So here we are at the end of another Advent-ure. A cliche I know, but they seem to go quicker each year. I hope you have enjoyed the ride. Not a Christmas record in sight and that's because I don't own many on vinyl, apart from the obvious ones you have no doubt heard more than enough times already again this year on the radio and in the supermarkets etc. This is as close as I'm going to get to a Christmas record. It's one that comes with a suggestion I put forward with a certain amount of trepidation: you are feeling just a little full after the turkey and all the trimmings, but of course you will somehow find room for Christmas pudding. Take that pudding in it's dish in one hand, and a spoon (or fork if you're posh) in the other, stand up and move around the table, you know - dance, shake a tail feather, do the shakey pudding! I will not be held responsible for the consequences! Jesse Morrsion - Shakey Pudding 1975 I wish you and yours a collective Happy Christmas. Enjoy the holidays.
The holiday is approaching (actually, it's here! yippee!). This may allow me to relocate a box or two of singles into the record room and give them some love over the next week or so. I buy all these records, play them a couple of times, and then they get filed. Madness really. Since a refiling exercise earlier this year this C & The Shells 45 has been at the front of one of the boxes. Too few times I've been to those boxes this year, but whenever I have it seems C & The Shells have been crying out "play me". Now, finally, this 45's time has come. C was Calvin White, and the Shells were Lonzine Wright and Andrea Bolden. They started recording in 1967 on Calla as The Sandpebbles. At the end of the Sixties they moved to Cotillion and that was then when they changed their name to C & The Shells. On an old Soulful Detroit thread Jerry Williams Jr (Swamp Dogg), who produced some of their earlier output, says that Lonzine was the main female lead. In their two incarnations they released 14 singles in all. This was their first on Zanzee, it came out in 1972 and only two more would follow before they called it a day in 1973. I don't know for sure if any of the group members carried on in the musical world. A Lonzine Wright, probably the same lady, did have a few 12" releases on Tyson, which presumably date to the early Eighties. Calvin White started out in the Gospel world and possibly he returned to his roots, he passed away in 2007.
It has just struck me the ladies have been under-represented in this
year's Advent-ure. So I'll go some way towards putting that right
Crutcher made her way primarily as a songwriter, and a very
successful one too. You can find her name in the writing credits of
many songs, especially at Stax. And if you find We Three in the
credits that is her too in partnership with Homer Banks and Raymond
Jackson. Johnnie Taylor's Who's Making Love was probably their
biggest and most well known song.
had just one album in her own name, Long As You Love Me (I'll Be
Alright). Released in 1974 on
Enterprise (and amazingly it got a UK release too, on Stax) it is a
great lost gem. Bettye had a hand in the writing, mostly alongside
Sir Mack Rice, on all the tracks. It turns out Bettye also had a very
pretty voice, not powerful, but perfectly suited to the material on
the album which is a mix of ballads and slinky mid tempo numbers.
Deep and sophisticated in equal measure, there is a real cohesion to
the album. It should be on everybody's list of top 10 Soul albums of
all time in my opinion.
It's a shame my copy is not in better shape. I really need an upgrade. This one, incredibly, was described as M- record and
sleeve. It is not even close. It didn't even have an inner sleeve and
was shipped in a flimsy envelope with no stiffeners. It was a miracle
it got to me in one piece. Just about the worst experience I have
ever had buying on-line. Not bought through ebay, but I did manage to
extract a small partial refund, given with ill grace, from the
seller. Should you find yourself contemplating a purchase from a UK
seller who has a bulldog for a logo, think twice.
