Listen/Download -Percy Sledge – Baby Help Me
I hope all of you are warm, dry and happy this wintry Monday.
I for one have yet to fully emerge from the fog of the weekend (nothing too strenuous, just too much on the agenda when some well deserved vegetation would be in order), so I figured what better way to kick things off than a nice, upbeat soul cut?
When most folks hear the name Percy Sledge, they expect one thing and one thing only, that being that monument to deep, weepy southern soul, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’. One of those soul records that people with no knowledge of soul at all know about (thanks to countless soundtrack appearances), ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ manages to still be listenable despite 40+ years of saturation.
When I was down in DC last year, spinning and digging, in addition to a grip of funk 45s and LPs I managed to pull a couple of slices of classic soul, one of which was Percy Sledge’s 1968 LP ‘Take Time To Know Her’. Backed by the Muscle Shoals crew, the LP features Sledge working out on his other big ballad hit, the Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham classic ‘Out of Left Field’, and an interesting cover of the Classics IV’s ‘Spooky’.
While I was checking the album out, wandering through the grooves randomly I happened upon something I did not expect to find, that being today’s selection, ‘Baby Help Me’. Written by none other than Bobby Womack, ‘Baby Help Me’ is a great illustration of the little known fact that Percy Sledge, in addition to his famous way with a pleading ballad, was also able to work it out on a little bit of the soul shouting.
While Sledge wasn’t about to give the Wicked Pickett a run for his money, he acquits himself nicely, bringing his sand-papery growl to the fore, on top of a rocking rhythm section and some tight horns.
It’s great to see that Percy wasn’t afraid to get a little Alabama mud splattered on the cuffs of his continental suit.
Oddly enough I have another 45 by Mr Sledge in the queue, but it deserves a post of its own, so keep you ears peeled for that one in the coming months.
In other news, this coming Friday, January 15th marks the return of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions to the World Famous Asbury Lanes with DJ Prestige, yours truly, DJ Bluewater, M-Fasis, DJ Prime Mundo, Jack the Ripper and guest selector DJ Devil Dick. If you’re in the area, fall by for some heat of the 45RPM variety.
Also…I’ll be returning for another guest spot with DJ Bluewater at Master Groove @ Forbidden City in NYC on Wednesday night January 27th. It’s a very chill night so you should fall by if you’re in the City and down for some funk. The Master Groove line-up for the coming weeks is as follows:
Jan 13th: M.fasis, Nick Cope
Jan 20th: DJ Prestige, DJ Prime Mundo
Jan 27th: M.fasis, Funky16Corners
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.
Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press