Archive for the ‘Philly Soul’ Category

Funky16Corners Fifth Anniversary Celebration!!

November 1, 2009

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Playlist

Lee Moses – Day Tripper (Musicor)
Booker T & the MGs – Lady Madonna (Stax)
Natural Gas – Eleanor Rigby (Firebird)
Memphis Soul Band – Get Back (Minit)
JJ Barnes – Day Tripper (Ric-Tic)
JEJ Ensemble – Sgt Pepper Medley (JEJ)
Jay Jackson and the Heads of Our Time – With a Little Help From My Friends (Mr G)
Pat Williams – Hey Jude (Verve)
Dobby Dobson – Carry That Weight (Jaguar)
Ramsey Lewis – Sexy Sadie (Cadet)
Supremes – Come Together (Motown)
Verona High School Jazz Ensemble – Let It Be (private press)
Mongo Santamaria – Day Tripper (Columbia)
Ramsey Lewis – Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey (Cadet)
Doc Severinson – Abbey Road Medley (Command)
Gap Mangione – The End (Mercury)


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

Greetings all.
I write this sitting at the dining room table, looking out the window as my sworn enemies – fall leaves – drop to the ground. I am currently under attack by some kind of sinus problem, which makes the thought of taking the leaf blower and the rake out of my shed all the more painful.
However, there is something to celebrate, an occasion so momentous, so earth shatteringly earth shattering as to wipe away any and all afflictions by virtue of its world shaking stupendousness.
That’s right, the Funky16Corners blog is five years old.
It was the first week of November 2004 when I first stepped blindly into the blog-o-mosphere, spilling the contents of my fevered brain onto the interwebs via my computer keyboard. Back in the day, I had no earthly idea that I would still be at it five long years later. If you are son inclined, and you take a bracing dip in the Funky16Corners pre-Wordpress archive, you’ll also see that in the beginning, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I was going to do with the blog.
The general concept is there, i.e. to ruminate on and inform about music, but as you’ll see the musical direction didn’t really take shape until the second month of the blog’s existence. There were traces of the Funky16Corners you know and love, but there was also a bunch of stuff that presaged the whole Iron Leg experience as well. You can go back to that first month and watch me as the divergent musical avenues of my mind do battle for supremacy.
That is now – as they say – a moot point. As I mentioned, a few years later I started Iron Leg to write about 60s pop/psych/garage etc, whittling down my free time even further. But by that time, “free time” itself was an outmoded concept as the whole blogging thing evolved from a pleasant diversion into something else entirely (still pleasant…).
If you’ve been a regular reader of either blog you’ll already know that my move into blogging wasn’t really new, in that I’d been writing about music, first in fanzines, then in newspapers, and ultimately on the interwebs for something like 25 years. What the internet allowed me to do was take a familiar format and give it new, multimedia dimensions.
When I started doing zines back in 84/85, it was all cut and paste with the rubber cement, plundering old books and magazines for artwork (or drawing it myself) and heading down to the old copy shop for duplication. From there, it was on to maybe 10 record stores – locally and in NYC – for hand-to-hand distribution and the dreaded consignment. Believe it or not, even then, via travelers picking up copies and the zine getting written up in other zines, international contact (in a decidedly more limited form) was made.
When the internet came along I took the opportunity (along with the most rudimentary HTML “skills”) and started zine-ing on the web. Out of that effort was born the Funky16Corners web zine, which grew over the course of four years to include a lot of long form articles/discographies and tons of shorter, capsule reviews.
The time came midway through 2004 that planning and executing the long-form web zine was starting to feel like a chore. My first son had arrived and my ability to expend the time and energy that it took to put a new issue together was dwindling rapidly.
I began to take a look at the blogging format, and it’s brevity and quick turnover appealed to me. I made the decision to change direction, concentrating more on single records. Within a couple of months things settled into something like the current format, where they stayed for another two years until the inception of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast in May of 2006. It was at that point that I started to put mixes on the web (god knows I’d been making them since I was first able to operate a cassette recorder), an enterprise that grew in diversity and sophistication to the point where the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast and Guest Mix archives now hold close to one hundred different mixes (as well as almost 30 more over at Iron Leg).
When I look back on those early days of paper-blogging, and see how many people now check in to the blog from all over the world, it genuinely blows my mind. We truly live in McLuhan’s global village, and at least in this circumstance I see it as a good thing. Soul and funk fans from all points of the compass gathering to share information and (more importantly) their love for the music.
There are those among you for whom a lot of the music posted here is new, and of course many dyed in the wool soulies for whom much of it is old (yet wonderful) news. If the Funky16Corners blog has a “mission”, it is bringing those two ends of the spectrum closer together, united by a love and respect for the music and the people that made it.
To mark the fifth anniversary of the blog, this week will see two more entries to that list with the fifth and sixth mixes of soul/funk/jazz covers of Beatles songs.
The Beatles were my first musical love. The first record I ever bought with my own money was a copy of the VeeJay LP ‘Introducing the Beatles’, and their music still stays with me as an important part of my life. When I put the first Beatles covers mixes together back in 2007, I hadn’t planned any sequals. However, as time went on I started making it a habit to record and put aside any Beatles covers that I found, and eventually all of the ensuing mixes came together.
Hit them here:

