio and Indianapolis). Starting in the mid-60s, Baby Huey and the band worked up a rep as a dynamite show band, drawing huge crowds in Richmond and on the road, playing with both soul and rock bands (I’ve seen a reference that said they opened for the Yardbirds at one point).
Over the next few years they toured widely, made a number of TV appearances and by the time they were signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label, they had a fairly large following.
Ramey was an outsized performer in every respect, both as a master of wild stage shows, and physically topping 300 pounds for his performing career and over 400 pounds (and with a deadly heroin habit) when he passed away in October of 1970. The album the group had been recording with Mayfield would be released posthumously in 1971.
The single I bring you today is a funky, two-part killer with a “live in studio” sound, tight production by Curtis and an arrangement by none other than Donny Hathaway.
‘Mighty Mighty Children’ swings along on a melody that is instantly recognizable as having been created by Mayfield, with a raw vocal by Ramey, blazing horns and just enough fuzzed out wah-wah guitar to let you know that it was 1970.
I’m partial to Part 2, in which things get (re)started with an intro, after which Ramey interacts with the audience and lays down a rap (namechecking Lou Rawls, as well as a veritable soul food buffet). Though both sides of the 45 rock, Part 2 has a heavier party vibe, a little more chaotic and very groovy.
In other news, this coming Monday (June the first) will see the arrival of the 2009 Funky16Corners Pledge Drive, in which your’s truly comes to you, hand outstretched, asking for donations to keep the blogs (more specifically the server space wherein all the pictures, sound files, podcasts and the Funky16Corners web zine reside) up and running for another year. I will of course provide more details on Monday, as well as Paypal links and a brand new edition of the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast as the soundtrack to the drive.
I hope you all have an excellent (hopefully sunny) weekend, and I’ll see you all on Monday.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some spy movie soundtrack action.

NOTE: Don’t forget to check out the Funky16Corners feature over at the Dust and Grooves blog.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Chicago Sound Pt2 – The Radiants – Voice Your Choice

May 26, 2009

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(Top) An incomplete pic of the Radiants

(Bottom) Maurice McAllister and Mac McLauren
(Mac on the bottom, Maurice on top)

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Listen – The Radiants – Voice Your Choice – MP3″

Greetings all.

I come to you midweek, with yet another choice Chitown soul side.
The Radiants (as well as Radiants subset Maurice and Mac) have been featured in this space before. They were responsible for one of my all time favorite soul records ever, that being ‘Baby You’ve Got It’ (billed as Maurice and the Radiants), as well as a fairly solid run of quality soul 45s between 1963 and 1969.
The tune I bring you today, ‘Voice Your Choice’ is one of their best, and might fairly be described as one of the greatest Curtis Mayfield records that Curtis Mayfield never made.
Released in 1964, ‘Voice Your Choice’ may or may not feature Green ‘Mac’ McLauren, as I’ve seen references that indicate that he may have been in the Army at the time*. No matter, since even without his voice, the Radiants were capable of warm harmonies and soaring falsettos that so bring to mind Mayfield’s work with the Impressions. The arrangement – by Phil Wright – bears all the hallmarks of a Mayfield record with the slick, muted horns, solid drums (I’d be willing to bet that the same drummer is playing on both this record and ‘Baby You’ve Got It’), and bright lead guitar. The production is by Chess house producer Billy Davis.
The tune was written by Maurice McAllister and Gerald Sims (who I’ve seen mistakenly listed as a member of the group**), and was a huge hit in Chicago, charting nationally in the R&B Top 20 and Pop Top 50.
When I stated in Monday’s post that Mayfield’s influence was all encompassing in Chicago, it certainly wasn’t restricted to that area. One need only listen to records like ‘No Man Is an Island’ by the Van Dykes (Texas), or ‘Let’s Let It Roll’ by Eddie Bo and ‘Emperor Jones’ by Eldridge Holmes (both New Orleans) to see that he was inspiring performers all over the country.
As far as I can tell, there isn’t currently a comprehensive Radiants compilation in print, which considering the consistently high quality of their catalog is puzzling. Their singles don’t tend to be too expensive though (with the marked exceptions of ‘Baby You’ve Got It’ and ‘Heartbreak Society’), so head out into the field and start digging. You won’t be sorry.
I’ll be back on Friday with something funky.

