Friday, December 31, 2010

Wade In The Water - Mary Alice McCall


With its super funky organ and steady guitar I can definitively state that Mary Alice's version of "Wade In The Water" is the best one I've ever heard. The web runs dry on any further information about McCall or this obscure record label. I'd love to learn more about either, but in the meantime have a listen.


Wade In The Water

 Let there be no mistake, Marlena Shaw's uptempo take on this humble little spiritual is still the best for dancing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hold On I'm Coming - Jerry Lee Lewis

"Hold On I'm Coming" is Jerry Lee Lewis's heavily suggestive interpretation (complete with his trademark honky tonk drawl and cat purring) of Sam & Dave's Memphis soul classic. It's taken off his 1973 comeback opus Southern Roots and accompanied by the MGs who recorded the original version for STAX records back in 1966. Truth be told the song title originates, innocently enough, from Dave's response to Issac Hayes after taking too long during a bathroom break.

It should be noted that Southern Roots, as the name implies, is a distinctively southern album. It was the collaborative sum of about 42 musicians, all of them born, bred and educated south of the Mason Dixon Line. Credits include all the MGs, the Memphis Horns, the Memphis Beats, Carl Perkins and my personal favorite Tony Joe White on guitar. Enjoy!


Sam & Dave weren't nicknamed the "Sultans of Sweat" for nothing. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Butt - Tony Joe White


Perhaps best known for writing "Polk Salad Anne" and "Rainy Night In Georgia" Tony Joe White also epitomizes everything that's bad-ass about country funk. His vividly southern songs have become successful hits for Elvis Presley, Tina Turner and Dusty Springfield to name a few. At 67 years old he's outlasted nearly all of his musical contemporaries. In fact, Tony Joe is still tapping on his stompbox, cutting records and touring around the world. Not bad for an ol' swamp fox.

"Don't The The Door Hit You In The Butt" was released in 1974. The single isn't available on any of his other LPs which makes it somewhat of a rarity. Enjoy.


Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Butt

Tony Joe White at his funkiest best.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away - Bob Azzam & His Orchestra


















"Rain Rain Go Away" is featured on big band crooner Bob Azzam's 1968 LP New Sounds. It's a groovy little, woeful number with some much sought after drum breaks. I don't know where this Egyptian born, Lebanese singer found the inspirational weather to record such a dope version of a children's rainy day nursery rhyme. However, after hearing his funky makeover any extra precipitation seems slightly more tolerable.


Rain Rain Go Away

"Mustapha", or "Ya Mustapha" was Bob Azzam's most notable commerical hit, especially in France and Egypt.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Calamity Jane - Ohio Knox

Singer/songwriter Peter Gallway, along with some top-notch session musicians, produced an album of jazzy "country" rock in 1971. The album has a noticeable wild west theme with songs such as "Abigail Archer" and "Give Me John Ford". "Calamity Jane" has an edgier sound than the other, more folkier tracks. It's the song that brought me back to rediscovering Ohio Knox. Enjoy.



Calamity Jane

Friday, December 10, 2010

Evil Woman - Larry Weiss

Both the wickedly funky "Evil Woman" and the karaoke crowd pleasing "Rhinestone Cowboy" come from Larry Weiss's Black & Blue Suite LP. He's a relatively unknown country singer with an uncanny knack for writing hit songs. (Spooky Tooth's "Evil Woman", American Breed's "Bend Me Shape Me", The Animals "Help Me Girl"). Everyone from Neil Diamond to Nat King Cole to Marvin Gaye have performed a Larry Weiss penned song sometime in their careers. Speaking of people covering his music, Lou Rawls recorded my absolute favorite version of "Evil Woman". Hands Down.


Larry's original "Rhinestone Cowboy" sounds somewhat similar to Neil Diamonds. It's also a little more stripped down than Glen Campbell's 1975 chart topper seen below.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Saw The Light - Rusty Dean

Hank William's crossover hit "I Saw The Light" is given the hillbilly funk treatment courtesy of Rusty Dean. Rusty Dean was the collaborative alias between Gary S. Paxton (Monster Mash producer) and Clarence White (The Byrds). They recorded three secular "hits" albums together in addition to 1970's folk-tinged Country Gospel LP. Let the good Lord make you funky and enjoy track that closes out side one.


