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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eugene Records -- When We Pull The Shades

When I was checking amazon for the album The Eugene Record, by Eugene Record, I accidentally ended up on the German amazon site. First, I was kind of surprised that they actually offer the album. And second, I was shocked at the price. 128 Euro for the used CD -- that's about $170! 
Eugene Record, the well-known and deeply loved voice of the Chi Lites, released three solo albums after leaving the group in 1976. (He re-joined them in 1980.) As with so many other lead singers gone soloists, his own career never matched the Chi Lites'. 
Eugene wrote the most beautiful love songs that ever have been written. Oh Girl, Have You Seen Her and The Coldest Days Of My Life are his creations.

Today's pick is from The Eugene Record (1977, Warner Bros.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Toots & The Maytals -- Monkey Man

Let's All Have A Reggae Monday!

I know, it's almost Tuesday! But that darned everyday life keeps interfering with my musical life.

The song is said to be a punch aimed at the producer Leslie Kong. Leslie Kong, in 1961, started his 
own record label after he had met Jimmy Cliff and heard him sing My Dearest Beverley. Kong named 
his label Beverley's after that song. 
Kong also recorded Bob Marley's first single and worked with numerous Reggae and Ska greats such as 
Desmond Dekker an John Holt.
This is funny: King Kong just dropped the girl; threw her at the crowd. I don't think he did that in the movie. Or did he? 
I guess I'll have to watch the film again. Anyhow, this is a great clip.
Monkey Man lyrics

Aye aye aye, aye aye aye

Tell you baby, you huggin up the big monkey man

Aye aye aye, aye aye aye
Tell you baby, you huggin up the big monkey man

I've seen no sign of you, I only heard of you
huggin up the big monkey man
I've seen no sign of you, I only heard of you
huggin up the big monkey man

It's no lie, it's no lie
Them a tell me, you huggin up the big monkey man
It's no lie, it's no lie
Them a tell me, you huggin up the big monkey man

Now I know that, now I understand
You're turning a monkey on me
Now I know that, now I understand
You're turning a monkey on me 
The song reached # 47 in the British charts.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Randy Brown -- I love You Baby

I had planned a Reggae Sunday today, but when I came across Randy Brown's I Love You, Baby, I could not help but post this precious gem. It represents, in my opinion, all the magic the 70's had to offer in a piece of music. 

Unfortunately, Randy Brown's bio on The soulwalking site starts -- as so many others -- stating that "Randy Brown is one of the most underrated soul vocalists of the last few decades." I can forgive myself for not 
having heard much of his material back in the day: I was in Germany and all we got to hear was the work of such well established artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops or The Temptations. But how in the world is it possible that in the states a voice like Randy's did not get the attention it deserved?
On the other hand, most "back-in-the-day" blogs (as mine) do ask this question over and again. I concluded a while ago that careers are similar to marriages: both need a generous portion of luck to succeed. For some artists, however, I do feel more sorry than for others. Randy Brown with his bright, contagious smile and stunning voice is one of them.
Randy was not completely unsuccessful, though. He was lead singer in the Newcomers, but left the group in 1973. His first solo record was released by the Truth label ( distributed by Stax.) After Stax had gone belly-up, he tried his luck with several other labels and finally caught the attention of Parachute Records with I'd Rather Hurt Myself, one of four songs he had submitted to that label. Parachute recorded an entire album with him; it is, as soulwalking claims "... perhaps, his finest album." I'm still getting acquainted with more of his material -- and I will let you know, if I agree with that statement. For now, all I can tell you is that the man has both a memorable voice and singing style. (At the ladies: doesn't he also have an adorable smile?)
While working with Parachute Records and the Chocolate City label, Randy covered many Homer Banks and Chuck Brooks titles.
Also -- just to underpin the believe that musical talent runs in families -- Randy is the brother of William Brown from the Mad Lads. 

Here's a double serving of Randy's singing from YouTube
Today's post I Love You, Baby is from his 1978 album Welcome To My Room This is a Must-Get album -- especially 
since it is available on CD.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sugar Pie DeSanto -- She's Got Everything

When I first heard this song, I was transported back in time to those horrible teenage years of mine. There seemed to be so many girls who had "everything" going for them. The boys just cared to dance with them, and all we rather average looking girls could do was watch them ... I can't help but smile at these memories, telling myself that it takes all kinds of experiences to grow up.

