Archive for the ‘Southern Soul’ Category

Percy Sledge – Baby Help Me

January 10, 2010

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Percy Sledge

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Listen/Download -Percy Sledge – Baby Help Me

Greetings all.
I hope all of you are warm, dry and happy this wintry Monday.
I for one have yet to fully emerge from the fog of the weekend (nothing too strenuous, just too much on the agenda when some well deserved vegetation would be in order), so I figured what better way to kick things off than a nice, upbeat soul cut?
When most folks hear the name Percy Sledge, they expect one thing and one thing only, that being that monument to deep, weepy southern soul, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’. One of those soul records that people with no knowledge of soul at all know about (thanks to countless soundtrack appearances), ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ manages to still be listenable despite 40+ years of saturation.
When I was down in DC last year, spinning and digging, in addition to a grip of funk 45s and LPs I managed to pull a couple of slices of classic soul, one of which was Percy Sledge’s 1968 LP ‘Take Time To Know Her’. Backed by the Muscle Shoals crew, the LP features Sledge working out on his other big ballad hit, the Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham classic ‘Out of Left Field’, and an interesting cover of the Classics IV’s ‘Spooky’.
While I was checking the album out, wandering through the grooves randomly I happened upon something I did not expect to find, that being today’s selection, ‘Baby Help Me’. Written by none other than Bobby Womack, ‘Baby Help Me’ is a great illustration of the little known fact that Percy Sledge, in addition to his famous way with a pleading ballad, was also able to work it out on a little bit of the soul shouting.
While Sledge wasn’t about to give the Wicked Pickett a run for his money, he acquits himself nicely, bringing his sand-papery growl to the fore, on top of a rocking rhythm section and some tight horns.
It’s great to see that Percy wasn’t afraid to get a little Alabama mud splattered on the cuffs of his continental suit.

Oddly enough I have another 45 by Mr Sledge in the queue, but it deserves a post of its own, so keep you ears peeled for that one in the coming months.

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In other news, this coming 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:

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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PS Head over to Iron Leg for something by the Fugs.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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Oscar Toney, Jr. – Everything I Own

November 22, 2009

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Mr. Oscar Toney, Jr.

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Listen/Download -Oscar Toney, Jr. – Everything I Own

Greetings all.
I hope the dawning a new week finds you well.
You’d never knowing by looking at (or reading) me, but I spent Friday night and most of Saturday in the hospital by virtue of another chapter in my ongoing kidney stone saga. Despite the fact that the stones I had were lasered down to a size that I was assured were “passable”, they decided to try to pass at exactly the same time (and in the same place), thereby beating the oddsmakers and sending me back to the operating room.
Fortunately it was a quick procedure and I was home in time for Saturday dinner, but honestly, this shit is getting old.
Feh…
That said, I decided to get the week started with something soulful and mellow.
Not too long ago when the wife and I were up in Massachusetts – she digging for yarn, me digging for records – I happened to pick up a 45 by one of my fave, underrated 60s soul singers, Mr. Oscar Toney Jr.
One of the very first soul 45s I ever picked up (and fell in love with) was Oscar Toney Jr.’s ‘Ain’t That True Love’. A classic southern soul burner by any standard, ‘Ain’t That True Love’ is pure Muscle Shoals goodness with a blazing vocal by Mr. Toney.
Toney recorded a number of 45s (and an LP) for Bell between 1967 and 1970, before moving on to the Capricorn label for the next two years.
By 1973 Toney’s career had run it’s course in the US. However, in the UK, John Abbey, founder of ‘Blues and Soul’ magazine and the man responsible for placing a number of US soul and funk sides with the Mojo label founded Contempo Records. Over the next few years Abbey would work with acts like Sam and Dave, JJ Barnes, Tamiko Jones and Oscar Toney Jr.
Toney’s sole Atco 45 (coming right after his association with Capricorn) was a Contempo production, a cover of the 1972 Bread hit ‘Everything I Own’.
The tune is a great showcase for Toney’s wonderful voice and he manages to tear the song from its original soft rock setting and recast it as a deep soul ballad.
Toney eventually recorded a number of singles and an album for Contempo before leaving secular music and returning to his gospel roots in the 80s. He returned to the soul scene once again with a comeback album in 2000.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week.

Peace

Larry

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PS Head over to Iron Leg for a groovy cover of a 60s TV show theme.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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Funky16Corners Radio v.73 – Vanishing Point aka the Return of Super Soul

September 6, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.73 – Vanishing Point aka the Return of Super Soul

Playlist

Booker T & the MGs – Chicken Pox (Stax)
Buddy Miles – Them Changes (Mercury)
5th Dimension – Shake Your Tambourine (Bell)
Shirley Bassey – Spinning Wheel (UA)
Dorothy Norwood – Soul Train (GRC)
Bo Diddley – High Again (Checker)
Buena Vistas – Soul Ranger (Marquee)
Labelle – Lady Marmalade (Epic)
Sisters and Brothers feat Sister Geri – Chained (Calla)
Hoctor – Gold Coast (Hoctor)
Bobby Byrd – If You Don’t Work You Can’t Eat (King)
James Brown – Hot Pants Pts 2&3 (People)
Jimmy McGriff – Shaft (Groove Merchant)
Ken Munson – Rocks In My Bed (Paramount)
Mickey & the Soul Generation – Chocolate (Maxwell)
Bohannon – Truck Stop (Dakar)


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

Greetings all.