Earlier this year, or was it last year? time goes so quickly nowadays, I had a run of listening to George Duke. My introduction to him had been back in 1979 when Brazilian Love Affair, that irresistible slab of jazz-funk crossed over into the discos. Until this year I had never really explored his catalog further. Faces In Reflection is one album of his I have picked up recently. Released in 1974 before the jazz brigade moved, seemingly wholesale, into more accessible jazz-funk and disco territory this album is very much for the head rather than the feet and is a very rewarding listen. George Duke - North Beach 1974
I was looking for a double header in the disco vein for this post, or anything remorselessly uptempo. But a brief search of the boxes turned up nothing worthy of a post. I'm not in the mood really and struggling to focus today if I'm honest, I'm full of cold and feeling a bit glum. So, instead, it's another serious hit of Soul. Last weekend I went to Fopp, which could be classed as a record shop I suppose - it was noticeable how much more vinyl was on the shelves lately. I went there because I had a gift token given to me last Christmas that I thought I ought to spend before this Christmas came upon us! After a lot of browsing I eventually came away with 4 CDs which I'm very happy with. One of them was Don Covay's 1966 album See Saw (only £3 in Fopp) which includes one of the sides on the 45 featured here (I think it is maybe a differnt take on the 45 though?). Don passed away earlier this year, just after I had started playing lots of his records again. He really was a giant of Soul and Rhythm & Blues and was underappreciated I think. Certainly the people in the Bristol branch of Fopp have some way to go in their appreciation of him - the CD I bought was filed under Dan Covay. Oh dear! Don Covay & The Goodtimers - Iron Out The Rough Spots 1966 Don Covay & The Goodtimers - You Put Something On Me 1966
And so my team are back on the manager merry-go-round again. Have they done the right thing in relieving our beloved Jose of his duties? Who knows?, the team have been terrible this season and something isn't right. But I thought owner and manager together had a common goal this time - stability, a dynasty. Gone now. I've supported Chelsea for nearly 50 years now - passionately - but I find myself strangely ambivalent to their fate this time, I'm getting tired of all this. The Mad Lads - "Gone"! The Promises Of Yesterday 1971
A quick rummage in the boxes tonight came up with this. A bit crackly I grant you but this is a gorgeous mid pacer that deserves to be shared. I'm struggling to remember where I picked this one up but I think it was amongst a bunch of sleeveless records at a car boot a few years ago that set me back 10p each. The lack of a sleeve would account for the crackles, and the crackles would probably account for me putting it in the box and promptly forgetting about it. Finally, and rightfully, it has its time. Bob & Earl - Baby, Your Time Is My Time 1966
Keep smiling - good advice for a Chelsea supporter this season. The tables have been turned. Slow and moody, black and bluesy. Let's hope the mood of this song doesn't match mine later on tonight. Let's have a win to celebrate for a change! In my mind I had somehow misfiled Ray Agee as a Country singer (I think I might have confused him with Roy Acuff). I stand corrected! Ray Agee - Keep Smiling 1968 PS The A side of this is another wonderful Bobby Bland-esque slab of bluesy soul (or should that be soulful blues?). I might have to post it as well before the month's out.
It's been a long search but finally I bagged a copy of this Cynthia Sheeler 45 recently. What's the story behind Xs on labels? When the radio station doesn't get issued with a promo the DJ makes his mark on the side they're going to plug is my thinking. Although maybe if a record label, or the press, is so small they don't print a special promo label then the record label itself marks the side they want plugged? Double love on this one, and quite right too, but it's a pity they couldn't spell her name correctly! Cynthia has the voice of an angel and I love it more than words can say. Cynthia Sheeler - Love You More (Than Words Can Say) 1973 The other side of this, One Minute Of Your Time, deserves that from you too if you are not already familiar with it. It's available again at my old post of the Phil LA Of Soul release of the song.
X Factor on the tele was my cue to move into the record room. Something prompted me to pull this Fat Larry's Band album out the other day, but I can't remember what it was now. It's called Feel It! I must admit I had forgotten that, and before you ask, no, this album was not the prompt for the title of this blog, but it does contain two tracks I do really feel. The lyrics to Center City may be banal in the extreme but the rise and fall of the song and the chorus just get me every time. This one is for all of you in the City Centres today - whether it was shopping or partying. Fascination is a great soulful and funky reworking of the David Bowie track, ooh those horns. Brings back memories of my early DJing days. Fat Larry's Band - Center City 1976 Fat Larry's Band - Fascination 1976
It's Friday, it's double header time. This 45 by The Artistics should have been a big hit in my opinion, but did nothing. The Artistics were a wonderful group and had a great lead singer in Marvin Smith, who I've featured here before on more than one occasion. Marvin was in and out of the group during their Brunswick years but in this interview he confirms he was featured on The Articulate Artistics and What Happened albums. Just look at all the big names in the credits on this 45 - Carl Davis, Eugene Record, Barbara Acklin, Sonny Sanders, Willie Henderson - top drawer Chicago. The guitar places it very much at the end of the 60s, and The Four Tops come to mind on Walking Tall. My copy has had a few plays but the wear can't detract from the music, which oozes class. The Artistics - What Happened 1969 The Artistics - Walking Tall 1969
I gorged myself on four chocolates from my Advant calendar just now playing catch up. I plan to have caught up here too by the end of the evening. The Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities once again offers up what can be found behind door 10.
