Billy Butler & the Chanters – Nevertheless b/w Asbury45 Recap


Billy Butler (center) & the Chanters


Listen – Nevertheless MP3″

Greetings All

I return to you after a very successful week of fundraising to tell you that our goals have been met and at least on the technical side, the Funky16Corners Blog and web zine will persist for yet another year.
First and foremost my deep, DEEP thanks to all of you that made contributions, all very generous and sincerely appreciated. Many of you sent along some very nice comments as well and they really meant a lot to me. The whole Funky16Corners “deal” exists to spread the word about the greatness of soul music, and that many of you dig that makes me very happy.
Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Asbury Park 45 Sessions crowd photo by DJ Prestige

It ended up that I picked a good week to set up the pledge drive, because it turned out to be a very busy one all around. The week culminated in the third installment of the storied Asbury Park 45 Sessions, at the world famous Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ. Most of the usual suspects showed up, armed with the choice pickings from their very deep crates, ready to whip a little of that funky goodness on the gathered multitudes.
I was discussing the Sessions with some of my fellow DJs, and I said to all of them that I have yet to come away from one of these nights without a few (or more than a few) new items added to my want list, and this past Friday was no exception (thanks especially to both Jay Boxcar and Connie T Empress for hepping me to some new sounds).
At the risk of repeating myself – no risk about it actually, as I AM repeating myself – if you are within driving distance of Asbury Park, or happen to be passing through the area on your ‘round the world cruise, you would be remiss were you not to stop by and witness what’s we have going down at the Lanes. One need only take a gander at the set lists that get posted here to realize that both the resident selectors and the special guests are bringing together a very special blend of soulful sounds. Whether laid out in fairly straightforward fashion (guided by superior taste) or taken to another level via turntable skills, the sounds are always pure dynamite. If you are not present when the Sessions reconvene in early July (details to follow soon), you may never forgive yourself (well, you probably will, but it’ll take a while…).
That said…as I did the last time around, so will I do now, i.e. pick a particularly juicy banger out of my own set list and whip it on you in the form of downloadable ones’n’zeros, so that you may taste for yourself – in whatever far away locale you call home – a bit of that sweet, sweet soul.
This time out it’s a selection by one of the truly great Chitown cats, the mighty Billy Butler (Northern Soul legend, as well as brother of Jerry). That Mr. Butler pops up a previously unprecedented twice in the set list is due to coincidence. I had been wanting to include his unique take on the oft-covered Funkadelic chestnut ‘I’ll Bet You’ in one of my sets for a long, long time. When I started to pull 45s to get this weeks AP45 set together, I decided that it was going to be a multi-layered affair, starting out on the mellow, funky tip, and closing out with a bit of upbeat, Northern flavor. As you’ll see in the set list, I included a couple of longtime faves, but as I recently came into possession of a 45* of today’s selection, I absolutely had to include it in the set as well.
The track in question is a slightly earlier track from Mr. Butler, a tune written and produced by the undisputable giant of Chicago soul, Mr. Curtis Mayfield, entitled ‘Nevertheless’.
If you follow my interweb comings and goings, you know that I have a thing for the soul sounds of Philly and New Orleans in particular, but it was only recently – when assembling a Chicago soul podcast – that I realized how many of my favorite soul sides sprung from the Windy City and how many of those have some connection to Curtis Mayfield. Whether you’re talking about the mighty Impressions, or sides by the countless artists for whom he wrote and produced records, that Mayfield crafted one of the most distinctive (and imitated) sounds of the classic soul era cannot be disputed.
‘Nevertheless’ by Billy Butler & the Chanters is one of the finest.
Opening like a house on fire, with sweeping strings and falsetto shouts, ‘Nevertheless’ features a brilliant melody, as well as one of those “out on the floor, hands in the air” choruses that makes my hair stand on end. It is as fine a bit of highly polished urban soul as I’ve ever heard. The arrangement by Johnny Pate is flawless, and the tune itself is jut over two minutes of sophisticated soul perfection (but then you’d expect nothing less from Curtis, would you?).
So, play this one 10 or 15 times, and when you tire of dancing, scroll below for a look at the set lists, and then book your passage to the next Asbury Park 45 Sessions (don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes).

