Saturday, September 27, 2014

10-13-69 : 20-12-6

Here’s a little ‘un I was really pleased to pick up recently. I have gained extra pleasure from it because, unusually for an obscure soul record, it was a real world find as opposed to an on-line one. I found it at the local Rock & Roll slanted record fair that occurs downtown about once a quarter. One or two dealers usually have a few boxes of Soul and that is where I can be found, digging away. I’m getting to recognise many of the records now, but a few different ones turn up now and then, enough to keep me happy. This time one of the dealers lent me his portable deck and ‘phones so I could check the records to my heart’s content rather than try to jump in on the main room deck. 
This is late era Jackie Day, a singer I should really get better acquainted with. This great track was, unbelievably, buried on the B side of a 1969 Speciality 45.
This copy is a promo and the DJ or record company helpfully scribed on the label the exact day of release, or at least the day it landed in the DJ’s hot box: 13th October 1969.

The significance of 20-12-6? Well, looking at the sleeve it would appear this was first up for sale at 20 ($ or £ I know not), then marked down to £12, and I picked it up for £6. £6 well spent I think.   

PS: Mrs Darce and I are off on our hols tomorrow – to Turkey, and taking in Istanbul. Things will therefore be quiet around here for a couple of weeks. Back on the weekend of the 45th anniversary of this record! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

All over the map

Danny White never had a national hit, but he should have had at least one. In 1963 “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” was a big local hit in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast. His local label, Frisco, decided to lease national distribution to Philly label Arlen, itself not exactly a major. In hindsight that was probably a mistake.

In some respects though you could say Danny White’s Frisco recordings were all over the map. Danny was born Joseph Daniel White in 1931 in New Orleans and was based there for the first 41 years of his life which included the entire span of his recording career. By the early Sixties, Danny White & The Cavaliers were one of the hottest acts in the Crescent City playing, among other venues, the Sho Bar at weekends with a 2am to 6am slot. Local chicken restaurateur Connie LaRocca formed a label with local disc jockey Hal Atkins in the early Sixties and named it Frisco, no doubt after her home town - San Francisco. The labels three main artists were Danny White, Willie West, and the Rouzan Sisters. Danny’s early Frisco sides were recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s local studio in New Orleans, but in 1964 Danny was sent to Royal in Memphis to record and be produced by the then fledgling team of Porter-Hayes. Both sides of the 45 featured here would have come from a Royal session and represent the penultimate release on the Frisco label. After Frisco closed down in 1965 Danny would only have a handful of further releases on other labels, some of which were recorded at Stax.      
By 1969 Danny’s recording career was over. He went on to spend two years as road manager for The Meters – keeping up his acquaintance with former label mate Willie West; and then, in 1972, moved to the Washington DC area where he took up a job as a sales manager for a furniture company. He would occasionally return to his home town and perform in oldies shows. Danny passed away in January 1996 after suffering a stroke.    

You won't be surprised to learn that a loving and comprehensive resume of Danny White's recording career can be found at Sir Shambling's wonderful site.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

That September feeling

It is well documented around this particular nook of the interweb that September is my favourite month. Once again this year the UK weather has come up trumps, lots of sunshine and still, quiet days - perfect.

As the sun goes down on another benign September day I thought something in a Lovers Rock vein would be in keeping. 

As usual, reggae has been difficult to find in my car boot sale trawls this year. Strangely, on just about every occasion I have found a record in said genre (and most I have found have been far from mainstream) it has been a lone jewel in a stack of 70s and 80s pop/rock ballast. This is another one from the stacks I featured recently and, now, I'm getting a bit confused, but I think this 12" was again a lonely reggae orphan. I like to think I rescued it and now it can feel at home nestling within my small but treasured collection of 12" reggae singles.

I love the somewhat restrained deejay vocalising featured in the second half of this track, performed by George Nooks aka Prince Mohammed who was also the featured deejay on Dennis Brown's late 70s classics Money In My Pocket and How Can I Leave among other songs. June Lodge's Wiki page contains an interesting back story to this record and this is where I also learnt that this song was originally a country & western hit for Charley Pride.     

JuneLodge feat. Prince Mohammed - Someone Loves You Honey  1980*

* Originally released in 1980 in JA, this reached #5 in the Dutch charts in 1982. My copy is dated 1984, doesn't credit the good Prince and I assume is a UK press.          

Friday, September 05, 2014

Bon Rock (actually, dicso boogie proto rap electro funk)

We bought a new car recently (strictly speaking not new as it was pre-registered, but it only had 2 miles on the clock! = wallet saving). We are now driving around in comparative luxury, which includes a radio that works, and offers DAB.

At last I can listen to my at home go to radio station BBC 6 music.  “At home” means I usually listen to it in the evening. I have to say that, on recent car journeys,  I have been a little underwhelmed by 6 Music’s daytime output. Never mind.

Have just been listening – at home, pottering – to Son of John, Tom Ravenscroft. Some mighty fine tunes he has been playing too as he soaks up the atmosphere of Bestival. I often listen to Tom’s show and he definitely is following in his father’s footsteps. But I do detect a love of dance music. New dance music, of course, but tonight, at least, with a nod to the old school…. which is where I come in!

If Tom had been knocking about as a thrusting new(ish) DJ in the early Eighties maybe he would have played this. This being something I picked up at an impromptu visit to a local charity shop the other day. How do you classify this record? According to Discogs its genre is hip hop, funk/soul and its style is electro, funk, disco. Covering all bases there, then!

Whatever it is I have a soft spot for this genre, style, whatever. (A sentence that starts and ends with the same word, it won’t win any literary prizes I’m sure!). Maybe it has something to do with the fact I hung up my DJ headphones around ’81 ’82 and I am still hankering after what I just missed out on playing out. I could happily mine this early Eighties disco boogie electro funk motherlode for some time to come.

50p well spent, anyway. The rap at the end sounds so cheesy, but at the same time fits perfectly with the rest of the track.

PS. Sorry about the out of focus piccy.