Yes, I know, I missed a day, now I'm playing catch up. Only time for one post today so the catch up will happen tomorrow with two posts, all being well. I'm even further behind with my real Advent calendar (Mrs Darce buys me one every year :) ). Door 8 is still unopened. A chocolate fest for me tomorrow! #9 has finally been opened over at the Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities.
I wasn't sure about this one at the record fair the other week. "Big Band" usually puts me off but I liked the cover. Needle dropping left me undecided. I said as much to the seller and he effectively threw it in for nothing with my other purchases. You can't argue with that and I'm glad I didn't, In the right mood this is a good listen. This album - Duality - was released in 1980 on Discovery but features previously unreleased material from 1969 sessions. This track in particular sound very late 60s I think. Clare Fischer Big Band - The Greek 1969/80
I keep telling myself not to take punts on 12" singles, especially if they are recent issues (recent means 90s on in my book). I really know next to nothing about how dance music has evolved over the last 20 years, but I have heard enough to know I am not a fan of, for example, techno, trance, and hard house. I figure for every ten punts I took I might find only one track that I might vaguely like, and there is something about the 12" format that doesn't quite grab me in the same way as a 7". And it takes up too much space! The original shop price sticker helped me out with this one though. I had never heard of Deyampert, but the sticker said "deep soulful garage" and that was enough to sell it to me because that is one of the recent genres of "R&B" I have found I quite like, and when I played this 12" for the first time it was a bit of a Ronseal moment - I found it does exactly what it says on the tin (or label to be more precise here). Something nice and chilled for a Saturday night - and something to take my mind off the fact it looks like my beloved football team are actually being drawn into a relegation dog fight - for real ("unbelievable, Jeff!"). Deyampert feat. Jane Hamilton - It's You 2003
The Players had just the four singles released, in an 18 month period between 1966 and '67. Their debut single, with a Vietnam theme, was a big hit on the soul stations and made the R&B top 30 in '66. Unusually for a soul group who were not an established act Minit released an album on them. The (brief) history of the band is complicated and is expanded upon in Robert Pruter's book Doo-Wop, The Chicago Scene. This, their third single, certainly demonstrates Herbert Butler had a good voice, and the producers of their debut single obviously thought so too by keeping him on the recording session and teaming him with most of the members of The Dells on backing. The singers that eventually joined Butler to become The Players could all trace their roots back to the fifties Chicago Doo Wop scene, and on these sides they complement Butler's warm tenor very well. I can find no information on what became of the members of The Players, Herbert Butler certainly deserved more success, but it was a crowded scene back then and it would seem he was played no more. In true Friday fashion here, both sides of this Chicago delight are served up for your pleasure. The Players - There's Got To Be A Way 1967 The Players - That's The Way (To Tend To Business) 1967
I would like to say I found this 45 in the wild, but I didn't, this one came from the 'bay. Reggae records very seldom turn up at car boots and charity shops. I always get excited when I spy the Trojan label at such a venue - except actually I don't anymore because now I automatically assume it is going to be Ken Boothe's Everything I Own, and my assumption is almost always correct. I was surprised to find U Roy on a Trojan release, and in fact I was right to be surprised - on 45cat the Trojan record label currently have 587 singles listed and TR 7884 is the only one featuring U Roy. I am not as well versed in Reggae as I am in Soul so I also admit to being surprised at the year 1972 on the label. That seemed early to me for U Roy, I always think of him as coming to the fore later in the 70s. This track also sounds a little ahead of its time to me. But it seems it was released in December 1972, so will now be celebrating, roughly, its 43rd birthday. I was going to feature the A side, Hat Trick, which would have tied in nicely with this being door number 3 on this year's Advent-ure. But the B side is even better so gets the nod. It's a little bit swishy swooshy for starters - I could maybe have blamed the rain on the window for that! U Roy - Wet Vision 1972
