Essential Cuts #5
(Little Esther Phillips – Mojo Hannah)
Fuck the words…hold this ESSENTIAL, (1964), Rhythm & Blues cut from one of the GREAT female vocalists.
Essential Cuts #5
(Little Esther Phillips – Mojo Hannah)
Fuck the words…hold this ESSENTIAL, (1964), Rhythm & Blues cut from one of the GREAT female vocalists.
Down The Road A Piece #2
(Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr – Your Love Keeps Drawing Me Closer)
Allow me tell you a story….
Last weekend I was in East Sussex attending a new and unique festival ‘Vintage’ deep in the, (beautiful), English countryside, (Sussex), having been lucky enough to procure an invitation and wristband from brother Sean Rowley (and of course the angel that is Miss G.T), who was laying down some music on the main stage in between acts. I arrived a bit later than planned on the Friday evening and the weather was awful..’raining cats and dogs’ but not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for the weekend’s activities. After a quick cup of tea and a, (completely impractical), change of attire, (the vintage Gucci loafers took one hell of a beating), at the Bed and Breakfast I jumped into the Vintage Merc’ and made my way to the event. Sean was on the main stage warming up the crowd for the newly reformed ‘Faces’ so I slipped up there and showed mine.
…before I gets to ramblin’ and let too many cats out of the bag let’s just say that it was an excellent night made even better by hooking up with Brothers Cheeba, Deano and Sister Amanda at the Soul Casino to dance the night away along with my afore mentioned compadres. Rolled out of there at the close of play around 2:30 ? and slipped back to the B&B for a well earned kip…Tomorrow was another day….
Today’s cut is in honour of that first night at Vintage..a 60’s Soul cut that although wasn’t played on the night would have fitted the bill perfectly. B side of the in demand ‘You Can’t Blame Me’ featuring the harmonious talents of Virgil Johnson, Al Dawson, Willie Tatum & Norris Durr. Recorded for and released on Bill Moss’s superb Capsoul label.
Tales From The Underground #6
Solomon Burke – Words
Locked into the Soul/Rhythm&Blues selection at the moment so rolling with this superb slice of 1963 musicology from Singer supreme, Preacher and ‘King Of Rock and Soul’, Solomon Burke. Soul pioneer who began recording in 1956 for New York’s famed Apollo label before moving to Atlantic in 1961 whereapoun he recorded some of the most enduring cuts of the early Soul period. A Cat whose culinary skills are as legendary as his singing. Today’s cut was recorded for and released on Atlantic in 1963.
Shake It Up & Go #1
(Deon Jackson – Love Takes A Long Time Growing)
Inspired by Saturday night’s function (‘Shake’) this theme features a selection of cuts, (all dancers), spun by themusicologist on the night as well as a few that I had in the rocket box that I didn’t manage to fit in to my ‘set’. Excellent night. Pucker music…good crowd…Great company..ALL good.
First up is a piece of great beauty and authentic sincerity that never fails to move me in every way from Soul singer, (with a capital S), Deon Jackson on the Carla label that says it all for me about a word we have all heard MANY times.
LISTEN TUNE and watch the ride..
(Am I A Good Man – Them Two)
Today’s marrow trembler finds themusicologist standing in ‘still waters’ that run almost too deeeeeeeeeep and I’m probably shooting myself in the foot by peering into the darkest recesses of my soul in such a public way but authenticity compels me to continue asking the question….what/who am I? (not that I’m expecting or even asking for an answer as I don’t believe there is a definitive but unfortunately that doesn’t stop the internal dialogue).
Paradoxically? the question has reared it’s head at the onset of this ‘Harmony’ theme but in the words of Blues man supreme Little Willie Littlefield ‘Life is like that’ and no amount of running and hiding will alter a truth.
The musicology presented by the TOP RANKING Numero Label was originally recorded for and released on Miami’s Deep City label sometime in the late 60’s? and features the combined harmonies of Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke ably backed and driven by Helene Smith, Arnold Albury and Reed Roberts. For me music doesn’t get ‘better’ than this…what a tune.
1. concord, unity, peace, amity, friendship. 2. consonance, conformity, correspondence, consistency.
(Birdlegs & Pauline – Spring)
This week it’s all about the musical harmony between two people. Kicking off the theme with a 1964 mod/ernist classic courtesy of 60’s Soul duo Sidney ‘Birdlegs’ Banks and his wife Pauline Shivers Banks. Originally recorded for and released on Jim Kirchstein’s Cucca label..this is the Vee Jay Release.