Johnny Cash performs "I Saw The Light" as a spirited revival song during an episode of the television show Columbo.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They Call Me Jessie James - The Dreams Featuring Keni Lewis


DC Sound LTD was a long since defunct Washington based record label. They only waxed a few 45s back in the late sixties. Interestingly enough, all the production credits go to Gene Dozier of The Brotherhood's "Hunk Of Funk" fame. "They Call Me Jessie James" may clock in at only two minutes, but it sure makes for one steam-powered, funkomotive ride. Extra attention goes to The Dreams for the tight train whistling harmonies heard in the background.


They Call Me Jessie James

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Broadway - Nell Aspero II



















This entry is short and sweet because I know absolutely nothing about Nell Aspero, The Second. Her groovy interpretation of the Drifter's "On Broadway" was an inexpensive curiosity, and secondary addition to a bulk order from years ago. I was pleasantly surprised by my two dollar gamble with obscurity. Enjoy.


On Broadway

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Gotta Go Now (Up On The Floor Now) - Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers


Rex Garvin & The Mighty Carver's "I Gotta Go Now" is an infectiously funky floorfiller. As the record implies this pleading dance anthem will beckon your feet to boogaloo. The hand-clapping, the soulful saxophone and organs, and the encouraging back-and-forth banter all create an inviting party atmosphere that's impossible to ignore.


I Gotta Go Now (Up On The Floor Now)


Their biggest hit, "Sock It To'em JB", was also a successful ska hit for The Specials back in the 1980s.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Come In To My Love Shop - Mad Dog & The Pups


Mad Dog & The Pups were an early seventies funk band based in Detroit. One of the pups was none other than Ray Parker Jr. of Ghostbusters fame. They scored several regional hits on the Magic City label, but this record is the funkiest of their 45 litter.


Come In To My Love Shop

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In My Body's House - Gene Chandler

Here's a super fly cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Hard Times". Gene Chandler renamed his party starter "In My Body's House". This record, dating back to 1969, is the very definition of funky 45. It doesn't sound anything like Mayfield's slow churning original, or the often sampled Baby Huey & The Babysitters version featured below.


In My Body's House

Curtis Mayfield produced Baby Huey's first and only LP, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Indian Giver - The Chantels



















The Chantels released this brassy single back in 1966. They forego their standard doo-wop sound with "Indian Giver", and instead deliver a satisfying, floor-filling jazz number. Maybe this stylistic departure was an intentional deviation after switching records labels to Verve. Either way the results were extremely rewarding.


Indian Giver

The Chantels first single was "He's Gone" from 1957.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Since The Days Of Pigtails & Fairytales - Chairmen Of The Board


"Since The Days of Pigtails & Fairytales" was the b-side to Chairmen Of The Board's breakout single "Give Me Just A Little More Time". I discovered the 45 a few years ago as part of a random grab bag of miscellaneous cheapie records. Why such a soulful goldmine was stacked in between a Cat Stevens and Peter, Paul & Mary record is a mystery to me. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do.



Since The Days Of Pigtails & Fairytails


There's no denying the catchy appeal of the a-side.


Here's Chairmen Of The Board singing their second single "You've Got Me Dangling On A String" on the national mall.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Love's A Monster - Johnny Sayles

Here's a killer hand clapping record from 1965. Johnny Sayles started out with Ike Turner before turning solo and waxing some gritty Chicago style party funk. "My Love's A Monster" is a must have on your next Halloween playlist. Beware, and enjoy!


My Love's A Monster

"Lilly Mae" is another one of Johnny's soul-screeching singles.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hey Willy - The Hollies

These 60s darlings went through a rock n' roll transformation in the early seventies. The Hollies, and their cutesy pop reputation, needed a hard rock makeover if they expected to compete with their heavier sounding contemporaries (The Who, Status Quo, etc.). When "Hey Willy" was released in 1971 and was unlike anything they had ever recorded before. This track stands toe-to-toe, or platform-to-platform, with the best bowiesque glam music being produced at the time. Enjoy.


Hey Willy

"Hey Willy" was the primary precursor to many of The Hollies later hits such as "Long Cool Woman". It may sound like a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, but it isn't.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sheldon Churchyard - Larry Jon Wilson

Larry Jon Wilson's "Sheldon Churchyard" brings the eerie swamp funk in his 1976 LP Let Me Sing My Song To You. Rumors of witchcraft and voodoo haunt an old Carolina township in this spellbinding example of southern gothic storytelling.