I've been trying to buy less in the charity shops and booters lately because storage space is getting a serious problem. But my addiction is just as strong as ever in truth as exhibited by this, a charity shop purchase yesterday. It was odds on it would contain sub standard fare in the grooves. From the West Indies, but Barbados not Jamaica, so Reggae would not feature. Possibly Calypso, bit containing lots of covers - Knock Three Times for instance - so the hopes weren't high. Still the cover was worth the entry price anyway. Having played most of this now I have to say I've been charmed by it. It does feature an organist who places the band fairly and squarely on the Windies hotel circuit, and there is too much of him. But I'm really liking the horns, in turns haunting and jaunty, and when they are haunting they sort of bring to mind Tower Of Power in their early days (I'm thinking Sparkling In the Sand especially, which is what these Tropical Islanders are doing).
Yikes! All of a sudden it's December. How did that happen? As is now customary around here that means it is time for another Feel It Advent-ure. A post a day, can i really do it again? I'm not sure to be honest, but I'll give it a go. McKinley Mitchell - All Of A Sudden 1962 (PS be sure to tell me if the downloads stop working).
posts are back and now the "double headers" are back too. I
thought I might have posted a Louis Curry 45 before, but a quick
search seems to indicate not. As far as I can tell Louis Curry only
had four 45 releases, - one on the Reel label, which is a rare
record, and three on the Detroit based M-S label that all came
out in 1968 and are none too common either. His first for M-S was the
superb A Toast To You which was a sizeable regional hit. I
picked up a copy of it a few years ago but it is not in fantastic
condition. That 45 put Curry on my radar and I recently acquired a
top copy of his final release on M-S.
is almost no information out there I can find on Louis Curry. An old thread on Soulful Detroit offers some tantalising glimpses including
a wonderful story surrounding the recording of A Toast To You. But
there is little else tangible. I wonder what happened to Louis, his
vocal ability certainly deserved more success.
commonplace with Sixties Soul 45s one side is a slow burner and the
other is aimed more at the feet. God's Creation is a gem andhas really got me hooked, it has a distinctive and quite complex
arrangement; there is certainly nothing run of the mill about it.
45 would have been issued only a matter of months after Martin Luther
King's assassination and the uptempo B(?) side I've Got To Get
Away From Here demonstrates the change in the air that was
sweeping through Detroit and black American music in general in the
late Sixties, triggered to an extent by that terrible event. It has a noticeably funky edge and is lyrically more
serious and aware, reflecting the particularly troubled times that
were being experienced. You can sense the the tension of the streets
in its grooves.
clocks have changed and the nights have drawn in. The signal I think
to get some regular Friday night action going again here.
weekend is here I'm smiling and here is a fun record. Shirley
Ellis' Clapping Song is still a great floor filler
in my experience. I was struck by how fresh – and irresistible - it
sounded when it was played alongside some more obscure upbeat Soul
and Northern at a local pub OVO do (original vinyl only) I attended
not so long ago. The Puzzle Song was the follow up
to that single in 1965. It may not be such a guaranteed mover but is
still, as I said, great fun.
are some puzzles:
do I continue to buy records when I am surrounded by ones I haven't
got around to playing yet? I picked up this particular 45 ages ago –
getting on for a year now possibly - and I have only just pulled it
out of a pile and given it some proper attention.
march of technology. My trusty old digital camera gave up the ghost
recently. It always took good pictures of spinning 45s without any
adjustment needed. I have only just worked out which setting gives
me this ability on my “new” camera (it's a hand me down from my
daughter so not brand new but much fancier than my old one), but
this setting needs to be made each time and even then it's a bit
more hit and miss in trying to catch the record at the right angle.
weekend is Premiership football free and I'm looking forward to that
because it means I don't have to live in fear of another bad result.
