Archive for the ‘Kid's music’ Category

Lucky Peterson – Our Future

December 3, 2009

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Lucky Peterson

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Listen/Download -Lucky Peterson – Our Future

Greetings all.
Friday is here, and surprisingly enough, so am I.
This has been a rough week, with all kinds of appointments, plumbing challenges and a day where I was convinced that I was on the verge of being felled by the flu (it turns out I was only exhausted).
The tune I bring you today is perhaps the coolest cut I have yet to come across by the funkiest five year old ever* (at least he was five when it was recorded), Lucky Peterson.
Back in the day, when I was chasing Hammond records like a greyhound chases rabbits, I encountered something that at the time looked like the holy grail of organ related wax, an album by a five year old kid, named (surprise) Lucky Peterson. It was the kind of record that would have grabbed without having heard a note, but fate stepped in and I was unable (and have still been unable) to find a copy of the full album.
However (and this probably worked out for the best) I was able to bag a couple of his 45s, which to be perfectly honest were not Hammond burners, but were in fact clearly the work of a five year old child (with the help of grown up musicians, natch...). A talented five year old, but a child nonetheless. Some of those songs, in particular ‘Good Old Candy’ (included in a recent edition of Funky16Corners Radio) have a certain kiddie funk vibe that made them rough but charming.
Anyway, I recently came across yet another Lucky Peterson 45, which – due to the fact that it was cheap, and included a song called ‘Funky Alphabet’ – I picked up post haste. ‘Funky Alphabet’ turned out to be (as so many songs labeled ‘funky’ are) not funky at all.
However, the A-side of that 45 featured what has to be the best thing little Lucky ever did, an inspired bit of funk called ‘Our Future’, which includes organ, wah-wah guitar and the singer’s soulful (and occasionally shrill) screams. It aspires to a Motown vibe, with a cool string section, and although a lot of what Lucky sings is indecipherable, it’s clear that his heart is in the right place.
Interestingly enough, Peterson was a discovery of blues giant Willie Dixon’s (Dixon gets songwriting credit on some of his singles) and recorded his LP for the Today label in 1969. His song ‘1-2-3-4’ a reworking of James Brown’s ‘Please Please Please’ was an R&B hit in 1970 and got Peterson a fair amount of national TV exposure.
Unlike so many child prodigies, Peterson stayed with music, eventually taking up guitar and going on to play with Little Milton before starting his own career on the blues scene which continues today.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back on Monday.

Peace

Larry

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Funky16Corners Radio v.76 – One for the Kids

November 15, 2009

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Artwork copyright 2009 – Miles Grogan (age 5)

Funky16Corners Radio v.76 – One For the Kids – Funk and Soul for Children of All Ages

Playlist

Rufus Thomas – Do the Funky Penguin Pt1 (Stax)
Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song (Congress)
Village Soul Choir – A-B-C’s (Abbott)
Freddy & the Kinfolk – The Goat (Dade)
Electric Company feat Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby – Jelly Belly (WB)
Banana Splits – Doin’ the Banana Split (Kelloggs)
George Semper – Shortnin’ Bread (Imperial)
Bill Doggett – The Worm (Columbia)
Schoolhouse Rock feat. Grady Tate – I Got Six (Capitol)
Guitar Ray – Patty Cake Shake (Hot Line)
King Coleman – The Boo Boo Song Pt1 (King)
JC Davis – Monkey (Chess)
Jerry O – The Funky Chicken Yoke (Boogaloo)
Okie Duke – Chicken Licken’ (Ovation)
Jackson Five – ABC (Motown)
The Philly Four – The Elephant (Cobblestone)
The Unemployed – Funky Rooster (Cotillion)
Lucky Peterson Blues Band – Good Old Candy (Today)
The Portraits – Three Blind Mice (Tri Disc)
Maggie Thrett – Soupy (From Tha Soul)

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

Greetings all.

I know this may seem a little early for the arrival of the next Funky16Corners Radio podcast, but sometimes it’s just like that.
The roots of this mix go a long way back (maybe a couple of years?) to a suggestion by a regular reader (who’s identity has been lost in the depths of my e-mail account, raise your hand if it’s you…) that I put together a mix of funk and soul tunes for the kids out there (I have two of my own, and I’m sure a lot of you have your own too).
I thought that this was – in the words of the sage Gomez Addams – a capital idea, but like so many of those, it had to bounce around in the back alleys of the windmills of my mind for a while before I finally buckled down and started rummaging around in the crates to make it a reality. The 40th anniversary of Sesame Street kind of gave me a nudge to get this together as well.
Though the idea seemed simple enough, the realization of the concept took a little bit of thought. There were a couple of obvious selections (some of which made it into the mix, some fell by the wayside for a variety of reasons), but I really needed to go through the archive so that inspirado might finally take hold.
The tunes I was looking for needed to be things that would catch the ear of an actual kid (everything herein has been road tested with my three and five year old sons), and would also need to be “safe”, i.e. free of anything obviously inappropriate (please let me know if I missed anything….). I also wanted the contents of the mix to appeal to the young at heart as well, so that if you are so inclined you could cut a rug alongside your progeny.
Back when the theme was first suggested, the first (and at the time, only) record that came to mind was King Coleman’s ‘Boo Boo Song’, a 45 that sent my son into apoplexy the first time he heard it, and I suspect that it would have the same effect on most people, not just kids. When I hit the crates – as is always the case – I leaned in the direction of overkill, pulling all kinds of stuff that I thought might appeal to the younger set. As I worked through an imposing stack of wax – my sons at my side, some things went by the wayside, either because they ended up containing inappropriate content, or because they failed to elicit a positive response from the “focus group”.
Some of it, like the Electric Company and Schoolhouse Rock fell into the ‘purpose made’ category, their soulful and/or funky attributes merely a happy coincidence.
A couple of things in the mix were in fact performed by actual children (the Jackson Five and Lucky Peterson, who was actually five), and several others were based in kids nursery/playground rhymes. Others were just plain fun (the ‘animal’ themed numbers went over especially well with my kids).
I should also mention that the artwork for Funky16Corners Radio v.76 was created by my five year old son Miles. He drew it before I started working on the mix, but I felt it fit the vibe perfectly. With any luck he’ll whip up some covers for future editions of the podcast.
Listen closely for some blasts from your own childhood (anyone else ride for Captain Kangaroo??), and drop me line to let me know how the mix played with the kids in your life. Make sure you pull down the mixed version so you get all the ‘bonus’ material.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with something more traditional.

Peace

Larry

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