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 #557

Shake It Up & Go #4

(Inez & Charlie Foxx – Hurt By Love)

Continuing with the Shake selection that I threw down last weekend. 1964, (New York), cut on Juggy Murray’s Symbol label.

musicology #556

Shake It Up & Go #3

(Tony Clarke – Ain’t Love Good Ain’t Love Proud)

Massive Rhythm &Blues cut from the majestic Tony Clark. 1964 cut on the US Chess Label. He who feels it knows it. Authentic love is hard to find..if it comes knocking make sure you open the door and let it walk right in.

Now it’s a big, bright world when a guy meets a girl,
Don’t you know when a their lips meet,
Don’t you know that they taste so sweet,
Don’t you know it’s a good, good feeling,
That sets your heart a reeling,
Everybody now clap your hands come on children, stomp your feet,
Come on now..hail out loud,
Ain’t love good ain’t love proud,
Ain’t love good ain’t love proud,
Play the song now,

Now it’s a sheer delight,
To have your heart on fire,
‘Cause the pretty young thing,
Say’s your her one desire,
Don’t you know that it,
Makes you move, it makes you get on the groove,
Everybody now clap them hands,
Come on children, stomp them feet,
Come on ya’ll hail out loud,
Ain’t love good ain’t love proud,

It’s a big, bright world when a guy meets a girl,
Don’t you know when a their lips meet,
Don’t you know that they got to taste so sweet,
Don’t you know it’s a good, good feeling,
And it starts your heart a reeling,
Everybody now clap them hands come on children, stomp your feet,
Come on now..hail out loud,
Ain’t love good ain’t love proud,
Ain’t love good ain’t love proud,
Come on now,
Play the music…

musicology #511

Duets2 #1

(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.

musicology #390

Modernist #18

(Ernestine Anderson – Keep An Eye On Love)

Cats…apologies for leaving you all ‘hanging’ for this final slice..my excuse is that it has been ‘on me like a rash’ for the last couple of weeks and I haven’t been able to find the time for themusicologist. The Project is taking up most of my time leaving precious little for Mod/ernist musings although the combination of the two has produced the latest addition to the Tribute Tees below. Available in two colours, sizes from Small to XLarge and THREE cuts ‘Dubplate’, ‘Classic’, and ‘Double A’, (American Apparel) see Tribute Tees for further information

Final cut on the Mod/ernist theme..and I’m wrapping it up with this fine piece by extraordinary singer Ernestine Anderson whose long career stretches back to the early 50’s when as a teenager she toured with the, (legendary), Johnny Otis band and then Lionel Hampton’s. Essentially a Jazz singer but I’m sure she could ‘sit down’ on any piece of music with effortless ease. Recorded and released in 1963 it won’t come as a surprise to those who know this cut but for those who don’t know it, (as well as them that do),

Released on New York’s Sue Label (another slice of the Juggy Murray pie), and in the UK on the Mod/ernist’s most cherished Red & Yellow label of the same name. Apparently it didn’t get much play at the time, (according to my sources), but for me this piece is ‘well modern’ and If I had been on the wheels of steel back then it would have been one of themusicologist’s choice plays….what’s ironic is the timing of today’s cut. I have honestly tried my best to ‘Keep an Eye’ but all my efforts have been in vain…

LISTEN TUNE…

musicology #389

Modernist #17

(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.

musicology #388

Modernist #16

(The Orlons – The Wah Watusi)

Have to keep it brief today as I’m up to my eyeballs with various things that demand my full attention making it nigh on impossible to wax lyrical about Mod/ernists, Musicology, Sociology, Philosophy, The Bauhaus and all of the other strands that woven together inform who I am or even ‘we’ are.

So without delay hold this cut. Yet another from the magic year of 1962 by vocal group The Orlons..one of the important things about this cut is that it made #2 in the U.S Pop chart which for an ‘R&B’ vocal group was no mean feat and for me highlights one of the reasons that 1962 was an important year sociologically. Before then the likelyhood is that it would have been re-recorded by a more shall we say marketable vocal group but ‘walls’ were breaking down especially in America and ‘Race’ music was leading the charge.

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 #386

Modernist #14

(The Valentinos – Darling Come Back Home)

Today it’s the turn of youth cult ‘observer’ and prolific writer on the subject Paolo Hewitt with what I think is a worthy insight into Mod/ernist that resonates throughout the whole spectrum from conception right up to today and beyond.

