Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 24

It's Christmas Eve! Another Feel It Advent-ure is over, already (albeit after a late start!). I know it's a cliché, but the days and years seems to go by quicker and quicker.

Although not the typical thing you would hear around here I couldn't resist posting a little of this EP today, a festive find in a second hand shop just 24 hours ago. It truly is enchanting.

The noise between tracks is a coin drop. These were not played on the average musical box you might have found on a lady's dressing table, but in disc musical boxes (I'm not sure I knew there was such a thing). Some were made for public places and were essentially “juke boxes”. The boxes were in the Roy Mickleburgh, of Bristol, collection. Mickleburgh's musical instrument shop was established in 1903 and is still trading today.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Enchanted Carols , released in 1966 on a Saydisc EP: 
Silent Night (played on a Polyphon 9 1/2” disc).
Good King Wenceslas (played on a Polyphon 22” disc with a glockenspiel attachment).

PS: I managed to fix my turntable. It got worse before it got better, I lost a channel altogether. But it seems OK again now.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 23

It's Christmas every day for Lee Rogers. Unfortunately now I may have to wait until the new year to get my turntable fixed. It has developed a loud hum that I can't seem to fix. Some sort of earthing problem on the cartridge connections possibly.

So here is the picture of the 45 I had lined up...

... but I can only offer you a YouTube of it

Lee Rogers - You Won't Have To Wait Till Xmas  1965    

PS: You can easily wave bye bye to a couple of hours at a time listening to Soulhawk's channel on YouTube. A fantastic selection of soul music. 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Feel it Mini Advent-ure: Door 22

Nothing too racy late on a Sunday night...

(Nice jumper)*

*EDIT: I mean Karin's attire, not the record!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 21

If you are a regular here then you may know I have featured June Conquest before. In fact coincidentally the last time I posted a 45 of hers was exactly one year ago today. This may well be the last time I do feature her as her recorded output was meagre. But it was certainly a case of quality not quantity.

Here she is on Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label, it's first ever release from February 1968. Curtis would soon secure a national distribution deal for the label with Buddah but this 45 predates that deal and therefore it would have likely only got plays in the Chicago area. The release number – 8543 – is an odd number to have on a maiden release, it is thought it may have been the street number of the label's address. The other catalog number on the label CT-68-001 would seem to indicate this was the first ever track laid down at Curtom, the other side (the A side) bears CT-68-007. The only other two local releases shown on 45cat bear the numbers CT-68-005 , 006 , 008 and 009. CT-68-003 and 004 appear on the Thomas label (The Amazers) as does CT-68-010 and 011 (Saxie Russell). I wonder what happened to CT-68-002?

Friday, December 20, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 19

Around the world in a morning: Jamaica - Lebanon - Brazil – Switzerland - France - Zummerset.

Back in July I found a box full of singles and EPs from all over the world in a chazza (all in mint condition too). Heavy on the German unfortunately but it was well worth a detailed perusal. I would have taken a punt on a few more but at £1 a pop I limited myself to six which I was very happy with.

I can't begin to describe how great the Beirut EP is and it probably is my find of the year. This was one of a series of Musical Souvenirs released on Philips back in 1960. The back cover lists the other cities and countries covered in the series: London, Tyrol, Scotland, Ireland, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam, Yugoslavia, Paris, Rome, Naples, Switzerland, Madrid, Berlin. I can't help thinking, in fact I'm sure, I found the real jewel in this series.

The EP features two tracks each from Rinda and Souad Hashem. Philips also issued the two Rinda tracks on a single in Finland of all places.

Playing this again just now has reminded me I really need to hunt down more of this style of music but finding it on vinyl will no doubt prove difficult!

The EP is so good I'm treating you to two of the four tracks.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 18

I bought a return!

Fifty years old! About the same age as a lot of my model railway stuff that I decided to sell recently. I thought it needed somebody else to appreciate it rather than just lying around in boxes. A bit sad to see a part of my childhood go but it was the right thing to do. Before it went I dug out the track, cleaned it up (turns out the best thing to clean it with is good old isopropyl alcohol, plenty of that in the house as it is of course the cleaner of choice for records), plugged in the 55 year old transformer, oiled the engines, and was instantly transported back to the sixties. Not so easy to kneel on the floor nowadays though. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 17

It's Doo-Wop, but is this also the first ever Ska record?  

Whatever, it certainly gets my pistons working.