Can't remember the last time that happened. How can a team win the
Premiership one season and be so bad the next – with basically the
same players? (I know, they weren't too hot after Christmas last
season but they still ended up champions, relegation is not
completely out of the question this season!).
up a curious compilation album at the car boot sale last weekend.
It's on the Deacon label. Deacon was a budget label active from
roughly 1969-1972. It released compilations in a “Pick Of The Pops”
style by soundalike artists as well as a whole ragbag of other
releases in various genres – Sounds Like... Ray Conniff, The
Exciting Sounds Of Blues And Brass, and Gunfighter Ballads And Trail
Songs are just three titles to give you an idea. (And, of course,
in true budget label tradition many of their albums featured a young
lady on the front cover - they often present a welcome diversion in
my digging trips!). There were a few compilations of original
material too in the catalog. DEA 1022 Starring Lou Rawls,
released in 1970, is one of them. This album was originally released
5 years earlier in the USA on the Premier label (another budget label
I assume). The album may be called Starring Lou Rawls but Lou
is only represented by two tracks, Joe Tex and Brook Benton each
weigh in with four tracks a piece. I would guess that all the songs
date to around 1960. Soul and R&B was certainly popular in the
mid Sixties in the USA but none of the artists on this album could be
said to have had massive hits or be household names around that time,
so quite why such a compilation was originally released is anybody's
guess. Double ditto for the Deacon release in the UK in 1970. I'm
sure the truth is there was neither rhyme nor reason to many of the
releases such budget labels made (beyond their soundalike hits of the
day cash ins), they just managed to acquire rights to various “second
division” back catalog material at a cheap price and put it out
there in the hope of making a few shillings.
attracted to this Deacon album primarily by Joe Tex's name. I am a
fan of his and didn't recognise his featured tracks so was curious to
hear them. It is the two Lou Rawls tracks that are the standouts
though, so perhaps they got the album title right after all.
Lou Rawls was not long out of an eventful few years in his life – a
spell in the army, a possible fling with Candi Staton, and a serious
car crash that nearly resulted in death had all been part of his life
in the late Fifties. He issued his first ever 45 on the Shar-Dee
label in '59/60 and the two tracks on this album comprised both sides
of his second 45 release on that label. This 45 appears to be quite
collectable. By way of this Deacon album I have my own copy of this
45 now, and I'm happy.
giving the album another listen I've realised a track credited to Joe
Tex doesn't disappoint either, I missed this one on first play. A
quick bit of googling led me to a 45 on Jalynne with this on it, and
another track on my Deacon album also credited to Joe Tex. The only
thing is the 45 is by Sammy Taylor. So who is singing this I wonder?
This sounds like it could be Joe.
like I'm disappearing under a mountain of vinyl again. My latest
filing binge resulted in some of my soul boxes running out of space.
The problem there is that if I introduce another box I don't know
where to put it. So as a temporary measure – just putting off the
inevitable - I thought I would prune the collection just a little bit
to make enough space to allow me to at least complete the latest
stack you see in the picture was all I managed to prune. But wait a
minute, I should give these just one more play to make sure they can
go. Hmmm, I think I will keep that one; and that one; I don't
remember that one being so catchy.
this is hopeless, I'm a vinyl junkie – guilty as charged.
just a couple of the records that I have somehow got to reintroduce
into the boxes.
So there I was in a record shop the other
week agonising over the merits of a Phyllis Hyman LP. I didn’t buy it in the
end because I thought there was a bit of a condition issue with one or two of the tracks.
It is very much installed on my want list now though. I am a big fan of Phyllis Hyman
but this particular album had not been on my radar before. As I was skipping
through the tracks the one that really stood out was One Thing On My Mind. When I got home I looked it up on the
Googlemachine and found that it was a cover of an Evie Sands song (and co-written by her). That led me
to Evie’s 1974 album Estate Of Mind
on which her original version appears. Listening to some of the tracks on that
album convinced me I ought to get the album and so it was a copy in excellent
condition winged its way over to me from Germany a few weeks ago (German
international postage is so reasonable).
