1. Simtec Simmons – Tea Box (Maurci)
2. Johnny Barfield & The Men of S.O.U.L. – Soul Butter (SSS Intl)
3. Ronnie Woods – Sugar Pt2 (Everest)
4. Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune – Corn Flakes (Prestige)
5. Fabulous Counts – Scrambled Eggs (Moira)
6. Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band – Spreadin Honey (Keymen)
7. Freddie Roach – Brown Sugar (Blue Note)
8. Albert Collins – Sno Cone Pt1 (TCF Hall)
9. Chuck Edwards – Chuck Roast (Rene)
10. Willie Mitchell – Mashed Potatoes (Hi)
11. Booker T & The MGs – Red Beans & Rice (Atlantic)
12. Righteous Brothers Band – Green Onions (Verve)
13. George Semper – Hog Maws & Collard Greens (Imperial)
14. Lee Dorsey – Candy Yam (Amy)
15. Roosevelt Fountain & his Pens of Rhythm – Red Pepper Pt1 (Prince Adams)
16. Bad Boys – Black Olives (Paula)
17. Willie Bobo – Spanish Grease (Verve)
18. American Group – Enchilada Soul (AGP)
Goooooood Morning whereveritis you are?!??!
Hope everyone had a stellar weekend. The fam and I spent our days at the Grogan family reunion, which was a blast. Saw relatives we haven’t seen in a while, all the little kids played together and much good food and music were had. Thanks to my Mom, Dad and sister for putting it all together and hosting. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer weekend.
As promised, the colossus that is Funky16Corners Radio is returning today with a new installment, which in the spirit of an entertainment industry that continues to feed on itself and regurgitate on a regular basis, presents a sequel to the Soul Food mix of this past May. It is entitled – with the least amount of imagination possible – Soul Food Pt2. That way we keep things simple, no one gets confused and you get to stack your Funky16Corners Soul Food mixes in a nice little row, just like on Sesame Street (though if they start dropping music like this on Sesame Street, I’d like to know so I can plant my kids in front of the box).
This time out, in addition to the usual delicious soul food menu, we get breakfast as well. We step off the launch pad with an oddity from mid-60’s Chicago, ‘Tea Box’ by Simtec Simmons. A few years before he hooked up with Wylie Dixon to make some great funky 45s (and an LP), Simtec and a few pals set themselves down with a primitive beat-box and made a couple of 45s in this style (I know there’s at least one other but I have yet to hear it). Years before Timmy Thomas was working the automated drummer angle, Simmons and friends produce a quirky groove with a nice, pulsing bass line.
Track numero dos is a reworking of the Marathons ‘Peanut Butter’ by Johnny Barfield & the Men of S.O.U.L. According to an article on the Georgia Soul web site (hey Brian!), Barfield and band were an Alabama-based unit that originally recorded this single for the Peggy Sue label before it was picked up for national distribution by Shelby Singleton’s SSS Intl label. The record’s got a nice white-boy-fratrock sound to it, not at all out of place in the south of 1960 and seven.
Next up is a disc with a little bit of mystery attached to it. The first copy I ever had of this record is credited to Lonnie Woods & His Trio, is entitled ‘Shakin Sugar pts 1&2’ and is on the Peacock label. Then a few years later, I found this, credited to Ronnie Woods, entitled ‘Sugar’ and on the Everest label. If memory serves, the recordings – which are of the exact same song – are different. I’ve seen some info that lists Woods as an Ohio artist, and Everest was a subsidiary of the Cincinatti-based King label, so maybe that’s the first issue? Anyone…Beuller??? Either way it’s a rocking little banger with that early 60’s (1963) R&B thing going on.
In a soul jazz mood, we bring you organist Stan Hunter and sax man Sonny Fortune with the track ‘Corn Flakes’, a Prestige single from their 1965 collaboration. I don’t know much about Hunter, but Fortune went on to a successful career as a soloist and a sideman and is still playing/recording today.
To fans of the funky 45, the Fabulous Counts should be familiar. Their Moira 45s and LP on the Cotillion label are all fantastic. ‘Scrambled Eggs’ has a powerful, horn-driven groove with some outstanding organ work from Mose Davis. The flip side ‘Dirty Red’ is also a killer.
The Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, featuring Charles Wright were one of the more consistent producers of funk and soul 45s in the late 60’s, on the local LA Keymen label, as well as their LPs and 45s on Warner Brothers. ‘Spreadin’ Honey’ is a bass heavy groover with some very nice piano work and some extra greasy guitar. This one is relatively cheap and plentiful, and should be one of the cornerstones of any respectable crate.