The Oldies 45 label was an official reissue label launched by Vee Jay in 1963 according to 45cat. Without any information besides title and group name on my copy this must make it, somewhat strangely, a bootleg of a reissue.   

Monday, December 16, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 16

Although I plough a fairly narrow furrow on this blog my musical leanings are fairly eclectic, and I am happy to listen to things that are new to me. This year I have been listening to a lot more jazz, and I am really getting a taste for exotica. Besides my obvious love of  “black” music in general I have for a long time been drawn to Americana, and I am also much more open to a bit of prog rock nowadays. My love of art rock and punk back in the 70s has never left me either.

But when it comes down to it I am always drawn back to soul, I suppose it is my comfort music. I never tire of hunting out new (to me) records in that genre. Now and then I start to think I've found all the easily affordable soul records out there. But then I stumble across another record like this one that proves soul's well is deep.

Shirley Brown released her first single, on Abet, in September 1971 (despite the copyright on my 1975 UK released copy saying 1972). September 1971 was exactly the time I caught the music listening bug for real (top 30 chart shows taped etc etc) and I remember Al Green's Tired Of Being Alone gracing the UK charts at that time and being just about the first soul record that wasn't Motown that I got hooked on. From then on soul of the Southern and Deep variety have have always really hit the spot for me, although I struggled to find much of it to listen back in those days. For example I'm pretty sure this Shirley Brown track would not have got an airing on UK radio on its initial US release.

After her debut single nothing really seemed to happen on the recording front for Shirley for three years. Then she was finally picked up by Stax and she was placed on their Truth subsidiary label. Her first single on that imprint, Woman To Woman , hit #1 in the Soul charts and made the top 30 pop. The album of the same name sold well too. Unfortunately the timing was bad. Stax was running into big trouble and by the end of 1975 they had filed for bankruptcy. In fact that filing may have been even sooner if it hadn't been for the success of Woman To Woman. Shirley never hit those chart heights again, and her style of Southern soul was out of fashion to the mainstream(did somebody say Disco?). 

Shirley remains active on the music scene. From the mid-70s on she was remarkably consistent with her recorded output, averaging an album every three years between 1974 and 2009. The Malaco label was her base for most of these, as would be the case for many Southern soul singers who “kept it real” so to speak and chose not to follow the mainstream and the disco round. Now in her early 70s she is still performing at Blues festivals across America, and has two dates lined up in early Spring 2020. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 15

Here is another random pull from a "recents" box in the record room. (In fact I just looked up when I bought this and can't believe it was over two years ago now, so the box is in fact a "not so recents").

It was the first release on the Outstanding label, which was relatively short lived and primarily seemed to be a vehicle for one Paul Thatcher Smith (P.T.S.). Paul had been around on the jazz scene for a long time by the time this record was released (1972 apparently, although some people seem to date it to 1968 which actually I think kind of fits better with the feel of this record and other early releases on the label that I have heard.). Paul worked with a number of great names on the jazz scene including being a conductor and pianist with Ella Fitzgerald's band for many years starting in 1956.

I love the sleeve that this record comes in. It's been around the block a bit, and has some tales to tell now lost in the mists of time. A good old fashioned blue/green light card sleeve, faded around the edges, tape residue along the bottom and somebody's catalog system number stamped on it, in a really vintage looking typeface. $10 price scrawled on it and “Rock – Inst'l” as a description, which is a somewhat misleading as it sits more comfortably in the jazz/funk genre I think. Of course the sleeve might have been married to a different record originally and it does scream early 60s or even 50s to me. Could be 1968 I suppose, but surely not as late as 1972.

This is a nice laid back instrumental for a Sunday evening. Something my dad might have appreciated. If he was still alive we would have been celebrating his 101st birthday today.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 14

Short and sweet today. No time for a wordy post as I'm heading downtown soon for a Christmas pub crawl. I maybe home before midnight but I'm sure I won't be in a fit state to do anything later.

Today's track is short and sweet too. Apologies if the sound is a bit rough, it must be a bad pressing as it sure looks ok.

I love the Delfonics.

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Feel it Mini Advent-ure: Door 13

Stumbled across the track The Same Routine on an internet/mixcloud radio show recently. I had not been aware of it before, nor the obscure 1974 album it comes from. I knew of the singer though.

Eleanor(e) Mills was picked up in the later 70s by Norman Connors and, along with Jean Carn, is the featured, if not always credited, singer on some of his albums. I have The Best Of Norman Connors And Friends, and I remember getting lots of enjoyment out of that album back in the 70s; Eleanor (without the 'e' then) features on a couple of tracks on that album.