Sheldon Churchyard

Earlier this summer America lost an amazing talent when Wilson passed away. He was someone Kris Kristofferson said, "Could break your heart with a voice like a cannonball."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spooky - Sasperella

Here's a great version of the often covered "Spooky". The obscure groove was released in the late sixties, without lyrics, by Mike Sharpe and Harry Middlebrookes JR. Sadly, information is scarce regarding this particular 45 by Decca label's Sasperella.


Spooky

The Atlantic Rhythm Section is credited with reviving "Spooky" in 1979, and clearing the way for many, many more covers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where Evil Grows - The Poppy Family

"Where Evil Grows" is a deliciously sinister slice of bubblegum pop from the 1971 LP Poppy Seeds. The song, which  is rumored to have been inspired by the Manson murders, has a creepy coolness that I particularly enjoy.


Where Evil Grows

While the Poppy Family (Terry and Susan Jacks) might be long forgotten some seventies junkies will remember Terry's mega AM hit "Seasons In The Sun".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sneakin' Up On You - Peggy Lee


Peggy Lee's "Sneakin' Up On You", from her 1965 LP Pass Me By, might be the cutest stalker song ever recorded. Several versions were released in the mid-to-late sixties (including Elaine Delmar's slinky and seductive, ultra-groovy recording below), but what places Peggy Lee's version on top? Simple. She playfully incorporates cat purring into the chorus. Enough said.


Sneakin' Up On You





Elaine Delmar Sneakin' Up On You

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mary Jane - Bobby Rush

Louisiana born Bobby Rush invented, and personifies the blues style known as Folk-Funk. His brand of music blended the Chicago blues, southern soul and finger plucking funk into some scandalously enjoyable 45s. "Mary Jane" is the 1971 flip to his breakthrough hit "Chicken Heads". File under stoner mix and enjoy.


Mary Jane

Bobby Rush, nearly forty years later, performing "Chicken Heads". You'll notice that his soul-dripping jerry curls, along with his live performances, haven't lost any of their shine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Made A Believer Out Of Me - Ruby Andrews


"You Made A Believer Out Of Me" is the 1969 single from Ruby Andrew's 1972 "Black Ruby" LP. It's got some killer sisterfunk with tight drumbeats to match. Old school De La Soul fans might recognize the groove from their breakout "3 Feet High And Rising" album. If you enjoy powerhouse soul you can't go wrong with this little R&B gem. 

On an interesting side-note for True Blood fans : Ruby's first recording name was Stackhouse.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leave It For The Trashman - Harvey Scales


Harvey Scales (minus his band the Seven Sounds) offers some hard hollering advice on "Leave It For The Trashman". The next time you've got heartbroken garbage that needs cleaning up I'd recommend listening to this funky 45. Enjoy.


Leave It For The Trashman


Johnnie Taylor turned Harvey's "Disco Lady" into the first platinum single in record history.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

House Of Jack - James Royal

There are too many groovy mod 45s out there to mention, however James Royal's funky number "House of Jack" tops my ever-expanding list of personal favorites. The grand introduction sounds like something from an epic Tarantino showdown. The rest of this 1969 party anthem has an undeniably delightful "good time or bust" vibe throughout. Listen for yourself and see if you don't get hooked.


A 1965 release of Nat Adderley/Oscar Brown's "Work Song".


Friday, September 10, 2010

Delta Dawn - Clifford Curry


I never would have guessed "Delta Dawn" could be sung with such deep southern soul until I heard this obscure cover from Clifford Curry. It's got some great funky blues breaks which work surprisingly well. Also, purely for aesthetic reasons, I should highlight that this 1972 pressing was released on gorgeous, ruby red, translucent vinyl. Enjoy it, monoside style.


Alex Harvey's 1971 "Delta Dawn" is the one that remains near and dear to my heart.

Helen "Hear Me Roar" Reddy's version of the country classic. Alex Harvey, the songwriter responsible for penning "Delta Dawn", opened up for Helen Reddy in the seventies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

He Don't Appreciate It - Esther Marrow


Queen Esther Marrow and her booming vocals were discovered by Duke Ellington back in 1963. "He Don't Appreciate It B/W Mama" was a seven inch single from her debut record Newport News,Virginia. The full LP showcases her powerful gospel belting on nearly every song, but "He Don't Appreciate It" is my favorite example of Marrow's sonic-soul range.


He Don't Appreciate It

Soul Sister Queen Esther delivers more sage advice.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bitter Blue - Kin Vassy



Kenny Rogers once said that former First Edition bandmate ,Kin Vassy, could sing " higher, harder and longer than anyone else".Vassy, along with Alex Harvey, Tony Joe White and Jim Ford, is another one of the lost country & western greats. Here's his 45 cover of the Cat Stevens song "Bitter Blue". It's got an edgier, more twangier sound than the original. Enjoy.