*Those in the know will be able to tell by the red vinyl that this is a reissue 45. When, and under what circumstances this was reissued are unknown to me. If you know – i.e. is this a 70’s era Northern reissue, or a more recent vinyl-philic pressing – drop me a line and fill me in.

Funky16Corners Set list

Highlighters – The Funky 16 Corners Pt2 (Stones Throw Reissue)
Dorothy Ashby – Soul Vibrations (Cadet)
Pioneers – Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Trojan)
A.A.B.B. – Pick Up the Pieces One By One (I Dentify)
Soulful Strings – Burning Spear (Cadet)
Nat Turner Rebellion – Tribute to a Slave (Delvaliant)
Brother Jack McDuff – Hunk of Funk (Blue Note)
Billy Butler – I’ll Bet You (Brunswick)
Clea Bradford – My Love’s a Monster (Cadet)
Common Pleas – The Funky Judge (Crimson)
Darrell Banks – My Love Is In the Pocket (Revilot)
Billy Butler & the Chanters – Nevertheless (Okeh reissue)
Sam & Bill – I’ll Try (Decca)
Jean Wells – With My Love And What You’ve Got (We Could Turn the World Around) (Calla)

DJ Prestige Set List
Funkadelic – Music For my Mother/ Westbound
The 8th Day – She’s Not Just Another Woman/ Invictus
The Meters – Hey! Last Minute/ Josie
Calvin Arnold – Funky Way/ Venture
The House Band – Givin’ Up Food For Funk/ Dynamite Soul
Joe Tex – Papa Was Too/ Dial
Sammy Gordon & the Hip Huggers – Breezin’/ Archives
Booker T. and the M.G.’s – Soul Clap ‘69/ Stax
The Mohawks – Pepsi/ Sir JJ
The People’s Choice – Big Ladies Man/ Phil L.A. of Soul
The Boys in the Band – Sumptin Heavy/ Spring
Chambers Brothers – Funky/ Columbia
The Continental Four – Escape from Planet Earth/ Jaywalking
Otis and Carla – Tramp/ Stax
Jackie Lee – The Chicken/ Uni
Kool and the Gang – Funky Man/ De-Lite
Willie and the Mighty Magnificents – Funky (8) Corners Part 1/ All Platinum
Bob and Earl – Harlem Shuffle/ Marc
Willie Cobb – You Don’t Love Me/ Dee Jay
Double Trouble – People Are Changing/ Sure Shot
J.J. Jackson – I Dig Girls/ Calla
Skip Jackson and the Natural Experience – Microwave Boogie/ Catamount
The Interpretations – Soul Affection/ Bell
Panic Buttons – O-Wow/ Chalom
Cliff Nobles & Co. – The Horse/ Phil L.A. of Soul
Breakout – Planet Rock Part 1/ Melting Pot Music

Connie T Empress Set List
Just Ain’t No Love–Barbara Acklin (Brunwick/DJ copy)
I Feel An Urge Coming On–Jo Armstead (Galaxy)
Say It–JJ Barnes (Ric-Tic)
Little Piece of Leather–Donnie Elbert (Gateway)
Quittin’ Time–Big Maybelle (Rojac)
While You’re Out Looking for Sugar–Honey Cone (Hot Wax)
Just A lIttle Misunderstanding–Contours (Gordy)
Man Sized Job–Denise LaSalle (Westbound)
Short Stoppin’–Veda Brown (Stax)
Soul Train–Bo Diddly (Checker)
Purple Haze–Johnny Jones and The King Casuals (Brunswick)
Keep On Doin’–Isleys (TNeck)
and last, for our friend Jack The Ripper…
I Put A Spell On You–Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (Decca)

