Levert Allison “Loving On My Mind” (Tupelo Sound, 1972)
(Click title to listen to track)
Born in Pegram, TN Levert Allison (also written Leevert) was raised alongside his more famous brother Gene Allison who is most well known for his 1958  “You Can Make It If You Try" on the Vee-Jay.  Gene, though only having brushes with widespread recognition is known to have made an impression on the most visible figure to move from spiritual to secular music, Sam Cooke, who remarked “I wish I could sing like Gene Allison.”  If you can’t leave a legacy of Billboard hits, a stack of great singles, inspiring your younger brother to do the same and impressing Sam Cooke isn’t such a bad legacy.
Following Gene’s lead quite literally - Levert often filled in for Gene when he was unavailable- Levert started his career in gospel with the Dynamic Dixie Travelers releasing LPs on the Nashboro label.  Levert’s hand at secular music was handled by Gene’s manager Ted Jarrett who put out a few excellent sides with Levert on his Poncello label and Robert Riley who produced sides on the SBI/Spar label, Elbejay label and the side we’re looking at here on Tupelo Sound out of nearby Tupelo, MI.  
This record, though not Levert’s most expensive or elusive, is a remarkable piece of wax.  The record opens with a killer break and guitar wail that I could listen to looped for an hour.  Levert’s “Ow!  Good God!” while representing only three syllables and taking up 2 bars of the whole track place Levert alongside us as listeners in our awe of the music we’re hearing.  He proceeds to warm up a little and then call our attention to the lovin that is on his mind.  All in all a pretty straight-forward track in terms of arrangements- one basic groove ties it together from beginning to end- but as I listened to this song over and over and over as I kept coming back to all the little elements that make this song so special. 
Like, what’s up with the back up singers?  They ask at the beginning of the song “Do I really?” after the first three times Levert states “You put loving on my mind.” until he exclaims “YES!” then they totally drop off until the last couple bars when they say “you got it” before being faded out.  It’s like Levert just shushed them out of the track with his conviction!  The strange strings, the occasional descending off note, the reverb getting turned up on a particular shout. 
"Lovin On My Mind" is just an excellent track that I have had on repeat for days and represents one of the things I love so much about small label productions of this era.  It has idiosyncrasies that allow me to keep listening and finding new, unexpected elements that make my brain scramble around a little bit trying to think of the creative process that took place in the studio.  
Though active and popular in Nashville and despite displaying unquestionable command over ballads, sitting comfortably on amazing soul and funk records and having a proven pedigree as a performer Levert’s records failed to break into larger markets.  I know it’s beat into the ground in basically every post here, but dang it, there’s so much talent and his fame should stretch far beyond Nashville and the limited selection of 45s we have available.
Levert continues to perform to this day, (if you’re in Nashville at the end of the month you can see him! ( http://musiccityroots.com/events/wednesday-july-30th/ ) both as a solo artist and with The Fairfield Four.  A nice collection of his music was released on CD a few years back if you’re looking for one stop shopping.
That’s all for today!   Should have a couple of longer mixes, including a singles mixer collecting the last 15-20 45’s I’ve written up on here.
Hope you enjoy the record!
-George / Snack Attack

Levert Allison “Loving On My Mind” (Tupelo Sound, 1972)

(Click title to listen to track)

Born in Pegram, TN Levert Allison (also written Leevert) was raised alongside his more famous brother Gene Allison who is most well known for his 1958  “You Can Make It If You Try" on the Vee-Jay.  Gene, though only having brushes with widespread recognition is known to have made an impression on the most visible figure to move from spiritual to secular music, Sam Cooke, who remarked “I wish I could sing like Gene Allison.”  If you can’t leave a legacy of Billboard hits, a stack of great singles, inspiring your younger brother to do the same and impressing Sam Cooke isn’t such a bad legacy.

Following Gene’s lead quite literally - Levert often filled in for Gene when he was unavailable- Levert started his career in gospel with the Dynamic Dixie Travelers releasing LPs on the Nashboro label.  Levert’s hand at secular music was handled by Gene’s manager Ted Jarrett who put out a few excellent sides with Levert on his Poncello label and Robert Riley who produced sides on the SBI/Spar label, Elbejay label and the side we’re looking at here on Tupelo Sound out of nearby Tupelo, MI.  

This record, though not Levert’s most expensive or elusive, is a remarkable piece of wax.  The record opens with a killer break and guitar wail that I could listen to looped for an hour.  Levert’s “Ow!  Good God!” while representing only three syllables and taking up 2 bars of the whole track place Levert alongside us as listeners in our awe of the music we’re hearing.  He proceeds to warm up a little and then call our attention to the lovin that is on his mind.  All in all a pretty straight-forward track in terms of arrangements- one basic groove ties it together from beginning to end- but as I listened to this song over and over and over as I kept coming back to all the little elements that make this song so special. 

Like, what’s up with the back up singers?  They ask at the beginning of the song “Do I really?” after the first three times Levert states “You put loving on my mind.” until he exclaims “YES!” then they totally drop off until the last couple bars when they say “you got it” before being faded out.  It’s like Levert just shushed them out of the track with his conviction!  The strange strings, the occasional descending off note, the reverb getting turned up on a particular shout.

"Lovin On My Mind" is just an excellent track that I have had on repeat for days and represents one of the things I love so much about small label productions of this era.  It has idiosyncrasies that allow me to keep listening and finding new, unexpected elements that make my brain scramble around a little bit trying to think of the creative process that took place in the studio.  

Though active and popular in Nashville and despite displaying unquestionable command over ballads, sitting comfortably on amazing soul and funk records and having a proven pedigree as a performer Levert’s records failed to break into larger markets.  I know it’s beat into the ground in basically every post here, but dang it, there’s so much talent and his fame should stretch far beyond Nashville and the limited selection of 45s we have available.

Levert continues to perform to this day, (if you’re in Nashville at the end of the month you can see him! ( http://musiccityroots.com/events/wednesday-july-30th/ ) both as a solo artist and with The Fairfield Four.  A nice collection of his music was released on CD a few years back if you’re looking for one stop shopping.

That’s all for today!   Should have a couple of longer mixes, including a singles mixer collecting the last 15-20 45’s I’ve written up on here.

Hope you enjoy the record!

