“Listen – Good Lovin’ MP3″
I come to the keyboard after an excellent weekend, in which many errands were run, much fun was had and just about every last ounce of energy I had in reserve was spent. I went to put my son to bed earlier this evening and I almost decided to skip tonight’s post and hit the sack (very) early.
However, as is often the case I was drawn ever closer to the laptop with the promise of hearing – and sharing – an excellent soul 45, so here I am.
Today’s selection comes from a 45 that was on my want list for a long time, yet was one of those records I never sought too diligently. This is partly because I never saw it at a price I felt like spending (until recently). At my advanced age I’ve come to the realization (as many a vinyl hound will) that most records (I said most, not all…) will eventually find their way into your grubby little mitts if you’re patient enough.
The catch is – and if you collect records you’ll know of what I speak – that I am rarely patient enough, and more often than not find myself driven into moldy basements, record shows and even the dark recesses of the interwebs, cash (or Paypal) in hand, with a crazed look in my eyes (which of course are on the prize) that will not dissipate until the disc that I seek is securely in my record box.
Self control – like the tide – ebbs and flows.
When it came to tracking down the Olympics’ ‘Good Lovin’, ebb they did.
But that’s cool too.
If the title wasn’t the tip off, the listening will of course put the proof in the pudding, i.e. that what you are hearing today is in fact the original version of the very song that the Young Rascals would take all the way to Numero Uno a year later (that being in nineteen and sixty six).
The odd thing is – getting back to the record hunt story – is that the Olympics is a group that I have been a big fan of for a long time.
Back when I was a wet behind the ears novice, I used to consider the Olympics to be a West Coast version of the Coasters (unaware as I was that the Coasters were in fact the West Coast version of themselves…). This was due to the fact that in a lot of ways the two groups were working the same side of the street, that being the side where they keep the humorous R&B 45s. Where the Coasters were whipping Leiber and Stoller-ific grooves like ‘Little Egypt’ , ‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Down In Mexico’, the Olympics were dropping ‘Western Movies’, ‘Big Boy Pete’, ‘The Slop’ and ‘(Baby) Hully Gully’, most co-written by Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith. If the name Fred Smith is familiar it’s because you’ve seen it on scores of LA R&B and soul sides on Arvee, Tri-Disc, Mirwood, Keyman and Mo Soul where Smith wrote and produced records for the likes of Jackie Lee, Bob and Earl, the Soul Runners, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, and – bringing things back full circle – the Olympics.
Aaaaanyway….the Olympics are notable because they were one of those rare acts that straddled the R&B/doowop years and the classic soul years of the mid-60’s successfully. Their Mirwood recordings, including the abso-freaking-lutely brilliant Northern style stormer ‘Mine Exclusively’ are excellent, as is (odd coincidence this…) today’s selection, recorded in 1965 for the always dependably excellent Loma label (also home at the time to Linda Jones, Ike & Tina Turner, JJ Jackson, Lorraine Ellison and Lonnie Youngblood).
Written by Artie Resnick* and Rudy Clark and produced by none other than the might Jerry Ragavoy, ‘Good Lovin’ may not have the explosive vibe of the Young Rascals cover, but the vocals are top notch, and the arrangement – especially the horn section and the touches of Latin percussion – is fantastic. There’s a serious helping of dance floor heat, and I can’t imagine anyone hearing this version not rating it above the Young Rascals (even if their version – after 200 million plays – is still a smoker).
Hope you dig it.
*Resnick is one of those interesting names that keep popping up on records. He wrote or co-wrote several memorable tunes, including ‘Under the Boardwalk’ and ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’. A quick BMI search yields over 300 songs registered under his name.