Listen/download Funky16Corners Radio v.28 – Rubber Souled Pt1

Listen/download Funky16Corners Radio v.29 – Rubber Souled Pt2

Listen/download Funky16Corners Radio v.30 – Rubber Souled Pt3

Listen/download Funky16Corners Radio v.54 – Come Together

The first mix this week will be more upbeat, the second (posted on Wednesday) a much mellower exercise for those late night, meditative listening sessions.
I won’t go into much detail on either mix, aside from noting that both of them have contributions from lots of old favorites as well as some unusual stuff.
I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the ongoing Funky16Corners blog-sperience, including all the regular readers, my fellow bloggers and DJs (big ups to DJ Prestige and the Asbury Park 45 Sessions Crew and DJ Birdman in DC!) and especially those of you that have participated in the yearly fund drive that helps to keep this thing going (especially the Podcast Archive, by far the most heavily trafficked part of the site).
With any luck we’ll all be here for another five years (or longer), unless there’s another paradigm shift in the technology that takes us in another direction entirely.
I hope you dig the mixes and I’ll be back next week with more of the stuff you love.

Peace

Larry

Example

Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some mid-60s German pop.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

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Labelle – Won’t Get Fooled Again

September 1, 2009

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Ms’s Hendryx, Dash and Labelle

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Listen/Download – Labelle – Won’t Get Fooled Again – MP3

Greetings all.
I come to you in the middle of a busy week with something a little unusual.
Another find from my recent DC digs (with another NJ connection*) was the album ‘Moonshadow’ by Labelle.
Now I’m as down with ‘Lady Marmalade’ as the next cat (I carry no less than three different versions in my DJ box at all times in case of emergency), and as a recent post will prove I am familiar with (and dig) the group’s sound when they were known as Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.
However, the ‘Moonshadow’ LP was known to me only peripherally (if that), and it was only through the good graces of my man DJ Birdman that I walked out of one of the many stores we hit that weekend with a copy of the record in my hands.
Good thing too, because when I got home, and had a chance to sit down, spin and digimatize my acquisitions, I was shocked (and stunned, of course) when I dropped the needle on side one and discovered a wild, souled up take on the Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.
Are you now as shocked and stunned as I was?
Wait until you hear it.
Recorded in 1972, under the auspices of Vicki Wickham (producer of the UK TV show Ready Steady Go, and one of the co-composers  – with Simon Napier-Bell – of the English lyrics to Dusty Springfield’s ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me), ‘Moonshadow’, featuring the title cut (a Cat Stevens tune), the Who song I bring you today and a number of group originals is, to borrow a tired old cliché, a transitional album.
The old school, polished girl group-isms of a few years earlier are gone, but the wild, space age funk of a few years in the future has yet to arrive.
The Labelle version of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ hews closely enough to the original that it is still recognizable, yet there’s no mistaking Patti Labelle’s mighty voice tearing its way through the song. It’s also worth giving some thought to differences inherent in these particular lyrics being delivered not by the Who but by a group of black women in early 70s America.
While pretty much any song sung by Patti Labelle automatically becomes soulful, there’s still a rock underpinning to the proceeding, though things do take off in another direction entirely at the end of the record, as jazzman Harold Vick comes in with a slightly “free” soprano sax solo.
It’s a very groovy record, and as always I hope you dig it.
I’ll be back on Friday with something cool.

Peace

Larry

*Ms. Nona Hendryx coming from the capitol city of Trenton!

