Bobby Freeman – C’mon and Swim Pt1 b/w George Carlin RIP


Mr. Bobby Freeman


Listen – Bobby Freeman – C’Mon and Swim Pt1- MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope the day finds you well, or at least well enough to leap from your chair, join Mr. Bobby Freeman and do the Swim.
This is one of those records that knocked me on my ass the first time I heard it.
I don’t recall exactly when (or where) that was, but I was struck immediately by the power crammed into the grooves on the 45. ‘C’Mon and Swim’ is – like Toussaint McCall’s ‘Shimmy’ or Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers ‘I Gotta Go Now (Up On the Floor)’ – a record that carries with it the energy of any half dozen run of the mill sides, sounding as if the studio in which it was created was left in ruins (this of course being a good thing).
This has a lot to do with the creative force behind the record, a young cat by the name of Sylvester Stewart, who would go on a few years later to rename himself Sly Stone, then proceeding to set the world of soul on fire.
Sly was the heart and soul behind a lot of the Autumn Records catalog, working as writer, producer, arranger and performer (sometimes all at the same time) for a wide variety of pop, rock and R&B acts. This jack of all sounds vibe was never more apparent (prior to the formation of the Family Stone that is) than in ‘C’Mon and Swim’.
Freeman, who had already had some chart success with ‘Do You Want To Dance’ in 1958, was at a minor ebb in his brief career when he hit with ‘C’Mon and Swim’ in 1964.
Freeman and the band come like a bull out of a rodeo chute, beginning the record at full blast. The record is a fantastic example of an intersection of rock and soul (see the collected works of Edwards, Chuck) with wild guitar solos, distorted combo organ (dig, if you will those organ breakdowns late in the record), pounding drums and a blazing horn section. Though Freeman delivers a wailing vocal, Sly Stone deserves at least as much credit for making this record as great as it is.
The record bins of the 1960’s were overflowing with inane dance craze records, but ‘C’Mon and Swim’ blows a good 90 percent of them right off the turntable.
Freeman failed to hit the Top 40 with his follow-up record with ‘S-W-I-M’ and subsequently dropped out of sight.
So roll up the rug, put this one on and wreck the joint.


George Carlin RIP

A few days ago we all got the sad news that one of the formative geniuses of modern American humor, George Carlin had died.
George Carlin was a fucking genius. A master of words and ideas who also happened to be incredibly funny. I know this is a music blog, but the words that Carlin laid down during what I consider his peak years in the early 70’s (AM&FM, Class Clown, Occupation Foole etc) have been a cornerstone of my own sense of humor (and occasionaly my sense of righteous outrage) for as long as I can remember.
He was truly the master of what came to be known as ‘observational’ humor, not just because he found humor in the commonplace, but because he also found depth and profundity, whether he was attacking the absurdity of criminalizing language or rhapsodizing about his childhood in New York City.
Carlin was also an R&B nut, and I can think of no more fitting (at least for this blog) to him than a short vignette called ‘The Hallway Groups’ from the 1973 ‘Occupation Foole’ LP.
I hope you dig it, and that you take the time to raise your glass (or something else) to the memory of a very smart and very funny man.

George Carlin – The Hallway Groups – MP3


PSS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a 45 by the Creation

PSS Paperback Rider has been updated as well.


7 Responses to “Bobby Freeman – C’mon and Swim Pt1 b/w George Carlin RIP”

  1. links for 2008-06-26 (Jarrett House North) Says:

    […] George Carlin RIP « Funky16Corners Memorial George Carlin MP3 FTW. (tags: georgecarlin mp3) […]

  2. Katie Says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for a little while now and your tribute to George Carlin has finally motivated me to comment. He truly was a genius and pioneer and he will be greatly missed. Please continue to give people like Carlin and these master musicians their due!

  3. françois Says:

    Hi! I’m one of your fans from France. I discovered 16 corners with Iron leg. I’m a bit shameful of enjoying all the great music you send without saying you thanks for all your work. “funk” was un unknown territory for me before… And I’m always impressed by the quality of your informations. BUT I’m surprised that you never post french artists. (Yes they aren’t really well-known especially in funk) may I suggest you to listen to NINO FERRER. A great admirer of James Brown and the Phily sound. He did some funk, folk and psyché at the end of his life… and could be mentionned in both f16 or Ironleg. The poor boy commited suicide because of public incomprehension… Maybe here… But I won’t teach you how to do your job. Cheers!

  4. funky16corners Says:

    I’m glad you’re digging the blogs.
    While I’ll admit that my Euro game could be better, I have in the past featured Andre Brasseur (Belgian, I know…) and Les Charlots (check out the Hammond Internationale mix in the Podcast Archive) and over at Iron Leg none other than Jacques Dutronc.
    Nino Ferrer is a name I know but I wouldn’t know where to start. Do you have any recommendations in regard to his stuff?

  5. Nick Says:

    Wow, great feature!. This was one of the first records I ever got (inherited from Mom when I was a kid, no less), and it still blows me away to this day. Thanks for digging up the background on this monster. Bobby’s single “Four Piece Funky Nitty Gritty Junky Band” is also fun in a Fat Albert episode kinda way. And his “Do It” is a nice piece of Northern.

    I have to agreee with Francois, check out Nino Ferrer, especially “Alexander,” “Mirza,” or “Les Cornichons,” killer stuff.

  6. françois Says:

    Hi Larry!
    Concerning Nino Ferrer his biggest hits are “Mirza” (1965ep), with an organ solo from hell, le “telefon” (1967ep), played at every wedding… But I recommend you to start with “Enregistrement public” (1966lp). It is his “funk album”, it is not a real live but a mix of his first big hits with other stuff with shoutings at the beginnig and the end of tracks. On this lp, I really like “Mme Robert” and “Je veux être noir” (I want to be a blackman). I don’t know if you understand french, because his lyrics are really funnny and poetic, really different from the stupid translations of american success of the yéyé scene. Enjoy!

  7. Groovin' Dan Says:

    I remember completely freaking out the first time I heard “C’Mon & Swim”. I was probably
    around ’86, on Chicago Oldies station “Magic 104,” and I couldn’t believe the energy or that insane lead guitar. Best 60s dance craze song ever, in my book.

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