Peace

Larry

*the membership of the Radiants was in flux for most of their existence, with McAlister – and often McLauren – being the only constants, thus their partnership closing out the Radiants and related discography toward the end of the 60s

**Sims was a noted Chicago writer/producer/arranger who had performed with the Daylighters and composed material for Gene Chandler, Mary Wells, Jackie Wilson, and the Radiants, as well as producing and/or playing guitar on a wide variety of Chicago-based blues and soul recordings.

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some classic garage folk and an 80s garage reunion.

NOTE: Don’t forget to check out the Funky16Corners feature over at the Dust and Grooves blog.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Chicago Sound Pt1 – Curtis Mayfield – Give Me Your Love

May 24, 2009

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Curtis Mayfield

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Listen – Curtis Mayfield – Give Me Your Love (Love Song) – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope that everyone had a most excellent weekend (many of us here in the States have it extended through Monday due to Memorial Day). It has – against all odds – been fairly warm and sunny, though the nice weather brings with it the first signs of the summer tourist onslaught, in which the simplest trip to the grocery store becomes an odyssey.
Things hereabouts have been exceedingly groovy. Saturday night I fell by the world famous Asbury Lanes to see my brother (CJ Grogan) play alongside one of the legends of the NYC/NJ 80s garage/mod revival scene, that being Mod Fun, a band that has reconstituted here in the 21st Century with new songs and an updated sound. Though I spent a lot of time with the boys back in the day, I hadn’t seen them play (or see two of them at all) in over 20 years.
It was old home night at the lanes, where in addition to Mod Fun, and all surviving members of my band from back in the day – The Phantom Five – there were a number of other 80s era musicians and scenesters present. A good time was had by all, and my brother ended his set with an impromptu Phantom Five reunion, which included vocals by yours truly (check it out over at Iron Leg). It was a gas.
That said, I welcome you all to yet another week at the Funky16Corners Blog. This week we’re taking it on the road (figuratively anyway) to Chitown.
At the end of every week I tend to sit down, dig into the archives of prepared material for inclusion herein, and gather together the three (usually) numbers that I plan on writing up the following week. Last week, as I was writing up the Betty Everett tune I presented on Friday, and doing the research for that post I realized that I had a grip of Chicago stuff ready and raring to go, and presenting them as part of a ‘themed’ week struck me as a good idea.
The cool thing is that the three tune I’ll be posting all fall into their own stylistic areas, with something smooth, something funky and a bit of classic, early Northern-style soul. The connecting thread – aside from the geographic one – is that they all have something, directly or indirectly to do with the mighty Curtis Mayfield.
In the annals of Chicago soul there are a number of musical giants, but Curtis Mayfield rises above them all. Starting out as a member of the Impressions, as a songwriter, producer and arranger Curtis Mayfield was by far the biggest influence on the Chicago soul sound of the 1960s and 1970s, creating a style that spread well beyond the Cook County borders. His influence was all-encompassing, much like Allen Toussaint in New Orleans, or Gamble and Huff in Philly.
The tune I bring you today is one of the lesser known – yet finest – cuts from the legendary 1972 soundtrack LP from the film ‘Superfly’. Producing two significant hits in the title cut and ‘Freddie’s Dead’ as well as the influential ‘Pusherman’, the ‘Superfly’ OST is not only one of the finest albums in Mayfield’s long and illustrious discography, but also one of the finest soundtracks ever.
The tune I bring you today ‘Give Me Your Love (Love Song)’ sees Mayfield bridging the gap between standard song structure and soundtrack ambience, building a long, atmospheric blaxplo groove yet keeping enough structure in the mix that what you’re getting is essentially still a “song”. Dig, if you will the Johnny Pate arrangement, wherein the sweeping strings are juxtaposed against the wah-wah guitar, bringing to mind a slighty sexier (and somewhat lighter) take on the Norman Whitfield ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’ template. You get all of that, plus Mayfield’s soulful, whispery tenor, one of the greatest voices of the classic soul era.
It may not be the heaviest thing Curtis ever did, but I think you’ll find yourself giving this one several repeat listenings.
As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with something soulful.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some classic garage folk and an 80s garage reunion.

NOTE: Don’t forget to check out the Funky16Corners feature over at the Dust and Grooves blog.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook


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