Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring crackers

Two 45s for you today.

(sorry, the scanner didn't like the Casblanca label) 

They have two things in common. Firstly I can link both back to previous posts here at Feel It. You can find more on the wonderful Gloria Scott here. “Just As Long As We’re Together” is another unmistakable Barry White production and was, I think, planned to be a track on her follow up album to the magnificent “What Am I Gonna Do”. The album never materialised and Gloria disappeared from the music scene. A sad loss.        

I haven’t been able to turn up anything of a back story on Frankie Newsome. Nor for that matter the credited writer of “Coming On Strong, Staying Long” – Zono Sago. However the label Sagport can be linked back to a previous post of mine where there is a little bit of info on the arranger Jim Porter. Sagport is shorthand for Zono Sago and Jim Porter. Jim Porter also gets his name in lights - as Jay Pee  - on this single

The other thing these two records have in common? They are both cracked. Luckily both only have, what I believe in the trade is termed, a “tight crack” (oo er Mrs!) so they play perfectly well. The Gloria Scott 45 looks generally pretty beat up but plays ok – and it only cost 25p at the car boot sale a couple of weeks ago. The Frankie Newsome 45 was even cheaper, in fact it didn’t cost me anything! I had bought a couple of other singles and the seller threw this in for free as it was cracked. Can’t be bad!    

So why should Christmas have the monopoly on crackers, here are two Spring crackers for you!  

Gloria Scott - Just As Long As We're Together 1975* (*UK release date)

Frankie Newsome - Coming On Strong Staying Long 1972?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cover-ups + I’m worried already!

The car boot sale season is upon us once again. Hooray!

My first foray into the fields of England this year drew a blank but my second trip proved very fruitful.
The inaugural haul of 2010 included the following:

The Upsetter (Trojan LP 90s reissue)
Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Scream (LP)
Jackson Browne – Saturate Before Using (LP)
Jimmy Ruffin’s Greatest Hits (Motown LP)
Teddy Pendergrass – Only You (12” single)
Jean Carne – You’re A Part Of Me (LP)
Rose Royce – Put Your Money…./Car Wash/I Wanna Get Next To You (white label 12”)
Lulu – Leave A Little Love (45)
Fatback Band – Yum Yum (45) *
Fatback Band – Are You Ready (Do The Bus Stop) (45) *
* my copies are getting a bit worn!
Gloria Scott – Just As Long As We’re Together (45 UK demo) – more of this in a future post
Pioneers – Broken Man 1976
+ a couple of other bits and pieces that I picked up with the intention of selling on.
All for a total of only £8 – not bad!

It seems the Pioneers “Broken Man” was covered up by at least one Northern DJ as Spiral Staircase “No Heart”. The act of covering up a record’s true identity has long been a practice of DJs, especially those on the Northern Soul scene. The idea was to keep the sound exclusive, and elusive. DJ oneupmanship. Of course if the DJ had his head screwed on (and spinning at the right speed? Ha ha) I daresay he would have picked up a few copies of said cover up, then, after a time with demand fuelled, leaked it’s true identity, sold his spares for eye watering amounts, and ridden off into the sunset. 

Because of the Pioneers reggae pedigree it’s often described as a reggae record but it certainly isn’t that. Equally, I’m not sure how “Broken Man” would have gone down on the Northern scene. Eddy Grant had steered them more towards soul in the mid 70s. But is it soul? Is it pop? I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s catchy and that’s enough.    

I was at the boot sale quite late so people were packing up by the time I was about to leave. At the last pitch  all singles were reduced to 25p – or "you can have the lot for er, um, £6". I had already looked through many of them and hadn’t seen anything that really grabbed me, it was mostly 70s and early 80s pop/disco and pop/soul. But they were in generally excellent condition, and there were a lot for only £6. Oh no, I thought, I don’t really want these but I have a sneaking feeling I’m not going to be able to stop myself buying them". I know, I’ll offer £5, he will say no, and I will walk away. But he said yes and so I walked away with my arms full of singles.  

(Note to self: in future leave well before the end of car boot sales or risk having to build an extension to house all the vinyl I will end up buying! Now, where did I put that psychiatrist’s telephone number?!)        

Over the last few days I’ve spent some time sifting through the 168(!) singles I bought. There is nothing remotely rare in the stack, nor anything in all honesty that will remotely enhance my life through owning. Nevertheless I did get a lot of enjoyment sorting through all the records, playing them, in some instances having my memory jogged, and researching a few. There are about 25 I will keep and another 25 I reckon with a bit of luck I may be able to sell on. There you are. I’ve justified my action!

The sifting included playing both sides of many of the singles because I have learnt that every now and then there is a gem tucked away on a B side. Here is a case in point, much better than the A side in my opinion. Below the prominent rock tinged beat there are shades of Detroit and Philly, making for an interesting amalgam of pop and soul. For a bit of fun I am presenting it as a cover up. Internet research turned up lots of interesting information (at least, interesting to me, but then I am a bit of an anorak!) surrounding this track, and filled in a few more pieces of a seemingly endless musical jigsaw. For now all I will tell you is it was issued in 1975 as a B side to a Top 10 UK hit, and was also an album track. It was written by two guys who had an association with another group who had big UK pop hits in the 70s (in fact the A side bears a striking resemblance to one of that pop group’s big hits), and the song was originally written for and recorded by a female group in 1972. Said female group hailed from South Carolina but enjoyed their biggest successes after moving their base to England.