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a podcast of the best of the Walker Brothers.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

August 2, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.72 – The Pulse aka the ‘Marvin’ Mix

Playlist

Titanic – Sultana (CBS)
Santana – Jin-Go-La-Ba (CBS)
Simon Kenyatta Troupe – Soul Makossa (Avco)
Curtis Mayfield – Future Shock (Curtom)
Cymande – Bra (Janus)
Eddie Kendricks – Date With the Rain (Tamla)
Cold Blood – Valdez In the Country (WB)
Rufus – Half Moon (MCA)
Dexter Wansel – Life On Mars Part 1 (Philly Intl)
Hank Ballard & the Midnighters – Freak Your Boom Boom (LeJoint)
Kool & the Gang – More Funky Stuff (Dee Lite)
Disko Band – Pick Up the Pieces (Pickwick)
Gene Faith – Lowdown Melody (Virtue)
Barrett Strong – Stand Up and Cheer For the Preacher (Epic)
Gladys Knight & the Pips – Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (Motown)
Heatwave – Grooveline (Epic)
KC & the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight (LP Edit) (TK)
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real (Fantasy)

Greetings all.

I’m back from DC, and though I’m tired as hell (I feel like I was dragged home behind a truck belching oily smoke) I’d be a liar if I said that I had less than an absolutely amazing time in our nation’s capitol.
First and foremost I have to offer thanks to my gracious hosts DJ Birdman and his lovely wife, who gave me a comfortable bed in which to sleep in addition to all manner of great hospitality.
I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon in the Funky16Corners-mobile, making extraordinarily good time and arriving in DC a little on the early side. Naturally I took advantage of the hole in my schedule to fall by Som Records on 14th St to say hi to my man DJ Neville C and pick up some fresh vinyl for the upcoming gigs. If you’re in DC and you need a vinyl fix make sure you stop by and tell the man behind the counter that Funky16Corners sent you.
After that it was a quick turnaround to drop off my stuff and head back out with Birdman for the Jazz Corner of the World 5th anniversary party at Cafe St Ex.
I have to take a moment to say that I have been extremely lucky in my DJ travels this year. All of the venues have been next level, and St Ex and Marvin (the places I spun at this week) were no exception. Wonderful spaces, great staff (outstanding cuisine) and all around chill environments made for great experiences.
The Jazz Corner party was a subdued spin on off-the-hook-ness, giving me a chance to DJ alongside Birdman, DC Digga, Fatback, Neville C and a the rest of the crew. The sounds included everything from old school New Orleans jazz, right on through to hard bop and jazz funk (breaks included, natch).
We headed out on Thursday for some Virginia digging, ending up in Richmond where I scored some very cool 45s.
Friday morning we were out digging again where I scored some cool stuff that I ended up taking with me to Marvin that night.
If you make it down to DC, you absolutely MUST make it over to Marvin. I had been to Marvin once before to see DJ Birdman spin but split for my own gig early on. This time out Birdman and I split the night (one hour on/one hour off from 6PM to 3AM), keeping it jazzy and mellow for the first half and then turning up the heat around 10. My first heavy set was mostly funk and breaks, with the later set including a healthy selection of disco.
I got to spin Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel Mighty Real’ over of a club sound system for the first time and it was a transcendent experience. As stated in this space before it is a positively explosive record, and quite frankly, if you aren’t digging Sylvester you need to get your ass out of the club.
Other highlights of the evening were the sister who lost her mind (she reached into the booth, grabbed me and then screamed!) when I dropped ‘Hot Pants’ by James Brown, everyone who danced (and there WAS dancing!) and the cute girl who asked if there was any chance I would play some Vanilla Ice, to which I responded politely:

No.
Never, under any circumstances.

I was actually able to fulfill a couple of requests (it helps when people request cool songs) and had an absolute blast. Big ups to Sheldon, who runs an absolutely incredible place.
Saturday Birdman took me to some more digging spots and It turned up some excellent stuff, including a couple of soul 45s that I’ve been chasing for a long time.
In honor of the folks at Marvin, I’m dropping this edition of Funky16Corners Radio that includes some of the stuff I played on Friday, some new finds and a couple of old faves. There’s over an hour of funk, disco, funky disco and disco-y funk. I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with some breaks and what not.

Peace

Larry

PS You can check out some pics from Marvin over at the Funky16Corners Facebook Group

PPS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for some sunshine pop

PPPS Make sure to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners On the Road (Again)

July 23, 2009

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Greetings all.