-George / Snack Attack

Happy Father’s Day Post:
Joe Quarterman & Free Soul “Thanks Dad Pt. 1” (GSF, 1973)
Joe Quarterman & Free Soul "Thanks Dad Pt. 2" (GSF, 1973)
(Click title to hear the tracks)
Joe Quarterman and his Free Soul hail from Washington, DC and are best known for their absolutely sick 45 “I Got So Much Trouble In My Mind” though check this link for the LP version which features a whole lot more fuzz guitar solo-ing.  Today’s track, though post to recognize all the Fathers out there, is worthy of your ear-time regardless of occasion or the results of your paternity test.  In particular side 2 is like a tailor made slice of funk; “You want some ultra-funky arpeggiated organ?  How about a bongo breakdown?  Fuzz and wah guitar you say?  Shall we add some horns?  Welllllllllll, here you go!”
This record also continues my love for the weirdness of Lloyd Price who I’ve featured on here a few times.  Lloyd had returned to the states after living in Africa for some time and was getting back into the game.  GSF was one of his many labels which were criminally short lived as the man had a remarkable ear for talent and releasing great records (his own and others.)  The most famous on GSF is probably the Skull Snaps LP but his work on GSF is really beautiful stuff that definitely deserved more visibility.  (Check out him out ‘performing’ one of my favorite tracks from his GSF catalog “Love Music” on Soul Train here.)
While I stand by my passion for 45s, this LP is definitely worth picking up for the extended versions and the amazingly crude cover art which was just a sketch Joe drew up as concept art and the label just said “Hell with it, that’s what we’re printing!” 
A Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, single moms and people helping to support and guide young minds in a positive direction.
Hope you enjoy today’s sides.
-Snack Attack / George

Happy Father’s Day Post:

Joe Quarterman & Free Soul “Thanks Dad Pt. 1” (GSF, 1973)

Joe Quarterman & Free Soul "Thanks Dad Pt. 2" (GSF, 1973)

(Click title to hear the tracks)

Joe Quarterman and his Free Soul hail from Washington, DC and are best known for their absolutely sick 45 “I Got So Much Trouble In My Mind” though check this link for the LP version which features a whole lot more fuzz guitar solo-ing.  Today’s track, though post to recognize all the Fathers out there, is worthy of your ear-time regardless of occasion or the results of your paternity test.  In particular side 2 is like a tailor made slice of funk; “You want some ultra-funky arpeggiated organ?  How about a bongo breakdown?  Fuzz and wah guitar you say?  Shall we add some horns?  Welllllllllll, here you go!”

This record also continues my love for the weirdness of Lloyd Price who I’ve featured on here a few times.  Lloyd had returned to the states after living in Africa for some time and was getting back into the game.  GSF was one of his many labels which were criminally short lived as the man had a remarkable ear for talent and releasing great records (his own and others.)  The most famous on GSF is probably the Skull Snaps LP but his work on GSF is really beautiful stuff that definitely deserved more visibility.  (Check out him out ‘performing’ one of my favorite tracks from his GSF catalog “Love Music” on Soul Train here.)

While I stand by my passion for 45s, this LP is definitely worth picking up for the extended versions and the amazingly crude cover art which was just a sketch Joe drew up as concept art and the label just said “Hell with it, that’s what we’re printing!” 

A Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, single moms and people helping to support and guide young minds in a positive direction.

Hope you enjoy today’s sides.

-Snack Attack / George

Back to Back / Face to Face!
Sam & Dave “You Got Me Hummin” (Atlantic, 1967)
The Blossoms “You Got Me Hummin’” (MGM, 1968)
(Click titles to hear individual tracks)
Are you looking for as much talent as possible in one song and two sides of vinyl?  Well, you just might have it here!  Today’s song is “You Got me Hummin’” one of the more suggestive songs to come out of 926 E McLemore up to that point (though, it’s really just Double Dynamite humming- I think there are much more ‘suggestive’ lyrics that are just more easily buried).  A classic Hayes-Porter composition from the golden era of Stax, this record has all the hallmarks of the Jones/Cropper led house band with (I assume) Issac dropping somee piano accents that gives the song a little extra character.  This record, for Sam & Dave, came in their first wave of big hits and you can feel the momentum of their success even in a mid-tempo track like such as “You Got Me Hummin.”
The second version of the same song is performed by the elusive Blossoms.  A group that, in retrospect is so heavily loaded with talent and hits that it’s baffling they’re not a household name.  The Blossoms, during the period this record was cut, were comprised of Darlene Love, Fanita James and Jean King.  The Blossoms had (maybe) most famously recorded “He’s A Rebel” with Phil Spector but lost out on the recognition when he attributed the recording to The Crystals.  In addition to losing this opportunity at gaining rightful recognition they were also responsible for backing vocals on a wide range of hits and supported such talents as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, The Ronettes and many more. 
If you haven’t seen the doc 20 Feet From Stardom, definitely check it out, it tells the story of The Blossoms and many others who were so critical to so many great records and performances but often weren’t given the attention they deserved.
Full disclosure: I’m actual partial to the flip side of The Blossoms record, a track called “Tweedle Dee” but that can wait for another day.
There you have it: two great versions of a great song back to back, face to face.  Hope you enjoy them!
-Snack Attack.

Back to Back / Face to Face!

Sam & Dave “You Got Me Hummin” (Atlantic, 1967)

The Blossoms “You Got Me Hummin’” (MGM, 1968)

(Click titles to hear individual tracks)

Are you looking for as much talent as possible in one song and two sides of vinyl?  Well, you just might have it here!  Today’s song is “You Got me Hummin’” one of the more suggestive songs to come out of 926 E McLemore up to that point (though, it’s really just Double Dynamite humming- I think there are much more ‘suggestive’ lyrics that are just more easily buried).  A classic Hayes-Porter composition from the golden era of Stax, this record has all the hallmarks of the Jones/Cropper led house band with (I assume) Issac dropping somee piano accents that gives the song a little extra character.  This record, for Sam & Dave, came in their first wave of big hits and you can feel the momentum of their success even in a mid-tempo track like such as “You Got Me Hummin.”

The second version of the same song is performed by the elusive Blossoms.  A group that, in retrospect is so heavily loaded with talent and hits that it’s baffling they’re not a household name.  The Blossoms, during the period this record was cut, were comprised of Darlene Love, Fanita James and Jean King.  The Blossoms had (maybe) most famously recorded “He’s A Rebel” with Phil Spector but lost out on the recognition when he attributed the recording to The Crystals.  In addition to losing this opportunity at gaining rightful recognition they were also responsible for backing vocals on a wide range of hits and supported such talents as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, The Ronettes and many more. 

If you haven’t seen the doc 20 Feet From Stardom, definitely check it out, it tells the story of The Blossoms and many others who were so critical to so many great records and performances but often weren’t given the attention they deserved.

Full disclosure: I’m actual partial to the flip side of The Blossoms record, a track called “Tweedle Dee” but that can wait for another day.

There you have it: two great versions of a great song back to back, face to face.  Hope you enjoy them!

-Snack Attack.