I hope all is well on your end of the interwebs.
As stated on Friday, it’s been a very busy period here at Funky16Corners headquarters, with the two sprouts headed to school, many (MANY) appointments on the books and general life type stuff piling up around me.
Among the items on the “to do” list were a new mix for this very blog, as well as an upcoming guest mix for somewhere else, as well as a rash of digi-ma-tizing and filing new arrivals and future mix contents.
Before we get started with the latest edition of the Funky16Corners Radio thang, it behooves me to note that there is a minor change in the blogroll. Last week the fine Echoes In the Wind blog was officially discomblogulated by the bureaucrats over at Blogger (one of the many reasons I abandoned that service a few years back for the elysian fields of WordPress) and he was left – as the kids say – with his cheese flapping in the wind. Not one to let tragedy get him down, Greg has reconstituted his blogging space as Echoes Again (at WordPress, natch) and the least I can do is send you good folks over his way to help him get restarted. Make sure that you click on over this Tuesday (9/8) for the grand reopening.
The mix I bring you today is something I’ve had cooking on the back burner for a while. If you follow the comings and goings here at Funky16Corners, you know that no matter how many times the Funky16Corners Radio mixes enter the realm of high concept, I always find the time to take a step back every once in a while to whip some straight ahead funk and soul on you good people.
Today’s selection, ‘Vanishing Point: The Return of Super Soul’ – aka Funky16Corners Radio v. 73 – sees us taking some very solid funk (some familiar, most not so much) and wrapping it up in bits and pieces of one of my all time favorite movies.
Things get off to a rousing start with what I would say is the greatest Meters song neither written or recorded by the giants of the Crescent City. When one thinks of someone copping a little of that Meters juice, you would imagine the suspects to be some obscure, one-off group from the funky hinterlands, instead of perhaps the greatest of all 60’s instrumental soul bands, that being Booker T & the MGs. Coming from their last LP in 1971, the incredible ‘Melting Pot’, ‘Chicken Pox’ is one of those tunes you’d just love to spring on the heads in some kind of blindfold test. The first time I heard it, ‘Chicken Pox’ made my head spin. The opening second of the song sound as if they were lifted from any early Meters 45, and when Al Jackson comes in on the drums (with Booker T joining him almost simultaneously on the organ), and Steve Cropper whips out that big, rolling guitar riff, it’s kind of hard not to imagine the boys from Memphis didn’t feel Art, George, Leo and Zig snapping at their heels. How I wish this was available on 45….
Next up is a cat (and a song) that ought to be familiar to regular visitors to this space. Drummer/singer Buddy Miles was literally and figuratively a giant, who managed to mix rock and soul as well as anyone. His best known song ‘Them Changes’, covered countless times – heard here in its original form -  is a hard charging freight train of a record, with fat, fuzzy bass, blazing horns and of course Buddy’s vocals up on top.
If you haven’t read the set list yet, give the next song a listen and see if you can figure out who it is. Were you thinking of the 5th Dimension? I actually bought the album that this song appears on for another cover (which turned out to be a completely different song than I was looking for), but when I heard this wild version of Bobby Marchan’s ‘Shake Your Tambourine’ I knew my money wasn’t wasted.
Now, if you saw the name Shirley Bassey and did a double take, listen to her take on Blood Sweat and Tears ‘Spinning Wheel’ and be reassured. It’s one of those songs that produces interesting cover versions in incongruous sources, and this is no exception. Opening with an odd bit of swirling orchestration, it’s only a few seconds before some solid bass drops in, followed by funky drums, fatback guitar and Ms. Bassey’s reliably hot vocals.
It was the night of the last Asbury Park 45 Sessions when I scored the next 45, right out of my man DJ Prestige’s sale box. Dorothy Norwood is one of the biggest gospel stars of the last 40 years, but also has the distinction of having toured with the decidedly secular Rolling Stones. I grabbed ‘Get On Board the Soul Train’ mainly because I pick up ‘Soul Train’ records wherever I find them, but this one had the extra benefit of a very funky backing (dig that guitar riff) and a very soulful vocal my Ms Norwood.
Bo Diddley’s ‘I’m High Again’ is another find from that night, coming from Mr. Pat. James Longo. One of Big Bad Bo’s wilder numbers from his late 60s period (sought after by the crate digger types in your neighborhood), ‘I’m High Again’ sees the mighty Mr. Diddley namechecking LSD over a funky beat and some wild flanged guitar in a performance guaranteed to flip the wig of anyone that never listened past the early 60’s.