DJ Bluewater Set List
Eugene Blacknell and The New Breed – We’ve Got To Live Together (Miles Edit) – (Alatac)
Lefties Soul Connection – Fais Do Do – (Melting Pot)
Great Deltas – Tra La La – (Funk45)
Lefties Soul Connection – Mood Nix – (Melting Pot)
Ray Frazier & The Shades Of Madness – I Who Have Nothing – (Stanson)
Bamboos – Eel Oil – (Bamboo Sound)
Della Reese – It Was A Very Good Year – (ABC)
Lefties Soul Connection – Sling Shot – (Melting Pot)
Freddie Wilson – What Would It Be Like Pt. 1 – (Grandville)
M&S Band – Egg Roll – (Funk45)
Naomi Davis and The Knights of Forty First Street – Forty First Street Breakdowne – (Desco)
Soul Bros Inc – Girl In The Hot Pants – (SBI)
Ray Frazier & The Shades Of Madness – Lonliness – (Stanson)

M.Fasis Set List
journey in satchidananda-alice coltrane(impulse)
excerpts from the swing era(capitol)
the man with the sad face-stanley turrentine(fantasy)
please baby please- the realistics(delite)
i want to be happy-sammy davis jr.(mgm)
money runner-little richard(reprise)
when will it end-honey cone(hot wax)
hot mud-afrique(mainstream)
party hardy people-act 1(spring)
hang up your hang ups-herbie hancock(columbia)
its your sweet love-jimmy ‘bo’ horne(sunshine sound)
up from the south- the budos band(daptone)
its instrumental to be free-the 8th day(invictus)
soul experience- iron butterfly mixed w/ duji-kool & the gang(delite)
bessie girl-chuck bernard(zodiac)
give it up or turn it loose-james brown(king)
show business-gil scott heron(arista)
the baby-the blackbyrds(fantasy)
king kong pt. 1-the jimmy castor bunch(atlantic)
bumpin-ground hog(gemigo)

DJ Prime Set List
jesse anderson – mighty mighty (thomas)
SLURP (7-eleven)
lowell fulsom – why don’t we do it in the road (jewel)
laurel aitken – pussy price gone up (rude)
bohannon – save their souls (dakar)
king floyd – here it is (chimneyville)
pointer sisters – yes we can can (blue thumb)
turtles – buzz saw (white whale)
peggy scott & jo jo johnson – i want to love you baby (sss international)
general crook – what time it is (parts 1 & 2) (down to earth)
soul clan – soul meeting (atlantic)
marsha hunt – (oh no not) beast day (vertigo)
chakachas – jungle fever (polydor)
etta james – i got you babe (cadet)
continental 4 – escape from planet earth (jay-walking)
bt express – do it (scepter)
gene dozier – hunk of funk (minit)
bar-kays – sang and dance (volt)
lyn collins – mama feelgood (people)
vicious dope posse – legalized dope (mca)

5 Responses to “Billy Butler & the Chanters – Nevertheless b/w Asbury45 Recap”

  1. fleamarketfunk Says:

    i always loved “Hunk of Funk” and “Burning Spear”……i dropped a gem on the workin’ and movin’ mix for you: david t. walker doing “superstition”. enjoy and thanks again for being a part of the night.

  2. Says:

    You guys record dem dare shows and I’ll buy ’em.

    Certainly makes me want to visit NJ.

  3. Groovin' Dan Says:

    The juxtaposition of the white OKEH promo label and the red clear vinyl got me drooling involuntarily!

    My dad has a place out in Ocean Grove; hopefully I’ll be out there one of these times when you guys are spinning. Keep up the great blogrification, in any case!

  4. A bunch of Heat ‘n’ Eat treats « The Snack Bar Says:

    […] totally gives me the chills. I was prompted to pull this one out of the box, once again thanks to Larry’s writeup on the last successful Asbury Park excursion. I am still perplexed at how resident selector M. Fasis took this stunning track and mixed it with […]

  5. Gene Chandler - You Can’t Hurt Me No More « Funky16Corners Says:

    […] on the old iPod, as were several other tunes like Billy Butler and the Chanters ‘Nevertheless’ (covered in this space previously), and Walter Jackson’s ‘Funny, Not Much’. So…. A couple of months go by and the time […]

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