musicology #0655 Daddy Woo Woo

Tribute to DON Pedro #5

the Vibrations – Daddy Woo Woo

sliding out of the Ska and into the 60’s Rhythm and Blues with this cut from the Vibrations. A vocal group who first appeared on the scene as the Jay Hawks in 1956 and had a ‘hit’ with; Stranded in the Jungle, (remind me to dig it out from the vaults and lay it down), as well as notable early ‘Soul’ cuts Oh Cindy, Since I Fell For You, the Watusi, Peanut Butter and the classic My Girl Sloopy.

Don Pedro shares a West Coast connection with these cats who hail from the City Of Angels in California. the Don took up residency there for many years after deciding it was time to leave the auld Country and head out West to stroll the Boulevards.

Back in the day the Don and I used to be found frequenting ‘Mod’ hang outs. I had become disillusioned with the rare Funk clique and was in between scenes and even though it was my second time, (once a mod/ern/ist always a mod/ern/ist), the scene had evolved, (or maybe it was us who had evolved??), anyway we had some memorable times together and it was there that my love and respect for the Don was born…again I digress so i’ll leave it there. Suffice it to say that the music connects us and i Know that he will enjoy this one… recorded for and released on Atlantic in 1964.

musicology #552

Times #4

(Solomon Burke – You Can Make It If You Try)

“He who knows nothing, loves nothing. He who can do nothing understands nothing. But he who understands also loves, notices, sees….The more knowledge is inherent in a thing, the greater the love….Anyone who imagines that all fruits ripen at the same time as the strawberries knows nothing about grapes. – Paracelsus

1963 cut from the ‘King Of Rock and Soul’ on the Atlantic label

musicology #455

TheManWithTheBag #5

(The Drifters – The Bells Of St Mary’s)

One of themusicologist’s personal Christmas favourites. Been with me for as long as I can remember. Recorded and released on an Atlantic 78/45 in 1954. Over half a century old and still as fresh as spring daisies..(the cracks and hisses aside !!), Of course it’s Clyde McPhatter on lead just after he had left Billy Ward’s Dominoes to form the first incarnation of the Drifters.

musicology #452

TheManWithTheBag #2

(Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz It’s Christmas)

slipping out of the Wailers into a festive 60’s Soul cut courtesy of Jim Stewart’s majestic Memphis Rhythm & Blues/Soul shack…Stax.

From memory, (my wax is locked away while I navigate this period of transition), it was released (I have it on an Atlantic 45), in 1964. The singer is the beautiful and hugely talented song bird Carla Thomas whose voice melts my soul  quicker than hot butter on breakfast toast. (Backed by Booker T and The MG’s).

musicology #387

Modernist #15

(Barbara Lewis – Hello Stranger)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a pioneer typographer, photographer, and designer of the modern movement and a master at the Bauhaus in Weimar, may have come closest to defining the Modernist who in his opinion was;

“an idealist and a realist using the language of the poet and the businessman. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems, but his fantasy is boundless.”

“The basis of style is the appropriation and reorganisation by the subject of elements in the objective world which would otherwise determine and constrict him. The Mod/ernist combined previously disparate elements to create himself into a metaphor, the appropriateness of which was apparent only to themselves. Like the surrealists they underestimated the ability of the dominant culture to absorb the subversive image and sustain the impact of the anarchic imagination. The magical transformations of the commodities had been mysterious and were often invisible to the neutral observer and no amount of stylistic incantation could possibly effect the oppresive economic mode by which they had been produced”.

Today’s 1963 cut is another Mod/ernist classic but this time courtesy of female vocalist Barbara Lewis..BIG tune on the scene and one of themusicologist’s earliest musical memories. Ranking tune that never fails to hit the spot.

musicology #335

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #2

(Ray Charles – A Bit Of Soul)

So…after rinsing some ‘Joes’ for a few bucks it’s time for Fast Eddie Felson to step up to the plate..The Cathedral known as Ames’s Pool Room. But before the action starts allow me to fill you in with a little bit of information relating to the Film:

Directed by Robert Rossen, (who also co-wrote the screenplay), the story was adapted from a 1959 novel of the same name written by Walter Tevis. I always interperated it is as a tale of character and morality rather than a film about pool and hustling. All the, (major), players in the film are displayed in terms of their moral fibre so it was of interest when I discovered that the director Robert Rossen ‘betrayed’ people a few years after being blacklisted as a result of the scandalous HUAC Hollywood witch hunt of the late 40’s and early 50’s when Cold War, Anti Communist ideology was beginning to be strategically placed into society. Rossen was actually a member of the Communist party during his early years and a Socialist too, (which are far from being the same), but it was the ‘Politics Of Fear’ laced with ‘Game Theory’ rules played out by Government propoganda that was the real issue.

Anyway to have named names and ‘grassed’ Cats up because of not being able to work in the film industry must have been a bitter pill to swallow for an idealist, (Socialism being an ideal after all), who had grown up in New York’s tough lower East Side in the early part of the 20th Century. ‘Grassing’ for many years was considered as low as you could go, even lower than ‘dipping’ which is saying something. Rossen originally claimed the 5th ammendment and refused to co-operate but could’nt hold out and eventually in 1953 named over 50 as Communists. In his own words

“I don’t think, after two years of thinking, that any one individual can indulge himself in the luxury of personal morality or pit it against what I feel today very strongly is the security and safety of this nation.”

So there it is in his own words…’Morality’ one of the human essences we use to justify our actions. John F Kennedy was quoted to have said, (around the time in question),

“A man does what he must regardless of personal consequences and that is the essence of all human morality”

I’m making absolutely no judgement on Robert Rossen but I’m imagining he did on himself and I believe the Hustler was an attempt to make some sense out of questions of morality and character. It’s not a film about winning and losing for me it’s more about the price paid.

Today’s piece of musicology is courtesy of a Cat who needs no introduction…none other than the great Ray Charles Robinson with a 1961 instrumental slice on the Atlantic Label.

musicology #173

alternativesoundtrack2..Quadrophenia #5

(The 4 Casts – Stormy Weather)

day 5 and for Jimmy it’s all about to start going downhill. having made his way, (on convoy), down to Brighton and spent the day getting ready for some evening action he has been ejected from the ‘dance’ for jumping from the balcony in an attempt to impress Steph, (the things we males do to be noticed by the ladies !!), who has mugged him off to be with ‘The Face’.

having nowhere to go and no-one to go with he spends the night on the beach, (no doubt speeding off his ‘nut’), and in the morning makes his way to to meet up with the boys. this is followed by the big ‘tear-up’ on the beach and the demolishing of a cafe that some ‘greasers’ have holed up in. if you’ve seen it you know all about the ‘knee jerker’ in the alley with Steph and then him having his collar felt by the old bill, where he ends up in a black mariah with his ‘hero’ .

Cut to this scene, where the mod attitude and deference to authority is highlighted by ‘the Face’s’ dismissal of his financial punishment in style. but notice how the judge states that these are not the first wave of ‘hooligans’ to hit Brighton, in reference to the much more dangerous and violent racecourse wars of the 1920’s featuring the likes of ‘The Elephant Boys’, the Brummagen boys, the Sabini’s and cats such as Georgie Sewell and Billy Kimber…Brighton was always a hotbed of crime and violence right up until the most recent spate of re gentrification that has taken place over the preceding 10 years or so..and a trip ‘down the line’ was very common for London’s opportunists and villains of the past.

the tune that follows is a slice of the Atlantic pie from early 1964 by a vocal group I know nothing about so I can’t offer any information other than what’s on the label.

stormy weather is certainly up ahead for ‘young Jim’