The Soul Tornados/Toronados/Toranodoes (whatever…)
Photographed at the 1969 Akron, Ohio Tam’O Shanter Festival
“Listen – Soul Tornados – Crazy Legs – MP3″
Hey hey hey and all that.
When I said that I’d be back on Friday with something funky, I wasn’t lying.
The tune I bring you today is one of the rarer 45s by a group that has appeared here at the Funky16Corners blog before (in Funky16Corners Radio v.27, Soul Organs Vol 1), albeit under another (slightly different) name. To paraphrase the mighty William who Shakes Spears, the name is the thing, but more on that in a moment.
Allow me to digress, so that I may share with you a tale of digging kismet. Back some months, not too long after my birthday, when I happened to have some cash burning a hole in my pocket, it was time for the mighty Asbury Park 45 Sessions.
Naturally, I packed up my traveling crates with the heat, hopped into the Japanese microbus and shot myself in the general direction of the seashore.
When I got there, I discovered that the 45 Killer was one of the guest selectors that night, and he had brought with him a box full of records to sell.
Now, with some people, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but my man Mike packs the heat (the coming months will see several items procured from his crates), so I dug in with gusto and grabbed me some winners.
My personal favorite from the little expedition is tonight’s selection, ‘Crazy Legs’ by the Soul Tornados. It’s a solid, swaggering bit of organ funk with a big fat break and enough grease to get the dancers out of their seats and onto the floor.
Now, to the name thing.
The last time the group appeared here, it was as the Soul Toranodoes, and if you take the time to look around, you may very well find yourself looking at a 45 by the Soul Toronados. It matters not, because their all the same group, featuring Charles Heller (drums) Bobby Heller (organ), and James Smith (guitar). They hailed from the Rubber City of Akron, Ohio, and recorded three 45s for three different labels.
Two of those records were waxed for the Burt (Go For Yourself* b/w Funky Thing) and Magic City (Hot Pants Breakdown b/w Boot Groove) labels, both out of Detroit and owned by Eddie Burt. ‘Crazy Legs’ appeared as one side (backed with the excellent ‘Bobby’s Mood’) on the Westwood label (also home to the garage pop of the Lime, who were picked by by Chess) out of Canton, Ohio.
Anyhoo, as I said, ‘Crazy Legs’ (not the Donald Austin tune on Westbound) is a killer, and a fitting end to Hammond 45 week.
I hope you dig it (and the other cuts this week), and I’ll be back on Monday with something cool.