Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cal was that you?

Before I blow the dust out of the grooves of today’s post I must just say thanks to all who left comments and kind words on my inaugural posts, and also to fellow bloggers who have linked me already. I didn’t expect such an encouraging response so early.

One day last year while googling around for deep soul (as you do) I stumbled across a snippet of today’s track. Wow! I thought I need this one in my collection. Ebay immediately obliged with a single entry for a buy it now 5 dollars. I count myself lucky, because this one doesn’t seem to come up often and both sides are GREAT.

“Lulu”s basic scenario is that Cal has ventured into a “house of delight” only to recognise the smell of familiar perfume, and familiar shoes under a bed. Seems Lulu is a significant woman in his life (wife/girlfriend?) and he has discovered her plying her trade in the oldest profession. “The Lord sure has punished me” he wails - an arresting subject for a song and an impassioned performance by Cal. And you can certainly file it under Deep Soul.

Now for some archaeology…
So I thought, who he? and when was it recorded (no date on label)? Some googling turned up no other recordings as a soloist. But it did lead me to The Incredibles who have recognition on the Northern Soul scene. The Incredibles were a 2 guy 2 girl group that were active in the latter half of the 60s, and a Cal Waymon was the lead member. They were from the LA area (although Cal was from Houston,Texas originally) and had a number of moderately successful singles and one album released on the Audio Arts label (at least one of which was also released in 1967 on the UK Stateside label). Interestingly the Pacific Artists label was also based out of LA so it’s a fair bet that this is the same Cal Waymon.

As for the date of this record – well the label looks early 70s to me. If the Incredibles broke up about 1969 that would fit. Then I found an old “Black Wax” record list - a now defunct(?) London UK record shop – dating from 1975 that listed “Lulu” as an oldie. Getting warmer. Then more Googling turned up a listing on Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography site. This site appears to have an extensive list of musicians and their session dates - an incredible piece of work by the looks of things. Anyway, there listed is a Cal Waymon with a single vocal session to his name... in 1972. (both A and B side song titles are also separately listed. Unfortunately I can’t afford the full listings on CD, which could shed even more light).

So there you have it, somewhat based on supposition, but it seems to fit: Cal Waymon formally of The Incredibles recorded “Lulu Was That You” (and it’s equally strong B side “Let Me Be The One”) in 1972.

I know of no other recordings by him as a solo artist, nor any other releases on the Pacific Artists label. A shame because he has a great voice. He also has writing and production credits on this track (and with The Incredibles) so maybe that was where he concentrated his efforts.Where did his career take him I wonder and, assuming he is still alive, what is he doing now?

UPDATE (3 May 2006):
Anonymous said...
Cal Waymon meet and married a wonderful lady named Deborah. They had a son, Austin. He worked for the city of Los Angeles, at the airport. After retirement they moved to Texas where he became sick. Cal's voice and talents were lost in 2003. His wife,Deborah and son moved to Las Vegas where they live today. I know this because Deborah and I are very good friends.

RIP Cal Waymon.

Cal Waymon - Lulu Was That You 1972(?) (gone)

6 comments:

Bruce said...

great music! great site. we need more soul. keep em coming!

Bruce

www.somevelvetblog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

wonderful song. i found it entertaining and deeply soulful. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Cal Waymon meet and married a wonderful lady named Deborah. They had a son, Austin. He worked for the city of Los Angeles, at the airport. After retirement they moved to Texas where he became sick. Cal's voice and talents were lost in 2003. His wife,Deborah and son moved to Las Vegas where they live today. I know this because Deborah and I are very good friends.

Darcy said...

Anon: I am sorry to hear about Cal's passing but thank you very much for the information.

Anonymous said...

hello again.
I am the person that told you of Cal Waymon and his wife. Well i have more news for you. His wife Deborah found an envelope, still unopened, that Cal had sent to himself, a poor man's copywrite. The post mark is July 1991.
As i said, it has not been opened but she was told that it contained songs that no one had ever seen.If you, or anyone you know, have any intrest in this material let us/me know. Thanks and take care.

Darcy said...

Thankyou for getting in touch again. Well I would certainly be interested to learn more about Cal’s career, particularly after he left the group the Incredibles and his experiences with the music industry as the 70s wore on when I think as fashions started to change things became a struggle for purveyors of soul music. And if the contents of the letter you describe are not of an obviously private and personal nature and you would be willing to share them then yes I would be thrilled to receive details and would not of course divulge them without yours/Cal’s family’s permission. But of course I don’t want to pry and there is no pressure. There are other people I know (not personally you understand, only through web sites or blogs similar to this) who may also be interested as I would say they are more dedicated archivists of this genre of music than I. If you want to contact me personally via email rather than through the comments section here then you can find my email address (implied) towards the end of the small print on the right of the main page of this blog.