She's Got Everything (Down In The Basement, Mca, 1989)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

John Gary Williams -- Ask The Lonely, Open Your Heart and Let Love Come In

Update on John Gary Williams:

Sorry, the Four Tops YouTube clip I initially posted for comparison with John Gary Williams' cover is gone! But here is a another one with the incomparable Levi Stubbs singing Ask The Lonely. I love both John Gary's and The Four Tops versions -- which I never thought possible until I've heard John Gary Williams' beautiful voice.  His very different approach to the piece is adding an extra dimension of softness and sweetness to the intensity of the song. I just love it! 
Here's the Four Tops version

John Gary Williams singing Ask The Lonely (from the  album John Gary Williams, STAX 5503/TRUTH 4202, 1974)

Listen to an interview conducted by Colton Thomas, an old acquaintance of mine who sparked this update:

Champion Jack Dupree -- Rattlesnake Blues

BLUES (Busting) Thursday! 

And yet another beautiful Thursday has arrived -- seems to be just the right day to post some of the best bluesmen I can think of: The Champ! 
Ever since I 've heard the Rattlesnake Blues the first time, I love that tune. It makes me dance, and it makes me feel good about life -- that boogie chases the Blues away!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fred Briggs -- Outside Love Affair

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I have repeatedly expressed my great appreciation of Kimberly Briggs' aka Kim Tolliver's wonderful singing. I knew that her husband, Fred Briggs, was singing himself (besides writing songs) -- but I never posted a song by him. Fred Briggs has a beautiful soft and warm voice.
He wrote for the Dells,  Mavis Staples and, in collaboration with Kim and Darryl Carter, produced Margie Joseph's album "Margie Joseph Makes A New Impression" (Volt).
As a singer he started out in 1964 with Someone To Care For me, followed by the highly acclaimed Sound Off, which has joined the ranks of cult singles. In the 70's he recorded under the pseudonym Coldwater Stone and released  Defrost Me, an album that was done very much in the same fashion as his early releases. Today's pick is from that album and is written by Kimberly, who is also singing background on it. (Does anyone know why he didn't record under his real name?)
Fred died in November 2006 in California, shortly before Kim died in Cleveland. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kenny Ballard -- Down To My Last Heartbreak (1967)

Time for a real Deepie! 
You'll find more about/from Kenny here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Emmett Garner Jr. -- So Much Better

In 1964 Emmet Garner Junior and his friends Ralph O'Neal, Jerome Johnson and Eddie Dunn founded 
one of the many groups that emerged from Chicago's West Side during that prolific era of Soul music. 
The Trends, as they had named the group, were not very successful though. They had several singles 
released mainly during the 60's, but they never had a hit. In 1968, finally, they broke up, and Emmett
stayed in the business producing and promoting music in Chicago.
(Source: Chicago Soul by Robert Pruter)

To All Of You!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Album Review: Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings -- I Learned The Hard Way

Album Review 
by Soultaker73

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, I Learned The Hard Way, Daptone, to be released April 6, 2010 (available in vinyl, too)
The fourth soulful album of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings has arrived, and it may be their tightest set yet.  With 12 soulful tracks, this album is an early contender for Album of the Year.   Here are some examples of what you can expect from I Learned The Hard Way.
The album starts off with “The Game Gets Old”, a song about the game of love and being tired of the same sad results of it.  One of the first things you will notice about this album is that you hear more back up singing than you heard on the first three previous albums.  The backup vocals come courtesy of Saundra Williams, Kevin Keys and Angee Blake.  The next track is the first single to the album “I Learned The Hard Way”.  A horn driven track about a lover that she finally sees who the real person he really is behind the camouflage of lies.   “Better Things” is a mid tempo groover that is perfect for driving in your car with all the windows down taking in the fresh spring air.  “Give It Back” is one of those tracks that benefited from the back up singers as it gave the song another level of quality that some may have thought was missing from previous recordings.  “Money” is a song that everyone can relate to as we all are struggling with trying to keep a dollar in our pockets in this economy.  
Most people will automatically label this album “retro”.   It’s a term I hate hearing as it often pigeonholes something that came from the past or is something that is dated.  This is far from the case for this album as the music on here is timeless.  Just like the music from labels like Stax and Motown, the music here is from the heart and that is something you cannot put a time clock on.   Go out and support this release and other Daptone releases as it deserves the recognition it truly deserves as being truly soul touching music.
Pre-order here.