“Modernism has remained Britain’s most enduring youth cult because it’s originators created a blueprint that has proved timeproof. By doing so, they put up a safeguard against the transient nature of fashion. Mod has never withered against the ravages of time because it is so particular. About everything, Detail is all. Mod created, for the very first time, a twenty four hour lifestyle that totally revolved around clothes, music, drugs and attitude. They did not oppose society, they simply ignored it. They created their own simple sign language, devised fashion codes and style statements to develop their very own culture of cool. That they were initially hidden from view did not stop them contributing heavily towards the society that ignored. Their demands for clothes and music laid the foundations for the emergence of these industries in Britain and their style demanded a complete shift in attitude towards menswear. The true Modernist transformed London and made it the centre of ‘Hip’. Their clubs were the best in town, The Dj’s played the best and most exciting records and they danced the best dances.

All this because they had no problem mixing other cultures into their own. They were many things, arrogant, contemptuos, sometimes cruel and peacockis to a ‘man’ but they were also open minded and ambitious. One of their credos was simple; if it’s good, absorb it, wherever it’s from. Consequently Mod musical taste was immaculate an it’s development is entwined with the history of Soul music’s triumphant entry into Britain and when it was time to move on they did so. Which is so perfectly right, so perfectly Modernist”.

Today’s cut is one from themusicologist’s vaults recorded and released in 1962 for Sam Cooke and J.W Alexander’s trailblazing SAR label. Hold this quote from the book ‘Dream Boogie’ about the year in question..

“There was a new kind of pride in the air and a new kind of proclamation. Sam’s ‘natural’ hairstyle, (what became known as the Afro), was finally beginning to catch on and a few months later the Philadelphia Tribune defined ‘Soul’, a term confined for the most part at this point to the downhome instrumental sounds of Jazz musicians such as Bobby Timmons, Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley as “the word of the hour…a spiritual return  to the sources, an emotional intensity and rhythmis crive that comes from childhood saturation in Negro Gopspel music”. “Oh we all heard it said onetime ‘Wonder Boy’ preacher Soloman Burke, a lifelong Soul Stirrers devotee who had positioned himself somewhere between Sam and Brother Joe May in his own persuasive style, of Sam’s new Soul sound. “Pop audiences heard that yodel…like it was some shiny new thing. But if you knew Sam from Gospel, it was him saying, ‘Hey, it’s me’.

This was in the early months of 1962 at the same time that young working class kids in London were beginning to galvanise a new movement of their own and were instinctively drawn to this fresh sound coming out of America’s big cities. The group in question had a name and sound change from The Womack Brothers to the Valentino’s and it was their preceeding cut ‘Looking For A Love’ that provided them with their first breakthrough but for me this one takes some beating.


musicology #385

Modernist #13

(Gene Chandler – You Threw A Lucky Punch)

After two days of rest themusicologist is coming down the home straight for the Mod/ernist theme this week so I’ve decided to fly by the seat of my pants , (so to speak), and lay down some cuts that might not have been played in the critical years, (1961-1963), but I’m sure would have been if known about. As the theme has unfolded and due in part to the dialogue I feel like I am tuning in to the pace of the music that moved the crowd. As Tony Blue said ‘Shout & Shimmy’ was too fast whereas all the commentators have, (independantly), identified some of the key sounds and what has emerged is that they are all of a certain tempo. No surprise really as my own experience of the various scenes that I have been privliged to have been involved in over the years have all marched to one special beat, (whatever that may be), seems like the ‘biggest’ cuts of the theme so far are all what I would call Mid Tempo…or to put it another way…the ‘Perfect Beat’. Not too fast or too slow but just the right pace to make your feet move without forcing them to. The Cats know the beat of which I speak….the one that would ‘raise the dead’ and compel them to throw whatever ‘shapes’ were in their bones. Of course there are some whose sense of timing and natural rhythm is a joy to behold but even their best is brought out by the same beat that seems to catch all of our dancing feet and moves us onto the floor. Today’s cut is, (for me), in that groove and is also the original to the Mary Wells cut ‘You Beat Me To The Punch’, (musicology #376), sung by none other than the ‘Duke Of Earl’ himself, Gene Chandler whose name, (or if not name then certainly his musical contribution), should be known to Mod/ernists everywhere. Recorded for and released on the Vee Jay label in the magic year 1962.

musicology #384

Modernist #12

(The Drifters – Up On The Roof)

Modernist / Mod / Mods..for me the label is not the issue it’s the philosophy..the ideology that’s important and how it evolved to influence almost every ‘trend’ that followed. That’s what fascinates me. The narrative of the early sixties is well documented from almost every angle other than the ‘street’ perspective in part because the voice of the people is not one that is often heard. As Johnny Spencer said ‘by 1965 the essence and meaning was gutted from the original movement because it was a genuine threat to the staus quo’. For sure the consumer revolution had been managed as far back as the early part of the 20th Century but ‘Mod/ernist’ was never part of the equation because it came up from the street where the establishment had no control or initial interest other than in how to ‘capitalize’.