The end of the week is here, and I am once again a free man. The tube has been removed from my kidney (not as painful as I thought it was going to be) and I am back on the street again.
I’m a little bit behind the eight ball – confinement in a hospital room for the better part of a week kind of takes it out of you – but I fully expect to be up to speed in a few days.
I come to you empty handed at the end of the week because the wife and I spent the entire day on the road retrieving the two smallest Corners from their grandparents who were kind enough to watch them while I was ill. We had to drive to upstate NY, and then took a route home that initially looked like a smart move but turned into a long string of traffic nightmares. We only just rolled through the door about an hour ago, so there wasn’t really time to prepare something (you can always hit the archives and check out a mix you may have missed the first time out).
However, I have some news…
Next week I’ll be packing up the heat (LPs as well as 45s) in the Funky16Corners-mobile and rolling down to Washington, DC for a couple of nights of vinyl goodness.
Next Wednesday, 7/29 I’ve been invited to spin as part of the crew at the 5th Anniversary of DJ Birdman and DC Digga’s night ‘Jazz Corner of the World’ at Café St Ex, 1847 14th St NW in DC. If you dig the sounds of jazz (all kinds, from hard bop to rare grooves) you need to fall by since Birdman and DC Digga know how to do it up right, and there will be other special guests bringing the heat including Richmond, VA’s own DJ Fatback (who knows him some jazz). Things get rolling at 7PM and go all night long.
Then – yes there’s more – on Friday night 7/31 yours truly, Larry Grogan aka Funky16Corners will be working in long form over at Marvin (a very cool place) a few blocks up at 2007 14th St NW (in DC, natch) where I’ll be manning the storied wheels of steel from 10PM all the way to closing time. You can expect the usual funk, soul and rare groove with bits of disco and jazz (anything that moves the dancers) mixed in.
I’m really looking forward to working up a nice, long groove, and I know the folks in DC like to dance, so we should all get along swimmingly.
If you’re in driving distance try to fall by and make the scene one of those nights, and be sure to stop by the booth and say howdy.
That said, have a groovy weekend, and I’ll see you all back here on Monday.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for the Second Anniversary Mix! .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles – Take Me For a Little While

July 5, 2009

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Patti LaBelle (right) and the Bluebelles

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Listen – Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles – Take Me For a Little While – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope that everyone (at least here in the States) had a great holiday weekend. The sun actually made the occasional appearance (interrupted by the occasional downpour) so the Funky16Corners fam was actually able to get out of the house for a change. We headed down to Asbury Park for the 4th of July fireworks and managed to get in some genuine rest and relaxation (which is good since we have an assload of stuff to take care of this week).
It’s really a gas to see the way that Asbury Park is coming back. I remember going down to the boardwalk there when I was a little kid (late 60s, before the riots). Now finally, after decades of unfulfilled promises the boardwalk area, as well as Cookman Ave and vicinity has really gotten a new lease on life. It’s great to see.
It was also something else to be able to look out over the ocean and see the fireworks all the way over on the shore of Long Island. Positively surreal.
The tune I bring you today just fell through the mail slot on Friday. Although I hadn’t heard it, I picked it up as a ‘buy it now’ because it was a cover of one of my favorite songs.
Once I tossed it on the turntable, it promptly blew my mind and instantly became my favorite (version of that song).
The song in question is ‘Take Me For a Little While’, recorded many times, but featured at Funky16Corners in the past in versions by Evie Sands and the Mirettes. Written by Trade Martin, ‘Take Me…’ is a perfect example of the dawning of an era where songwriters were “writing records” as much as they were writing songs. The song has a wonderful melody and a hearwrenching lyric, but its triumph is in its very structure, employing a pleading verse with a cascading, and ultimately volcanic chorus. No matter who’s singing the song, the basic framework – which is what makes it great – is always there.
While I love Sands voice, and the vaguely funky edge of the Mirettes’ version, believe me when I tell you that you haven’t really experienced the song until you get your ears blow off by Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.
Formed at the dawn of the 60s by Philadelphia’s own Patti Labelle (along with Sarah Dash, Trenton, NJ’s Nona Hendryx and future Supreme Cindy Birdsong) Labelle and the Bluebelles (or Blue Belles) hit first with 1962s ‘I Sold My Heart to the Junkman’. They moved to Atlantic in 1965, where they would remain for the next four years, eventually recording the original version of ‘Groovy Kind of Love’ (a hit the following year for the Mindbenders).
Arranged by Bob Gallo (who had worked with Solomon Burke, Mary Wells, Barbara Lewis and many others) and produced by Gallo and the legendary Tom Dowd, LaBelle and the Bluebelles rendition of ‘Take Me For a Little While’ is no less than epic in its scope.
Opening with juxtaposed cellos and an oddly tuned guitar (the sound reminds me a little Chris Farlowe’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Out of Time’) , LaBelle enters with the verse backed by the Bluebelles. The drums enter, giving the song forward momentum into the chorus. It is at this point that sweeping strings come in as LaBelle belts out the chorus with a power that reaches from the amen corner, to the moon and back.
I love the way Gallo brings things down at the end of the first chorus, with a funky little drum breakdown, followed by the two different rhythm guitar lines.
I’ve never been partial to “high note” artists, but Patti LaBelle exercises precisely the right amount of control, flying high – but not too high – creating yet another one of those records where the grooves are barely sufficient to contain the power within. It’s an operatic cum gospel explosion masquerading as a ballad, and an absolutely brilliant record.
As always, I hope you dig it and I’ll be back on Wednesday with some southern soul.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