A couple of weeks back I layed the absolutely deadly funk of the Buena Vista’s ‘Kick-Back’ on you, and I promised that I’d be bringing you it’s very tasty flipside in the coming weeks. Well a promise made is a promise kept, so unzip your ears and let a little bit of the ‘Soul Ranger’ slide into your sound hole. It’s got breaks, a taste of Roy Ward’s ‘Horse With a Freeze’ and some very funky, wobble-legged guitar running through the whole thing. If there ever was a solid two-sider you needed for your record box, this is it my friends.
Last week when I dropped Labelle’s version of the Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ I made mention of the fact that I always pack three versions of ‘Lady Marmalade’ in my DJ box. Two of them – by Nanette Workman and Mongo Santamaria – are relatively obscure. The third is of course the OG, which in the language of the streets is completely and utterly unfuckwithable. Featuring production by the mighty Toussaint, and backing from the Meters, it is, despite however much overexposure you might associate with the song, a burner of the first order, and very, very funky.
Another taste of Louisiana, is the funkier side of the Sisters and Brothers Calla 45, ‘Chained’. While not as heavy as ‘Yeah You Right’ (on Uni), ‘Chained’ is a great bit of southern funk.
The next cut is a record that I’d been chasing for a long time. I’ve had a copy of the Hoctor version of the Meter’s ‘Cissy Strut’ for years, but for just as long the cut ‘Gold Coast’ has eluded me. Until, that is, it showed up in Mr. Longo’s sales stack at the 45 Sessions and I agreed to pay him whatever he thought fair in order that the record should return with me to my lair. Fortunately for me he suggested a more than acceptable price, I dug into my change purse and we made the exchange. ‘Gold Coast’ is – to coin a phrase – funky as year-old gym socks, with two distinct grooves which switch rather abruptly in the middle of the song. It pains me to think of all the time I was walking around without a copy of this 45. It’s all better now.
Speaking of 45s that I pick up whenever I come across them, the works of Mr. Bobby Byrd are high on that particular list. I dig his many collaborations with the Godfather of Soul and drop the needle on them whenever I stand behind  the wheels of steel. ‘If You Don’t Work You Can’t Eat’, with its fantabulous intro of ‘Hello jocks and friends!’ is from the socially conscious side of the JB menu, and has a churning beat, with some great guitar and electric piano bubbling up from underneath.
And how can you drop some Bobby Byrd without paying tribute to the Godfather himself? When I was down in DC last time I whipped ‘Hot Pants Pt1’ on the crowd (to great acclaim I must say) so I figured I’d flip the disc and offer up Parts 2 and 3 for your delectation.
No Funky16Corners mix is complete without a taste of Hammond, so I bring you a little something from Mr. Jimmy McGriff. If there’s a bad version of the ‘Theme From Shaft’ I have yet to hear it. Listen as Mr. McGriff and his band vamp on that famous riff, until they get to bust out into the second part of the tune. Very groovy indeed.
I’m a nut for some funky flute (I have something along those very lines jamming its way to me via the intertubes that I simply cannot wait to whip on you) and Ken Munson’s ‘Superflute’ album is a solid source thereof. Sought after by beatheads for the break in the title track, the LP has much more to offer, including some cool covers and a couple of nice originals. The tune I bring you today is in the latter category. ‘Rocks In My Bed’ is a solid slice of Blaxplo-style groove.
Mickey and the Soul Generation are best known for the mighty ‘Iron Leg’, one of my all time favorite funk 45s. If you wish to sample another very tasty groove, you need only flip that 45 over for a taste of ‘Chocolate’. Not as organ heavy as the a-side, there’s some very tasty guitar and horns on ‘Chocolate’, as well as a propulsive groove. The whole thing’s not too far removed from an early Kool and the Gang vibe.
The early 70s Dakar recordings of Hamilton Bohannon are often cited as ‘disco’ records, but that has more to do with the fact that they were played in clubs (especially overseas) than any relation to what you might think of as a disco style. ‘Truck Stop’ from the 1974 LP ‘Keep On Dancing’ is a fantastic example of his very funky, groove oriented style in which the band digs into a riff and keeps digging for several minutes. I’m definitely going to be posting more by Bohannon in the future, so stay tuned.
That’s it for this edition of Funky16Corners Radio. I hope you dig the funky sounds, and I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

