Thursday, January 31, 2013


It’s been busy at work, and with the blustery weather as well the whole week has felt like a bit of a whirl.

I need something to relax me. This one from The Contours fits the bill perfectly.

Most of The Contours output that I am familiar with was in the classic early Motown uptempo mould but this track from late ‘64, the B side to “Can You Jerk Like Me”, is a beautiful ballad. It was written and produced by a certain Mr Robinson. I’m no expert on The Contours so I can’t tell you which member of the group is singing lead here, but he sure sounds like Smokey too.


Friday, January 25, 2013

And then there were two :(

A sad household again today. We have been here before. Today we had to have another one of our cats put to sleep.

Lucy was about 15, a lap cat, and another character. She was very vocal and we often felt like we were having conversations with her. She also liked to take her place at the table when we were having dinner, resting her chin on the edge patiently waiting for some scraps.

RIP Lucy.          

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bye bye to another golden age?

Here in the UK one of the favourite moans is the price of posting a letter. Last year there was a particularly big hike, but it is nothing in comparison to the rise about to happen in the US. I don’t know the details across the board but it’s the change in the UK equivalent of “Small Packet” postage cost that is really going to hurt. It seems the cost of posting a single 45 from the US to the UK/Europe is about to go up from about $6.90 to $12.95! The US dealers and vinyl fraternity are having kittens over at Waxidermy and desperately trying to come up with ingenious ways of mitigating the situation, but there appears to be no real answer.

Many of the 45s I have been buying in recent years have been direct from the US. I have found that if you shop around and also buy a few records at the same time the cost, including shipping, is generally cheaper than buying from a UK dealer; plus the facts that there is 1) a much wider choice and 2) my experience is the US dealers often grade their records more accurately. If you are buying an expensive record then I guess the postage cost is of little consequence, but I operate at the cheap(ish) end of the market usually and I fear this signals the end of an era for me L

We'll see what actually transpires after the 27th but it seems that getting my Soul fix is just about to get a lot more difficult. 

It’s not fair!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


A copy of  “The Beat Goes On And On” by Ripple has lived in one of my Schweppes boxes since I bought it as a new release back in ’78. 

Ripple was another manufactured name fronting a piece of irresistible Salsoul studio produced Disco goodness. At least that is what I had always thought.

… or maybe not.

More recently I have learned that Ripple were a Michigan based multi-racial group formed around 1973. They were very much a funk band then, with a percussive edge – think War crossed with early Fatback Band maybe. They released one album back then on GRC that spawned a number of singles which all made the US R&B Top 100. One of those singles, “A Funky Song”, made #41 in 1974 so cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered rare, but I had not come across it until a few weeks ago.     

In fact now,  after 35 years, my Salsoul Ripple 45 has, not one, but two new bedfellows as “A Funky Song” led me also to a copy of their first 45 “I Don’t Know What It Is, But It Sure is Funky”. And so the beat goes on and on, and the collection grows, and grows!

It’s difficult to think the same group were behind both of these records. But strip out the strings and the female vocals from the Salsoul outing and you can begin to believe it. This track was lifted from their second and final album “Sons Of The Gods”, a few tracks of which can be found on Youtube. Listening to those it is evident that “The Beat Goes On and On” was somewhat atypical and much of Ripple’s Salsoul album was rooted much more in their original sound. I still can’t help thinking that “Beat..” was a something of an implant though.

*45 issue dates.

All of Ripple’s early, GRC, era recordings, including unreleased tracks can be found on this CD.

The Salsoul album ”Sons Of The Gods” is also available on CD

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Ain't that peculiar

New year, new plan. Well, an old plan, actually.

When Feel It was born, nearly seven years ago now(!), I never intended for it to feature exclusively soul/funk/reggae/jazz, but that’s the way it's turned out. For some time now I have again been thinking of featuring other musical genres and styles (lord knows I pick up enough other “stuff” at the boot sales and charity shops nowadays). But with Feel It now established as a sort of brand (at least in my own head!), to dilute the general “groove” here wouldn’t be right somehow. So there is nothing else for it – I have decided to start another blog. Don’t worry, Feel It will still continue but it will now have a sister site, or is it a b*stard child? J

Hmm. Last month’s Advent posts aside, I had been struggling to keep up regular posting and now, here I am deciding to keep two blogs on the boil. Ain’t that peculiar!

Drop in at A HiFi Cabinet of Curiosities for another version of “Ain’t That Peculiar”. We’ll see where this goes.

PS: Grassella Oliphant was active as a jazz drummer in the 50s and 60s. He also sounds like an anagram! No prizes, but what can you make of it?