6/12 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Wrap-up

June 13, 2009

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Your’s truly massaging the mixer “just so”

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Listen – Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul – MP3″

Funky16Corners 6/12 Asbury Park 45 Sessions Set List

Dixie Cups – Two Way Poc-a-way (ABC/Paramount)
Jimmie Preacher Ellis – Put Your Hoe to My Row (Round)
Bar-Kays – Give Everybody Some (Volt)
Scatman Crothers – Golly Zonk!(It’s Scatman) (HBR)
JJ Barnes – Day Tripper (Ric-Tic)
Fabulous Emotions – Number One Fool (Nico)
Otis Goodwin – Mini Skirts (Walker-Reeder)
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul (King)
Gene Chandler – In My Body’s House (Checker)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Exotics – Boogaloo Investigator (Excello)
Gunga Din – Crab Cakes (Valise)
Meiko Hirota – On a Sorrowful Day (Columbia)
Lulu – Love Loves to Love (Epic)
Baby Huey & the Babysitters – Mighty Mighty Children Pt2 (Curtom)
ST-4 – Funky (Scepter)
Charles Brinkley – In the Pocket (Music Machine)
Eldridge Holmes – The Book (Deesu)
Little Royal & the Swingmasters – Razor Blade (Trius)
Freddie Scott & the Four Steps – Same Ole Beat (Marlin)
Johnny Otis Show – Country Girl (Kent)
Etta James – Tighten Up Your Own Thing (Cadet)
Rumplestiltskin – Rumplestiltskin (Bell)

Greetings all.

Just a quick note to say that last night’s edition of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions was -as expected – a banger, with a lively crowd getting down to repeated helpings of funk 45 heat.
In addition to my own, there were smoking sets by DJ Bluewater, DJ Prestige, MFasis, and DJ Prime Mundo (who dropped a 45 so heavy that my mind was good and truly blown). Make sure you head over to Fleamarket Funk for some more pics and set lists.
The next Sessions will be sometime in August, so set aside the entire month, lest you miss the action.
I’m reposting the Bobby Byrd 45 that I spun last night.
I’ll be back on Monday with the regularly scheduled goodness.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg

PSS Check out Paperback Rider which has finally been updated.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners 2009 Pledge Drive b/w Funky16Corners Radio v.70

May 31, 2009

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

Funky16Corners Radio v.70 – Daddy Rollin’ Stone
Gentleman June Gardner – It’s Gonna Rain (Emarcy)
Turtles – Buzz Saw (White Whale)
Promenade Hits Band – She’s Looking Good (Promenade)
Albert Collins – Don’t Lose Your Cool ( TCF/Hall)
Derek Martin – Daddy Rollin’ Stone (Crackerjack)
Alvin Cash & the Crawlers – The Barracuda (Mar V Lus)
Frank Frost – My Back Scratcher (Jewel)
Nat Kendrick & the Swans – Dish Rag (Dade)
Sam & Dave – I Said I Wasn’t Gonna Hurt Nobody (Stax)
Billy Lamont – Sweet Thang (20th Century)
Billy Preston – Let the Music Play (Capitol)
Bobby Powell & Jackie Johnson – Done Got Over (Whit)
Willie Mitchell – Respect (Hi)
Carl Holmes & the Commanders – I Want My Ya Ya (Parkway)
David Rockingham Trio – Soulful Chant (Josie)
Emperors – Got To Find My Baby (Mala)
Johnny Copeland – Wake Up Little Suzy (Wand)
Harvey Scales & the Seven Sounds – The Get Down (Magic Touch)
Mickey Murray – Hit Record (SSS Intl)
Lewis Clark – Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend) (Brent)
Scatman Crothers – Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman (HBR)
Don Gardner – People Sure Act Funny (Red Top)
Earl King – Trick Bag (Imperial)
Little Joe Curtis – Your Miniskirt (Alshire)

Greetings all.