(Sam Cooke – Somebody Ease My Troublin’ Mind)
milestone on themusicologist…500 cuts and still haven’t even scratched the surface of the vaults !! here’s hoping that you cats and kittens have enjoyed the journey so far. how long will it last? who knows…but I’ll keep spinning as long as I’m able. When I took the first step on this musical journey I had no idea where it would lead. I just felt that the time had come to communicate with the world and open up a dialogue with my heart, soul and mind using the most effective language that I know…the sweet sounds of music. What is it about music that leaves such a deep impression? I don’t know but there have been many books written, lectures discussions and debates around tables, on street corners, in bars, classrooms and hallowed halls for generation after generation and still there are no definitive explanations, such is the power of frequency and especially harmony to resonate deep within us and touch the soul in ways that, at least for me, nothing else comes close to reaching other than that elusive feeling words can’t describe, Love…
I was going to wax lyrical and go right into ‘one’ but, (and I don’t know for sure why?), to be brutally honest with you today’s cut nails the way I have been feeling these last few days courtesy of the one artist who, for me, stands above all others..The Lion, Mr Soul…Sam Cooke without whom the music we now call Soul may not have emerged and even if it did definitely wouldn’t have been the same. Recorded in 1964 not long before the curtain closed on the troubled last few years of his short life. Sung in such a way that it leaves no doubt why the Lion is known as Mr Soul…The man who put the Soul in Soul….what a F***in’ TUNE, (excuse the profanity but the piece always brings me to my knees and trembles my marrow)
(Sam And Dave – Goodnight Baby)
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.
(Irma Thomas – Ruler Of My Heart)
Love the way the SoulBoy is shaping up….Soul and Reggae are the two musical languages that I am fiercely passionate about..I like many genres and almost all styles but nothing connects with the I like these two. Maybe it’s because I was brought up with them? especially Soul, the sweet sounds of Jamaica didn’t make an appearance until I was 3 or 4 years old but Soul is in my flesh, blood and bones…prenatal style !!
Seems like the Soul Kitchen’s hotting up with every cut so i’ll keep up the pressure with this piece from the superb Irma Thomas..well known to Soul Cats and Kittens for many a fine slice, (this being one of them), ‘The Queen of New Orleans Soul’ started out singing in a Baptist Church choir as a teenager but it wasn’t until 1960 that she ‘waxed her first side’. Like all the great New Orleans Soul singers of the sixties it was on the pioneering label Minit that she really begun to cut loose under the wing and watchful eye of the legendary Allen Toussaint, producer, arranger, songwriter and piano maestro whose contribution to the emerging sound now known as Soul deserves, (and gets), honourable recognition. Today’s cut was reinterpreted by the ‘Big O’ for his first solo outing ‘Pain In My Heart’ and as good as that is, for me, this one reaches out even further. 1963 recording on the Minit label. Already featured twice on themusicologist, (#150/ #359 Irma Thomas oozes Soul.
(Doris Troy – Please Little Angel)
Ladies with Soul … Lots to choose from; Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, Candi Staton, Randy Crawford, Millie Jackson, Mary Wells, Gwen McCrae, Vicki Anderson, Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, Barbara Lewis, Etta James, Dee Dee Warwick, Fontella Bass, Minnie Ripperton, Marie Knight, Dee Dee Sharp, Mitty Collier…as well as contemporary kittens such as Angie Stone, Brandy, India Arie, Beyonce…and those are just the ones off the top of my head !
As difficult as it was to choose..today’s cut, (courtesy of Doris ‘Just One Look’ Troy), has ALL the right ingredients; Vocals, Lyrics and Production..
Bronx born Doris Higginsen begun her career singing Gospel in her fathers choir but it was as a songwriter that she scored her first hit ‘How About That’ recorded by Soul pioneer Dee Clark in 1960. Three years later she was spotted by James Brown working as an usherette at the Apollo and in that same year she wrote and recorded the Mod/ernist classic ‘Just One Look’. Not sure how or why but Doris didn’t go on to receive the critical acclaim that her talents deserved. Employed by the Beatles at Apple as Artist, Writer and producer Doris sung backup and worked with some of the UK’s most established musicologists, (The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and The Moody Blues), but failed to make a commercial impact as an artist in her own right. After a few years in the wilderness Doris’s story became a successful stage show ‘Mama I Want To Sing’ which is scheduled for a cinema release this month? I didn’t know that before researching for today’s cut but musicology works in mysterious ways so it makes complete sense to me.
(O.V Wright – Motherless Child)
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)
(Jackie Wilson – No Pity In The Naked City)
hmmm…themusicologist has been AWOL these last few days ! busy getting it all straightened out but the musicology is on constant playback in anticipation of hitting the right note. In truth I’m a bit lost for words at the moment but not for music and this one from Soul brother supreme Jackie Wilson is BOSS. For themusicologist Jackie is one of a handful of artists who personify the essence of Soul. Starting out with his performances as lead singer with Billy Wards Dominoes in 1953 right up to the 70’s Jackie was always trembling marrows with his vocal ability… and this is one of them.