THE RAH BAND - “The Crunch (Part 1)” (Good Earth, 1977)
(Click title to download)
So I’m not going to make any apologies for the long delay between posts but just to let you know, I love this blog and will keep at it as time allows.  Thanks for keeping your ears and eyes out to learn about or share the love of some 45s!
Today’s record deviates in a number of ways though two stand out for me.  It’s place in time- it’s from a later time period than I usually cover, the late 70’s and the country of origin, the UK.
One of the things I like to do (in my very tiny little way) with this blog is try to help connect the dots and create a landscape to help understand the way in which American soul music developed.  How the music developed over time and geography, between cultures and classes, across boundaries and between individuals.  So I know adding a record like The Crunch doesn’t help too much toward that end. 
BUT LISTEN TO HOW AWESOME THIS 45 IS!
I picked this record up in Antwerp about 8 years ago and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.
THE RAH BAND was actually  no band at all instead it was the studio project of a one  Richard Anthony Hewson (R.A.H. clever…) who played all the instruments in the studio and though he used keyboards and effects The Crunch was made with no help from synthesizers.
Hewson had a pretty distinguished career as an arranger working with some English garage group who covered American R&B called The Beatles among many others.
Not an uncommon record by any measure as it charted in the UK but something I’d been wanting to share with those who may not know it for some time.
Hope you enjoy and I hope to be able to post some more records very soon!
Happy Holidays,
-Snack Attack

THE RAH BAND - “The Crunch (Part 1)” (Good Earth, 1977)

(Click title to download)

So I’m not going to make any apologies for the long delay between posts but just to let you know, I love this blog and will keep at it as time allows.  Thanks for keeping your ears and eyes out to learn about or share the love of some 45s!

Today’s record deviates in a number of ways though two stand out for me.  It’s place in time- it’s from a later time period than I usually cover, the late 70’s and the country of origin, the UK.

One of the things I like to do (in my very tiny little way) with this blog is try to help connect the dots and create a landscape to help understand the way in which American soul music developed.  How the music developed over time and geography, between cultures and classes, across boundaries and between individuals.  So I know adding a record like The Crunch doesn’t help too much toward that end. 

BUT LISTEN TO HOW AWESOME THIS 45 IS!

I picked this record up in Antwerp about 8 years ago and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

THE RAH BAND was actually  no band at all instead it was the studio project of a one  Richard Anthony Hewson (R.A.H. clever…) who played all the instruments in the studio and though he used keyboards and effects The Crunch was made with no help from synthesizers.

Hewson had a pretty distinguished career as an arranger working with some English garage group who covered American R&B called The Beatles among many others.

Not an uncommon record by any measure as it charted in the UK but something I’d been wanting to share with those who may not know it for some time.

Hope you enjoy and I hope to be able to post some more records very soon!

Happy Holidays,

-Snack Attack

Been Wrong So Long: Deep Soul Podcast
(Click title to download)
Been a bit of a slow month here at the blog, sorry for the lack of action but I’m contending with a healthy number of distractions.  That being said, I have a been slowly re-building my digital library of 45s (this time on an external drive!) so I should be able to start putting together some nice hour long mixes that represent some nice corners of my collection.
Today’s podcast is by no means my ‘specialty.’ As I’m always inclined to search out more mid-tempo dance friendly stuff, when I’m forced to choose between two records the deeper, slower tracks are usually the first to be thinned out of the “to buy” pile.  Still, I have my more relaxed moments when I like to sit down and have my heart ripped out and stomped in a puddle of tears  Plus, if the stereotype holds up, as the days pass and my hair continues to grey and thin, I’ll be drawn more and more into the slower tunes with age.
That being said, while these records aren’t the most obscure they aren’t merely toss-offs in my collection, they’re true-blue favorites that get plenty of air time in my universe and I am excited to bring to you!  There are a number of records in here I would have liked to spend more time talking about but I’ll let you take them all in as a grouping.
Hope you enjoy these tracks as much as I do!
-George / Snack Attack
Tracklist:
O.V. Wright: I’ll Take Care of You (Backbeat, 1969 ) Garnett Mimms : Tell Me Baby (United Artists, 1964) Bob & Earl : Deep Down Inside (Tempe, 1962) Vernon Harrell : Such A Lonely Guy (Ascot, 1963) Chet “Poison” Ivey : In A Little While (Bee Cee, 196?) Verna Williams : Wrong Number, Right Girl (Belinda, 1959) Bobby Bland : I’ve Been Wrong So Long (Duke, 1960) Betty Harris : I’ll Be A Liar (Jubilee, 1963) Otis Williams : Let A Woman Feel Like A Woman (Stop, 1969) Gladys Knight & The Pips: Letter Full of Tears (Fury, 1961) Barbara and The Browns: Big Party (Stax, 1964) Lee Williams and The Cymbals : I Can Make Mistakes Too (Black Circle, 1974) Irma Thomas : I’m Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry (Imperial, 1965) Clarence Reid : Ten Tons of Dynamite (Alston, 1971) Laura Lee : Dirty Man (Chess, 1967) Gene Chandler : Rainbow 65 (Part 1) (Constellation, 1965) Baby Washington : It’ll Never Be Over For Me (Sue, 1964 ) The Impressions : I Can’t Stay Away (ABC, 1967) William Bell : I Forgot To Be Your Lover (Stax, 1968) Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers : I Am Your Man (Gordy, 1968) Syl Johnson : Any Way The Wind Blows (Hi, 1972 ) LJ Reynolds & The Chocolate Syrup : Let One Hurt Do (Law-Ton, 1971) Bobby Womack : I’m Gonna Forget About You (Liberty , 1970)

Been Wrong So Long: Deep Soul Podcast

(Click title to download)

Been a bit of a slow month here at the blog, sorry for the lack of action but I’m contending with a healthy number of distractions.  That being said, I have a been slowly re-building my digital library of 45s (this time on an external drive!) so I should be able to start putting together some nice hour long mixes that represent some nice corners of my collection.

Today’s podcast is by no means my ‘specialty.’ As I’m always inclined to search out more mid-tempo dance friendly stuff, when I’m forced to choose between two records the deeper, slower tracks are usually the first to be thinned out of the “to buy” pile.  Still, I have my more relaxed moments when I like to sit down and have my heart ripped out and stomped in a puddle of tears  Plus, if the stereotype holds up, as the days pass and my hair continues to grey and thin, I’ll be drawn more and more into the slower tunes with age.

That being said, while these records aren’t the most obscure they aren’t merely toss-offs in my collection, they’re true-blue favorites that get plenty of air time in my universe and I am excited to bring to you!  There are a number of records in here I would have liked to spend more time talking about but I’ll let you take them all in as a grouping.

Hope you enjoy these tracks as much as I do!