Friday, August 27, 2010

I've Got My Finger On Your Trigger - Slim Harpo



Slim Harpo was a rocker's bluesman. Everyone from The Stones to Z.Z. Top have been influenced by this  harmonica maestro. His nickname ,Harpo,was actually derived from popular harmonica slang. "I've Got My Finger On Your Trigger" isn't one of his better known songs, but it should be. It was released on Excello Records in 1969 along with another superb 45 of "Folsom Prison Blues".

**Notice the "Triger" typo on this copy**


Slim's Folsom Prison Blues

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sound of Music - Black Affairs


Black Affairs was a roots reggae band from the Dominican Republic circa 1970s. "Sound Of Music" is their striped down, standout stoner track off the LP Ca Waké. Clocking in at under seven minutes it's not exactly radio friendly, but man is it one sweet, sweet groove. Lay back to the lo-fi goodness and enjoy.


World Of Music

Monday, August 23, 2010

At The Hotel - Eunice Collins


"At The Hotel" is one of those rare, slow-burning, soul ballads that can't be replicated. Eunice Collins's lovelorn pleading is so authentically genuine that it breaks my heart everytime I give it a listen. It's an impressive example of a torch song that actually manages to sear itself into even the most hardened of psyches.


At The Hotel

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Tracker - James Anderson

James Anderson's "The Tracker" is a forgotten funk oldie produced by Huey P. Meaux (A.K.A. The Crazy Cajun). Huey was credited with huge hits like "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" in addition to also running the mighty SugarHill Recording Studios back in the 1970s.

**side note this 45 calls their A-Side the Plug Side instead**


The Tracker

Barabara Lynn's "You'll Lose A Good Thing" was another production hit for Huey P. Meaux.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby - Jimmy Gilford


Jimmy Gilford's "Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby" is a hard doo-woppin', hook-heavy oldie. The original 1962 pressing still fetches a hefty price tag in the hundreds of dollars. To my knowledge this song has never been reissued or compiled on any mix album. That's a pity too because the record  pops with pleasure from start to finish. Enjoy.



Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Funky Way - Calvin Arnold

Here's another tight 45 single from 1968. Calvin Arnold's "Funky Way" is dedicated to all the good guys that have been funked over by an unappreciative woman. "Ain't that a funky way to treat somebody".


Funky Way

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Day In The Life Of Bonnie And Clyde - Mel Tormé


Mel Tormé's 1968 title track from "A Day In The Life Of Bonnie And Clyde" recounts the outlaw couple's fateful demise as seen through the eyes of a rollerskating witness. The Velvet Fog may not have been an illustrious rat packer, but he was one of the cooler jazz cats around. And man could that daddy-o scat! Other groovy songs include "Cab Driver" and his surprisingly upbeat depression anthem "Brother Can You Spare a Dime". Why this record hasn't been reissued is beyond my comprehension.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Black Label Blues - Gamble Rogers

Gamble Rogers is a fascinating folk singer. Gamble's engaging ballads and humanistic insight influenced performers like Jimmy Buffet and his early troubadouring ilk. In addition to being a regular commentator to NPR's All Songs Considered (during the late 1970s) he's also credited with creating a sub-genre known as Southern Gothic. That's not surprising since some of his best material leans toward the macabre side (The Great Maitland Turkey Farm Massacre of 1953, Blood Mountain, etc.). In 1991 Rogers died heroically while rescuing a little girl's drowning father off the Florida coast. The park was later renamed the Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach in his honor.

"Black Label Blues" is from his 1977 God Gave Me Grace, The Devil Gave Me Style LP. It's a whiskey sippin' story that I'm intimately familiar with. Enjoy.


Download

Here's Gamble performing "Black Label Blues" for the Heartworn Highways documentary.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If I Really Bug You Then You Don't Love Me - Jose Feliciano






















1966's Bag Full of Soul is my favorite Jose Feliciano record. It's somewhat of a grab bag (hence the title) loaded with some truly dazzling tracks that cross a wide spectrum of popular genres. However, the so-called 10 finger wizard steals the show with "If I Really Bug You Then You Don't Love Me". It's a short and sweet album opener with a nifty guitar tickling solo. Dig it.