Cover up 1975 (This cover up was Mac & Katie Kissoon singing Hold On To Me)

Any idea who this is, and who the other groups referred to are? I will reveal all in a week or so (if you haven't told me already).
Coming up next:  from “Broken Man” to broken records!  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Treasure

Just a quick tweetesque post.

Saw Ruby Turner with her own band live last night. A feast of blues, gospel and soul.What a wonderful voice Ruby has.

She is roughly half way through a UK tour with her own band and of course also appears regularly with Jools Holland and Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

Go and see her - I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another return

I promised I would get back to some Soul but there I was struggling to decide exactly what - possibly because I’m spoilt for choice. So I had a little break and read a few of my favourite blogs, one of which is dustysevens. That made up my mind. So here, for the second time running, is an answer post to Ally at dustysevens. I’m not stalking you Ally – honest!

Ally has just posted a couple of Terry Callier compositions as performed by The (mighty mighty) Dells. Those songs had both been recorded by Terry Callier himself and appeared on his “What Color Is Love” album. Ally wondered whether The Dells had covered any other Terry Callier songs.

Well, I’m not sure they covered any other songs that Terry actually recorded himself, but he certainly penned a number of songs for The Dells at the dawn of the Seventies.

Here are two. Both beautiful, gorgeous, moving.

(In common with one of the tracks Ally featured these two tracks were on The Dells album "Freedom Means", and "Free And Easy" is another great track on that album)

The Dells – The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind) 1971

The Dells – It’s All Up To You 1971

(Excuse the pops and clicks in the intros, but they were dollar bin records).

Friday, April 09, 2010

Tape Tennis + Bonus

Finally dragged myself away from the sunshine. What a beautiful day!

I read this week that, for the second year running, vinyl record sales increased. Inexplicably sales of VHS video tapes also increased. But what about the humble cassette tape I wonder?

 Lovely Ally over at dustysevens posted a side of an old John Peel Show mixtape the other day.
I noticed that it included a couple of tracks from an Echo & The Bunnymen session from 1979, including Villiers Terrace.

I’ve got that track and others from that session on a JP mix tape too!

To think that Ally and I were doing the old two finger shuffle at the same time one evening in 1979. And how many other people too, I wonder?

So transcribed from 1 7/8ips to 128kbps for your listening pleasure is side 2 of my mix tape from the winter of ’79. (Be patient and you will hear the man himself right at the end).

John Peel mix tape – Winter ’79 – Side 2 (mp3)

If some of you are wondering where all the Soul has gone hereabouts, fear not it’ll be back next week.

Oh go on then, have this random pick to be going on with..

Major Lance – That’s The Story Of My Life 1972    

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tapping My Feet #13

Bank Holiday Mondays...

In the Sixties I remember watching news footage of Mods & Rockers fighting it out on the beaches of England.

In the Nineties it was the local park when the children were young ("can we go to the wobbly bridge please").

Now it's shopping in Ikea and Garden Centres - or even better just staying in and avoiding all the traffic.

For a time in the late Seventies/early Eighties it was "All Dayers"....

Baby O - In The Forest 1980

(A fresh batch of adverts on UK TV is plundering the Disco and Soul archives again. M&S are going with Cheryl Lynn and Adidas with the magnificent Dee Edwards (my chances of buying this 45 for a reasonable sum are now even less!). Perhaps Center Parcs could use Baby O - then again maybe not, it's probably a bit too frantic for the image they would want to portray).    


Thursday, April 01, 2010

A double shot

Bunny Maloney - Baby I've Been Missing You 1976

It’s been a funny old week (and a bit). I was laid low by something for a few days last week. Don’t know what it was, although Mrs Darce seemed to be sure: man-flu. And I was given some helpful advice: man up!

As far as I was concerned it was serious though because it left me with no desire to turn the computer on or even listen to music. As for this blog, well I was put right off my stroke, and this is the first tentative step towards getting back in the groove.

Before I was so rudely interrupted I had been on a bit of a Reggae fest. I’m picking up where I left off and also linking back into the Soul field.

Digging deep in my boxes on my search for Reggae I dug out this 45 by Bunny Maloney. I noticed the writing credit was Jackson/Yancey. Those names rang a big bell but I had to jump onto the Internet to jog the memory. It transpired that I think I knew those names from writing credits on Natalie Cole songs. What I don’t believe I knew before though was that Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancey (as a musician) had once been in the group The Independents and “Baby I’ve Been Missing You” was originally a top 10 R&B hit for them in the early Seventies.

(While we are on the trivia trail I also learned that… Chuck Jackson is the brother of the Rev Jesse Jackson … Marvin Yancey was also a Reverend… Marvin and Natalie Cole were husband and wife for a time. I wish I could tell you more about Bunny Maloney but info is scarce on him).