-George / Snack Attack

Tracklist:

O.V. Wright: I’ll Take Care of You (Backbeat, 1969 )
Garnett Mimms : Tell Me Baby (United Artists, 1964)
Bob & Earl : Deep Down Inside (Tempe, 1962)
Vernon Harrell : Such A Lonely Guy (Ascot, 1963)
Chet “Poison” Ivey : In A Little While (Bee Cee, 196?)
Verna Williams : Wrong Number, Right Girl (Belinda, 1959)
Bobby Bland : I’ve Been Wrong So Long (Duke, 1960)
Betty Harris : I’ll Be A Liar (Jubilee, 1963)
Otis Williams : Let A Woman Feel Like A Woman (Stop, 1969)
Gladys Knight & The Pips: Letter Full of Tears (Fury, 1961)
Barbara and The Browns: Big Party (Stax, 1964)
Lee Williams and The Cymbals : I Can Make Mistakes Too (Black Circle, 1974)
Irma Thomas : I’m Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry (Imperial, 1965)
Clarence Reid : Ten Tons of Dynamite (Alston, 1971)
Laura Lee : Dirty Man (Chess, 1967)
Gene Chandler : Rainbow 65 (Part 1) (Constellation, 1965)
Baby Washington : It’ll Never Be Over For Me (Sue, 1964 )
The Impressions : I Can’t Stay Away (ABC, 1967)
William Bell : I Forgot To Be Your Lover (Stax, 1968)
Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers : I Am Your Man (Gordy, 1968)
Syl Johnson : Any Way The Wind Blows (Hi, 1972 )
LJ Reynolds & The Chocolate Syrup : Let One Hurt Do (Law-Ton, 1971)
Bobby Womack : I’m Gonna Forget About You (Liberty , 1970)

G.L. Crockett “Every Hour, Every Day” (4 Brothers, 1965)
(Click title to download)
George “Davy” Crockett was a Mississippi native that made his way up the Mississippi river like so many others to cut a bunch of records in Chicago before an untimely death in 1967.  George Crockett was best known for his record “There’s A Man Down There.” 
Today’s selection is a bit curious in its construction; it’s clearly outside of the blues idiom Crockett hailed from, “Every Hour” incorporates a strong vocal backing alluding to Doo-Wop, the guitar is beautifully clean and running, the piano is acting as a counterpoint to the guitar runs and the whole thing is tied together by a heavy clap worthy back beat. 
His recording career began in 1958 with the excellent blues rocker “Look Out Mabel" 45 on the Chief label and then inexplicably went dry until 1965 when he began recording again for the 4 Brothers label.  Crockett’s success with “There’s A Man Down There” spawned a few answer songs and got Mel London, owner of the Chief label, to license his Mabel recordings to USA and and Checker.
4 Brothers was a Chicago label run by (the ironically named) Jack Daniels who along with releasing the record also handled  production duties.  Crockett cut 3 other awesome singles on 4 Brothers including “Watch My 32" an amazing pistol themed answer to The Sharpees “Do The 45.”  Unfortunately Crockett’s relationship with 4 Brothers and Daniels came to an end as his drinking habit and erratic behavior became too much for Daniels. 
Crockett died at the young age of 39 leaving behind a painfully small discography of 5 singles all of which shine bright and give only a peek into the talent that Crockett possessed making his untimely  passing that much more of a loss.
I hope you enjoy today’s 45 as much as I do.
-George / Snack Attack

G.L. Crockett “Every Hour, Every Day” (4 Brothers, 1965)

(Click title to download)

George “Davy” Crockett was a Mississippi native that made his way up the Mississippi river like so many others to cut a bunch of records in Chicago before an untimely death in 1967.  George Crockett was best known for his record “There’s A Man Down There.” 

Today’s selection is a bit curious in its construction; it’s clearly outside of the blues idiom Crockett hailed from, “Every Hour” incorporates a strong vocal backing alluding to Doo-Wop, the guitar is beautifully clean and running, the piano is acting as a counterpoint to the guitar runs and the whole thing is tied together by a heavy clap worthy back beat. 

His recording career began in 1958 with the excellent blues rocker “Look Out Mabel" 45 on the Chief label and then inexplicably went dry until 1965 when he began recording again for the 4 Brothers label.  Crockett’s success with “There’s A Man Down There” spawned a few answer songs and got Mel London, owner of the Chief label, to license his Mabel recordings to USA and and Checker.

4 Brothers was a Chicago label run by (the ironically named) Jack Daniels who along with releasing the record also handled  production duties.  Crockett cut 3 other awesome singles on 4 Brothers including “Watch My 32" an amazing pistol themed answer to The Sharpees “Do The 45.”  Unfortunately Crockett’s relationship with 4 Brothers and Daniels came to an end as his drinking habit and erratic behavior became too much for Daniels. 

Crockett died at the young age of 39 leaving behind a painfully small discography of 5 singles all of which shine bright and give only a peek into the talent that Crockett possessed making his untimely  passing that much more of a loss.


I hope you enjoy today’s 45 as much as I do.

-George / Snack Attack

Rudy Love & Love Family “Does Your Mama Know” (Calla, 1975)
(Click Title To Download)
Following up on the theme of “family” based records (husband and wife constitute a ‘family,’ right?) today’s musical episode is a nice slab of break filled funk from Rudy Love & Love Family.
I originally picked up another 45 of theirs a while back - Love Electricity- and while not blown away by any measure it’s a decent piece of funk infused disco that I put on one of my 45 mixtapes I make for myself and carried on with my life.  A few months back I came across this record and picked it up for a pocket full of change.
As I’m going through my records from that day I plop this duder on and expect more of the same but instead I am immediately grabbed by a killlllllller break at the beginning of the song (one that I actually recognized from Jay-Z's American Gangster).  “Does Your Mama Know” was produced by Bert DeCoteaux who is known for (and displays here) his patented touch for mixing the lush and extravagant with the soulful and Tony Sylvester.  Sylvester was a member of The Main Ingredient who DeCoteaux also worked with extensively.
Rudy Love & Love Family were in fact a family, Rudy was one of 14 brothers and sisters from the Love family.  He was the oldest sibling and accordingly the leader of the group with sisters Peggy, Shirley and Denise contributing to the brilliance along with brothers Gerald and Bob in the mix.  Rudy Love & Co. cut two LPs and 4 singles for Calla in the mid-70’s (this is pretty late in the time line for this blog!) with members coming and going and Rudy remaining the back bone.
As things slowed down with the family Rudy took work as a band leader and manager for the Sly & The Family Stone which, based on their history, could not have been an easy gig.  He also found work as a vocalist for Motown and as a song writer for Calla label mates The Persuaders though he eventually gave up the challenges of the road and industry work for the family life of his hometown of Witchita, Kansas.
That’s all for today!  Hope you enjoyed today’s musical episode.
-George / Snack Attack

Rudy Love & Love Family “Does Your Mama Know” (Calla, 1975)

(Click Title To Download)

Following up on the theme of “family” based records (husband and wife constitute a ‘family,’ right?) today’s musical episode is a nice slab of break filled funk from Rudy Love & Love Family.

I originally picked up another 45 of theirs a while back - Love Electricity- and while not blown away by any measure it’s a decent piece of funk infused disco that I put on one of my 45 mixtapes I make for myself and carried on with my life.  A few months back I came across this record and picked it up for a pocket full of change.

