(One of) The King(s), aka Prince Albert (not in a can…)
Funky16Corners Radio v.39 – Return to Soulville
Lou Courtney – You Can Give Your Love To Me (Verve)
Carl Holmes & the Commanders – My Lonely Sad Eyes (Verve)
Guitar Ray – Patty Cake Shake (Hot Line)
Eddie & Ernie – The Cat (Eastern)
Georgia Soul Twisters – You Shot Me Through the Grease (Mainstream)
Albert King – Night Stomp (Stax)
Jimmy Hanna & the Dynamics – Leaving Here (Seafair-Bolo)
Mighty Hannibal – Fishing Pole (Shurfine)
Sir Mack Rice – Mustang Sally (Blue Rock)
Howard Tate – Baby I Love You (Verve)
I hope all is well on your end.
Last week, when I was taking advantage of a rare bit of free time, with which to hover, unmolested over the turntable, I decided that it had been quite some time since I dropped a good old – non themed – soul mix, and that in furtherance of this very run on sentence (not yet conceived of at the time, yet obviously floating somewhere in the ether), the situation ought to be remedied.
And so…it is.
A brief stroll through the hallowed, marble-columned halls of the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive will show that I dig making a mix with a conceptual underpinning, whether it be regional, temporal or otherwise. However, sometimes I find that rummaging through the crates, pulling out otherwise random sides that grab me can be a lot of fun. I allow myself to be led by inspirado and if the records I pick happen to fall together in some unforeseen way – like how I ended up with three quality soul sides on the relatively un-soul-friendly Verve label – then I’ll consider it a happy accident, a bit of kismet if you will.
The other important by-product of grazing in the crates is that I get to listen to things that have been for whatever reason, unjustly neglected. A certain amount of this is inevitable when you’re sitting in the middle of thousands of 45s. It’s just not possible – without an astounding level of anal-retentive focus – to give every single record the attention it deserves. However this is balanced out by the thrill of rediscovery. Kind of a “Hey! Now I remember why I bought that record!” thing.
Things get rolling with yet another side by Funky16Corners fave Lou Courtney. I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb by saying that Courtney’s Verve sides are – as the kids say – slept on, in a MAJOR way. This may have something to do with the fact that they’re a bitch to track down (though not terribly expensive). It took me a long time to find both of them, much longer in fact than it took to score either ‘Hey Joyce’ or ‘Hot Butter’n’All’. It also has something to do with popular trends and the marketplace. ‘Hey Joyce’ got the Shadow/ Cut Chemist seal of approval, and the demand was met in short order by the supply, in that every record dealer was on the lookout for ‘Hey Joyce’ and hundreds of diggers and DJs were lining up to grab a copy.
‘You Can Give Your Love To Me’ is less funk, than funky, but there is no denying that it ought to be a much better known record. Courtney is –as always – in fine vocal form, and like his other 67- 70 sides is high energy funky soul with just enough pop polish to point it (however unsuccessfully) in the direction of the charts.
Carl Holmes and the Commanders are one of the more interesting journeyman R&B/soul groups of the 60’s. They recorded through the decade in a variety of styles, for Atlantic, Parkway, Black Jack and Verve, before morphing into the Carl ‘Sherlock’ Holmes Investigation on CRS. Based out of Philadelphia, but apparently spending a lot of time in New York City, the group once claimed none other than Jimi Hendrix as a (non-recording) member. ‘My Lonely Sad Eyes’ is an interesting Latin-tinged bit of pop soul from 1966, and was their only release on the label.
Guitar Ray recorded a couple of sought after 45s for the New Orleans-based Hot Line label. ‘Patty Cake Shake’ is a hot little number that’s not nearly as “novelty” as the title might lead you to believe, and features arranging and production by no less a light than Wardell Quezerque.
Eddie (Campbell) and Ernie (Johnson) recorded a number of high quality 45s though the 60’s and the early 70’s for a variety of labels, including the highly collectible Artco imprint. ‘The Cat’ – from 1965 – was one of six 45s they recorded for the Eastern label has a decidedly Curtis Mayfield-ian vibe to it.
I haven’t been able to find out anything about the Georgia Soul Twisters, other than that they recorded a few 45s for local Georgia labels like Waxwing. They also recorded at least one record as the Fabulous Georgia Soul Twisters. ‘You Shot Me Through the Grease’ was released on the Mainstream label, and is a supercharged bit of party soul.
Albert King is better known (for good reason) as a giant of the blues. He was a brilliant guitarist who was a major influence (along with players like Buddy Guy) on a young Eric Clapton. He recorded some outstanding soul/blues for the Stax label, a fine example of which is the storming ‘Night Stomp’ – which I believe features some or all of the MGs backing King.
Jimmy Hanna and the Dynamics were a white R&B/soul group from the Seattle area. They recorded for the Seafair/Bolo labels, releasing a full length LP in 1964 as well as a number of 45s. The group, which featured not only future jazzer Larry Coryell on guitar, but three future members of garage punkers the Springfield Rifle, recorded their excellent cover of Eddie Holland’s ‘Leaving Here’ in 1965. Among their labelmates were the mighty Northwest Hammond king Dave Lewis, as well as the group Tiny Tony & the Statics, which featured future pop star Merilee Rush.
If you’ve passed through these parts in the past, you might recognize the name of the Mighty Hannibal. Known to soulies far and wide for his insanely amazing ‘Jerkin’ the Dog’, Hannibal recorded for a variety of labels in the 60’s and 70’s. ‘Fishin’ Pole’, a not so distant cousin of ‘Jerkin’ was released locally on Shurfine, and nationally on Josie on the flipside of his minor hit ‘Hymn No. 5’.
Sir Mack Rice has done a lot of things in his career, such as singing in the Falcons (a group that also spawned Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd), and writing a grip of great tunes, including ‘Respect Yourself’ for the Staple Singers, but perhaps his most significant achievement was writing (and recording the original version of) ‘Mustang Sally’. While not as sharp as the Wicked Pickett’s famous cover, the original is still very cool, and surely underplayed, and underappreciated.
Things close out with a deep cut by another big Funky16Corners fave, the mighty, mighty Howard Tate. A cut from his fantastic 1967 Verve LP, ‘Baby I Love You’ is proof that behind anthems like ‘Get It While You Can’ and ‘Stop’, Tate had a lot of substance in his catalog.
I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll see you all later in the week.
PS Locals – or regionals – ought to know that the man that brought you the Asbury Park 45 Sessions – none other than DJ Prestige, who’ll be dropping a new mix presently – has announced the inaugural session of another hot night, the Fourth & Kingsley Soul Club. I will be joining Pres on the decks, and in addition to lots of hot wax, the Soul Club will also include live bands, starting out with no less than the legendary Budos Band.
I spun with the Budos a few months back up at Lucky Cat in Brooklyn, and let me tell you brother, THEY KICK ASS. They’ll be falling by the World Famous Asbury Lanes on December 21st with the full bakers dozen of horns, guitars keys and whatnot, and if you are within traveling distance you need to come check them out.
More details will be forthcoming as the date nears.