musicology #369

SuchIsLife #3

(The Soul Stirrers – Looking Back)

Slipping and sliding from Paul Weller into a slice from the greatest Gospel, (and possibly vocal), group to have ever stepped up to the M.I.C, into the studio or onto the stage, the Soul Stirrers with a fine piece on Sam Cooke and J.W Alexander’s groundbreaking Sar label. I think it’s the majestic Jimmy Outer singing lead on this one backed by Paul Foster, Richard Gibbs, Leroy Crume and J.J Farley. Recorded and released in 1964.

musicology #339

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #6

(Sam Cooke – Cupid)

The Kid has been rolled over by Fats who showed him that not only does he who laugh last laughs longest but also that action speaks louder than words. Talent alone can get you ‘there’ but is not enough to keep you there, that takes character which comes only with experience. I doubt Eddie had been chewed up and spat out like that before…collapsing in a heap on the floor that a few hours ago he was parading around on like a king. That’s a long way to fall from “I’m the best there is” to begging Fats to play him for his last ‘bottle’…

One of the many things I like about this film is how it deals with some of the raw sides of human nature. There Isn’t a ‘nice’ character anywhere to be found, they are all Corrupt, Twisted and Crippled in some way, (like we all are), and when I watched it recently it was a touch painful to be honest..as I said at the start of the theme as a youngblood growing up on London’s mean streets themusicologist identified with the Fast Eddie character and although I was only young, still I saw and was involved in enough ‘experiences’ to gain some of the ‘Character’ that the film deals with. I was always in disagreement with the ‘respect your elders just because they are older than you’ ideology and found it hard, (especially with authority), to accept. I was young and foolish, (and happy..doo doo doo do do do do !!), and was brought up to value actions over words. The man to watch is the one who says nothing not the one who is shouting and gesticulating about what is going to be done at some future date. I was taught that by both the males and the environment that influenced my early life and it has often provided insight during some of my less salubrious moments. Anyway I’m rambling a bit so I’ll get back on the track..where was I…

Oh yeah, Eddie has taken a beating from Fats and after a short sleep in a hotel room abandons his partner Charlie and heads for the Bus Station. From across the room he spots a lone female and makes a move…Hustler style? I don’t know..I have always believed that people are like magnets and some we are drawn to while others repel us. Made more sense when a few years back I read a lot about Frequency and how every living entity has one. Naturally harmony would draw us to those who are ‘playing our tune’ so that together we could make sweet music. What draws the bee to the pollen, the horse to water and the man to the woman..frequency, so with that in mind, (as far as I’m concerned at least), ‘our man’ Eddie is drawn to this woman and he ‘makes a play’.

Sarah, played by Piper Laurie, (real name Rosetta Jacobs), sees it coming and makes it plain that she’s not interested in his advances. She answers him but doesn’t leave him any room in which to manoeuvre so he gets his ‘nut’ down, (sleeps), for a while and when he wakes she’s gone.

Todays cut is one of the great songs sung by one of the greatest singers of all time…Sam Cooke and even though we all know the tune inside out it still kicks arse..tough tune that I could never tire of. Make no mistake this piece epitomises Soul, a genre that wouldn’t have been the same without ‘The Lion’ blazing trails. I have been listening ALL day to music from 1960 and 1961 waiting for the right slice and as soon as I reached this one, (six hours later !!), it struck the right note..so here it is. Eddie doesn’t know it yet but ‘The arrow’ has flown straight into his heart.

musicology #320

SongsOf Protest&Freedom#6

(Otis Redding – A Change Is Gonna  Come)

final cut of the freedom&protest…and what better way to finish with one of the greatest songs sung by one of the greatest singers. Sam Cooke’s original has already featured on themusicologist but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to throw it down again.

Otis singing Sam Cooke…doesn’t get any better. Taken from the LP ‘Otis Blue’…With Issac Hayes on the Keyboards, (and production), as well as the full Stax/Volt family Donald Dunn, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love, Gene Miller and Fred Newman.

musicology #308

Live&Direct #5

(Lou Rawls – Goin’ To Chicago Blues)

Today’s cut features yet another of the great vocalists…Louis Allen Rawls. Life long friend of ‘Mr Soul’ Who was equally at home singing Gospel, Soul or Jazz whose impassioned response to Sam Cooke on the immortal 1962 cut ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ deserves special mention. A singer of the highest order about whom Frank Sinatra was quoted to have said “he has the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”…

This cut, first performed, (and written), by Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie band was recorded for Capitol in 1966 featuring musicians James Bond, Earl Palmer, Tommy Strode, Herb Ellis..produced by David Axelrod.

musicology #304

Live&Direct #1

(Sam Cooke – Somebody Have Mercy – Live)

New theme on themusicologist starting today concerning Live performances. Not that a recording can truly do them justice but other than being there, and in the case of the majority of artists featured during this theme who are no longer with us, it’s the best I can offer. All powerful performances…starting with the Lion…Mr Soul who has already been a major player on themusicologist over the preceeding two years, this being the second cut featured here from the infamous ‘Live at the Harlem Square’ session recorded in 1963. All I can add is that Words don’t do it justice.

musicology #237

inmodwetrust #4

(The Valentinos – Lookin’ For A Love)

today’s slice of the mod/ernist pie, (written by J.W Alexander and Zelda Samuels), features one of themusicologist’s all time favourite, inspirational and also influential artists…Robert Dwayne, (Bobby), Womack who played a BIG part in my musical upbringing back in the early 70’s (continuing up to today). The cat’s career stretches back into the 50’s when as a member of family Gospel group the Womack Brothers he was spotted by none other than the Lion, (Sam Cooke), who was so impressed he remembered them when setting up his ground breaking Sar label and brought them in to record, as well as hiring Bobby as a guitarist and important member of the Sam Cooke ‘family’ both on tour and in the studio. This one is their third recording on the label but their first as the Valentinos.

musicology #228

communication #6

(Sam Cooke – Please Don’t Drive Me Away)

didnt throw one down yesterday, too much on me plate and there wasn’t one tune in particular that communicated the message. today is another day and already there are at least four or five cuts that I would like to lay down. so without further delay…hold this one from another of me favourite artists and communicators…the Lion, Sam Cooke. Taken from the 1963 album Night Beat featuring a sixteen year old Billy Preston on the organ…Arranged by Rene Hall.