Day 2 .. Moving onto a piece of Mid 60’s, (1965 to be exact), Soul from South Florida’s ‘Deep City’ (Miami) featuring the vocal skills of Paul Laurence Dunbar Kelly.
I could go to town on the history and connect the (narrative) dots as to who owned what label, played on/wrote what song, what they went on to do and how influential they were in the development of soul/Rhythm and Blues/funk etc but to be honest it’s far too time consuming so I’ll just name check the cats responsible for EACH tune. In this case it’s Johnny Pearsall, Willie Clarke and Arnold Albury. (writers, producers, musicians, urbanemusicologists)
Was unable to spare the time to throw down yesterday..played out last night at a very dear and cherished friend’s birthday bash and spent most of the day preparing the set. Anyway explanations aside and moving on from Don Drummond at the Duke’s Treasure Isle to a cut delivered by one of the other major Ska producers and sound systems of the time; King Edwards, (The Giant). Don’t know hardly anything about the Cat other than he had a major Sound that for a while competed with the players; Sir Tom The Great Sebastian, Duke Reid, (The Trojan), Sir Coxsone Downbeat, Lord Koos, and V-Rocket on top of producing some BOSS Ska.
His main DJ, (not selector), was none other than Sir Lord Comic who went on to record what is considered to be the first ‘DJ’ cut, (Ska-ing West), in 1966 at the dawn of a new era, (Rock Steady), but more about that next week. This week it’s all about the Ska and this piece is a rare, (and I mean rare), treat. 1965 release on the, (English), Rio label. Credited to the Edwards All Stars but better known as the Skatalites.
Staying on board the Soul Train for this week as there are far too many cuts and artists who have yet to be featured..Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, James Carr, Sam Cooke, Teddy Pendergrass, Al Green, Aaron Neville, Bobby Bland, Solomon Burke and on and on and on in fact a year still wouldn’t be long enough to dig deep into the Soul Cellar so another week is the LEAST I can do.
Too many pieces to choose from…must have lined up at least 5 cuts…just as I’m about to prepare one a next piece floats out of the speakers to distract my butterfly mind. So without further delay hold this piece from one of the great duets Sam Moore and Dave Prater. So electric were they on stage that Otis Redding refused to go on after them. 1965 release on the Stax Label.
Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Lee Fields was so hot last night but the Menahan Street Band were on fire. Deeeeeeeeeeep Soul and funk that has to be heard and seen live to be fully appreciated. WHAT a show. EVERY song a winner. They almost tore the roof off at the Bloomsbury last night which considering its underground was quite a feat ! If you like Soul and Funk and they are playing in your town then do yourselves a favour and make sure you attend.
Bit of a dilemma as to what to lay down today? TOO MUCH choice on the Soul front and as I go to lay one down another comes up and ‘speaks’. Been listening to Legends like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Al Green, Leroy Hutson as well lesser known but just as majestic Cats like James Carr, O.V Wright, and a whole host of 45’s from the 60’s and 70’s so rather than face the dilemma I’m just going to lay down this 60’s Soul marrow trembler and be done…..Recorded for and released on Don Robey’s BackBeat Label in 1965, (from the album If It’s Only For Tonight)
Apologies for yesterday. Today I’ll make sure the cut is laid down with the post !!
1: A purification or purgation of the emotions primarily through art.
2: A purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension.
3: elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression.
For me themusicologist delivers all of the above and for that I am more than greatful. In fact over the past few days the raging inner storm is calming and the ‘weight’ is lifting.
I’m assuming that most, if not all, of us are feeling some kind of pressure as the curtain finally closes on the Modern World and opens on what in Philosophical terms is defined as the Post Modern world of, (among other things), decentralization, insecurity, globalization, unpaid work, marketocracy, crowdsourcing and so on and on and on. Many Modern projects that have informed us since the Enlightenment such as freedom, democracy, education and the family are being dismantled and replaced by degrees of economic slavery. It’s always a changing world but sometimes the speed of change is surprising.
So as much as I take responsibility for my actions I also know that there are external forces at work that have a great impact on the herd who tend to be oblivious to the control tactics of the masters. Therefore I will continue on the road of authenticity with my head held high and my eyes, ears and nose wide open and dismiss the one sided Apollonian ideology that reduces art to no more than “amusement governed by empty concepts” and firmly deny Plato’s view that “Art is a secondary imitation of reality and a counterfeit substitute for life itself”
Today’s cut is a fine piece of Art courtesy of the ‘Big O’. Borrowed from the great 1965 ‘Otis Blue’ set….Plato…this one’s all yours.
Day five..bit later than intended but Such Is Life..
Today’s cut is from one of the greatest singers to have ever recorded….Jack Leroy Wilson Jr known simply as ‘Jackie’ who ranks right up there with the best. Jackie, Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield were instrumental in fusing Rhythm & Blues, Gospel and ‘Popular’ music into what became known as Soul. Of course there were others who deserve recognition but without these three it wouldn’t be the same.
Jackie’s recording career begun in 1951 but really begun to take off after replacing Clyde McPhatter, (who left to form the Drifters), in Billy Ward’s Dominoes. In 1957 Jackie, (possibly inspired by his greatest ‘rival’ Sam Cooke), went Solo and begun his unfortunate lifelong ‘bondage’ with ‘manager’ Nat Tarnapol who is reported to be the one most responsible for robbing Jackie blind for his whole career. But the least said about him the better. Jackie racked up many hits and was quite possibly the world’s greatest performer whose stage shows are the stuff of legend. He could dance and almost sing anyone under the table but as so often seems the case died broke due to his manager’s ruthless greed and exploitation. This one from 1971, (no idea who is sharing the mic with him), was recorded and released on the Brunswick label.
Final cut of the Coxsone Tribute. Have to finish up with this 1965 piece of rip roaring Ska sung by the Wailers. Featuring not only Jamaica’s premier band the Skatalites but also no less than Sir Coxsone Dodd himself on ‘Beer Bottle Percussion’ Duties !! Just like to add that many a deserved artist didn’t get a spot on the Downbeat Tribute most notably The Heptones, Jackie Mittoo, Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Ken Parker, Cornell Campbell, The Clarendonians..(too long a list to name them all). Some of them have already featured on themusicologist and I imagine that all will eventually..
In addition, the Second in the Tribute Tee series is to communicate my appreciation, (in more ways than one), for the man who made it all possible. Clement Seymour ‘Sir Coxsone/Downbeat The Ruler’ Dodd whose musical legacy is, for themusicologist, second to none. For more information click on the images below