As I’m going through my records from that day I plop this duder on and expect more of the same but instead I am immediately grabbed by a killlllllller break at the beginning of the song (one that I actually recognized from Jay-Z's American Gangster).  “Does Your Mama Know” was produced by Bert DeCoteaux who is known for (and displays here) his patented touch for mixing the lush and extravagant with the soulful and Tony Sylvester.  Sylvester was a member of The Main Ingredient who DeCoteaux also worked with extensively.

Rudy Love & Love Family were in fact a family, Rudy was one of 14 brothers and sisters from the Love family.  He was the oldest sibling and accordingly the leader of the group with sisters Peggy, Shirley and Denise contributing to the brilliance along with brothers Gerald and Bob in the mix.  Rudy Love & Co. cut two LPs and 4 singles for Calla in the mid-70’s (this is pretty late in the time line for this blog!) with members coming and going and Rudy remaining the back bone.

As things slowed down with the family Rudy took work as a band leader and manager for the Sly & The Family Stone which, based on their history, could not have been an easy gig.  He also found work as a vocalist for Motown and as a song writer for Calla label mates The Persuaders though he eventually gave up the challenges of the road and industry work for the family life of his hometown of Witchita, Kansas.

That’s all for today!  Hope you enjoyed today’s musical episode.


-George / Snack Attack

Delia Gartrell “Fight Fire, With Fire” (Right-On Records, 1971)
(Click title to download)
Anyone feel a great political malaise creeping in?  Is an overwhelming cynicism tainting your every thought?  Feeling helpless?  Well you just might be in the 70s!  Today’s record absolutely nails the prevailing sense of doom that came along with the end of a decade of upheaval, assassination and napalm.
The 45 on hand today, “Fight Fire, With Fire” by Delia Gartrell was recorded by the Mighty Hannibal and arranged by the same (under his given name of James Shaw).  This record has all the characteristics associated with the heavy come-down / hangover of the early 70’s so popularly and clearly articulated by the tone of Sly & The Family Stone's “There's A Riot Goin' On.”
Delia Gartrell, like Hannibal, was a product of a vibrant, though often unheralded Atlanta scene.  Hannibal successfully courted Gartrell and the two were married both in the the eyes of the state and in their creative efforts.  The flip of today’s record is a reworking of Hannibal’s minor hit “Hymn #5” a track, appropriately, expressing disapproval of the Vietnam War.
"Fight Fire, With Fire" is a beautifully written piece of protest; it can be read as domestic strife portraying an unhappy, unfaithful relationship and without much effort can also be read as "The Fire Next Time" warning to the entire United States of America (particularly the government and elected officials).  An America that had just been through years of violent protest in the streets, riots and whole cities catching fire.
Hannibal’s history is pretty well documented so I won’t spend too much more time writing about him here and I do have a couple of 45’s I’d like to feature here so I’ll keep his biography to a minimum this time around.
Hope you enjoy today’s record and have a great weekend!
-George / Snack Attack

Delia Gartrell “Fight Fire, With Fire” (Right-On Records, 1971)

(Click title to download)

Anyone feel a great political malaise creeping in?  Is an overwhelming cynicism tainting your every thought?  Feeling helpless?  Well you just might be in the 70s!  Today’s record absolutely nails the prevailing sense of doom that came along with the end of a decade of upheaval, assassination and napalm.

The 45 on hand today, “Fight Fire, With Fire” by Delia Gartrell was recorded by the Mighty Hannibal and arranged by the same (under his given name of James Shaw).  This record has all the characteristics associated with the heavy come-down / hangover of the early 70’s so popularly and clearly articulated by the tone of Sly & The Family Stone's “There's A Riot Goin' On.”

Delia Gartrell, like Hannibal, was a product of a vibrant, though often unheralded Atlanta scene.  Hannibal successfully courted Gartrell and the two were married both in the the eyes of the state and in their creative efforts.  The flip of today’s record is a reworking of Hannibal’s minor hit “Hymn #5” a track, appropriately, expressing disapproval of the Vietnam War.

"Fight Fire, With Fire" is a beautifully written piece of protest; it can be read as domestic strife portraying an unhappy, unfaithful relationship and without much effort can also be read as "The Fire Next Time" warning to the entire United States of America (particularly the government and elected officials).  An America that had just been through years of violent protest in the streets, riots and whole cities catching fire.

Hannibal’s history is pretty well documented so I won’t spend too much more time writing about him here and I do have a couple of 45’s I’d like to feature here so I’ll keep his biography to a minimum this time around.

Hope you enjoy today’s record and have a great weekend!


-George / Snack Attack

James Brown “Jimmy Mack” (Smash, 1967)
(Click title to download)
The sun has set on another Monday here in Western Massachusetts after a beautiful spring weekend.  Got to check out some frogs in the vernal pools, take a walk through the greenhouse and enjoy the moss and orchids and hit up the first flea market of the season; all in all, not bad.
Today’s post doesn’t need a whole lot of talking or background digging.  I think almost every person on the planet knows who James Brown is and what he means to music.  I’ve talked here before about the contract issues between King who sought an injunction against Brown leaving the label in 1964 and Smash who had signed Brown to a deal that lead to Brown releasing non-vocal sides on Smash including today’s featured record.
Jimmy Mack needs little introduction, the Motown mega-hit popularized by Martha & The Vandellas was penned by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team in 1964. The single was shelved due to political concerns (Berry’s conservatism is a whole other post…)  until 1967 when it was let loose on a public that was familiar with criticism of the war in Vietnam and was in fact wondering aloud when their boys were coming back.
Brown’s arrangements were handled by the great Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis who worked horns, writing and arrangements with Brown for almost half of the 60’s.
I know you’re looking at two of the most familiar names in soul music but I truly find this combination sublime and masterfully executed.  It has restraint and a lack of obvious flair- the horns are in the back of the mix and there are no heavy drum breaks- but song pulls the listener in with the perfect combinations of melodic quotes from the vocal version and expressive flourishes to keep it exciting.
I hope you enjoy today’s record!
-George / Snack Attack

James Brown “Jimmy Mack” (Smash, 1967)

(Click title to download)

The sun has set on another Monday here in Western Massachusetts after a beautiful spring weekend.  Got to check out some frogs in the vernal pools, take a walk through the greenhouse and enjoy the moss and orchids and hit up the first flea market of the season; all in all, not bad.

Today’s post doesn’t need a whole lot of talking or background digging.  I think almost every person on the planet knows who James Brown is and what he means to music.  I’ve talked here before about the contract issues between King who sought an injunction against Brown leaving the label in 1964 and Smash who had signed Brown to a deal that lead to Brown releasing non-vocal sides on Smash including today’s featured record.

