Simtec Simmons (I couldn’t find a good picture of Wylie Dixon…)
“Listen – Simtec & Wylie – Maggie May – MP3″
I trust that everyone spent he weekend getting your ya yas out, and that like almost everyone, the beginning of the new week sees you strapped securely into whatever bag it is that takes up the majority of your time, whether it’s riding a desk, working with your hands, providing care for ones offspring (that’s where I’m at) or what have you.
I spent the weekend spinning soul and funk 45s, then digging in at the family table with some long out of touch relatives, and then chilling (literally and figuratively) on the couch with the immediate family.
I decided to start the week with a very groovy bit of uptempo, early 70s Chitown soul, from a couple of fairly prolific, if not very well known (outside of the collectorati) fellows by the names of Simtec and Wylie.
Simtec Simmons (guitar/vocals) and Wylie Dixon (vocals) recorded in a variety of settings, together and in several groups through the 60s and early 70s.
Simmons is particularly interesting for having attempted to make a career out of gimmicky records made with a primitive electronic rhythm box, recording as Simtec Simmons and the Mechanical Monster, the Computer and the Little Fooler, and the Tea Boxes (you can hear one of these tunes, ‘Tea Box’ in Funky16Corners Radio v.9 – Soul Food Pt2, follow the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive link in the sidebar).
By 1969 Simtec and Wylie had decided to get it together in a Sam and Dave stylee, recording 10 45s for the Chitown labels Shama and Mr Chand (that being Gene Chandler, visible on the label above) and a full length LP for the latter. Some of these 45s (‘Do It Like Mama’, ‘Gotta Get Over the Hump’, ‘Bootleggin’) are quite funky and should be grabbed if you see them in the field.
Though I dig their funky stuff, my personal fave from the S&W discography is an unusual 1971 cover of Rod Stewart’s mega-hit ‘Maggie May’.
Now, before you go and get your pants wet, pull down the ones and zeros and give it a listen, because I assure you that it’s quite excellent.
Where Mr. Tartan Plaid was working the mandolins and such, Simtec and Wylie get down with some snapping drums and bass, and a nice loud horn section, and if that isn’t enough for you, check the label and realize that it was arranged by none other than the master himself, Richard Evans.
It’s quite a nice cover and I’m a little surprised that it didn’t end up as a hit, at least on the R&B charts.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with some tight, funky Philly soul.