Download

Most people don't think beyond Carlos Santana when you mention Latin rock. He's okay, but here's my preferred version of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jim Dandy - Margie Hendrix


Margie Hendrix takes Lavern Baker's 1950s "Jim Dandy" and adds some hep-jivin', soul-stompin' funk twenty years later. Margie Hendrix's claim to fame was that she supported Ray Charles as his lead Raylette in hits like "Hit The Road Jack". Her character figured prominently in the biopic Ray, however it wasn't until discovering her solo records that I garnered R-E-S-P-E-C-T for this forgotten singer of roots driven R&B. Perhaps it's the curse of the Hendrix name (although she's not related to Jimi), but Margie's life was cut short by a drug overdose in 1973. Luckily for followers of big, brassy soul she left behind an amazing legacy.


Here's a live recording of Lavern Baker's original "Jim Dandy" from 1956.

"Don't Destroy Me" is the a-side to 1968's "Jim Dandy". 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rien Qu'un Seul Mot - Eddy Mitchell


Eddy Mitchell delivers a thundering version of the Rolling Stone's "Satisfaction" on his 1966 EP for Barclay Records. In his native France Eddy was considered somewhat of straitlaced square, but that reputation didn't prevent him from cranking out one of the best Stone's covers, ever. "Rien Qu'un Seul Mot" checks positive on all my satisfaction boxes - pounding drums, crackling guitar fuzz, no holds barred vocals, and a little tambourine jingle jangle thrown in for good measure.


Download

Pre solo career. Here's Eddy Mitchell, his hair & The Black Socks singing Gene Vincent's timeless"Be Bop A Lula".

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ain't Gonna Spread Myself - Lee Moore

Topnotch funky blues from 1971 by Lee Moore. I don't know anything about the man, but damn, he sure could plead a case to his woman like nobody's business. Enjoy!


Download

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Destruye El Vino - Rabbits & Carrots

Rabbits & Carrots was one of the funkiest Mexican bands of their time in the late 60s & early 70s. They've covered numerous artists while adding their own instrumental knack for funky horns. In fact, many praised them as being a Latino version of the mighty Meters. "Destruye El Vino" was released on their 1971 self-titled EP. It's got all the summer swagger of the original with extra spice included.


Download

Eric Burdon (The Animals) & War created the greatest funk/rock partnership when they joined forces to record my go-to karaoke song "Spill The Wine" in 1970.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Nadine, Jimmy Et Moi - Alain Kan


French glam, punk-crooner Alain Kan coupled the deviantly delicious "Nadine, Jimmy Et Moi" alongside his 45 single for "City Palace" back in 1975. Alain was huge on the French rock scene, having founded one of the country's first punk bands, the legendary Gazoline. David Bowie was heavy influence on his career, and sexual expression. In fact, Alain Kan is considered to be the first of his peers to openly sing about his homosexuality. However, the most fascinating aspect of Alain Kan's biography is that he literally disappeared off a Parisian train station in 1990, and was never seen or heard from again.


Download

"Nadine, Jimmy Et Moi" performed live.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crazy 'Bout You Baby - Jerry Williams


Jerry "Lynn" Williams serves up one of the heaviest cowbelling rock tracks I've ever heard on "Crazy 'Bout You Baby". It was released as another brilliant b-side throwaway which, for some reason, was never included on his 1972 self-titled LP. I don't listen to too much rock n'roll nowadays, but when I do it usually sounds something like this.


Jerry Williams also does a mighty fine version of  Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale".

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wicky Wacky - The Cimarons


The Cimaron's were the UK's first truly indigenous reggae band. They formed back in 1967 and made their fame by backing all the Jamaican giants who introduced Britain to this new rocksteady sound. "Wicky Wacky" is actually a Fatback song produced with the Cimaron's own English island flair. Funky all the way.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'll Love You Til The Cows Come Home - Clyde McPhatter



I don't normally care for early doo-wop R&B, but this 1961 single from former Drifter Clyde McPhatter is that rare exception. "I'll Love You Til The Cows Come Home" is a nifty little composition with a flirty title and a great down home groove. What can I say? I'm a sucker for simply stated, sweetly delivered golden oldies. Enjoy.


Download

Monday, June 21, 2010

Listen To The Drums - Richard Caiton


1964's "Listen To The Drums" by unknown singer/composer Richard Caiton has been a standard favorite of mine for years. It's another neglected b-side that had the simple misfortune of being attached to a merely mediocre, and chartless single, "You Look Like A Flower".


Download

The doo-wop ballad "You Look Like A Flower" is a nice popcorn oldie, but it bares little resemblance to its much hipper flipside.