Album Review
by I. Huff
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings -- I Learned The Hard Way, Daptone Records, to be released April 6, 2010
I used to think that Soul with monumental horn sections was a thing of the past, relegated to fond memories and vinyl LP’s -- just like the memories of a long gone love. That was until I heard Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings’ new album I Learned the Hard Way. If I ever recommended an album completely convinced about its musical value, it is this one.
All 12 tracks on this CD are meant to be the “main attraction.” You’ll find horn sections that could be straight from the great era of the Memphis Horns. And you’ll find that invigorating sound of Motown, making your heart jump with the kind of excitement you thought had died a long time ago. If the sound of the good old Hammond organ or a clean guitar motif still give you a mini-high, you should get this CD. 
Sharon possesses a pleasantly mature voice and, without a doubt, she knows how to use it. Her ability to communicate emotion through the dynamics in any given song turns listening to I Learned The Hard Way  into a pleasure. In a nutshell: naturally good singing without a single trace of posing. Once you’ve heard Sharon Jones, you won’t believe that a singer like her still exists -- considering the mediocrity of most contemporary vocalists. 
On I Learned The Hard Way, you will find no cheap fillers -- a fact that cannot be over-appreciated. Just imagine, listening to an entire CD without having to skip half of the songs!  On this CD, Sharon Jones and her outstanding musicians present songs representing the classic sound of Soul as I know it from the 60‘s and 70‘s. Yet there is nothing on this album that sounds like a remake or smacks of a rehash.
My rating: 5 stars out of 5. Get it!
My favorites: I Learned The Hard Way, Better Things To Do, Give It Back, I’ll Still Be True.

Better Things To Do

Soul Unlimited -- One Man's Happiness

Today's song is from one of Skiny's famous Oldies Classcis compilations. 
I couldn't believe it, but when I was searching for a picture to match the title, entering "divorce" as a search criterium, I found out there is something like divorce cakes available for the occasion. I have a hunch that those "bridezillas" just can't get enough attention -- even when they should realize that they failed. Weird, weird world. 
Nevertheless, please enjoy the song. If anyone has info about the group, would you please share it with me?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yet Another DMCA Warning

Blogger has notified me about another complaint filed by the chilling effect "brotherhood." Since I noticed that quite a few of the blogs I used to frequent have been closed down, I might -- sooner or later -- be disappearing too.
I am genuinely saddened by such an unintelligent approach to solving the record industry's problems. What I am trying to do with my blog is keeping the interest in the music of the 60's and 70's alive -- an enterprise that should help the artists in selling their records. Because, once you're forgotten, you won't sell anything. Right?
Usually, the record industry has to pay for the advertisement of their products -- here they get it for free.  I am getting mighty frustrated, thinking that maybe I should invest my time in something more lucrative for myself.

Have a very happy Easter everybody!


Snooks Eaglin -Nine Pounds Steel

PhotobucketSnooks Eaglin (300)
Snooks Eaglin, born blind, learned his craft by listening to the radio. By the time (1950) he could be heard playing as a one-man-band in the streets of New Orleans, he had created and perfected his very own style, using his thumbnail.  
Renowned folklorist Harry Oster noticed Snooks' unique talent and recorded the album New Orleans Street Singer with the artist. Soon after that, Snooks founded his own band and from then on played the electric Blues. 
He played with such greats as Prof. Longhair and Allen Toussaint. Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt claim to have been inspired by him.
He was also known as the "Human Jukebox" because of the enormous repertoire of tunes from various genres he commanded. 
In February 2009, Snooks Eaglin, a true Blues legend, died of a heart attack at age 72.
May his soul rest in peace.