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Monday, November 30, 2009

The Soft! The Creamy! The Velvety! Part 2: Freddie North

Happy Monday everyone!


Now, here's the second creamy voice on my list of soft, creamy and velvety Soul voices. It belongs to Freddie North. Freddie's recordings are not easily available which is a shame, in my opinion.
The first title, Good Times, got me hooked on this creamed tenor voice. I never tire of listening to Freddie since then ... 
The second title from the album Cuss The Wind was such a surprise when I heard it the first time because I never ever heard a better cover of My Whole World Ended.  I loved it at first listen.

Good Times -- Freddie North

My Whole World Ended

Good Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clinton Harmon -- Can't Help The Way I Feel About You, I Want To Get Close To You

Some people do not jump on the fashion wagon ... That's something one can say about Clinton Harmon. He ignored the raging Disco wave and recorded these two kinda "old-fashioned" southern Soul tracks. Of course, they never made it into any charts. But that doesn't mean the music isn't good. I, for my part, like them both.
I Wanna Be Close To You

Can't Help The Way I Feel

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weldon Irvine -- Morning Sunrise

Sometimes I wonder for how long the seemingly never ending stream of new music discoveries from thepast will last. It appears however that there is a wealth of material out there about whose existence I had no idea about.
Weldon Irvine was -- up to a few days ago -- a unknown artist to me. I loved today's title by him right away, and of course I could not wait to share it with you. 

ChickenBones: A Journal describes his musical style as having "mingled, mixed, and morphed into a rare breed of music, a funky fusion buoyed by a spiritual vibe that's as uplifting and expansive as it is deep and inclusive. As a result, he occupies sacred space somewhere between Alice Coltrane (and various other Impulse artists) and Stevie Wonder on the continuum of African-American music. With lofty ambition and earthy bravado, he's filled that space with a unique blend of jazz, blues, gospel, Latin, soul, funk, and hip-hop." 


Friday, November 27, 2009

Eddie Giles -- So Deep In Love, Losing Boy

"I met Eddie at Sound City studio in Shreveport, Louisiana. This is where the recording of Losin' Boy that is on Stax 0103 was recorded. The year was 1971. I engineered the record. James Stroud played drums and Louis Villery played bass. Eddie is now a famous Nashville producer. He had been with Bobby Bland for years-not sure where he is today. There was an earlier recording of Losin' Boy (mid to late 60's) produced by a gentleman named Mr. DesMarais. He owned a small record shop in Cedar Grove ( a section of Shreveport) I think it was called "Bayou Records" (no connection to our studio). It was said that Mr. DesMarais would bring local bands (mostly black) into a small recording studio behind his record shop and let them record their songs. He would sometimes put out records on them, such as Losin' Boy by Eddie Giles. Eddie was known then as "Eddie G and the Jive Five". We didn't meet Eddie at Sound City until approximately five years after Mr. DesMarais had recorded the first Losin' Boy. These are the only two versions I know of. First the Mr. DesMarais recording (on Murco Records in Cedar Grove, Louisiana) and then the Sound City recording which later became the Stax version.  
Thanks to George W. Clinton, recording engineer."               
Losing Boy

So Deep In Love

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Thanksgiving Day I Am Grateful For ...

... the  L O V E  I've received
... the  D R E A M S  that came true
... the  M U S I C in my life


I know there are many people who are lonely this Thanksgiving, and to them I dedicate the next song from which I took one of my favorite quotes. It comes in handy whenever I feel I have hit a wall.

"... as long as there's breath in you
there will always be
one more time ..."


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Little Anthony & The Imperials -- La La La At The End

From their 1973 album "On A New Street" on the Avco lable. Composer: James Grant. Produced by Thom Bell. Group Members: "Little Anthony" Gourdine, Clarence Collins, Bobby Wade, and Harold Jenkins:
La La La At The End

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Brothers - One Song

Jimmy and David Ruffin sounded fantastic, singing together. But both were at their best, of course, when each one did his own thing. One of my favorite David Ruffin leads is I Could Never Love Another, but I also like Jimmy's cover. Jimmy's voice is slightly reminiscent of David's, in my opinion; Jimmy's got a more creamy (here we go) quality to his voice -- it is rather mellow and sweet compared to David's. But see for yourself: 

Jimmy Ruffin,   I Could Never Love Another (The Ultimate Motown Collection disc 2)

David Ruffin and The Temptations, I Could Never Love Another (To be found on various compilations such as The Temptations GOLD for example)

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Soft! The Creamy! The Velvety! Eddie LeVert

Alright! You guys have been good for the first few days -- after that, things went downhill rapidly. That means the search is over, and I'll use what I've got so far. That is some very good stuff, though.