NOTE: Funky16Corners gets a nice namecheck from no less than the great Nick Hornby (author of ‘High Fidelity’ among others) on the Guardian UK website. Thanks Nick!

PPS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for some garage psyche

PPPS Make sure to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Danny Delaney – Stop and Think

July 21, 2009

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Listen – Danny Delaney – Stop and Think – MP3″

Greetings all.

How about something quick and funky for the middle of the week?
My medical incarceration continues – my escape delayed for at least a day (no fault of my kidneys, but rather getting bumped from a schedule at a busy hospital). I may (keeping my fingers crossed) be out sometime on Wednesday, but don’t be shocked if I make my end of week post from here. It seems the harder I struggle to get out, the deeper I sink. Like I said, my health right now is OK (aside from the rogue stone that caused this visit, which will be pulverized in the coming weeks) but I have to get a qualified professional to remove the tube from my back before I can go home.
I would like to thank everyone who has sent along good wishes for the restoration and continuation (thanks RM) of my health. It means a lot.
But, back to the music….
The song – of course – if of average length. The information I’ve been able to track down about it is not.
Some months back my man Haim dropped a set-sale list my way, and as usual there was plenty of goodness to be had. After I made my selections and moved on to the check-out line, Haim said he also had some “less pristine” copies of a very heavy record, and asked if I’d be interested in one of them.
Now, when Haim says that a record is hot, naturally I take his word for it. The man has hepped me to so many quality records that his reputation is unimpeachable. However, if it is possible for something to be extra/super unimpeachable, such a thing is his grading, i.e., when he says a record is less than perfect, it is generally about two grades better than most people’s stuff. That said, when the record in question found its way into the mailbox, and onto the turntable I just about flipped my wig, since ‘Stop and Think’ by Danny Delaney is a slice of stone solid funkiness.
It is also one of the most lead-less records I’ve ever encountered. I haven’t been able to discover anything about it, aside from the fact that it was also issued on the Seeda label. When I saw that I figured I could see who else recorded for Seeda, and I might be able to follow something from there. The only problem with that is that I can’t find anyone else who recorded for Seeda, nor for that matter anyone else who recorded for Palmetto. The name ‘Palmetto’ suggests to me that we might be dealing with something from the South Atlantic coast, i.e. South Carolina, Georgia or Florida, but I can’t say for sure, and there’s no address on the label.
A dead end….aside of course for the fact that this is a very funky record, with plenty of organ, popping horns, a great vocal by Delaney and a tasty change-up toward the end. If I had to guess I’d place this in the area of 1971 or 1972, but things being what they are it could be one or two years in either direction (earlier or later, that is).
If anyone out there has anything to add, please drop me a line and pass it along.
I would be much obliged.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for the Second Anniversary Mix! .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

James Carr – Gonna Send You Back to Georgia

July 7, 2009

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The Mighty James Carr

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Listen -James Carr – Gonna Send You Back To Georgia – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope all is well on your end.
Things here are good to peachy keen, with lots of groovy sunshine and the Funky16Corners fam settling into a summer routine (of sorts).
A little while back (on Fathers Day) they were having another garage sale over at the Asbury Lanes, and because I heard an old friend was going to be there, unloading some prime 45s, I figured I’d fall by and see what I could find.
So, I get down to Asbury, stroll through the doors and am immediately struck by what can only be described as the dispiriting sight of very few dealers (none of whom were my pal). My first thought was that I was not going to find anything worth my time, and that I had driven all the way to the Lanes for nothing (and on Fathers Day no less). I took a quick look around, and fixed my eyes on a new guy who happened to be sitting next to about a dozen boxes of 45s.
Naturally, that’s where I started.
The 45s were in alphabetical order, and fortunately for me I turned up something interesting in the first handful I pulled out, because I can’t guarantee I would have gone through all those boxes if I hadn’t. Anyway, I pulled three or four cool things out, at which point I turned dolefully to the dealers and asked “How much?”, assuming that he was going to toss back a big fistful of record dealer hoodoo about how “Everything’s different” and “I’ll check them out when you’re through”.
Instead, what I got was “Everything’s a buck!”, at which I responded with an internal (of course) hi-diddly-dee and plowed through the other eleven boxes.
When I was through, I bagged twenty excellent 45s, including a couple of $50+ garage 45s, a number of cool soul and soul jazz things and a few oddball bits of weird pop that were worth taking a one-dollar chance on.
Among the soul 45s were a couple of James Carr numbers I didn’t have (always worth picking up). The one I’m featuring today, is his 1967 ‘Gonna Send You Back To Georgia’.
I get said record home, slap it on the turntable and as soon as the music starts a lightbulb goes on over my head and I realize that I know this song – in a slightly different form – as recorded by the Animals (as ‘I’m Gonna Send You Back To Walker’). My recollection of Carr’s history suggested to me that the gents from Newcastle upon the Tyne weren’t covering him (which was borne out by a little checking), so I figured I ought to get to looking to see what I could turn up.
It turns out that (barring any old timey, delta bluesy source material) ‘Gonna Send You Back To Georgia’ was initially recorded in 1963 under the title ‘City Slick’ by a singer named Timmy Shaw. Shaw rerecorded the song as ‘Gonna Send You Back To Georgia’ for the Wand label in 1964. Shaw had co-written the tune (under his real name Jake Hammonds Jr.) with Detroit singer, songwriter and producer Johnnie Mae Matthews. The Animals heard, and covered the song as ‘Gonna Send You Back To Walker’ later in 1964.
James Carr – the mightiest of the southern soul masters – recorded ‘Gonna Send You Back to Georgia’ in 1967 for Goldwax.
Carr’s version is a solid slice of soul with a pumping bass line, organ, femme backing vocals and (after the first verse) horns. Those that are used to hearing Carr’s deep ballad performances might be surprised to hear him tear into the song, his tenor at times being wound up into a scream. The end result is a powerful soul dancer and further evidence of Carr’s greatness.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Friday with some funk.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Grand Opening of the Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive

July 1, 2009

 

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Photo by Eilon Paz

The Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive

Greetings all.

I wasn’t expecting to be back mid-week, but I accidentally lit a fire (figurative, of course) under my own ass and took care of a piece of business that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

That bit of undone work is the creation of the <a href="To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive
” target=”_blank”>Funky16Corners Guest Mix Archive
, assembling the mixes I’ve done for other sites over the last few years. Some of these are faves of mine, so if you weren’t around when they first dropped, or missed them the first time around, do yourself a favor and take a listen.

Right now there are eleven a dozen thirteen(Mike from This is Tomorrow reminded me about another) mixes in the Archive, and as I do new “outside” mixes, I’ll add them to the page, and you can always fall by and click on the link in the sidebar.

I’ll be back on Friday with something cool.

 

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners 2009 Pledge Drive b/w Funky16Corners Radio v.70

May 31, 2009

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

Funky16Corners Radio v.70 – Daddy Rollin’ Stone
Gentleman June Gardner – It’s Gonna Rain (Emarcy)
Turtles – Buzz Saw (White Whale)
Promenade Hits Band – She’s Looking Good (Promenade)
Albert Collins – Don’t Lose Your Cool ( TCF/Hall)
Derek Martin – Daddy Rollin’ Stone (Crackerjack)
Alvin Cash & the Crawlers – The Barracuda (Mar V Lus)
Frank Frost – My Back Scratcher (Jewel)
Nat Kendrick & the Swans – Dish Rag (Dade)
Sam & Dave – I Said I Wasn’t Gonna Hurt Nobody (Stax)
Billy Lamont – Sweet Thang (20th Century)
Billy Preston – Let the Music Play (Capitol)
Bobby Powell & Jackie Johnson – Done Got Over (Whit)
Willie Mitchell – Respect (Hi)
Carl Holmes & the Commanders – I Want My Ya Ya (Parkway)
David Rockingham Trio – Soulful Chant (Josie)
Emperors – Got To Find My Baby (Mala)
Johnny Copeland – Wake Up Little Suzy (Wand)
Harvey Scales & the Seven Sounds – The Get Down (Magic Touch)
Mickey Murray – Hit Record (SSS Intl)
Lewis Clark – Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend) (Brent)
Scatman Crothers – Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman (HBR)
Don Gardner – People Sure Act Funny (Red Top)
Earl King – Trick Bag (Imperial)
Little Joe Curtis – Your Miniskirt (Alshire)

Greetings all.

I’d like to welcome one and all to the 2009 edition of the Funky16Corners Blog Pledge Drive.
This is the third year that I come to you, asking for donations to help keep the Funky16Corners Blog (and family of associated blogs) and webzine up and running (at least as far as interwebs based storage in concerned).
As it stands, in addition to all the standard graphics and individual sound files, there are now 79 mixes in the Funky16Corners Podcast Archive (more to come as I gather and post all the non-Funky16 mixes I’ve done for other sites) and another 25 in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Archive. As has always been the case, I pay for dedicated server space where I store all these files, and as has always been the case, this costs a little bit of money. Back in the olden days I was able to depend on free space, but thanks to some hot linkage back in ought-six the blog underwent a sudden and sustained increase in traffic that necessitated moving into paid digs.
If you’ve been following the blog with any frequency you’ll know that this year the situation is a little more critical since yours truly is no longer gainfully employed. This is not to say that I’m not working, since I resigned my position so that I could remain home to care for my two sons, but aside from the fringe benefit of spending lots of quality time with the kids, the pay is – how do you say? – non-existent.
That said, the blogs will continue unabated, since this is what I do. If you count the Funky16Corners web zine, I’ve been at this since 2001. The Funky16Corners Blog will celebrate its 5th anniversary on the interwebs this November (Iron Leg will be two years old at the end of June).
If you dig what we do here, and have the means and the will to throw a couple of bucks into the operating budget (as it is), you need only click on the Paypal links below and do so (special thanks to those of you that contributed between the drives) . If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, that’s cool too. Times are (really) tough all over, and if the music that I post here makes you happy, or soothes your soul in any way at all, pass it on to a friend and spread the good vibes.