Jimmy Mack needs little introduction, the Motown mega-hit popularized by Martha & The Vandellas was penned by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team in 1964. The single was shelved due to political concerns (Berry’s conservatism is a whole other post…)  until 1967 when it was let loose on a public that was familiar with criticism of the war in Vietnam and was in fact wondering aloud when their boys were coming back.

Brown’s arrangements were handled by the great Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis who worked horns, writing and arrangements with Brown for almost half of the 60’s.

I know you’re looking at two of the most familiar names in soul music but I truly find this combination sublime and masterfully executed.  It has restraint and a lack of obvious flair- the horns are in the back of the mix and there are no heavy drum breaks- but song pulls the listener in with the perfect combinations of melodic quotes from the vocal version and expressive flourishes to keep it exciting.

I hope you enjoy today’s record!

-George / Snack Attack

C.L. Blast “Leftover Love” (Clintone, 1972)
(Click title to download track)
What a terrible week for domestic news.  I hope that this finds all the listeners and readers safe and sound and that today’s 45 can offer a brief respite from all the bad news and work to reaffirm the undeniable truth that people, in their hearts are good.
I still have two other drafts of 45s on the back burner but while I was going through 45s last weekend (before our weekly soul night, if you’re in Western Mass come by sometime!) I came across this record which has been a favorite since I picked it up in Chicago last year.
When I saw this record in a bin I snatched it up without hesitation.  Without knowing anything about C.L. Blast there were a number of other tell tale signs that said “heyyyyyyy babbbbby” and induced me to snatch it up with no questions asked.
First off it was recorded in Alabama and produced by two very recognizable names from The Cotton State Sam Dees and Frederick Knight.  Knight you’ll remember from a few 70’s singles on Stax and Sam Dees has a long history, most of the work I’m familiar with is a few Atlantic singles and his rare Northern Soul SSS International single.  Add that in with an unfamiliar label and an artist with the last name Blast and you’ve got a winning combo!
All signs pointed in the right direction and when the needle hit the record this 45 really delivered.  C.L Blast delivers some heavy, wah wah guitar and scorching vocals with perfect doses of horns and back up singers to drive home how dang tired C.L is of this leftover love.
I won’t recount too much of C.L’s history because Sir Shambling did an excellently researched bit on him over at his great blog.  Briefly recounting his history, C.L started his career with his given name of Clarence “Junior” Lewis releasing records on a variety of labels including Bobby Robinson’s Fury, Atco and a variety of small NY labels.  Despite valiant efforts and lots of great records he didn’t see much chart action so he changed his tune literally and figuratively, updating his R&B sound to a more modern ‘Soul’ pedigree and looking to further distinguish himself he took on the “Blast” moniker in 1967 with a great side on Stax. 
Back in Birmingham in the early 70’s C.L. hooked up with Dees who helped cut a couple of sides that were released on the locally owned Clintone records.  Though they had some national distribution the record failed to chart (why have I written that sentence so many times!).  Blast continued to record on and off throughout the 70s and 80s; Dees and Knight continued writing, staying mostly behind the scenes.  The Clintone label saw the doors close for good in the mid 70s.
Hope you enjoy today’s 45!
-George / Snack Attack

C.L. Blast “Leftover Love” (Clintone, 1972)

(Click title to download track)

What a terrible week for domestic news.  I hope that this finds all the listeners and readers safe and sound and that today’s 45 can offer a brief respite from all the bad news and work to reaffirm the undeniable truth that people, in their hearts are good.

I still have two other drafts of 45s on the back burner but while I was going through 45s last weekend (before our weekly soul night, if you’re in Western Mass come by sometime!) I came across this record which has been a favorite since I picked it up in Chicago last year.

When I saw this record in a bin I snatched it up without hesitation.  Without knowing anything about C.L. Blast there were a number of other tell tale signs that said “heyyyyyyy babbbbby” and induced me to snatch it up with no questions asked.

First off it was recorded in Alabama and produced by two very recognizable names from The Cotton State Sam Dees and Frederick Knight.  Knight you’ll remember from a few 70’s singles on Stax and Sam Dees has a long history, most of the work I’m familiar with is a few Atlantic singles and his rare Northern Soul SSS International single.  Add that in with an unfamiliar label and an artist with the last name Blast and you’ve got a winning combo!

All signs pointed in the right direction and when the needle hit the record this 45 really delivered.  C.L Blast delivers some heavy, wah wah guitar and scorching vocals with perfect doses of horns and back up singers to drive home how dang tired C.L is of this leftover love.

I won’t recount too much of C.L’s history because Sir Shambling did an excellently researched bit on him over at his great blog.  Briefly recounting his history, C.L started his career with his given name of Clarence “Junior” Lewis releasing records on a variety of labels including Bobby Robinson’s Fury, Atco and a variety of small NY labels.  Despite valiant efforts and lots of great records he didn’t see much chart action so he changed his tune literally and figuratively, updating his R&B sound to a more modern ‘Soul’ pedigree and looking to further distinguish himself he took on the “Blast” moniker in 1967 with a great side on Stax.

Back in Birmingham in the early 70’s C.L. hooked up with Dees who helped cut a couple of sides that were released on the locally owned Clintone records.  Though they had some national distribution the record failed to chart (why have I written that sentence so many times!).  Blast continued to record on and off throughout the 70s and 80s; Dees and Knight continued writing, staying mostly behind the scenes.  The Clintone label saw the doors close for good in the mid 70s.


Hope you enjoy today’s 45!


-George / Snack Attack

Gene Chandler “Nothing Can Stop Me” (Constellation, 1965)
(Click title to download)
I had another post I’m working on for the blog but in light of today’s tragic events in Boston I felt compelled to put up a track that keeps my spirits high whenever I hear it no matter how I feel.
Classic Chicago soul with all the major players: arrangements by Riley Hampton, written by Curtis Mayfield and voiced by the supremely talent Mr. Chandler “Nothing Can Stop Me” is a song just screams beauty and triumph despite the odds.  “Nothing can stop me / so bad do I feel inside.”
I grew up in Boston and all of my family is still there so I have a deep, enduring connection to that quirky little city on the coast.  It has without question guided my sense of self in a way you hope your home town does- the bad parts taught you what to avoid and the good parts what to emulate. Boston is a resilient and strange place that, in my opinion, above all values fairness and hard work two traits that I hope when I pass will have guided my journey through this world.
It’s a sad day when anyone’s life is lost and especially devastating when children are taken as victims in struggles that have nothing to do with them.  My thoughts are with everyone who has lost or is suffering and I hope today’s record can console and uplift your spirit just a little on a difficult day.
Best,
-George / Snack Attack

Gene Chandler “Nothing Can Stop Me” (Constellation, 1965)

(Click title to download)

I had another post I’m working on for the blog but in light of today’s tragic events in Boston I felt compelled to put up a track that keeps my spirits high whenever I hear it no matter how I feel.