The album that this track comes from, This Is Eleanore Mills, slipped out on Astroscope (an All Platinum spin off label) and did nothing at the time. On the back cover sleeve notes Harry Ray of the Moments states that “this is her first album of many more to come, and it contains what she knows how to do best, sing. WORLD! HERE IS ELEANORE MILLS!” To date this has proved to be the only full album she has ever had released. That's not to say she hasn't been active in the music business. As I mentioned above she performed with Norman Connors later in the 70s and featured on Roberta Flack's classic late 70s album with Donny Hathaway that featured Back Together Again. From the mid 80s and well into the 90s she had a number of disco and house singles released and she is still very active now it seems in the New York area with current Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. She seems to be a lady who has always very much moved with the times musically.

There seems to be no evidence of a career before her Astroscope album, although tantalisingly I found this entry in a January 1969 copy of Jet magazine: “Music writer-producermanager Joe Jones thinks he has hit the jackpot in signing a Columbia Records production agreement for foxy thrush Eleanore Mills”. It could be another Eleanore I suppose? (“foxy thrush”! - now that's an animal, or bird, I would like to see. Thrush was a common term to describe a female singer earlier in the 20th century, but 1969 seems late for it still to be used).

I have found a couple of comments that states she is either Stephanie Mills sister or cousin but nothing to corroborate them so I have to think that is not true.

The Same Routine is a superb dancer with a great string arrangement. The album is solid throughout (Teach Me is another real standout), although none of the other tracks are out and out dancers like this one. Eleanore's voice is really attractive and there are some great “crying” strings, imaginatively arranged, throughout. Most of the tracks are at a mid to slow pace with a thoughtful, gentle, sultry feel. Think the All Platinum sound of the early to mid 70s (The Rimshots are the band backing Eleanore). The feel sort of reminds me of Gloria Scott's and also Bettye Crutcher's albums that came out at a similar time.

As I said the album sort of sunk without trace back in 1974 but has built up a following over the years to the point it got a CD reissue in 2000 and a Soul Brother vinyl reissue in 2016. The original now sells for hundreds of pounds so I have satisfied myself with a reissue copy.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Feel it Mini Advent-ure: Door 12

I can't help feeling that tomorrow morning, whatever the outcome, we Brits are all in the do do (as if we aren't already!).

So ...... let's dance. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Feel it Mini Advent-ure: Door 11

Here is a random pull from a stack of recently purchased 45s. This one came from the little R&R slanted record fair that pops up in town a few times a year. It was the first time in about a year I had been as the one or two dealers who had been carrying some soul had either sold off their remaining records or were not attending anymore. But I thought I would give it another whirl. It was not a good day to go. The weather was terrible and England had been playing New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup. Consequently I got there a bit late, and to find there were only 3 dealers in attendance. One of them was a regular and I knew he had some soul & r&b, although from experience his prices were generally a bit high for my liking. Still, he had a couple of half price boxes so I dug in.

This 45 was one of a handful I pulled out. Ray Agee has been on my radar for a few years now. He is not a well known or well documented singer, but he deserves to be better known. He was fairly prolific, recording for a number of small labels and 45cat currently have 47 different 45s noted. This release, on the obscure Brandin label, may date to 1966, or possibly as late as 1968. Ray, who hailed from Alabama, would  have likely been in his forties when he recorded it. It is believed he passed away in 1989/90, seeming to drop out of the music scene in the early 70s (as so many blues, soul, and R&B artists did in those times, particularly gospel rooted ones). He had developed polio at an early age which left him with a permanent disability, so that may have been the reason for his disappearance from the music scene. (This information has been gleaned from his brief Wikipedia entry and its linked articles).

Similar to “Any Day Now” featured yesterday, looking back in this blog I find this is Ray's second appearance here, and his first was also in a Feel It Advent-ure, almost to the day, back in December 2015.

This is another fine bluesy outing, supported by some fine Big City horns, which could be expected as he had been based in Los Angeles for many years.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Feel It Mini Advent-ure: Door 10

Huh? What happened to doors 1 to 9?

I decided recently I would attempt another Feel It Advent-ure this year - a post a day for every day on the advent calendar. Crazy, considering I haven't even been able to muster a post a month this year so far!

And it was indeed a crazy idea. Inhabiting my newly retired world it is quite commonplace for me to lose track of which day of the week it is, but I have now taken it a stage further – it was the 3rd before I even realised it was December! In all honesty I secretly breathed a sigh of relief – 24 days and 24 posts was a bit of a stretch for a blog that has seemed itself to be flirting with retirement.

