Friday, January 31, 2014

As square as a pool table ! ?

Following on from last Friday’s entry which featured a great double header 45 from Gloria Parker- one song upbeat, one slow – here is another in a similar vein. There may be a pattern emerging here!

The Brainstorm label is a b*gger to photograph but it looks like it's turned out OK. Just to confirm, this is Brainstorm Records (Chicago, Illinois) 126, a 1968 release from Roy Hytower.

This was nestling next to the Gloria Parker 45 in the package that arrived recently. Again it looks mint, and wow!, this is a loud pressing! I had to turn the Audacity input slider all the way down to 0.7 for this one, it normally hovers around the maximum. (Hmmm. Or has the latest fiddling with the cartridge connections caused this?)       

Judging by this 45 Roy Hytower is an excellent singer and guitarist who, criminally, never had a national hit. All that I can find on him is contained in Robert Pruter’s excellent book “Chicago Soul” in a section dedicated to Brainstorm Records. There Robert tells us that Roy was born in Coffeyville, Alabama in 1943 (a close contemporary in more ways than one to Candi Staton then).  Roy moved to Chicago in 1962 and teamed up with Otis Rush, replacing Mighty Joe Young as the guitarist in his band. His first 45 was released in 1965 but as soon as his recording career started he was drafted. In 1968 returning to the Chicago scene he recorded the 45 featured here. Subsequently Roy had only two other 45 released as far as I can tell, which is a shame. He developed a career in black musicals playing such roles as Muddy Waters and Otis Redding, and was highly respected. Later in his career he has released a couple of CDs (1988 and 1999). At far as I know Roy is still performing.

Being 1968 it was early enough in soul music’s timeline to be a fair bet that the slow number would feature as the A side, and that is the case here. But as it’s Friday dance your troubles away to the hard hitting B side first, but be sure to listen to that Good Man Going Bad too, it’s a wonderful slab of deep southern soul, and if that's not enough, it contains the line “as square as a pool table”(!)(?)  

1 comment:

george said...

Really like the 2nd song.