Estate Of Mind
is a great album, sort of Carole King-ish in a way I think, and very good production. But you know how it
is with certain tracks when you hear them you just have to play them again
(and again) immediately, you’re hooked and there is nothing you can do about
it. Well, that's how is it with One Thing
On My Mind. I have played the whole album a couple of times, but it is difficult
to get past this one track, I am well into double figures already with it. (And
now I am doing the same on YouTube with Phyllis Hyman’s version too).
Johnny Otis was a giant in the world of
R&B throughout the Fifties and beyond. His Wiki entry fairly rips through
his incredibly full life and leaves you sort of breathless.
I’ve picked up a few of his records
recently. For instance this year I have found, at separate spots, two copies of
a 1957 UK release on 78. What were the odds of that, I thought? Well it turns
out that the release in question – Ma,
He’s Making Eyes At Me - was a big hit, Otis’ first in the UK. So maybe not so unusual. By the Seventies he wasn’t
as prominent on the scene, with less touring and recorded output – of
course he was in his fifties by then. However, every Seventies single I have come
across with his name in the credits – all of them on small labels which I am
guessing were his own – have been well worth the admission price.
As a band leader Johnny Otis often made a
point of featuring and crediting collaborating artists on his records.
Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me,
and it’s B side, was credited to The Johnny Otis Show, fully qualified as
Johnny Otis and his Orchestra with Marie Adams and The Three Tons Of Joy. The B
side – Romance in The Dark – is something
of a marriage of big band, R&B and doo wop and is certainly a joy. The
Three Tons Of Joy also get the credit on the B side although it is in actual
fact the Moonbeams doing the backing I believe. I have not perfected recording a 78 yet, and
even if I had in this instance there would be the basic problem that I have mislaid the disc, so
it’s Youtube to the rescue for this one.
My most recent Otis purchase is a 45 on
Hawk Sound, released in 1972 according to 45cat. Hawk Sound was Johnny Otis’
own studio and label. Again it is the B side that shines and it is a bluesy
deep soul gem with, this time round,
Big Daddy Rucker sharing the spotlight with The Johnny Otis Show. Big
Daddy Rucker – aka Ervin Groves, aka Big Boy Groves – and Johnny Otis would
seem to have been kindred spirits, both were on the scene in the Fifties, both
led bands then, and both had offspring who also became successful on the music
scene – Shuggie Otis, and Lani Groves who spent some years as a member of Stevie’s
I’m still here. Life has been full of
stuff recently which has, coincidentally, included tidying up two houses and gardens in readiness for
estate agents’ pictures.
One of those houses is my late mother’s,
and that has been difficult. Every ornament, piece of china, book etc is a
memory; they can’t all be kept so sorting and sifting has to take place- keep, sell,
charity shop, tip. A life reduced to a military disposal operation. It’s hard.
In this process it has become apparent my daughter has a liking for brown furniture
and has evidently been secretly coveting some of my parents’ furniture. A
bureau has already been installed in her bedroom, and given half the chance
more items would go into storage for the time she may be able to afford her own
The other house is a friend’s mum’s villa
in Turkey. After nine years Wendy has decided to move back to the UK, so our
holiday this year involved more tidying and sorting. For me that meant tidying
up in the garden mostly – in 32C+ heat. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable,
and most of the time we were doing holiday things – i.e. not very much.
Mrs Darce and her friend have been visiting Wendy for quite a few years now, and
the husbands have been allowed the last couple of years too! The villa is in a
little village called Uzumlu, it is a charming place, and we will all miss it.
What about some music then? In the last
few weeks I have still managed to find some time for a bit of charity shop trawling, car
booting, and on-line buying. The vinyl has been mounting up, but with no time
to listen to any of my recent purchases. There is quite a stack to get through.