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Click Here To Donate via Paypal

NOTE: If you’ve been having any trouble going through the donation process at Paypal, make sure to click on the blue “update total” button to complete the process. – LG

I was just ruminating the other day on the idea that blogging (at least on my end) has really changed the way that I listen to music. Digging out and exploring individual tracks in depth, especially on headphones, which creates a kind of closed loop wherein one can really get inside of a record, moving around the back alleys of an arrangement, finding all manner of hidden wonders that are overlooked in a casual/passive listening environment. This is probably true for anyone who consumes the majority of their music via headphones, in my case through the almighty iPod. One of the reasons I started doing the Funky16Corners Radio mixes was – aside from a compulsion to gather and frame music in a thematic fashion, which goes back to the earliest days of mix-tapes – so that I could sit down and dig into a group of songs.
As has been stated in this space several times in the past, I make these mixes as much for myself as I do for you folks. The Funky16Corners Radio playlist has verily burned a hole in my iPod, providing the lions share of my listening when I was chained to a desk, and almost as much when I find the time during the day. That someone besides me gets some enjoyment out of the enterprise is a (very) happy by product.
Since the inception of the Funky16Corners Radio thing back in 2006, there have been all kinds of mixes, many themed geographically (i.e. New Orleans and Philadelphia), a number of Hammond organ mixes (you know how I roll), lots of general soul and funk mixes and in the last two years a bunch of jazzy collections (which are some of my faves) (over 1,000 tracks in the mixes alone).
Since this is the 70th edition of Funky16Corners Radio, I thought that the time was right for a return to the roots with a collection of straight ahead soul. There’s some R&B, and a touch of the funk here and there, but by and large what you get in Funky16Corners Radio v.70 is a soundtrack for what has been referred to here in the past as your next ripple and potato chip party. Get your friends together with a large quantity of alcohol (or the intoxicant of your choice), slap this one on an MP3 delivery device, sit back and watch things get out of hand. By the end of the (nearly an) hour, the floor is going to be littered with cans, bottles, articles of clothing, someone’s going to have locked themselves in the restroom (doing God knows what) and that guy from the office will be out on the deck wondering how he burned off his eyebrows with the barbecue grill.
I slapped on my miners helmet and descended into the darkest corners of the Funky16Corners warehouse, fireproof gloves and tongs in hand, to bring back a selection of rough and ready bangers. A couple of these numbers may be familiar to long time visitors of the blog, but reframed properly, in a new and exciting context, the old and familiar will soon reveal hidden charms.
So, things get underway with what is probably my all time favorite New Orleans instrumental, Gentleman June Gardner’s ‘It’s Gonna Rain’. Believe it or not this is a cover of a Sonny & Cher song (the flipside of ‘I Got You Babe’).
Keeping things on the incongruous Sunset Strip 1960s tip, I bring you the Turtles (?!?!?) with ‘Buzz Saw’. Known far and wide to crate digger types and Hammond aficionados, ‘Buzz Saw’, which is unlike anything else the Turtles ever recorded, is a positively slamming and extremely greasy organ workout. My suspicion has always been that the organist on ‘Buzz Saw’ was someone outside of the band, but if anyone knows different, drop me a line.
The next track is a cover of Rodger Collins’ ‘She’s Looking Good’ as performed by the wholly anonymous Promenade Records band (they’re not actually given any name at all on the record). This originated on a two-EP set (with a cool picture sleeve) composed of covers of then contemporary tune (rock and soul) that I found at a record show. Going by the Newark, NJ address, my assumption is that this is related somehow to the Peter Pan childrens record company, which released a couple of non-kids exploito cash-in collections over the years. Whoever the singer is, he does a pretty nice job.
Albert Collins is a huge personal fave of mine. Though he is most often associated with the blues, mainly due to his later career when he recorded for the Alligator label, Collins spent most of the 60s recording a series of genre-bending 45s for a variety of labels. The sounds he made touched on soul, garage, surf and pure rock’n’roll, even getting funky when he signed up with Imperial in the late 60s. ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool’ is one of his TFC/Hall 45s and swings like 60 from the git go.
The cut that gives this mix its name, ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’ by Derek Martin is indisputably one of the great soul records of the 60s. Need I say more?
‘The Barracuda’ is yet another in a long line of similarly burning, lo-fi and blazing numbers laid down by Chitown wonders Alvin Cash and the Crawlers. Like the mighty Jerry-O, Alvin and his pals managed to take a formula, work it to death but doing so in a way that keeps you coming back.
Speaking of good and greasy, when you’re working in the sonic universe things just don’t get any moreso than when Frank Frost plugged in his git-box and kicked up some juke joint dust with the mighty ‘My Back Scratcher’, wherein Slim Harpo and Mongo Santamaria fall under the wheels of a speeding bus, get scraped up off the road, tossed in a blender, served over ice with a twist of Dixie Peach. Try not moving to this one.
