Friday, January 29, 2010

I Want To Hold Your Hand/Sukiyaki - Billie Tam 蓓 蕾

Since I'm Chinese illiterate you'll just have to appreciate Billie Tam 蓓 蕾 and her lovely Beatles cover without any informative tidbits. Now that I'm officially hooked on 1960's Mandopop I wanna hear the entire Beatles catalog sung in suzie wong style Mandarin!

Here's Billie singing the crooner classic "Sukiyaki". B-side to "Hula Twist". Its the first authentically Asian R&B doo-wop song to become a worldwide hit, and its a damn groovy whistling number too. Old school hip-hop acts from Slick Rick to Snoop Dogg, and from Salt-n-Pepa to Mary J. Blige have all sampled this song.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sadie and The Devil - Labi Siffre

Funk poet extraordinaire Labi Siffre delivers the goods in his 1975 album Remember My Song. This record is so chockfull of cratedigger's delight that it easily makes my top ten shipwrecked-on-a-deserted island LPs: should I somehow manage to swim safely ashore with only my modest-sized record satchel, and phonograph. Who needs Mr.Wilson when you've got Labi Siffre for castaway companionship?

Its tough highlighting just one song, but the infectiously funky "Sadie and The Devil" has caught my ear's attention for the moment. Enjoy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Got You Babe - Etta James

It's a shame that Etta James will be best known for her overly commercialized wedding standard "At Last". She's a much more accomplished blues artist and deserves higher acknowledgment beyond the radio dial of the casual golden oldies listener.
 One of my favorite party stompers is her funky 1968 reworking of the Sonny & Cher classic "I Got You Babe". It was recorded during her breakout Chess years and makes the original version completely obsolete. Happy Birthday Etta aka Miss Peaches!


"I Worship The Ground You Walk On" was the accompanying b-side to "I Got You Babe", and another one of her trademark, blues belting stunners.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Billy Goat Run - Anna Black

1968's LP "Meet Anna Black" is nothing short of a country masterpiece. None of the record's twelve songs are throwaways or fillers. I've included three tracks below for your listening pleasure. One being an amazing, ghostly folkish rendition of Eleanor Rigby, and another being a lighthearted ditty about farm living in the sweltering summertime.
The last song on the album's second side, Billy Goat Run, is a funky little romp. Its an uncomplicated plea from a little girl urging the family's resident billy goat to skedaddle before her mother turns it into supper stew. Both adorable and danceable!

Billy Goat Run

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gotta Be Funky - Bobby Rush

 Every man should own the following crucial items
1) Classic blue blazer
2) Trustworthy boots (matching steed not required)
3) Multipurpose gadget (Leatherman or Swiss variety)
4) Quality non-sticking martini shaker
5) Heavy duty toolbox
6) Zombie bludgeoning or lacerating weapon of choice
7) MP3 player with playlists for every occasion.
8) Well seasoned cast iron skillet (can be substituted for item 6)
9) Prepped gym bag
10) His own funky theme song

I can't help with items 1-9, but if you're missing the final, and arguably most important item, then download the song below.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Green Power - Little Richard

 Richard Wayne Penniman can't dance like James Brown. He can't play the piano like Jerry Lee, and certainly can't overdose on amphetamines like Elvis Presley. But let's be honest. There's only one monarch to the rock n' roll throne, and his majesty's name is Richard The First (and only)!

"Green Power", from Little Richard's 1971 LP King of Rock And Roll, demonstrates the royal ease with which he fuses funk and rock. Aside from dubbing thee funk n' roll sound I also credit "The Emancipator of Soul" with being the original godfather of glam (flamboyant costumes & heavy eyeliner).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Long And Lonely Night- Barry St. John

Barry St. John a.k.a. "The Pretty Kitty From The Gritty City" of Glasgow sounds like a Dusty Springfield knock-off and that's fine by me. In fact, her 1968 album "According To St. John" bears a stylistic resemblance to Dusty's Memphis sessions. Its got that same twangy southern groove that I simply adore. Barry's talent was shamefully overlooked back in the late sixties, but her records have since maintained a steady demand among contemporary blue-eyed soul collectors.

Long And Lonely Night is her equally melancholy flip to the Cry Like A Baby single. Its a true gem of endangered vinyl and a great listen for when you're feeling lovelorn and blue.