Tonight I have made a start, nd here is one of the first 45s to finally get some
Tamiko Jones I knew only from a couple of
late Seventies disco outings. I didn’t know she had been recording since the
early Sixties and has had an interesting and “connected” life. On this 45
from 1967 she teams up with Herbie Mann and delivers some groovy goodness in a Latin
vein. Both tracks were taken from a 1967
album A Mann And A Womanand were two of three tracks on that album arranged by Joe Zawinul, who would soon after first join
Miles Davis’ band and later form Weather Report and be instrumental in the birth
of jazz fusion.
As far as recording studios are concerned
it’s about 565 miles for that is the driving distance from Chicago, IL to
Considering the 1000 series Checker 45 releases
it’s 6, and about 4 months was all there was between them when they were
released in 1968.
Recently when they dropped through my letterbox
nothing at all separated them because they were nestling snugly together in the
You will all know by now I love the Chicago
sound, and I also love the sounds that were coming out of Rick Hall’s Fame
studio in the late Sixties. So how could I choose between them? I can’t, so you
get both. Furthermore, I find it difficult to choose between the two sides of each of these records so, again, you get both.
I found myself putting together a disco
mix CD for a swap over at VG+ recently. I thought it would be made up almost
entirely with 12“ singles when I started but in the end a few 7” and album
tracks ended up in the mix too. It was a good exercise because it led me to rediscover
a few records I had probably not played for over 30 years, since my DJing days.
A case in point was the album One Way
featuring Al Hudson (incidentally they released two albums by that name,
this is the second of them) . A track
from this album was nowhere near my initial tentative stabs at a running order
for the mix CD. But the process caused me to pull this album out of the
collection and put in on the deck, I thought for a quick needle skip through
the tracks out of curiosity. I ended up playing it all the way through, both
sides. Many – most? – Disco and Soul/Funk albums from the 70s and 80s don’t
really make it as an album, often one trackers , often with an awkward mix of dancefloor
business and slow – dare I say dull and syrupy
– numbers. This One Way album holds up well though. The funky tracks are all
strong and irresistible to the feet and the slower numbers have plenty of merit
too, there is some invention and texture – more than “soul by numbers”. Al Hudson has a good voice too. Thinking
about it I was evidently a fan of Al. The band were originally known as Al Hudson
& The Soul Partners and I have a few of their 12“ singles – among them You Can Do It which was at the poppier end of their output and was
a big hit in the UK, and Spread Love which
was a killer and still finds favour. Alicia Myers was also in the group at the time of this album. This is where Detroit was in the late 70s and
I decided to make my Disco mix CD move
through my years on the scene and I was looking for something to represent the
more understated and sophisticated sounds that could grace the dancefloors as the
full force of Disco waned and the 70s became the 80s. And that is how Let’s Go Out Tonite ended up on my mix
Let's Go Ou Tonite? Hmph, I'm writing this all alone at chez Darcy: Mrs Darce has gone to the theatre, my daughter and boyfriend(!) are out at a friend's, and my son and some friends have "trucked" over to Lille for a long weekend! It's just me and the cat and the rabbits.
(Chris: you have heard this
already I know so here is another track from the album J)
It’s time to kick start this blog again.
You will understand it has been rather difficult for me (and my family) over the last weeks. I
would like to thank all of you who sent your condolences and kind thoughts.
Mum’s funeral took place last week and
the day went well, as well as such occasions can. We had a celebrant conduct
the service. He was very good. He had not been acquainted with mum but from
just a one hour conversation with us, and one draft to which I suggested some
minor tweaks, he built up a picture and his resulting words were accurate,
appropriate, and delivered with sincerity. In the service he recounted my mum’s
relationship with the number 13 – she was born on the 13th September
and spent her early years living at a house numbered 13 (unusual in those days,
as it was often left out of street numbering? – it is in our road for example).
As my mum’s condition deteriorated last month I was fully expecting her final
hours to be on the 13th, that wasn’t to be though, at least not quite, mum
passed away 13 hours into the 14th. At the funeral service there were, yes you
guessed it, 13 people. Fate certainly did take a hand there I think, there were
two other people – recent acquaintances of mum – who we were expecting to attend.
We had not met them before but my mum’s next door neighbour told us she saw
them at the crematorium in the car park on the morning of mum’s service. Our
only conclusion was that they attended the wrong funeral! How do you do that?