I don’t know much about Nat Kendrick and the Swans, other than the fact that they recorded for Henry Stone’s Florida-based Dade imprint, and that there is a distinct possibility that this is in fact an extra-contractual James Brown-related side. How does one do the dish rag???
Sam and Dave said they weren’t going to hurt nobody. They LIED!!!! This track is a killer.
Billy Lamont was an R&B/soul journeyman when he went into the studio in the mid-60s, with a freaky young cat by the name of James Marshall Hendrix and recorded the brutal ‘Sweet Thang’. Heavy stuff indeed, though not as heavy as Jimi would get a year or so down the pike.
Though Billy Preston would spend the 70s as a major recording star, he spent much of the previous decade playing the organ behind other performers like Little Richard and Ray Charles. He also got a couple of opportunities to record under his own name, for a variety of labels (including Derby, Vee Jay and Capitol) many of which are stellar. The finest of these – at least in my opinion – is ‘Let the Music Play’ in which Mr. Preston is assisted ably by a young Sylvester Stewart, soon to change his name to Sly Stone. Do yourself a favor and slap on the headphones for this one and dig the stereo panning with the screams in the chorus. Very groovy indeed!
Louisiana-based singer Bobby Powell was featured here not long ago with a solid cover of the Staple Singer’s ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’. The tune I bring you in this mix is a rollicking duet with singer Jackie Johnson (about whom I know nothing) entitled ‘Done Got Over’.
While I was prowling around in the crates compiling this mix I happened upon one of the many Willie Mitchell LPs I have and grabbed this groovy little cover of ‘Respect’. Give it a listen and I think you’ll dig it.
Another band from the list of folks that worked with (but sadly did not record with) Jimi Hendrix before he hit it big is Philadelphia’s own Carl Holmes and the Commanders. Holmes recorded consistently through the 60s for Parkway, Atlantic and other labels, laying down R&B, soul and a couple of slices of slamming funk. The Commanders ‘I Want My Ya Ya’ is one of their earlier sides, from the days when they were playing up and down the East Coast, and serving (according to Animal House writer Chris Miller) as one of the models for Otis Day and the Knights in ‘Animal House’.
The David Rockingham Trio are a serious presence in the Funky16Corners Hammond crates. ‘Soulful Chant’ is by far my fave number by the band.
The Emperors – who hailed from the Harrisburg area but recorded in Philadelphia – laid down some very hot soul sides for Mala and Brunswick. In addition to their smoking version of Don Gardner’s ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’, they also recorded the killer ‘Got To Find My Baby’.
Johnny Copeland is another one of the great rocking bluesmen. I happened upon his version of ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, which stomps all over the original, sounding like Johnny and Huey P Meaux had the Everlys tied up and locked in the trunk of a car. It is without doubt the wildest version you’ll ever hear of this particular song.
If you were ever tempted to doubt the soulful pedigree of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you might want to take a second and investigate the discography of Mr Harvey Scales and his Seven Sounds, who, it must me said, kick ass. A fine example of this ass-kicking power is the mighty – and appropriately titled – ‘The Get Down’, during which Harvey and the boys do indeed (get down).
Mickey Murray is best known for his wailing version of ‘Shout Bamalama’, but the funkier ‘Hit Record’ manages to be soulful and of instructional value at the same time.
I know nothing about Lewis Clark, aside from the undeniable fact that ‘Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend)’ is high quality, even higher octane soul. Clark recored for the Brent label, which also released some excellent garage punk 45s.
If you didn’t hear Scatman Crothers wailing when I first posted ‘Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman’ a while back, then open your ears and dig, because in addition to his Coolsville Hall of Fame turn as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey, Scatman absolutely BURNS on this one, on the HBR label, home to much wailing garage punk.
I mentioned Don Gardner earlier (in relation to the essential ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’). Go back a few years before that and dig his smoking, Ray Charles-esque take on Titus Turner’s ‘People Sure Act Funny’. Gardner’s frequent partner Dee Dee Ford is mentioned on the label, but I don’t hear her in the mix.
We head back down to New Orleans for a certified classic by the great Earl King. King recorded a wide variety of bluesy sounds under his own name, as well as writing several classic tunes and performing on other people’s records, including providing the voice and whistling (and composition) on Professor Longhair’s ‘Big Chief’. ‘Trick Bag’ brings us a lyrical taste of the New Orleans voodoo culture, along with a great vocal by King.
Things close out with another odd bit of soul, this time by Little Joe Curtis. Taken from a compilation on the exploito Alshire label (where it appeared alongside some psyche by the Animated Egg and a couple of easy listening cuts), ‘Your Miniskirt’ borrows liberally from the Fantastic Johnny C’s ‘Boogaloo Down Broadway’.
I hope you dig this edition of Funky16Corners Radio and if you can afford it, toss something into the tip cup as you pass by. I’ll be back next week with more soulful goodness.

