Listen/Download – Joe Haywood – I Cross My Heart (And Hope To Die)
How’s by you? I’m digging the fall-ish weather, plumbing the crates (as usual) and getting a lot of reading done (not always easy).
The tune I bring you today is a 45 I picked up this summer in what had to be (at least proportionally) the find of the year, i.e. a grip of very nice soul and garage 45s, all in minty fresh condition for the low, low price of one dollar each. Not everything was valuable (though a couple of them turned out to be worth significantly in excess of the asking price) but they were all, without exception, high quality.
Today’s selection is by the great Joe Haywood. While you may not be familiar with Haywood or his discography, I assure that the description of his talent as ‘great’ is accurate. Unfortunately, Haywood was the very epitome of the journeyman soul singer, moving from label to label, making a series of outstanding 45s yet never really making it to the next level of fame and fortune.
I first came upon his music years ago when I picked up a 45 released on the New Orleans-based Deesu label. At the time I assumed that Haywood was a NOLA-based artist, but as you’ll see when you head over to Red Kelly’s Soul Detective blog, that was an incorrect assumption.
I’ll let you head over there for the meat and potatoes of the Joe Haywood story (including a scan of his obit, and the only picture I’ve ever seen of him).
That said, thanks to the absolutely unfadeable, death dealing soul power of ‘(Play Me) A Cornbread Song’ a staple of my DJ box and a big personal fave, I pick up Joe Haywood 45s where, and whenever I find them.
Such was the case when I found today’s selection, ‘I Cross My Heart (And Hope To Die)’ on the Front Page label. According to the discography at Soulful Kinda Music, there were only a half dozen releases on the Front Page label (with the truth in advertising motto, ‘The Sound of Earthy Soul’), two of which were Joe Haywood 45s (one of the others is a sought after Lee Moses disc). It looks like ‘I Cross My Heart…’ is a late 60s release. It’s a powerful, horn-driven side with a great vocal by Haywood. The song and production are both credited to Bobby Robinson, though if you read the Soul Detective piece, it certainly brings the authorship of the song into question.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back at the end of the week.
NOTE: The grand opening of the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press
Over the last year I’ve had a few people ask where they might acquire a t-shirt with the Funky16Corners logo (above). The one I have is home-made, but my wife told me about Cafe Press, where you can upload your artwork and people can purchase a variety of items on demand. That way I don’t have to take the chance I’ll end up with an empty bank account and a garage full of unsold shirts (or various and sundry swag). If you click on the F16 logo link in the sidebar, you’ll end up at the Funky16Corners store at Cafe Press where you can order shirts, hats, tote bags, buttons and even a beer mug for your next soul-related stein hoist. The profit margin is so slim on some of the items as to be non-existent, but I thought this might be a good way to get the word out about the blog. – Larry