Louis Chachere RIP

Greetings all.

I received some sad news last night (confirmed this morning) , that being that the great master of the Hammond, Mr. Louis Chachere has passed away.

I couldn’t let this sad news go by without posting once again, one of the greatest Hammond funk 45s ever recorded, ‘The Hen Pts 1&2’.

Vaya con Dios….

I’m a little short of time this evening, so I’m pulling a post out of the Funky16Corners Blog archives. This post originally ran almost exactly two years ago .

Herein lies the rub…the first time I featured ‘The Hen’ by Louis Chachere – one of the greatest funky organ sides ever committed to wax – I only posted ‘Pt 1’. I recently had to digitize both sides of the 45 to fill a special request, so with today’s repost, you get both halves of this mighty banger.

If you’ve never heard it before, strap yourselves in. If you know it, you’ve probably only heard ‘Pt1’, so dig the coda if you will.

Either way, I know you’ll dig it.

See you on Friday.




Listen/Download – The Hen Pt1 MP3

Listen/Download – The Hen Pt2 MP3

Originally posted 7/15/05 – “In my book, there’s just nothing tastier than a funky organ groove on 45. There are a number of reasons that this is so…

1. Most of your best organ grooves appear only in 45 form 2. Organ grooves provide at least 200% of your daily minimum requirement of party starting, butt-shaking, good time 3. Because I said so (you can ignore this one…at your peril!) Anyway, whether it’s R&B, soul, jazz or beat-heavy funk, there are dozens of amazing Hammond sounds out there to be had and heard. I always dug organ sounds, but for years my listening was largely limited to jazz organ (which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself) and the masters thereof, the Jimmy’s Smith & McGriff, Groove Holmes, etc. Then in 1999, my pal Bill Luther hit me up with a righteous birthday present. The CD in question was the ‘Vital Organs’ compilation, compiled and annotated by the mighty Matt ‘Mr. Finewine’ Weingarden of WFMU and record collecting fame (a righteous dude and a man who’s probably forgotten more great records than I’ve managed to collect). I was immediately intrigued. The track listing revealed not a single familiar name (a challenge!), and lots of appealing song titles – ‘The Hatch’, ‘Soul Power’, ‘Put Your Weight On It’, ‘Shimmy’ – the kind of titles that when attached to a dusty 45 pulled out of a moldy box set the spidey sense a-tingling (they’re also the kind of titles you sometimes find on surprisingly un-funky records, but that’s why I got a portable to dig with).

So, I get into the car, slide the CD into the player and enjoy a whole other party all the way home. It was all over after that. It’s not often that I can trace my interest in a genre of music back to a specific starting point, but this was one of those times. In the ensuing six years I have spent an inordinate amount of time (and, yes….money) tracking down, and digging up all manner of Hammond action on 45, to the point where I can proudly say that my organ crates are quite healthy and filled with all manner of death dealing heavy hitters, each one guaranteed to leave the house suitably rocked and the dancers sweaty (but happy).

Though I still haven’t tracked down all the cuts from ‘Vital Organs’ (and considering the rarity of some of them likely never will), I have managed to snag a copy of ‘The Hen Pts 1&2’ by Louis Chachere. Despite the fact that ‘The Hen’ was released on Louisiana’s Paula label, and the artist in question has a name that sounds like it shows up several dozen times in the New Orleans phone book, this gem is a bit of Kansas City soul. Chachere originally recorded ‘The Hen’ for the local MJC label, and it was then re-released by the Forte label, in Kansas City, MO. Forte was owned by Marva Whitney’s husband Ellis Taylor (her Excello 45 ‘Daddy Don’t Know About Sugar Bear’ was originally issued on Forte). ‘The Hen’ was licensed to, and released by Paula records.