By the time I was born in 1968 the control was being fought for and for a moment the chance was there to bring down the system but by then the momentum was with the bourgouise intellectuals who when it came down to it didn’t realise that in the words of Martin Luther King there would be ‘No victory without sacrifice’. As the 70’s rolled on everything had been commoditized and the moment passed, (much to the relief of the establishment), who then went on, (in the 80’s), to destroy the working class by giving us ‘something’ to lose in the way of our own property which, of course, wasn’t ours anyway as it belonged to the banks that had sold us into debt slavery.

Interpret my musings how you will but I know how it was to live through these times with a narrative of Mod/ernist as the guiding principle which is after all an Attitude rather than merely a fashion trend. In my opinion part of why the lifestyle of Mod/ernist has been, (and continues to be), so enduring is the underlying principle at the heart of it which is to follow your own path and, (as much as you can), decide for yourself what to do, wear, listen to, watch, read, learn etc.

Today’s 1962 cut by the Drifters is so well known that it is easy to dismiss it as nothing more than pop but if you listen to the words it speaks the language of pure Mod/ernist, the cats who met, walked, talked and lived together metaphorically

“Up On The Roof..way up where the air was fresh and sweet and away from the hustling crowd and all the Rat Race noise down below…….right smack dab in the middle of town..”

Listen Tune…

musicology #382

Modernist #10

(Derrick & Patsy – Housewife’s Choice)

Sticking with the Jamaican selection with a next piece that was spun back in the day. The quote below from a cat named Ian Hebditch confirms conversations about them days that I have had with a good friend of mine’s Dad, (hold this one Don), who is Jamaican, born in 1947 and was there on the London scene at the time in question.

“There was a great degree of respect between the Mods and the West Indian Community. I personally found that. Within the Mod movement I don’t recollect any element of racism at all and by racism I mean anti-black feeling”.

Many a reason for this but one I would like to add is that in my experience Jamaicans have much of the mod/ernist attitude. Confident, Proud, Defiant, Dynamic are all attributes I have come across in my friends and their familys over the years and often have I witnessed this being interpreted as them having ‘a chip on their shoulder’ a misinterpretation that lingers on to this day.

Today’s cut is a 1962 slice from early Ska proponent Derrick Morgan in combination with a female singer by the name of Patsy Todd and I’ll leave it to Johnny Spencer to give you the details of the cut, a picture of the label and an informative piece of writing on it here on his magnificent project

musicology #381

Modernist #9

(Folks Brothers – Oh Carolina)

Today I’m rolling with another quote from early Mod/ernist Patrick Uden..who as far as I’m concerned has much of value to say on the subject.

“You have no idea how dreary it was. It was really dreary. And then what happened was that the first group of 15 year olds born after the war emerged into a world where they had some money to spend. And at the same time the British economy was being turned around, (other countries had been more fortunate following the war), It was going from what’s called a ‘command economy’ to a ‘demand economy’. This meant that things started to appear that people could buy and there were certainly imports starting to come in. Some of them were ‘grey imports like Levi’s coming through the PX stores in American bases and moving into the black market via, you know, the East End markets and that sort of thing. So very slowly, and then quite rapidly, this purchasing power began to affect what was available. And this blossomed into a kind of early spring, if you like. I’m talking now around 1961/2, and that’s when it started, although you can trace the movement, in terms of things like music and so on, back into the 50’swith the interest in Modern Jazz and those sorts of things. But popular Modernism began to emerge around 1961 and I think that’s the real source of it.”

Reflecting on this and other snippets of knowledge from those who were there at the time crystalises in my mind that the most important and enduring aspect of the nameless thing moved out of the shadows in late 1961 and flowered for almost three years before being rinsed by the establishment for many years to come. All the ‘movements’ that I have had the pleasure to be involved in, (Casual/Rare Groove and ‘House’), lasted for the same duration so I conclude that it’s the nature of such things that the vanguard move on to pastures new once the herd pitches in. Maybe that sounds, and is, elitist but I make no excuse for it. The Elite govern and in some cases dictate all aspects of society and in such matters as trends this is no different. I’m not a supporter of Elitism but in my mind there’s no denying that it doesn’t have the power to exert strong influence on the shifting sands change.

Today’s cut, (courtesy of my uncle), is one that was on the vanguard of the change from what’s known as ‘Shuffle’ to ‘Ska’ a piece produced by ‘The Voice Of The People’…Cecil Bustamante Campbell a.k.a Prince Buster who is as responsible as anyone for Jamaican music shaking off it’s colonial/imperial heritage to stand on it’s own as an authentic language for ‘sufferers’ everywhere. Recorded, (according to Steve Barrow who has it on good authority from Owen Gray..thanks Steve), probably late 1961 but released on BlueBeat in the UK in 1962 if memory serves me right. Not only the year of Jamaican Independence but also the year that Mod arrived. Unique in that it was the first recording to feature Rasta ambassador Count Ossie. DEFINATELY played on the scene back in the day on release making it one of the first Jamaican crossover records to have a universal appeal.

musicology #380

Modernist #8

(James Brown – Shout & Shimmy)

First up I want to thank The Countess, Steve Barrow and Tony Blue for their quality input on this theme so far. One of the most valuable things that has emerged as a result, (and cemented my belief), is the key year which seems for all three of them, (independently), to be 1962?. As a student in the history of music, society and the cultures that emerged on the strength of it the dialogue has gone a long way to nailing what I have thought for a while.