I’d like to welcome one and all to the 2009 edition of the Funky16Corners Blog Pledge Drive.
This is the third year that I come to you, asking for donations to help keep the Funky16Corners Blog (and family of associated blogs) and webzine up and running (at least as far as interwebs based storage in concerned).
As it stands, in addition to all the standard graphics and individual sound files, there are now 79 mixes in the Funky16Corners Podcast Archive (more to come as I gather and post all the non-Funky16 mixes I’ve done for other sites) and another 25 in the Iron Leg Digital Trip Archive. As has always been the case, I pay for dedicated server space where I store all these files, and as has always been the case, this costs a little bit of money. Back in the olden days I was able to depend on free space, but thanks to some hot linkage back in ought-six the blog underwent a sudden and sustained increase in traffic that necessitated moving into paid digs.
If you’ve been following the blog with any frequency you’ll know that this year the situation is a little more critical since yours truly is no longer gainfully employed. This is not to say that I’m not working, since I resigned my position so that I could remain home to care for my two sons, but aside from the fringe benefit of spending lots of quality time with the kids, the pay is – how do you say? – non-existent.
That said, the blogs will continue unabated, since this is what I do. If you count the Funky16Corners web zine, I’ve been at this since 2001. The Funky16Corners Blog will celebrate its 5th anniversary on the interwebs this November (Iron Leg will be two years old at the end of June).
If you dig what we do here, and have the means and the will to throw a couple of bucks into the operating budget (as it is), you need only click on the Paypal links below and do so (special thanks to those of you that contributed between the drives) . If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to, that’s cool too. Times are (really) tough all over, and if the music that I post here makes you happy, or soothes your soul in any way at all, pass it on to a friend and spread the good vibes.

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Click Here To Donate via Paypal

NOTE: If you’ve been having any trouble going through the donation process at Paypal, make sure to click on the blue “update total” button to complete the process. – LG