The Feel It mini Advent-ure start here!

But now here we are – the 10th of December – a Tuesday I believe – and I am feeling a bit guilty about how easily I slipped into the do nothing approach here after a false start to the month. So today I present the first day of the 2019 Feel It Mini Advent-ure. Surely I can manage 15 days in a row?

I found this Chuck Jackson single in a record shop £1 box recently. I was buying a handful of other singles so in the end this one was essentially thrown in for free. I didn't know its value but I knew there were some desirable releases on the Red/Yellow Pye Intl label, so I had a hunch it was a bargain. I think it was in the £1 box because the intro sounded completely trashed, but a good clean has improved it no end. Discogs has a median price of £21 on this, so it is indeed a bargain.

Research tells me that Chuck Jackson was the first to have a hit with this song, written in 1962 by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard, and possibly also the first to record it. It has subsequently been recorded by many other artists and I thought I remembered featuring Percy Sledge's version here before, I checked, and sure enough I did back in 2008 – on Christmas Eve. So it seems that “Any Day Now” has developed into something of a Christmas song for me.

*originally released in the UK on Stateside

Monday, October 07, 2019

I can feel it

I'm a sucker for picking up records in the wild just on the fact they look to be in great, almost unplayed, condition (M- as the grading would go). I might not have any great desire to have the record for it's content, the condition alone can be sufficient attraction to make me part with some cash if the entry price is cheap enough. I think the motivation is if I see a record that is forty-odd years old and is seemingly as good as new I want to keep it that way and save it from an uncertain future - mishandled in a charity shop box, parted from its birth sleeve, forced to sit unloved and unnoticed between scratched, grubby, and frankly awful Cilla Black and Ken Dodd singles, that sort of thing. (Of course the record must hint at potentially having some merit in the grooves, on those grounds a minty Cilla Black or Ken Dodd record would not qualify!).

And so it was in the case of this single 50p was certainly cheap enough, and I was familiar with Bo & Ruth, although not these particular tracks.

You're Gonna Get Next To Me was a big UK hit in the mid 70s for Bo & Ruth (a much bigger hit than in the US), and one I remember fondly. But in the end it was all over the radio at the time to the point of being overplayed I think.

Bo & Ruth were Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis. Just another duo in the Peaches & Herb vein I probably thought at the time. It wasn't until a few years ago I learnt that Bo was in fact Michael James Kirkland who, along with his brother Robert, had been in the group Mike & The Censations, and cut a number of few beautifully soulful singles in the the second half of the 60s. Many of those singles are highly collectable now. (Arguably There Is Nothing I Can Do About It is the best of them, a B side at the time). But did I get that wrong? Was Bo in fact Robert, not Michael James Kirkland. "Bo" would certainly fit better as a shortened form of Robert, after all, No, apparently Michael took the performing name Bo when he thought he might be confused with Michael Jackson. Maybe he chose Bo as a nod to his brother? Bearing in mind Mr Jackson's success at the time many people would have probably been happy to be confused with him. Testament to MJK that he believed in his own ability – and there is no denying he had a great voice.

I guess you could call Ruth Davis something of a journeywoman on the Soul scene. She had appeared in at least a couple of groups in the 60s, including a short stint as an Ikette. In 1971 she had a single released on Kent. It was a slab of uptempo funky soul but didn't stand out form the crowd and didn't do anything chartwise. After that disappointment Ruth went back to singing in local clubs until she was signed to Claridge and ultimately teamed with “Bo” Kirkland.

Bo & Ruth had seven singles released in the US, but only two in the UK. You're Gonna Get Next To Me emerged in the US late in '76 and got a UK release about six months later in the UK. It was a massive hit in the UK and went on to be a worldwide hit. To follow up its success in the UK EMI went back to Bo & Ruth's second US single Easy Loving, which had initially seen the light of day in the US a couple of years earlier. Personally, now I have listened to it I think Easy Loving is a bit average, and they probably would have been better going with the single that followed ...Next To Me in the US – Stay By My Side, stronger to my ear and one I remember featuring here many moons ago. I was pleasantly surprised by the B side though. Can You Feel It was included on Bo & Ruth's one and only album but didn't appear on a US single. It is a lovely slice of gentle, soothing Soul with some nice understated piano and horn additions and, yes, I can certainly feel it.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

I'm reminded

I notice it is a month since my last “comeback” post. How can that be possible?! Retirement has clearly caused me to enter some sort of time warp!