Peace

Larry

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

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Lulu – Dirty Old Man / Feelin’ Alright

May 17, 2009

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Lulu

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Listen – Lulu – Dirty Old Man – MP3″

Listen – Lulu – Feelin’ Alright – MP3″

Greetings all.

Welcome to another week here at the Corners Sixteen, wherein the grooves just keep on coming.
The tunes I bring you today come to you via an artist that many of you (aside from those with Mod/R&Beat credentials) might find puzzling. The singer, a much bigger star in the UK than she was over here (save for ‘To Sir With Love’) is the one, the only – or as Alexei Sayle referred to her in the ‘Young Ones’ – “the Lulu”.
Though she is best known for the song mentioned in the previous sentence, those that are hep to her work before (and after that) will be aware that Lulu always had a strong vein of R&B running through her catalog (her first hit in the UK was a version of ‘Shout’).
The finest example of this is the album she recorded in Muscle Shoals in 1970, ‘New Routes’. Backed by the mighty Muscle Shoals house band, and a young fella by the name of Duane Allman, Lulu laid down a hot, soulful album with a grip of excellent performances of some familiar songs and a couple of tunes by Eddie Hinton (who also played on the session).
Funk 45 heads might very well be familiar with the first song here, via another cover by Irene Reid on the Old Town label. Written by Delaney Bramlett (and as far as I know first performed by Delaney and Bonnie), ‘Dirty Old Man’ may not have the edge of the Reid version, but Lulu does and excellent job, and the backing by the Stompers – especially Barry Beckett on the electric piano – is as always, superb.
‘Feelin’ Alright’ is as close as the late 60s rock era has to a ‘standard’, having been recorded countless times by a very wide variety of performers, including Grand Funk, Gladys Knight, Joe Cocker, Lou Rawls and David Ruffin (and of course the OG by Traffic, featuring it’s composer Dave Mason). The Lulu version leans heavily on the horns, with a very solid foundation of Alabama grit underneath the vocalist’s Glaswegian soul.
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back midweek with something funky.

Peace

Larry

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

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a brand new, psyched out edition of the Iron Leg Digital trip Podcast.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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Big John Hamilton – How Much Can a Man Take

April 21, 2009

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Big John Hamilton

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Listen – Big John Hamilton – How Much Can a Man Take – MP3″

Greetings all.

Typically, I’ve managed to fall directly out of vacation into an extremely busy week. If any among you harbors delusions about the life of a stay at home dad being one of leisure, the week that I find myself in the middle of should be enough to change your mind. There’s plenty to do (and then some).
That said, things are going well, and I’m not missing my previous situation at all (aside from the paychecks…).
The weather – as it usually is this time of year – is in the midst of a schizophrenic cycle in which you really need to leave the house with a variety of garments in order to guarantee your comfort. We got home on Saturday, and it was 75 degrees and sunny. By Monday morning it was back in the mid-40s and as the day wore on the cold air was added to with torrential rain. I was out running errands with visions of a weeks worth of mail sitting on the porch turning into mush. Fortunately, aside from an LP (which found a small amount of shelter inside the screen door) the remainder of the mail (including a 45) fit inside the mailbox.
The tune I bring you today is the happy end result of my recently instituted vinyl austerity measures, in which the lack of gainful employment has diminished (though thankfully not stopped) the influx of newly acquired records.
I saw the 45 pop up on a set sale list (with a sound clip!), and decided that before I contacted the seller, I ought to do a little comparison shopping on the interwebs, during which I located a perfectly wonderful copy of the 45 in question at roughly a third of the original asking price.
I originally wanted this Big John Hamilton record for the funky tune ‘Big Fanny’, but when the disc fell through the mail slot and I gave both sides a listen, I decided that it was the other side of the record, a deep ballad entitiled ‘How Much Can a Man Take’ that ought to be blog-o-ma-phied*.
I can’t say I know much about Big John Hamilton, other than that he seems to have hailed from the Sunshine State of Florida, and recorded a grip of 45s for the SSS Intl and Minaret labels in the late 60s/early 70s. The only record I already owned of his was a smoking version of ‘Them Changes’ on which he was paired with singer Doris Allen.
‘How Much Can a Man Take’ – recorded in 1968 – is a stellar bit of deep southern soul (rumored to have been recorded in Muscle Shoals). It is in many ways a perfectly constructed example of the genre, with the quieter verses (with wonderful, bluesy guitar flourishes) building gradually into powerful, horn backed choruses. Though I wouldn’t place Hamilton in the first rank of soul wailers, he was a more than adequate singer with touches of Otis Redding in his delivery (if not the quality of his voice).
‘How Much Can a Man Take’ is the kind of record I started collecting soul for, and I could spend all day listening to stuff like this.
I hope you dig it too, and I’ll be back at the end of the week with something upbeat.

Peace

Larry

*Though, I guarantee you that ‘Big Fanny’ will show up here at some point…

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some tunes for some blueswailing mellotron

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

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2/20 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Wrap Up

February 21, 2009

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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.


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