Friday, May 19, 2017

The boxes keep delivering

Yes, I went to the “little” fair again last weekend and, yes, I found some more records worth bringing home.

Most of the records I picked up this time I have probably flicked through many times before, there is no new stock in evidence, but each time I go I collect a stack that catch my attention and listen to them on the portable and I'm gradually working through them all that way. The prices get cheaper every time too as the one particular dealer whose boxes I frequent must be winding down his stock with a view to retirement in the not too distant future.

There was another dealer with a Soul box there as well this time. So, after this latest visit, my mind's made up to a next time for this little fair. But that next time will probably be next year as I will be on holiday the next time it's in town and they don't think there will be a pre Christmas one this year.

The pick of the bunch this time round is by The Vareeations, released on the Dionn label in 1968. I can find no info on The Vareeations beyond the fact they had two singles released on Dionn. Was their group name a mis-spelling? Or maybe the lead singer's name is Varee? I believe that is a name, the Ohio Players certainly wrote a song that referenced  a Varee - Varee Is Love that can be found on their album Pain

Dionn was part of the Jamie/Guyden group of labels and hailed from Philly. “Tom” Bell, in what must be an early example, is credited as arranger on Foolish One which was the plug side on this DJ copy. I love the “This Side Hot” (“Thanks – A. Lott”) sticker on the label, and the fact it has survived for almost 50 years now. What is interesting is that on 45cat and Discogs the scans of DJ copies show the other side - It's The Loving Season - with the PLUG designation. So was my copy a mistake? It's possible the record company plugged both sides at the same time, maybe to different radio stations, or different cities. So which could be considered to be the A side on the issue copy? I guess we will never know, although the matrix identifier might suggest Foolish One which is certainly a play on repeat side for me at the moment.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Maybe tomorrow

I sometimes feature records hear that I have picked up at a little local record fair that hits town about four times a year. That fair is in town again tomorrow. Each time I have been in the last year or so I have wondered whether it would be my last visit. It's mainly R&R and the few dealers with Soul boxes have dwindled to basically just one on my last visit. And that dealer is not getting any new stock in; he's not getting any younger and has stopped his visits to the States as much as anything because of the dive in the exchange rate. At the last visit he was telling me how he used to hit the big fairs and warehouses and ship hundreds, thousands of 45s back at "book rate" which was dirt cheap then. Granted this is going back a good few years now. Alas, now I finally have the inclination to do the same, those days are long gone I feel.

Anyway, at my last visit to the fair (late last year, that long ago already!) I still managed to pick up a handful of 45s I was pleased with. I thought I would dig them out and give them another spin to encourage me to go to the fair again tomorrow for yet another "one last time".

I will share of couple of them with you now.

This Sheila Ellis 45 on SAN is pretty obscure. I really love the B side If This Is Love. Described as Swamp Pop on Discogs it is certainly swampy, and I think it has a fair dash of soul too.

Sheila Ellis - If This Is Love  1963 

The Radiants were another great male vocal harmony group form the Sixties that were equally at home with dancers and the slower numbers. This one is another B side.         

The Radiants - Tomorrow   1965