Classic Chicago soul with all the major players: arrangements by Riley Hampton, written by Curtis Mayfield and voiced by the supremely talent Mr. Chandler “Nothing Can Stop Me” is a song just screams beauty and triumph despite the odds.  “Nothing can stop me / so bad do I feel inside.”

I grew up in Boston and all of my family is still there so I have a deep, enduring connection to that quirky little city on the coast.  It has without question guided my sense of self in a way you hope your home town does- the bad parts taught you what to avoid and the good parts what to emulate. Boston is a resilient and strange place that, in my opinion, above all values fairness and hard work two traits that I hope when I pass will have guided my journey through this world.

It’s a sad day when anyone’s life is lost and especially devastating when children are taken as victims in struggles that have nothing to do with them.  My thoughts are with everyone who has lost or is suffering and I hope today’s record can console and uplift your spirit just a little on a difficult day.

Best,

-George / Snack Attack

United Image “The African Bump” (Branding Iron, 1972 / 1973?)

(Click title to download)

Today’s 45 is one of those terrifying finds when you’re out digging.  EVERYTHING suggests this is going to an amazing record so your mind is given license to run wild with the potential this tiny platter holds.  I’ve been sorely disappointed a number of times playing these type of speculative games but boy did this little dude deliver!

Branding Iron was the boutique label of Philadelphia mainstay Jesse James (he of The Horse and Boogaloo Down Broadway fame) which has a pretty limited release history.  Furthering the JJ branding (as depicted on the label!) on this release, these two tracks were recorded at James’ very own Future Gold Studios.

The United Image was a typical working group in the Philadelphia area, lots of local gigs leading up to a break through a DJ associate.  After releasing one single on Stax, Love’s Creeping Up On Me, things were looking good for teh group and they began working with Bunny Sigler in Philadelphia on a full length release for the label but the project got shelved, presumably because of the well documented financial woes Stax ran into in the early 70’s.  Sad to say, as far as I can tell those sides remain in the can somewhere.  Back in Philadelphia without a label the group was approached by Norman Harris who connected them with James to help bring today’s 45 into our world.

With a scratchy grandma style vocal intro a-la The Worm the record starts off with a heavy groove that I would have been perfectly satisfied to let ride for three minutes but The United Image gives the microphone a workout delivering an equally killer vocal performance.  I don’t need to explain the record in detail, just listen.

After United Image the four later went on to change their name to Double Exposure and sign with Salsoul.  Working with a number of the Philly heavyweights in the Disco scene the scored a hit with the tune “Ten Percent.”

Hope you enjoyed today’s 45.  Ready for spring and flea market season to begin!

-George / Snack Attack

Jay Dee Bryant “Get It” (Enjoy, 1965)
(Click title to download)
Everyone here should be familiar with Bobby Robinson's Enjoy Records.  The New York label was run out of Robinson's record (and tape!) storefront along with a number of other high powered labels such as Fury, Fire and Whirlin’ Disc records.  He was someone with an uncanny ear for great music from cutting sides on Doo Wop groups in the 50’s up to being one of the pioneers of releasing old school hip hop in the 80’s.
In the Enjoy discography Jay Dee Bryant’s excellent “Get It” (there are also versions out there titled “Come On and Get It”) falls in the middle of a few Elmore James and Willie Hightower records but don’t be fooled into thinking this record comes out of the blues stratosphere.  It’s a certified funky soul charger with some insane super clean lead guitar giving the horns a run for their money.
Biographical info on Jay Dee Bryant started his career with a number of bands at his side including the Kiddie-O’s and The Magic Knights.  His “Come Summer" record is some excellent work on the Herald label that was written and produced than none of than Dave "Baby" Cortez and features some of his signature organ work.
When Swamp Dogg was asked about Bryant he laid a lot of his career out:  “I had a record on J.D. in 1961 on Aldo called ‘I Wanna Know You Want Me’ / ‘Don’t Stop Now’.  J.D.Bryant is a great R&B singer. Matter of fact, he is the half-brother of Matt Parsons, the renowned promotion man [who produced with Jerry singles on Gino (real name Frank Amodeo), and The Suburbans for Golden Crest and Shelley Records in 1963] and he is also the cousin of Peabo Bryson. Bobby Robinson produced some good stuff on him on Enjoy Records. He’s got records on Josie [including ‘Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave’] and he’s got a record I did on Island  ‘I Want To Thank You Baby’ and ‘Standing Ovation For Love’ [Island 008].  I got one in the can, too, that’s so great!”
Hope you enjoy today’s musical episode!
-George / Snack Attack

Jay Dee Bryant “Get It” (Enjoy, 1965)

(Click title to download)

Everyone here should be familiar with Bobby Robinson's Enjoy Records.  The New York label was run out of Robinson's record (and tape!) storefront along with a number of other high powered labels such as Fury, Fire and Whirlin’ Disc records.  He was someone with an uncanny ear for great music from cutting sides on Doo Wop groups in the 50’s up to being one of the pioneers of releasing old school hip hop in the 80’s.

In the Enjoy discography Jay Dee Bryant’s excellent “Get It” (there are also versions out there titled “Come On and Get It”) falls in the middle of a few Elmore James and Willie Hightower records but don’t be fooled into thinking this record comes out of the blues stratosphere.  It’s a certified funky soul charger with some insane super clean lead guitar giving the horns a run for their money.

Biographical info on Jay Dee Bryant started his career with a number of bands at his side including the Kiddie-O’s and The Magic Knights.  His “Come Summer" record is some excellent work on the Herald label that was written and produced than none of than Dave "Baby" Cortez and features some of his signature organ work.

When Swamp Dogg was asked about Bryant he laid a lot of his career out:  “I had a record on J.D. in 1961 on Aldo called ‘I Wanna Know You Want Me’ / ‘Don’t Stop Now’.  J.D.Bryant is a great R&B singer. Matter of fact, he is the half-brother of Matt Parsons, the renowned promotion man [who produced with Jerry singles on Gino (real name Frank Amodeo), and The Suburbans for Golden Crest and Shelley Records in 1963] and he is also the cousin of Peabo Bryson.
Bobby Robinson produced some good stuff on him on Enjoy Records.
He’s got records on Josie [including ‘Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave’] and he’s got a record I did on Island  ‘I Want To Thank You Baby’ and ‘Standing Ovation For Love’ [Island 008].  I got one in the can, too, that’s so great!”

Hope you enjoy today’s musical episode!