(The Meditation Singers – What The World Needs For Christmas)
Playing catch up these last couple days !!. (just noticed that yesterday’s cut was missing from the music box !!!), themusicologist’s ‘drum’ is a bit of a 2 n’ 8, (but my head’s not, even though I had a tooth pulled today). Christmas is in full swing. Presents under the tree for the youts them. Nothing but the seasonal sounds playing day and night..Attended our beautiful daughters Carol service last night, (she’s in the choir), and needless to say it was BOSS. Oh yeah and the snow fell today. Don’t know how long it will last but we are all dreaming of a white one this year.
Must confess that it feels a bit strange this year but of course that’s only natural after sharing the preceeding 21 years in a deep and, at least for me, meaningful relationship but, again, such is life. My experience is that it’s not what happens to you along the way it’s how you roll with it. So with that in mind hold this cut from the majestic Meditation Singers. Formed by none other than Della Reese in 1947 members have included Earnestine Rundless, Lillian Mitchell, Marie Waters, Cassietta George and James Cleveland. Della moved on in 1953 and was replaced by Earnestine’s adopted teenage daughter Laura Lee Rundless. This piece was recorded for and released on Chess/Checker. Haven’t got the LP at hand, (in storage), so can’t remember the recording date but if memory serves me right it was 1969. One thing is for sure though…It’s TOP RANKING.
(You Got My Mind Messed Up – James Carr)
too many cuts to choose from and my butterfly mind certainly needs direction while my heart weeps.
today’s slice is courtesy of the majestic James Carr a cat who had the misfortune of suffering from a condition known medically as Bi-Polar Dis-order. What that means, (like many mental conditions), is debatable but it is especially poignant for themusicologist as a much loved and cherished companion is also going through a period of transition that is in danger of being labelled. Recorded and released in 1966 on the Goldwax label.
Terry Callier #3
(Terry Callier – Look At Me Now)
Mr Callier’s first recording. Released as a 45 in 1963 !!
Now my people think that I just fake it,
I know I do things they don’t understand,
So I’ve got to show ’em I can take it yeah,
I’ve got to show ’em I can be a man,
Still there’s somethings that never have appealed to me,
Like standing out in front of a crowd,
Well people just you wait and see,
I’m gonna give you reason to be proud,
I’m gonna make it some day,
I’m gonna make it somehow,
Then I’ll be able to say hey,
Take a look at me know,
Yeah look at me know,
Well now my woman thinks I’m just a dreamer,
And she’s right about me I suppose,
But I could never, never, never be a schemer,
I don’t know the things a schemer knows,
But I do know there’s a better day coming up soon,
And baby just you wait and see,
I’ll find us a light in this darkness,
If you just have faith in me,
I’m gonna make it some day yeah,
Gonna make it somehow,
I’ll be able to say yeah, yeah, yeah
Baby look at me know,
Look at me know,
Look at me know,
Look at me know
(Otis Redding – Old Man Trouble)
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.
(David Ruffin – Pieces Of A Man)
Day three..no time to waste…no time to juggle so I’ll just leave it to one of the great singers Davis Eli Ruffin to tell it like it is with this 1969 cut from his debut solo LP for Tamla Motown. Produced by Soul heavyweights and longtime musicologists Harvey Fuqua, Ivory Joe Hunter and Johnny Bristol.
(Ray Sharpe & The King Curtis Orchestra – Help Me Get The Feeling Pts 1&2)
Fuck…not sure how you cats are feeling but for themusicologist it sure is a hard road fe travel at the moment. not complaining, moaning or, (worst of all), looking for sympathy just an observation and comment on this part of the journey.
I’m always up for the challenge but the constant pressure is taking it’s toll. So with that in mind I’m going to lay down this wicked piece of 60’s Soul. Keeping in mind that although it’s the ‘Sound&Fury’ signifying nothing music speaks and themusicologist can’t help but listen. Quality double sider of urban musicology that I had no choice but to edit the two seperate parts together.
1966 ‘Atlantic’ release originally released on the Atco Label courtesy of Ray Sharpe featuring one of the top bands of the period none other than The, (King), Curtis Orchestra.
(Fuller Brothers – Stranger At My Door)
One of themusicologist’s most loved slices of 60’s Soul…BIG tune. Released on San Francisco’s GD&L label.
(Charlie & Inez Foxx – MockingBird)
Penultimate day of the Mod/ernist theme, (honest guvnuh !!), and then it’s onto musicolological pastures new. Hard for me to leave this theme as I love the music and am really enjoying the dialogue.
Couldn’t complete a mod/ernist theme without including this one from Charlie & Inez Foxx…1963 cut on Juggy Murrays Symbol label. BIG, BIG tune from back in the day.