I was just ruminating the other day on the idea that blogging (at least on my end) has really changed the way that I listen to music. Digging out and exploring individual tracks in depth, especially on headphones, which creates a kind of closed loop wherein one can really get inside of a record, moving around the back alleys of an arrangement, finding all manner of hidden wonders that are overlooked in a casual/passive listening environment. This is probably true for anyone who consumes the majority of their music via headphones, in my case through the almighty iPod. One of the reasons I started doing the Funky16Corners Radio mixes was – aside from a compulsion to gather and frame music in a thematic fashion, which goes back to the earliest days of mix-tapes – so that I could sit down and dig into a group of songs.
As has been stated in this space several times in the past, I make these mixes as much for myself as I do for you folks. The Funky16Corners Radio playlist has verily burned a hole in my iPod, providing the lions share of my listening when I was chained to a desk, and almost as much when I find the time during the day. That someone besides me gets some enjoyment out of the enterprise is a (very) happy by product.
Since the inception of the Funky16Corners Radio thing back in 2006, there have been all kinds of mixes, many themed geographically (i.e. New Orleans and Philadelphia), a number of Hammond organ mixes (you know how I roll), lots of general soul and funk mixes and in the last two years a bunch of jazzy collections (which are some of my faves) (over 1,000 tracks in the mixes alone).
Since this is the 70th edition of Funky16Corners Radio, I thought that the time was right for a return to the roots with a collection of straight ahead soul. There’s some R&B, and a touch of the funk here and there, but by and large what you get in Funky16Corners Radio v.70 is a soundtrack for what has been referred to here in the past as your next ripple and potato chip party. Get your friends together with a large quantity of alcohol (or the intoxicant of your choice), slap this one on an MP3 delivery device, sit back and watch things get out of hand. By the end of the (nearly an) hour, the floor is going to be littered with cans, bottles, articles of clothing, someone’s going to have locked themselves in the restroom (doing God knows what) and that guy from the office will be out on the deck wondering how he burned off his eyebrows with the barbecue grill.
I slapped on my miners helmet and descended into the darkest corners of the Funky16Corners warehouse, fireproof gloves and tongs in hand, to bring back a selection of rough and ready bangers. A couple of these numbers may be familiar to long time visitors of the blog, but reframed properly, in a new and exciting context, the old and familiar will soon reveal hidden charms.
So, things get underway with what is probably my all time favorite New Orleans instrumental, Gentleman June Gardner’s ‘It’s Gonna Rain’. Believe it or not this is a cover of a Sonny & Cher song (the flipside of ‘I Got You Babe’).
Keeping things on the incongruous Sunset Strip 1960s tip, I bring you the Turtles (?!?!?) with ‘Buzz Saw’. Known far and wide to crate digger types and Hammond aficionados, ‘Buzz Saw’, which is unlike anything else the Turtles ever recorded, is a positively slamming and extremely greasy organ workout. My suspicion has always been that the organist on ‘Buzz Saw’ was someone outside of the band, but if anyone knows different, drop me a line.
The next track is a cover of Rodger Collins’ ‘She’s Looking Good’ as performed by the wholly anonymous Promenade Records band (they’re not actually given any name at all on the record). This originated on a two-EP set (with a cool picture sleeve) composed of covers of then contemporary tune (rock and soul) that I found at a record show. Going by the Newark, NJ address, my assumption is that this is related somehow to the Peter Pan childrens record company, which released a couple of non-kids exploito cash-in collections over the years. Whoever the singer is, he does a pretty nice job.
Albert Collins is a huge personal fave of mine. Though he is most often associated with the blues, mainly due to his later career when he recorded for the Alligator label, Collins spent most of the 60s recording a series of genre-bending 45s for a variety of labels. The sounds he made touched on soul, garage, surf and pure rock’n’roll, even getting funky when he signed up with Imperial in the late 60s. ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool’ is one of his TFC/Hall 45s and swings like 60 from the git go.
The cut that gives this mix its name, ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’ by Derek Martin is indisputably one of the great soul records of the 60s. Need I say more?
‘The Barracuda’ is yet another in a long line of similarly burning, lo-fi and blazing numbers laid down by Chitown wonders Alvin Cash and the Crawlers. Like the mighty Jerry-O, Alvin and his pals managed to take a formula, work it to death but doing so in a way that keeps you coming back.
Speaking of good and greasy, when you’re working in the sonic universe things just don’t get any moreso than when Frank Frost plugged in his git-box and kicked up some juke joint dust with the mighty ‘My Back Scratcher’, wherein Slim Harpo and Mongo Santamaria fall under the wheels of a speeding bus, get scraped up off the road, tossed in a blender, served over ice with a twist of Dixie Peach. Try not moving to this one.
I don’t know much about Nat Kendrick and the Swans, other than the fact that they recorded for Henry Stone’s Florida-based Dade imprint, and that there is a distinct possibility that this is in fact an extra-contractual James Brown-related side. How does one do the dish rag???
Sam and Dave said they weren’t going to hurt nobody. They LIED!!!! This track is a killer.
Billy Lamont was an R&B/soul journeyman when he went into the studio in the mid-60s, with a freaky young cat by the name of James Marshall Hendrix and recorded the brutal ‘Sweet Thang’. Heavy stuff indeed, though not as heavy as Jimi would get a year or so down the pike.
Though Billy Preston would spend the 70s as a major recording star, he spent much of the previous decade playing the organ behind other performers like Little Richard and Ray Charles. He also got a couple of opportunities to record under his own name, for a variety of labels (including Derby, Vee Jay and Capitol) many of which are stellar. The finest of these – at least in my opinion – is ‘Let the Music Play’ in which Mr. Preston is assisted ably by a young Sylvester Stewart, soon to change his name to Sly Stone. Do yourself a favor and slap on the headphones for this one and dig the stereo panning with the screams in the chorus. Very groovy indeed!
Louisiana-based singer Bobby Powell was featured here not long ago with a solid cover of the Staple Singer’s ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’. The tune I bring you in this mix is a rollicking duet with singer Jackie Johnson (about whom I know nothing) entitled ‘Done Got Over’.
While I was prowling around in the crates compiling this mix I happened upon one of the many Willie Mitchell LPs I have and grabbed this groovy little cover of ‘Respect’. Give it a listen and I think you’ll dig it.
Another band from the list of folks that worked with (but sadly did not record with) Jimi Hendrix before he hit it big is Philadelphia’s own Carl Holmes and the Commanders. Holmes recorded consistently through the 60s for Parkway, Atlantic and other labels, laying down R&B, soul and a couple of slices of slamming funk. The Commanders ‘I Want My Ya Ya’ is one of their earlier sides, from the days when they were playing up and down the East Coast, and serving (according to Animal House writer Chris Miller) as one of the models for Otis Day and the Knights in ‘Animal House’.
The David Rockingham Trio are a serious presence in the Funky16Corners Hammond crates. ‘Soulful Chant’ is by far my fave number by the band.
The Emperors – who hailed from the Harrisburg area but recorded in Philadelphia – laid down some very hot soul sides for Mala and Brunswick. In addition to their smoking version of Don Gardner’s ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’, they also recorded the killer ‘Got To Find My Baby’.
Johnny Copeland is another one of the great rocking bluesmen. I happened upon his version of ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, which stomps all over the original, sounding like Johnny and Huey P Meaux had the Everlys tied up and locked in the trunk of a car. It is without doubt the wildest version you’ll ever hear of this particular song.
If you were ever tempted to doubt the soulful pedigree of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you might want to take a second and investigate the discography of Mr Harvey Scales and his Seven Sounds, who, it must me said, kick ass. A fine example of this ass-kicking power is the mighty – and appropriately titled – ‘The Get Down’, during which Harvey and the boys do indeed (get down).
Mickey Murray is best known for his wailing version of ‘Shout Bamalama’, but the funkier ‘Hit Record’ manages to be soulful and of instructional value at the same time.
I know nothing about Lewis Clark, aside from the undeniable fact that ‘Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend)’ is high quality, even higher octane soul. Clark recored for the Brent label, which also released some excellent garage punk 45s.
If you didn’t hear Scatman Crothers wailing when I first posted ‘Golly Zonk! It’s Scatman’ a while back, then open your ears and dig, because in addition to his Coolsville Hall of Fame turn as the voice of Hong Kong Phooey, Scatman absolutely BURNS on this one, on the HBR label, home to much wailing garage punk.
I mentioned Don Gardner earlier (in relation to the essential ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’). Go back a few years before that and dig his smoking, Ray Charles-esque take on Titus Turner’s ‘People Sure Act Funny’. Gardner’s frequent partner Dee Dee Ford is mentioned on the label, but I don’t hear her in the mix.
We head back down to New Orleans for a certified classic by the great Earl King. King recorded a wide variety of bluesy sounds under his own name, as well as writing several classic tunes and performing on other people’s records, including providing the voice and whistling (and composition) on Professor Longhair’s ‘Big Chief’. ‘Trick Bag’ brings us a lyrical taste of the New Orleans voodoo culture, along with a great vocal by King.
Things close out with another odd bit of soul, this time by Little Joe Curtis. Taken from a compilation on the exploito Alshire label (where it appeared alongside some psyche by the Animated Egg and a couple of easy listening cuts), ‘Your Miniskirt’ borrows liberally from the Fantastic Johnny C’s ‘Boogaloo Down Broadway’.
I hope you dig this edition of Funky16Corners Radio and if you can afford it, toss something into the tip cup as you pass by. I’ll be back next week with more soulful goodness.