The tune opens with a tighty, funky snare break (one of my fave snare sounds, along with the drums on James K Nine’s – actually Eddie Bo – ‘Live It Up’ on Federal),and the bass and organ jump right in. The melody line is stated first by the saxophones and then Louis drops in wailing on the break.. The jazzy guitar playing is excellent, and the record is very tightly arranged and well produced. ‘Part 2’ starts back in with a lengthy (and tasty) sax solo, followed by a nice section where the bass/drum tandem is brought up in the mix. Both sides of the record put together barely crack the four and a half minute mark, so the dj in you can’t be blamed for wanting to rock doubles and play it all the way through. The beat is irresistible, and Louis and company manage to keep the novelty “chicken” hysterics on a very low boil. I haven’t been able to nail down a release date, though the catalog number on the 45 suggests sometime between 1969 and 1970, so there is a possibility that this was an attempt to capitalize on the Meters ‘Chicken Strut’ (if anyone knows for sure, drop me a line). Mint copies of this classic are unlikely to be had for less than $50 (sometimes more) though I bagged mine at a bargain price because I took a chance (rewarded) that the record had been undergraded. ‘Vital Organs’ is sadly, out of print, though you might be able to track down a used copy. The only other info I could track down about Louis Chachere is that he produced the funky rarity ‘Remember Me’ By the Trinikas.”

PS Head over to the original post at Blogger and check out the additional info in the comments at the bottom.


13 Responses to “Louis Chachere RIP”

  1. The Stepfather of Soul Says:

    Wow – so many of the heroes we worship on 45 keep passing on. It’s that very fact that makes me glad that you, me and so many others are doing our part, however small, to keep the flame burning for their work.

  2. funky16corners Says:

    Absolutely Jason.
    I wish Chachere could have seen the way a roomful of folks react when the needle falls on ‘The Hen’. Not just a great Hammond side, but a very solid piece of funk as well.
    Still one of my faves.

  3. fleamarketfunk Says:

    mine too, i need a copy of this burner. i wish half of these artists could see how their music touches people.

  4. Vincent Says:

    …in fact, I remember when you posted this one in that mighty zip file full of hammond heat last year, I believe it was no. 12. I feel very strongly that he is smiling down on all of us. Rest In Peace, sir.

  5. funky16corners Says:

    I’ll be reposting that very mix this evening in honor of Mr. Chachere.

  6. paul Says:

    whats up…i like your blog alot and this has got to be one of the illest sides i ever heard, no exaggeration. i read up on some of the older posts and love the vinyl record day story. i’m from jersey and know that flea market well. it made the story that much better……thanks for the hammond fix!!…


  7. The Stepfather of Soul Says:

    You are so right about the effect “The Hen” has on a room. I remember the first time I ever heard it – someone had put a vid up on the Freyer Mantis site of a gig in Berlin, I think, and to see the room fill up with dancers made me eager to hear the whole thing, and thanks to you, I did. Now to get my hands on a 45! (One went for way more than I can afford on eBay recently.)

  8. alejandro Says:

    I was bidding on that one too! Lost it… It even had the original Paula/Jewel sleeve in great condition. Maybe I should’ve stretched myself a little more. I am not an expert but I can really say every time I hear that song, it makes me happy. Thanks to Larry for introducing it for me via this great blog, thanks to Mr Chachere for such a great tune. RIP.

  9. Paul Says:

    Not sure if this has been noted elsewhere but _Vital Organs_ was reissued last month and is available cheap at Amazon, Tower, etc.

  10. Primitive Sound System Says:

    “The Hen” is still one of my favorites. It has always been the one song I play for people when they ask me what I collect and what I spin. “Good night funky organ man, where ever you are!”

    We sold all the remaining copies of The Vital Organs to Dusty Groove in Chicago. If I need a copy, I have to get it from them. Check it out – http://www.dustygroove.com/item.php?id=tq22dpn6ds&ref=browse.php&refQ=kwfilter%3Dvital%2Borgans%26amp%3Bincl_oos%3D1%26amp%3Bincl_cs%3D1

    Holy crap… $3.99… BUY 10 and give them away for Christmas!

  11. Primitive Sound System Says:

    “Paul Says: Not sure if this has been noted elsewhere but _Vital Organs_ was reissued last month and is available cheap at Amazon, Tower, etc.”

    There is NO re-issue. Maybe Dusty Groove is lightening the load. Spreading the wealth. If you don’t have one grab ’em while they last. Enjoy.

  12. The Vitalian Stallion Says:

    This drummer is just doing some filthy things. Lordy, lordy. Amazing.

  13. Barbara Chachere Says:

    It’s still great to know that my father-in-law has touch and is touching a new group of music lovers. May he always rest in your hearts.
    Mrs. Alvin Chachere Jr.

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