Recently I have felt more pangs of nostalgia for the days when trawling for Soul 45s on the interweb seemed to be easier and more pleasurable. Because my collection was much smaller then it was easy to find things to buy and it was more pleasurable because I was discovering so many artists that were new to me. It was a good deal cheaper too. Those days of $2 to the pound and reasonable postage costs seem a long time ago now. In fact I just looked it up and the exchange rate hit $2.10 to the pound late in 2007. That was a little longer ago than I thought, actually. But just five years ago it was still at $1.65 to the pound. I would be happy with that now.

In the early Noughties I had been bitten (all over again) by the Soul bug big time, and in 2007 I would have been buying a fair amount of 45s from the States on ebay. Of course with hindsight I should have bought more.

I remember I had become aware of Otis Clay's output and I was seeing his One-derful 45s on ebay fairly regularly. They are fairly common and I thought I had bought some at the time. When two popped up from UK sellers recently within the space of a few weeks (I don't recall seeing any copies for some time on ebay, at least on the sellers lists that I have been trawling through) I checked the collection and was a bit surprised to find I had neither. They were reasonably priced so now copies of both of Otis Clay's 1966 released 45s have finally taken a long overdue place in the collection. (Incidentally, when these 45s were released in 1966 the exchange rate was $2.79 to the pound).

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What day is it, anyway?

It is evident I have been struggling to keep this thing going. Time to break another long silence.

There has been a life development since the my last post – both Mrs Darce and I are now retired! So at least I should have more time on my hands to post a few more things here. Hmm. Not so fast! Because I should tell you I retired at the end of April. That's nearly four months ago now, where did that time go!

I had been been thinking of retiring for the last year or two but what had stopped me was the thought I might not have enough things to do and I might be bored (for “I” also read “we”, of course). So, having taken the plunge what have we been doing for this last four months? Not much at all really – no big holidays (one is coming next year); unlike some of my friends I'm not a golfer, a sport that can easily take up a lot of time; and I have not yet taken up any new interests. So am I bored? No, and the weird thing is the days seem to go by really quickly. I guess we are just simply enjoying not having to be at anybody's beck and call, and not having to have a routine. I also find I have this real urge to spend as much time as possible outside, that urge had been growing in me for some time now. In that regard the summer has helped, so we have been going on lots of walks, bike rides, and lots of general pottering in the garden. As the days shorten and winter approaches those activities will no doubt reduce and it will be interesting to see what fills the time then.

This first flush of retirement had also, until a few weeks ago, caused the record collection to be a bit neglected. But now I find I'm immersed in them again, already anticipating winter, and long nights, maybe.

So I won't promise anything but there maybe some more action again here from now on (although we are off to Cornwall for a few days next week so straight away that will cause another silence).

I think I have featured this 45 from The Intruders before* but I thought it would be appropriate in the circumstances – in the land of the retired it is very easy to completely lose track of which day of the week it is, so it is easier to say that every day is a holiday!

* I just checked. In fact it has featured twice before, way back at the dawn of this blog in 2006,  and again in 2011.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dial O for obscure

If you are a fan of classic Soul & R&B music will undoubtedly know, and love, Joe Tex. It then follows that you will be familiar with the Dial label. In 1961 Buddy Killen set up the Dial label primarily to feature Joe Tex. Joe had the first release on the label and, fittingly, in 1979 he had the last. In between he had countless other singles released, many of which would justifiably feature in any Soul Hall of Fame. The label was primarily a Soul label – for example some other artists you will probably recognise that also had releases on the label are Clarence Reid, Bobby Marchan, Paul Kelly, and Annette Snell – but it was not exclusively so with, I believe, some Pop and Country tinged records featured. Dial was quite a prolific label, and at time of writing this there were 158 US releases documented on 45cat (albeit a few of those are promo doubles). So I think we can say it is as well known, well loved, and well documented.

Looking at the catalog numbers on 45cat there appear to be hardly any missing Dial releases. But recently whilst trawling Ebay I found one of them! I was in the process of buying something else so I thought I would scan the other items the seller had for sale to see if there was anything else worth getting and so diluting the postage cost (as you do). The Dial label caught my attention and when I went off to t'interweb to see if I could find some more info on this particular 45 … I found nothing. Nothing at all. It was not on 45cat, not on Discogs, there were no links to old sales lists or ebay listings anywhere; the only references to it were a few repeated Dial master release lists (e.g. Global Dog Productions). Likewise I could not find any info at all on the artist – Sherrie Hughes.
I was curious now and as the price was small I decided I had to have this record, so I bought it blind.