Peace

Larry

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Funky16Corners Radio v.66 – Make It Funky

March 15, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.66 – Make It Funky

Playlist

James Brown – Make It Funky Pt1 (polydor)
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)

Greetings all.

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.

Peace

Larry

PS Make sure to stop by Iron Leg for some sunshiney psyche pop.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider as well

Brothers Two – Boogaloo (Soul) Party

February 24, 2009

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Listen – Brothers Two – Boogaloo (Soul) Party – MP3″

Greetings all.

The middle of the week is here, the day of hump and all that and what better way to roll the rock to the top (and unlike Sisyphus, get it on over) that a solid shot of raving, funky Phildelphia soul.
Back in the day, when I was experiencing the first signs of a serious Philly soul fixation I was scouring the crates and grabbing pretty much everything I could find on Philly (and Philly associated) labels.
Crimson was neither the greatest, nor the most prolific of the local companies, but their short discography is packed with high quality (sides by Lee Andrews and the Hearts, and one of my fave Philly 45s by the Common Pleas), and at least one huge hit, ‘Expressway to Your Heart’ by the Soul Survivors.
One of the first post-Soul Survivors Crimson 45s I grabbed was ‘Boogaloo (Soul) Party’ by the Brothers Two. I picked this up blind (deaf) in the pre-portable days, but honest to god, how could I miss with a title like that. It was as if Brothers Two and the folks at Crimson looked into the future, saw goofballs like myself browsing through piles of old 45s and gave the song a name so obviously soulful, that only the densest rube would pass it by.
Good thing too because when I got it home and let the needle hit the wax I discovered a high energy soul duo working it out on one of those patented 60s soul namecheck-o-rama’s (like ‘We Got More Soul’ or ‘Sweet Soul Music’) in which the Brothers Two (James Tindal and Eddie Smalls) pay tribute to Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Sam and Dave (natch), Jackie Wilson, and Wilson Pickett, all the while wailing away against some solid drums and a tight horn section.
When I was researching this post I discovered that there were in fact three 45s by the Brothers Two, two of which I do not own and will now have to make it my business to track down.
As it is, I hope you dig the one I did find, and I’ll be back on Friday with something extra cool.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for some arty late 60s pop

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Funky16Corners Radio Show Tonight 9PM

February 12, 2009

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Greetings all.

This is just a note to let you know that the Funky16Corners Radio Show on Viva internet radio returns tonight – Thurs 02/12 at 9PM . The show will play at 9PM, and will be archived thereafter at the Funky16Corners Radio Show Page (where you can still hear many old shows if you haven’t checked it out yet).
Also, the next installment of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions is dropping next Friday 2/20 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ. Fall by if you’re in the area.

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And, if you’re on Facebook, stop by and join the Funky16Corners group.

Peace

Larry