So let's start with a serving of heavy whipped cream topped with chopped pecans and hazelnuts on a bed of bittersweet chocolate flakes ...
At least that's how I would describe this wonderful voice.
Just Another Lonely Night

 Your Body's Here With Me

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some Sunday Walking

Funky Walk -- Dyke And The Blazers

Keep On Walkin -- Main Attraction

My Baby Walked Off -- Howlin' Wolf

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blues Thursday with B. B. King and Jimi Hendrix

Can you believe it? It's already Thursday. That means the light at the end of the week is in sight! Of course, it's also the Blues day at SOTS. It's a bit difficult for me to get into the blue side of life today -- but I tried anyway. Up came Mr. B. B. King live at the Apollo, accompanied by the Harris/Morris/Philip Superband. All Over Again is a piece of "easy listening" Blues, imo, so it works for those who like their Blues not too gloomy.  

The second title is by the giant among guitarmen, Jimi Hendrix. Listening to Bleeding Heart is such a pleasure, one just forgets about the Blues ... 

B. B. King, All Over Again

Jimi Hendrix, Bleeding Heart

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Teddy Pendergrass -- You Must Live On, Nine Times Out Of Ten

Today I'm in the mood for TSOP. And who would represent the Philly Sound better and more appropriately than Teddy P.?

The two tracks are from his It's Time For Love album.

While I was searching for the album cover online, I found an article about the singer's hospitalization in August this year. I was surprised I hadn't heard earlier that Teddy was sick and I'm hoping sincerely that he will recover completely. All my best wishes go out to him.

Get Well, Teddy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Solomon Burke -- Goodbye Baby, Cry To Me

Big man, big voice! Solomon Burke has been around forever, it seems -- and he's still in demand.  Solomon is one of the very few artists to whose voice time has not done the damage seen in so many other singers.
Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) Link should be fixed by now!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Deep Soul Saturday!

Alright! It's time for another dip into Raggedy's Deep Soul collection.

After I Shed A Tear -- Mary Holmes
Baby Oh Baby -- Charles Greene
Say You Will -- Willie Small
Some Man's Woman (part 1) -- Sammy Roberson


Friday, November 13, 2009

Eccentric Soul series by the Numero Group label

Today's tracks are from the Numero's Eccentric Soul series compilation of Prix label releases.  UK's guardian music blog describes the Numero Group "... the connoisseurs' choice. Its releases are prized and praised for their attractive but understated design, meticulously researched sleeve notes and careful sound restoration." (
The group was founded in 2003 as an record label with the goal to archive material from different record labels. Since then,  its founders, Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier, and Ken Shipley have turned the label into a media company offering  recordings, films and photography from obscure yet high-carat artists. They consider themselves being  "on a dirty, labor-intensive mission... and it’s urgent as all hell. Time kills off precious bits of passed-over sound ..." 

To find out what else is going on at Numero's and with the Eccentric Soul  collection go here.

Lynn Williams -- Don't Be Surprised (from the Prix label compilation)

Marion Black -- Come On And Get It (from the Prix label compilation)

And now: Happy Friday to Everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Johnny Copeland -- I Can Tell, Old Man Blues

