Funky16Corners Radio v.66 – Make It Funky
Brothers and Sisters – Yeah You Right (Uni)
The Establishment – House of Jack (King)
JD Bryant – Get It Come and Get It (Enjoy)
Bar Kays – Give Everybody Some (Volt)
Buddy McKnight – Everytime Pt1 (Renfro)
Chet Poison Ivey and his Fabulous Avengers – Shake a Poo Poo (TRC)
James Brown – Make It Funky Pt2 (Polydor)
Memphis Soul Band – Who’s Making Love (Minit)
OD Williams – Funky Belly (Bar-Bare)
Radiants – Another Mule Is Kicking In Your Stall (Chess)
Lyn Collins – Things Got To Get Better (People)
Wilson Pickett – Born To Be Wild (Atlantic)
Fabulous Emotions – Number One Fool (Tamboo)
Soul Tornados – Bobby’s Mood (Westwood)
Syl Johnson – Let Them Hang High (Twinight)
Rickey Calloway – Paying My Dues Pt1 (Super)
James Brown – Make It Funky Pt3 (Polydor)
Welcome to another chapter of the ongoing saga know as the passage of time, year number 2009, month number three, week number three, day number one (figure out the hour and minute according to your own physical position on the globe).
I find myself mostly adjusted after a week of DST, sleeping relatively well (or as well as one sleeps with two children), once again attuned to the vinyl mountain down the hall, especially the newly formed strata thereon that came home with me from my trip down south.
I’ve been digi-ma-tizing records at a fairly brisk pace. Setting aside individual tracks for presentation on the blog, as well as stockpiling things thematically for use in future mixes. Some of these folders are full and ready to roll, while others gather material gradually as I find it/dig it out. A few weeks ago I took a deliberate step outside of that process because I felt that the time was long since past for a good old mix of funk (and funky) 45s, so I hit the crates, pulled a stack of records and got to work.
The mix you see before you features a bunch of killers, a couple of b-sides of tunes that hit the blog individually and a few things that I picked up just last week.
What they all have in common is a certain gritty texture that connoisseurs of all things funky will find pleasing to the palate, blended together in a New Jersey soul stew of sorts, wrapped in the Godfather, seasoned with a soupcon of Hammond, a couple of cover versions and just a hint of Sister Funk.
The odd thing is, that the whole thing is bracketed by a record that I am thoroughly embarrassed to admit that I did not own on 45 until last weekend, James Brown’s ‘Make it Funky Pts 1&2’ (I picked up Pt3 on a Euro LP comp last weekend as well). There’s no denying the power of this one, no matter how long James keeps the gang in the studio, stretching and kneading the groove like a hunk of taffy.
The Brothers and Sisters bring us a little bit of Louisiana funk (one of their two 45s on Uni) with the totally NOLA sentiment of ‘Yeah You Right’.
I can’t tell you anything about the Establishment, other than if the tune ‘House of Jack’ rings a bell it’s on account of it’s a vocal version of Keith Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’.
JD Bryant’s ‘Get It (Come and Get It)’is the OG, proto-funky version of a tune later worked up by Bennie Gordon and the Soul Brothers.
The Bar Kays cut was a surprise (and a pleasant one at that) when I dug it out and spun it for the first time last week. I can’t say that I’d ever heard much past ‘Soul Finger’, and ‘Give Everybody Some’ is most definitely a funky thing.
‘Everytime’ by Buddy McKnight is the vocal version of a tune that was included on the mighty ‘Organ Donors’ comp years ago. This is one of those great example of a tune that has something different to offer as both and instro and a vocal.
There’s not much that needs to be said about Chet ‘Poison’ Ivey and the Fabulous Avengers’ ‘Shake a Poo Poo’, other than the obvious question as to what exactly they mean by ‘Poo Poo’, and that one hopes (prays) that it isn’t some twisted ode to dookie, or the most literal interpretation of “scat” singing ever.
The Memphis Soul Band, with their hot version of Johnny Taylor’s ‘Who’s Making Love’ is in fact none other than Ingfried Hoffman, aka Memphis Black.
I don’t know who O.D. Williams is/was, but I have always wondered if (aside from the Warren Lee and Larry Foster tunes) there are any other ‘Funky Belly’ records out there. Both Williams and Foster recorded for Mississippi labels (Lee was out of New Orleans), so it might have been a regional thing, but if it was a dance (which is the logical assumption) you have to wonder if it involved exposure of the gut, or what?
We all know the Radiants for their classic, smooth Northern Soul like ‘Baby You’ve Got It’ and ‘Voice Your Choice’, so imagine my surprise when I pulled ‘Another Mule Is Kicking In Your Stall’ and gave it a spin. This is most definitely a funkier side of the group.
I’m a huge fan of Vicki Anderson’s ‘Things Got To Get Better’, so I was happy when I picked up an LP by Lyn Collins and discovered that she had done a version of the tune as well. I think you’ll dig it too.
Moving on, we cross paths with the one – Wilson Pickett – digging in, with considerable gusto to Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’. As much as I love Pickett, I can’t say that I love all of his cover versions, but this one is a perfect match between material and style.
The Fabulous Emotions ‘Number One Fool’ is one of the two vocal versions of the song that also appeared as ‘The Funky Chicken’, and also under the group name The NY Jets. More on the subject here (scroll down)…
‘Bobby’s Mood’ by the Soul Tornados is the equally funky b-side of the tune ‘Crazy Legs’ which appeared in this very space a short while ago.
It was also during last week’s dig that I finally scored a copy of ‘Is It Because I’m Black’ by the mighty Syl Johnson. While I was road testing the records I figured I’d flip it over, and I’m glad I did, since ‘Let The Hang High’ was burning up the b-side.
Thanks go out to DJ Prestige for passing on a copy of Rickey Calloway’s ‘Paying My Dues Pt1’. The tune was recorded in the late 70s, then pressed (but not issued) in the early 80s. Mr Calloway himself passed a couple of these rare gems to my man Pres, who sent one my way (and now I send it to you).
As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with something groovy.