‘Brown Sugar’ is the 45 edit of the title track from Freddie Roach’s 1964 Blue Note LP. There’s a really nice, danceable R&B groove here, but you also get the hot as hell jazz sax work of the mighty Joe Henderson. I have a couple of other Roach 45s (one on Prestige), but this is my fave.
If the transition to the next cut woke you up, that cool because Albert Collins, the Ice Man, the Master of the Telecaster starts ‘Sno Cone Pt1’ at about 100MPH. Here you get Collins razor sharp guitar, some of the juicy combo organ he managed to slap on his 45s during the 60’s and pounding drums as well. Collins is another one of those great, dreadfully underrated artists who transcended the “blues” label to make some great soul, R&B, funk and rock’n’roll sides. Sadly most of his early 45s are hard to find in reissue, but the originals are fairly affordable and should be picked up whenever located in the field.
‘Chuck Roast’ is a lesser known b-side by the mighty Chuck Edwards, he of ‘Downtown Soulville’ fame. The records a-side ‘Bullfight’ was a local hit in Edwards native Pittsburgh. ‘Chuck Roast’ is a steady R&B groover featuring Edwards’ guitar and repeated declarations of ‘Chuck Roast!’.
What better to serve up next to chuck roast than some hot, tasty ‘Mashed Potatoes’, this time whipped up by the legendary Willie Mitchell. No relation to the Dee Dee Sharp classic, Mitchell’s recipe includes some great organ, crisp drums and soul clapping.
Across town at Stax, Booker T & The MGs chime in with a plateful of ‘Red Beans and Rice’. Though the crowd noise at the beginning of the track sounds phony, the playing – especially Steve Croppers guitar – has a very “live” sound, and Booker T is in rare form. Not sure if this is the version that appeared on the Stax/Volt Revue ‘Live In Europe’ LP, as I lifted this off of an old ‘Best of’ LP.
The next selection is the flip side of a one-off 45 release by the Righteous Brothers Band on the Verve label. The a-side ‘ Rat Race’ was actually popular with the Northern Soul crowd (there’s also a version by Sam Butera). This cut, a brassy remake of Booker T’s ‘Green Onions’ has a real kick to it.
George Semper was a west coast based Hammond wrangler who recorded some 45s and an LP for Imperial (costly, but worth tracking down) and at least one 45 (a cover of the Isley’s ‘It’s Your Thing’) under the name George Semper Rhythm Committee. ‘Hog Maws and Collar Greens’ – another tune from the same LP ‘Collard Greens’ appeared on Soul Food Pt1, I guess George liked him some greens – in addition to Sempers organ has a cool horn chart and some reverb-y guitar.
Lee Dorsey, one of the most consistent New Orleans artists drops by with ‘Candy Yam’, the flipside of the sitar-funk killer ‘Give It Up’ (on which he was joined by the Meters). I don’t think it’s the Meters on this side, but it’s definitely a Toussaint arrangement/production (compare the horn chart to the one on Eldridge Holmes ‘If I Were a Carpenter’). I must shamefully admit that I had this 45 for a few years before I flipped it over to hear this wonderful tune.
I can’t tell you much about Roosevelt Fountain (or his Pens of Rhythm, snappy name, that) but their ‘Red Pepper Pt1’ is a groover with some twangy guitar and sax-a-mo-phone.
What little I’ve been able to find out about the Bad Boys is that they were probably a white garage band, and that this exceptionally nasty but of R&B was produced by none other than Charlie Daniels (making this the last worthwhile thing he ever did). The guitar has a wild overmodulated sound and the organ wails as well. The thumping drum beat makes this a distant cousin of the Turtles ‘Buzz Saw’.
With a wild change in vibe and tempo we bring you a selection by one of the masters of Latin soul and boogaloo, the great Willie Bobo. ‘Spanish Grease’ (later to provide the source material for Santana’s ‘No One To Depend On’) has a slow but sinister groove. Santana would rocket to fame covering Bobo’s ‘Evil Ways’ and also re-did ‘Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries’.
The American Group was a studio concoction (I have another 45 of them covering the theme from ‘Room 222’), and the production is by Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill. AGP was the Memphis-based label they founded (along with Bobby Emmons) to release some of their work coming out of their studio. ‘Enchilada Soul’ was also covered by the Packers (another Memphis connection).