Memphis Black – Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man



Ingfried Hoffman was neither nor…


Listen – Memphis Black – Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man – MP3″

Greetings all.
I hope you all had a restful weekend (I know I did), and you’re ready for a week full of funky Hammond grooves.
I know I did a theme “week” two weeks ago, but that just seems to be the way my brain is working these days.
The record I bring you today, eluded me – a Hammond organ fiend of the first order – for years. I was never able to find a copy in the field (I suspect although this was released domestically, it didn’t actually get much in the way of distribution), and every time it popped up on a certain auction site, the price skyrocketed and I was left holding the bag (which never held quite enough money).
Until late last year, in which the forces of the universe, and my insatiable lust for Hammond funk were temporaily aligned, so much so that I finally scored myself a copy of Memphis Black’s ‘Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man’ at well below market cost. It was almost as if I had received part of a very limited Hammond 45 bailout.
Good thing too, because the acquisition of same allowed me to digimatize, and then share it with you.
I supposed it’s only fair to begin the description of the record, by letting you know that Memphis Black was neither (from Memphis, nor black). He was in fact the pseudonymous appellation of a certain Teutonic organ grinder by the name of Ingfried Hoffman.
Hoffman, probably the leading exponent of the Hammond organ in Germany (he was also a pianist) spent many years playing with the Klaus Doldinger Quartet before branching out as Memphis Black (and/or the Memphis Soul Band) and then moving on to create library/soundtrack music.
I have no idea exactly how Hoffman “became” Memphis Black – the vocal interjections during ‘Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man’ were a guitarist named Joe Quick (who certainly sounds American) – but the record is funky as hell, with lots of wailing organ by Hoffman, a very fat bass line and some cool guitar. Hoffman and his band have a real feel for the real thing, and without the names of Hoffman and producer Siegfried Loch, one might be forgiven for assuming that Memphis Black may have actually been recording near some real life Mississippi mud.
Hoffman recorded two full LPs with this group, one as Memphis Black (‘Soul Club’) and one as the Memphis Soul Band (‘Soul Cowboy’). Both are very groovy – though expensive – and are worth checking out (I think they’ve both been reissued).
I hope you dig the track, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with some more.


PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for something later by the Everly Brothers

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

4 Responses to “Memphis Black – Why Don’t You Play the Organ Man”

  1. Tom Havers Says:

    Hammond 45 Week is better than Shark Week and Sweeps Week put together! I’ll be waiting on Wednesday.

  2. Guy Magic Says:


    I love this cut and I’m looking forward to a week of Funky 16 Hammond madness!

  3. Buddy McCue Says:


    I recorded this off of WFMU’s Downtown Soulville show a long time ago, and I’ve played it often, always assuming that Memphis Black WAS an African-American from Memphis. It’s a great tune.

    I just listened to it a few minutes ago, and said to myself, “Why don’t you go and look up this “Memphis Black;” it should be easy enough to find on the internet. I Googled it and found your site. Thanks for putting it up!

  4. James Says:

    I heard this song on KEXP the other day.

    I was able to purchase a copy of Soul Club through this site:

    It looks as though the British Amazon site also carries the album:

    I didn’t have any luck with the other CD though. Neither with bittorrent.

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