Info on Sherrie Hughes maybe elusive but not so for the songwriters – Ronnie Wilkins and John Hurley – who were prolific, writing songs for Joe Tex and also some other very well known songs and big hits – Son Of A Preacher Man and Love Of The Common People being just two.

So have I found a lost Soul classic? No. Is it even Soul? Not really. The A side I would class as Pop. My preference is for the B side (presented here) which is more difficult to pigeon hole, it has elements of Country, Soul and Pop to my ears, and on this side particularly Sherrie has a Country edge to her voice I think and is most probably white. It has some nice background vocals, I would be interested to know who the singers were. The pity is the track clocks in at just under two minutes and is sort of over before it really gets going.. But despite this not being the greatest of records it is not always what is in the grooves that counts. I have had my money's worth in researching this 45 (or attempting to) and had the pleasure of filling one of the tiny chinks in 45cat's Dial listing (yes the entry you now see for Dial 45-4043 on 45cat is mine). For these reasons this 45 will, from now on, sit proudly in my collection.

Sherrie Hughes – It's Just My Love That's Showing 1966

PS: Publishing this post sent me off on another quick bit of googling around this 45. I have now found that the A side -  I've Got A Lot Of Love (Left In Me) -  was originally recorded by Nancy Ames and was the B side to Friends And Lovers Forever which got a release (on both sides of the pond) late in 1965. It has been described as Northern Soul, but that is a bit of a stretch in my book. Nancy's version is superior I think with Sherrie's version maybe being pitched more fairly and squarely at a Pop audience.     

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Lucky 13

Wake up! Wake up! You're thirteen!

If I can't muster a post on this blog's birthday – 13 on the 13th to boot – then there is surely no hope for it.

Once again I have been silent for a while – in fact, Happy New Year!

So, if there are any of you still checking in occasionally, I hear you wondering: were there reasons for the latest silence? Yes, and no. It all started with our central heating. Or rather, lack of it. We came home from our US trip at the end of last October knowing it needed some attention. The boiler, which is basically new, was happily pumping away but the radiators, one by one, had started to stop radiating. The man was called. He was puzzled, but decided some acid in the system and a flush through should sort it out. It didn't. As Christmas approached the only radiators giving out heat were in our kitchen and conservatory (they were on their own loop). As the system and the radiators were old we bit the bullet and decided to go for a re-pipe and replace most of the radiators. Unfortunately our man couldn't do it for six weeks from the point of decision. So we hunkered down in the lounge – which had a gas fire – and kitchen/conservatory over Christmas and throughout January. A couple of fan heaters were drafted in for other areas of the house. (It did make us think this was normal for our parents and us as children in the days before central heating was commonplace, and we don't know how lucky we are nowadays).

As far as this blog is concerned the point of all this is the record room, which is north facing and cool at the best of times, was bl**dy cold! A fan heater could warm it up but fan heaters are noisy and not conducive to listening to music. So the record room became almost out of bounds. It was the end of January – the day before the snow arrived luckily – before we could once again feel nice and toasty in our own house. The source of the original problem was never really found, but now we realise the system had not really been that efficient for years. The upheaval – floors up, furniture and stuff shuffled around, left its mark through most of February as we took the opportunity to redecorate a room and do some general sorting out. This meant the record room became a holding room so once again was almost off limits vinyl wise.

The record room is where I am typing this on my laptop, and although I could type it anywhere habit dictates that it is usually the record room, with vinyl in close proximity, where Feel It's posts are composed. That is the thing with habits too, when you fall out of them it sometimes takes a while to pick them up again. And so, now in mid March, that is how Feel It's 2019 is only just beginning. Quite frankly it was only the sudden realisation that his blog was about to be 13 that snapped me into action!

I could make a new blog year resolution to post more frequently, but I have never been one to make resolutions, so that is probably not a good idea. However, the record room is warm once again, and relatively clutter free, and I have broken the 2019 silence so there is a fair chance of some action around here again!

I have still been acquiring records (of course!), and a few have been played. One that became a real earworm was (another) Jackie Wilson single. As you dig deeper you realise there is so much to admire in his catalog. Once again peerless vocals matched by a stunning arrangement.

PS: As is tradition here on this day in March: !! Happy Birthday Candi Staton !!