Johnny Copeland

Here's a bio of the artist from all.about.jazz.
Johnny Copeland was one of the most celebrated Texas bluesman of his generation. His huge, soul-drenched voice and intense guitar made him instantly distinctive. After decades of struggling as a journeyman blues and R&B player in Houston and New York, cutting dozens of singles and receiving some radio play, he burst on the international blues scene with his 1981 album “Copeland Special.” From that point on, he never looked back, touring ceaselessly around the world until his death in July 1997.
Johnny Copeland was born March 27, 1937, in Haynesville, LA. The son of sharecroppers, his father died when he was very young, and Copeland was given his father's guitar. Moving to Houston, he first gained attention as a vocalist with his friend Joe “Guitar” Hughes. Unlike the dry, slightly urbane vocal style of the Texas guitar heroes T-Bone Walker and Gatemouth Brown, Johnny brought a gospel intensity and tough growl to his singing. His big voice could be heard over the horn-driven Houston bands. Copeland and Hughes formed a band called The Dukes of Rhythm, which became the house band at the Shady's Playhouse, one of Houston’s leading blues clubs.
Johnny’s early recording career embraced blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. He cut singles for Mercury, All Boy and Golden Eagle, among others. His first single was “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lily,” and he later cut regional successes like “Please Let Me Know” and “Down On Bending Knees.” For the most part, his singles featured Johnny as a vocalist more than as a guitar player.
Frustrated with the disco boom and the number of clubs replacing live bands with DJs, Johnny moved to Harlem in 1974, playing local clubs and house parties. He took a day job while continuing to play at night. But it was in New York that his break finally came. He was “discovered” by a pair of producers who took him into the studio, focusing on Johnny’s blues talents and teaming him with a horn section that included a number of famous jazz players. The album, entitled “Copeland Special,” released on Rounder, introduced Johnny to the white blues audience and created a small sensation in the blues world. He hit the road, playing blues and rock clubs nationally and across Europe. Johnny brought endless energy to his live shows, and proved to be a charismatic front man as well as an excellent songwriter.
Copeland recorded seven albums for Rounder Records, beginning in 1981, including “Texas Twister,” and one recorded during a tour of Africa, “Bringin' It All Back Home.” His appearance on Alligator’s “Showdown!” album, the classic recording that he made with his friends Albert Collins and Robert Cray, won Johnny a Grammy. His later albums on Polygram/Verve/Gitanes Blues continued his series of quality recordings.
Johnny was diagnosed with heart disease in 1994. A series of surgeries slowed his touring down considerably. In 1997, he was fitted with an experimental heart pump and was able to resume touring. He brought his teenage daughter Shemekia on the road with him to open his shows; it was the beginning of her climb to blues stardom.
After surviving much longer than predicted with the experimental pump, Johnny received his long-awaited heart transplant. However, the transplant was not a success, and Johnny died on July 3, 1997. He left behind a proud legacy of some of the hardest-edged Texas blues recorded in the ‘80s and ‘90s, hundreds of high-energy live shows and, with his daughter Shemekia, a musical force carrying on into the future.

I Can Tell

Old Man Blues

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Al Reed -- 99 44/100 Pure Love

Something to brighten the ladies' day: don't worry too much about these superfluous pounds ...
Al Reed is one of the guys who knows what really counts in a woman.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Darrell Banks -- Beautiful Feeling, When A Man Loves A Woman

Unfortunately, I am a little bit in a squeeze -- time wise. So, instead of summing up Darrell's bio, I'll give you a link to a quite exhaustive article about him: here.

When A Man Loves A Woman

Beautiful Feeling

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

You folks make me so happy. Honestly! I didn't expect that much feedback on The Soft, The Creamy, The Velvety subject. I already got 14 nominations! And I like them all. 
But please don't stop now! Keep the suggestions coming ... We're going to have the smoothest time ever.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Syl Johnson -- Is It Because I'm Black

I've found this clip in my inbox this morning, and -- what can I say -- I was completely fascinated. I know this song very well, but I haven't played it in a long while. When I found it's Reggae version by Ken Boothe, I used to play that one quite a bit. Ken does a decent job, but he doesn't come anywhere near to the original.

Anyway -- I stumbled upon the "unplugged" version this morning, and I have to say, its unadorned, spontaneous rendition kept me glued to the monitor. It hit me head on, without anything shielding me from its impact, so to speak.  How's that for a Monday morning starter?
And since I like to share the good things life has to offer, I knew right away, I had to post it.

Thanks Soultaker for the inspiration!

Here's the original song:

The Reggae version with Ken Boothe:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Soft, The Creamy, The Velvety Voice! Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge possesses one of the creamiest voices, I've ever heard. True, it was his unique sweet tenor, that made him famous. But Percy's tenor has absolutely no sharp edges to it. On the contrary, it is still soft and creamy even when it soars as in When A Man Loves Woman or It Tears Me Up. And that is Percy's trademark.

I think everyone is familiar with Percy's When A Man Loves A Woman, therefore I'm going to post two other favorites of mine.

Out Of Left Field 

Warm And Tender Love

Okay -- because it is sweet ol' Percy, I add another track that is very, very close to my heart.

" ... you're gone
But your goodness stays on
And I thank you
For These precious memories ..."
(Just substitute the three dots with whomever you are thinking about when you hear these words, and you get your very personal version of the song.)

You're All Around Me

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Life Is A Good Thing!