We chose Penny Lane as the exit music at the service. Mum always liked the
Beatles, she felt a certain affinity to them I think, growing up, as she did,
on the Wirral not too far from Liverpool. She bought many of their early
singles and they got lots of plays by mum – and a young me too – on the Elizabethan Pop 10 (a sort of Dansette
style record player) in the house. I am now left with that house; a house that
was my parents’ home for more than fifty years, and my childhood home too. Now
it is very much a house on memory lane.
Anyway, returning to the subject matter
of this blog – i.e. music. The songs featured here don’t in any way stir strong
memories of mum or my childhood, however, thoughts of the number 13 and trips
down lanes brought to mind Blue Magic’s mid 70s album Thirteen Blue Magic Lane. I don’t have this album but I do have a
few Blue Magic singles, and the B-sides of two of them were featured on that
My Box account seems to be screwed up. It is not doing its monthly bandwidth limit reset so downloads are not possible. Anybody else had this problem? Anybody know of any good alternatives to Box nowadays? For now I have done the simple thing and created a new account. The Andy Butler track link has been updated in my previous post so should be fully functional now, as should others posted from now on. Unfortunately, unless my original account sorts itself out older track links will be available as stream only. ----- On an altogether more serious note I will tell you that my mum has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She has not been well all year and since the diagnosis a few weeks ago her decline has been frightening, and rapid. Mum is 88 and has had a good and full life but in all probability this month will be her last with us. I am sure you will understand that in the circumstances posts here will be thin on the ground for a while.
Here we go again. I’m listening to a
really good mix put together by Larry, Mr Funky16Corners. I’m about six tracks
through and I’m already thinking I need some of them on vinyl, you know, my very own
copy. Right, let’s get searching. Time
to open up a few tabs: Manship – what silly price will he be asking? Any copies
listed on t’bay in the UK? What about the ‘ogs? Track two: which one is
that again? Andy Butler – Take Me. Andy
Butler! Hang on, I think I might already have this one. It is worth a look in
the boxes, after all they are pretty well ordered now so it should be easy to
find if I do have it. I pad up the stairs, open up cabinet S (for Soul, I just
made that up), take out the A-B box (lots of Bs), riffle through – it was on Ray
Charles’ Tangerine label wasn’t it? – and… voila!
I really must learn to spend
more time searching my own boxes rather than trawling the internet for more
I think I bought my copy of this 45 near the
beginning of my second phase of record buying, probably close on 10 years ago
now. My love of soul music had been rekindled by some early ‘00s contemporary
artists such as Angie Stone and Jill Scott, and then, slightly belatedly, I discovered
on-line fan sites such as Yoni’s Soul Of The Net and fledgling blogs such as
Larry’s Funky16Corners, and also the wealth of old records for sale on ebay and
other on-line emporia.
Andy Butler had three releases on
Tangerine in the late ‘60s, this one being the first. That is just about all I know
about him. Except I did stumble across this comment, evidently from a musician
contemporary of Andy’s, on a YouTube
entry: “ Butler is none other than Andrew Butler
from the Five Dutones. He was the lead singer on "Shake a
tailfeather". I recorded on several of their songs when they were with One
der-ful records. After the Five Dutones disbanded Andrew went on his own. I
still communicate with him frequently. Andy's most recent ventures was with the
Coasters and the Rivingtons.”
from that, hard facts regarding Andy Butler remain elusive. What is true though,
as demonstrated on this track, is he had a fine voice.
A bit of wear on this 45, I’m afraid –
call it patina.
Mostly vinyl, mostly a private pleasure - until now.
Music posted here I have bought and gained much pleasure from listening to down the years (or months, or days!). So in the spirit of an 'all back to mine' it's time to share it.
DISCLAIMER: If you hear something you like I urge you to seek it out and purchase it in your format of choice. Mp3s found here are posted for a limited time and are for illustrative and previewing purposes only. If you are the creator or copyright holder of any material posted and object to it's appearance on this blog then please email me at darcyfeelit (at) blueyonder.co.uk and it will be removed forthwith.