-George / Snack Attack

Singles Mixer Volume Three!
(click title to download the whole mix!)
Here’s the latest collection of the 45s up on the site. Almost an hour of awesome R&B, soul and sweet, sweet sounds.  As usual the original posts will remain for reference.  There are a couple of “multi-song” posts in here so you’ll notice a little repetition but it’s for a reason, swing on back a few posts and find out why!
Things have been really busy in my personal life so I haven’t given the blog as much love as it needs but I’ll keep plucking away as time allows.  In addition just picked up a new laptop, nothing fancy but it gets the job done, so that should help.
Had some good luck with records lately so hopefully get to share soon.
As always, thanks for listening and enjoy the music!
-George / Snack Attack
Tracklist:
Cynthia Sheeler “One Minute Of Your Time” (Phil-La of Soul, 1974)Lou Pride “I’m Com’un Home In The Morn’un” (Suemi, 1972/ 2011 Re-issue)
Chuck Jackson “I Don’t Want To Cry” (Wand, 1961)
Dawn & The Pastels “I Don’t Want To Cry” (Steady, 1968)
Ronnie Dyson “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (Columbia, 1970)
Mighty Sam “Good Humor Man” (Amy, 1966)

Mighty Sam “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” (Amy, 1967)
Bill Moss “Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother” (Amy, 1969)
The Futures “Our Thing” (Amjo, 1970)
The Futures “Stay With Me” (Gamble, 1972)Bobby Copney - Love Au-Go-Go (Tuff, 1965)
Lou Rawls “A Natural Man”(MGM, 1971)
Lou Rawls “Trouble Down Here Below” (Capitol, 1967)
Rhoda Scott “I-Yi-Yi-Yi Pt. 1” (Tru Sound, 1963)
Darrow Fletcher “I Think I’m Gonna Write A Song” (Congress, 1970)
The Wildweeds “No Good To Cry” (Cadet, 1967 )
The Wildweeds “It Was Fun While It Lasted” (Cadet, 1968)
Jimmy Reed “Big Boss Man” (Vee Jay, 1961)
Shirley “Big Boss Man” (Paula, 1968)
Erma Franklin “Big Boss Man” (Shout, 1967)

Singles Mixer Volume Three!

(click title to download the whole mix!)

Here’s the latest collection of the 45s up on the site. Almost an hour of awesome R&B, soul and sweet, sweet sounds.  As usual the original posts will remain for reference.  There are a couple of “multi-song” posts in here so you’ll notice a little repetition but it’s for a reason, swing on back a few posts and find out why!

Things have been really busy in my personal life so I haven’t given the blog as much love as it needs but I’ll keep plucking away as time allows.  In addition just picked up a new laptop, nothing fancy but it gets the job done, so that should help.

Had some good luck with records lately so hopefully get to share soon.

As always, thanks for listening and enjoy the music!

-George / Snack Attack

Tracklist:

Cynthia Sheeler “One Minute Of Your Time” (Phil-La of Soul, 1974)
Lou Pride “I’m Com’un Home In The Morn’un” (Suemi, 1972/ 2011 Re-issue)

Chuck Jackson “I Don’t Want To Cry” (Wand, 1961)

Dawn & The Pastels “I Don’t Want To Cry” (Steady, 1968)

Ronnie Dyson “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (Columbia, 1970)

Mighty Sam “Good Humor Man” (Amy, 1966)

Mighty Sam “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” (Amy, 1967)

Bill Moss “Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother” (Amy, 1969)

The Futures “Our Thing” (Amjo, 1970)

The Futures “Stay With Me” (Gamble, 1972)
Bobby Copney - Love Au-Go-Go (Tuff, 1965)

Lou Rawls “A Natural Man”(MGM, 1971)

Lou Rawls “Trouble Down Here Below” (Capitol, 1967)

Rhoda Scott “I-Yi-Yi-Yi Pt. 1” (Tru Sound, 1963)

Darrow Fletcher “I Think I’m Gonna Write A Song” (Congress, 1970)

The Wildweeds “No Good To Cry” (Cadet, 1967 )

The Wildweeds “It Was Fun While It Lasted” (Cadet, 1968)

Jimmy Reed “Big Boss Man” (Vee Jay, 1961)

Shirley “Big Boss Man” (Paula, 1968)

Erma Franklin “Big Boss Man” (Shout, 1967)

image

Ollie & The Nightingales “Girl, You Have My Heart Singin” (Stax, 1968)

(Click title to download)


Today’s track “Girl, You Have My Heart Singing” is the B-side to Ollie and The Nightingales highest charting single of their career, “I Got A Sure Thing.”  While the A-side is deserving of its recognition- it’s a fantastic slice of mid-tempo soft soul with a great arrangements- including strings which were a bit of a rarity at Stax pre-68, it’s the B-side that really caught my ear when I first picked this record up a few months ago.

Before they were known as Ollie & The Nightingales, Ollie Hoskins and co. we’re know as The Dixie Nightingales (not to be confused with about a hundred other dixie, nightingale and bird name combinations).  The Nightingales were a very popular gospel group from Memphis who put out a number of records before ending up on Stax subsidiary Chalice in the mid-60s.

This particular record actually sits at a very interesting crossroads in the history of the Stax label.  Released in 68 it was at the very end of the deal that helped to grow the Stax label from Memphis power house to a national and international bastion of soul.  A deal struck between label co-founder Jim Stewart and Atlantic had in technical terms signed over all the masters to Atlantic and put Stax in a terrible position financially.   All of a sudden they were without their massive (and massively popular) back catalog.  On top of this massive blow they were still reeling from the loss of their most popular artists Otis Redding (and many members of the Bar-Kays) who died in a Dec. 67 plane crash.

Along with a number of other major changes, control of the company was handed over to Al Bell who, in trying to replenish the labels back catalog, began producing albums at a number of studios other than the famous McLemore location, bringing in string arrangements (often recorded in Detroit with Motown veteran Don Davis), new song writers and leaving behind the core of Hayes & Porter and the house band that had defined Stax for so long.

We could go on and on about the wild and amazing history of Stax (I again highly recommend Rob Bowman’s book!) in the interest of being thorough but I bring it up here because this record in particular is illustrative of a lot of the challenges and changes that Stax was facing in 1968.

Ollie and The Nightingales were previously a gospel group under the name the Dixie Nightingales who were persuaded to make secular music (at the expense of member Willie Neal who was replaced by former Mad Lad Quincy Billups Jr.) presumably in the panic to replace almost 10 years of material being eaten up by Atlantic.  The side featured here is an upbeat organ driven number penned by Booker T and William Bell (who the Nightingales also did some back up work for) and feels like Sam & Dave could have been singing this song 5 years before.  The arrangements feature some horn vamping and a slightly fuzzy guitar solo.  All quintessential elements you’d associate with the baby blue label graced with the ‘stax of wax.’

Yet the flip side is the lead single and features a prominent string section instead of horns, piano only as flourishes, heavy back ground vocal work, glockenspiel and an overall ‘cleaner’ sound to the recording.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent side and still has a really captivating ‘feel’ to it.  As the saying goes ‘all journeys start with one step’ this record is in the last few steps in the first part of the Stax story- that of Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T and The MG’s, and the first few steps of the latter direction of Stax, The Emotions, Johnny Taylor and Isaac Hayes.

I hope you enjoy today’s record!

-George / Snack Attack