"... Life is a good thing ..." How true that line rings with the news of mass shootings, mass murder, and gang rape for a backdrop.
If we all could stop a moment and reflect on how quick the life we live can be changed -- forever -- through a traumatic event that scars our minds and souls seriously enough to wipe out the happiness from our lives.
None of the victims and their loved ones -- I'm quite sure of it -- did ever imagine to be touched by these tragedies. And yet, it happened to them. It scares me to think that we all are so vulnerable and completely exposed to the whims of the evil in human disguise.

So, let's life be a good thing -- at least as long as we are in the driver's seat ourselves.

A good advice: Alexander Patton -- Make The Best Of What You Got

Don't forget that you would not know how good the sweet tastes, if you didn't know how bad the bitter tastes. The Bitterness of Life -- Bruce Ruffin.

Teddy Pendergrass wraps it up with Life Is A Song Worth Singing

Friday, November 6, 2009

Soft, Creamy, Velvety ...

Okay ladies and gentlemen. Here's a new challenge for you (just in case you lack everyday challenges). I was getting a much wanted, much yearned for, much appreciated album today from G-Man. An event that made my day. I'm talking about Joe Simon's 1981 album Glad You Came My Way, and while I was literally soaking in the sound of Joe's adorable voice, I thought I could start a new event. Kind of the Love Fest we just had a while ago.
This time I would like to ask you to send in songs, video clips or links to material by your favorite soft, creamy, velvety-voiced singer. If you can find a female singer with such a voice -- please, please let me know. There's really none I could think of at the moment.

Here's the title track of the album, Glad You Came My Way. Close your eyes, lean back and enjoy Joe Simon dishing up the cream.

Magnolia is a song by Joe Simon I haven't heard before. I loved it at first sight/listen.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Janis Joplin Special -- Get It While You Can, Cry Baby, Piece Of My Heart, A Woman Left Lonely

Lighting a candle for Janice won't do -- it has to be something more intense in her case. So I thought I'
light a fire for her. No skimpy stuff here!


This is Blues Thursday at its rawest! I never, ever heard an artist presenting emotions as raw and unadulterated as Janice did. Jesus God -- I just love Janis.
(And btw. ladies -- this is the only way to wear hip huggers, imo.)

The bass man is the perfect match for Janis! Now, turn that volume up ...  It'll make you feel good.

I haven't found a live clip of my personal favorite by Janis. A still has to do. Sing Janis!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Terry Huff & Special Delivery -- I Destroyed Your Love (part 1), Come Back With Your Love

Good news! Raggedy's kitchen is finished -- to perfection, I'd like to add. Today was the first day in weeks that no contractor walked around in my house. Halleluja! On top of it, the weather was as wonderful as it could be on a fall day in San Antonio. Of course, I saddled ol' Blitz and headed for The Shops at La Cantera. I had an Ali Ollie disc in the CD player, the sun roof open -- and life was wonderful.  It was so beautiful just walking around, I almost forgot the shopping.

That, however, has nothing to do with my post today. Well -- maybe it is related in that I was in a mellow mood all afternoon caused by all the new found post-kitchen-remodeling freedom ... And Terry Huff is one wonderful mellow soft-voiced singer.

Terry Huff and his Special Delivery enjoyed a short time in the spot light in 1976. Their first hit, I Destroyed Your Love, was written by Terry. The song was split into two parts to make for both sides of a 45. It was only moderately successful, however. As so many other masterpieces before it, it was undeservedly so. The song's longevity proves that it is a timeless gem still being played regularly on contemporary radio stations.
Terry's falsetto voice is as clear and sweet as a falsetto can be -- at times reminiscent of the great Glenn Leonard's perfect voice, in my opinion. Just listen to Terry at around 0:25 on Come Back With Your Love!
The music is typically 70's -- sweet and full and passionate.
(Can you tell I like the group?)
Terry also wrote The Lonely One, which reached the Soul Top Ten in almost no time. Yet, at the time of their great success, the group was already disintegrating, and the album The Lonely One that followed the single was reportedly recorded by Terry, his brother, and Al Johnson who had been writing for and producing Special Delivery.
Special Delivery and Terry split over the song writing credit for I Destroyed Your Love which names Terry Huff as the sole writer.


Come Back With Your Love (part 1)

I Destroyed Your Love (part 1)
For comparison Glenn's falsetto on the Temptations' In A Lifetime from their 1977 album 
Hear To Tempt You (track: courtesy of Aba21).

Get the album here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saved It For A Rainy Day!

Sorry, but I have no time to do any fancy stuff, therefore I' m going to post a bag o' saved stuff. These are files, I did not get around to upload ...