musicology #482

SoulBoy #1

(The Miracles – I’ll Try Something New)

Waiting for the inspiration for a new theme it suddenly arrived yesterday out of nowhere… Soul. Why? well…above all musical genres Soul is in my flesh, blood and bones. Deeply ingrained from before I was born. allow me to outline my historicity

My mum and dad were both Original London Mod/ernists from 1962 and anyone who knows will agree that the authentic soundtrack to Mod/ernist is Soul…Rhythm & Blues too of course but whereas Rhythm&Blues had been around for many years Soul was ‘modern’ (albeit a fusion between Doo Wop and Gospel).

Between 1958 and 1960 the seeds of Soul were sown as the cultural boundaries began to be crossed in earnest and as is often the case it was music that blew the trumpet for change loud and clear. No more would the universal language be categorised strictly by ‘Race’ (my belief is that it’s the only language that speaks to all regardless of colour, nationality or creed). Artists such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, Dee Clark, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye, (along with a whole host of lesser known but just as illuminating singers, songwriters and musicologists), began to flex their musical muscles and craft the ‘new lick’ without the backing of Corporate thieves and vultures.

In December 1968 themusicologist was born with the soundtrack of Soul ringing in my heart and soul and from that day to this it has been ever present. Beginning with the ‘classics’ I have matured throughout the 70’s 80’s 90’s and into the 21st Century with the heartbeart of such priceless musicology as the soundtrack to my existence. There have been and are many other genres that have had a profound impact on the I but Soul still is (and always will be), my first musical love.

Kicking off with one of my favourite early Soul cuts courtesy of the pioneering  ‘Miracles’ who first recorded in 1958 for Chess, but it wasn’t until hooking up to Berry Gordy’s fledgling Motown Label that the musical sparks began to truly fly. Just like to add that without doubt The Miracles were a foundation stone on which the Berry Gordy empire was built…


musicology #238

inmodwetrust #5

(Tony Clarke – The Entertainer)

Focus and discipline are certainly two attributes hard to come by for themusicologist in these turbulent times. Lucky for me I have music as guide, companion, and trusted friend. Might sound strange but often feels like a dialogue between me and the sounds…anyway, enough of the butterfly mind and back to the theme.

This cut was recorded the year that ‘mod’ had well and truly arrived, (some would even say finished), ‘tickets’ were everywhere and leading up to, (and certainly beyond), the bank holiday tear ups the ‘originals’ were moving on. Elsewhere kids up and down the country were ‘aving it large’, (for the first time), as ‘mod’ was spoonfed to the nation and beyond. Modernists on the other hand turned their back and looked for something else to direct their trend setting and creative energies into. Which is not to say that some of the vanguards didn’t stick with it and join in the ‘fun’. Maybe for them it wasn’t neccesarily about ‘being first’ it was also about ‘being there’, as perpetrators of ‘the new breed’ to take advantage of the opportunities that had arisen out of them revolutionary ‘times’. I think it was the philosopher Hegel who wrote/said that Ideas are the prime movers of history and not social or economic forces and for themusicologist, ‘Mod’ was and to some extent still is an idea.

The musicology is courtesy of a cat named Tony Clarke who recorded this Mod classic for one of the other Big mod labels, Chess. Unfortunately I have been having problems hooking up my Turntable to the computer so It will have to be the CD remaster until I can replace it with the 45. hope you understand.

musicology #236

inmodwetrust #3

(The Miracles – Mickey’s Monkey)

another slice from the 1963 selection, the year that ‘Mod’ grew out of various shadows to establish it as more than a handful of ‘dressers’/stylists/modernists into a movement. Same year that the (New) Scene opened it’s doors in Ham Yard, (Soho), to become the premier London club and forum for all things ‘mod’ and hip in the capital.

The cut is delivered in fine style by legendary Detroit vocal group The Miracles with William ‘Smokey’ Robinson on lead supported by Bobby Rogers, Marv Tarplin, childhood friend and, (along with Smokey), former 5 Chimes member Ronald White and female vocalist Claudette Rogers. The Miracles paved the way for Motown’s success in the early sixties with cuts like ‘Shop Around’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’ and this one apoun which the Berry Gordy empire was built.