As previously mentioned/discussed here themusicologist ‘files’ music on the year it was released and over the years I have come to a conclusion that 1962 was the pivotal year as far as Mod and Soul were concerned..not Modernist or MODS they came before and after and as a result of this theme I’m sure of that now so next week I’ll be laying down a 1962 Selection to help ground my theory in musical evidence. Not just the music of America by the way as Jamaica’s independence was ‘granted’ in that year too so obviously the winds of change were not a Local phenomenon. I could go on but I’ll save it for next week.

Today’s cut is from another Mod/ernist legend, The hardest working man in Show Business, (but certainly not the Godfather of Soul), none other than James Brown and the foundation stones on which he built his well deserved reputation…the Famous Flames with a piece from, you guessed it 1962. I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t there but I’m assuming this would have been played in and around the Capital during the summer of that year?

A 45 on the King label

musicology #379

modernist #7

(Jackie Wilson – Lonely Teardrops)

Part of the method of inquiry adopted here on this theme is to get a better idea of, (as TonyBlue said in the comments), what, who, where, why and how the nameless thing evolved from the depths of the young Urbanite experience and as far as I am concerned, (and have already stated), the music is the key to unlocking the period. Not only the music of America but also from the island of Jamaica. One conclusion is that in each of the places of note there was a genuine sense of shaking off the chains of Imperial/colonialism and the Slave/Master mentality that had ruled around the world for longer than living memory. Not just in terms of skin colour but also the ‘Class’ system which in England at least was deeply entrenched like nowhere else in the world.

A Cat named Patrick Uden makes a great point on the nameless thing, (we’ll be hearing more from him later), and it’s this

“To be a Mod/ernist you had to come from a culture where Modernism didn’t exist and therefore that made you different and England at that time was ancient it…was falling to pieces. I mean it was awful. You have no idea how miserable and Grey Britain was. The first Habitat shop opened, I think in 1962 in Chelsea and was a complete revelation”

For me the point here is that all over Europe and America the ‘Modern’ had been part of the language since the early part of the century from music in America through to architecture and design in Europe so under those conditions there was nowhere else for a youth movement to be different other than England and especially London until a group of young-bloods emerged to drag Britain kicking and screaming into ‘today’ which according to a Philosopher who I rate highly is the stomping ‘ground’ of the proletariat, one of three ‘classes’ he defines. The other two being the Arisocrat, (who lives in and on the past) and the Bourgoise who looks to and lives in tomorrow. A great observation which for me is spot on.

Today’s slice is courtesy of a member of the elite..Jackie Wilson who somehow managed to shine even under the conditions forced on him by his ‘Master’ Nat Tarnapol. It’s true Jackie was humiliated by recording some awful p(o)op between but as we all know cream rises to the very top of the bottle and in matters musical Jackie delivered some of the best Soul ever made. Hold this 1958 cut to hear what I mean…ignore the terrible backing on this cut and listen to Jackie soar whilst standing on the vanguard of the transition from Rock & Roll into Soul. Again I would just like to add that the cuts upto and including this one are not in any way ‘Rare’ but in the context of ‘Mod/ernist’ there’s no denying that when released they were as fresh as spring daisys.

musicology #378

Modernist #6

(The Impressions – Say It’s Alright)

I was going to end this theme tomorrow but on reflection there’s too much music yet to be featured and such is the quality of the dialogue from the commentators I’m letting it run for another week.

A large part of the debate has been the use of the word ‘Modernist’ and whether it was in fact used by anyone at the time? with that in mind hold this quote from the book ‘Soul Stylists’ compiled by Paolo Hewitt which is full of anectodes from Cats who claim, (and I see no reason to believe they are lying), to have participated in the ‘nameless thing’ of the early 1960’s.

“The bands from our youth club in Hastings were dressed like The Shadows on the cover of their first album; very neat red jackets, dark ties and white shirts. Then I spotted these strangely dressed guys from another school. They had short Italian haircuts and they wore bum freezer jackets with cut away collars and half belts on the back, narrow ties, tapered trousers with slits up the sides and side laced winklepickers. I went up to one of them and asked;
“Why are you dressed like that?” and he spoke the immortal words;
“Because I’m a Modernist”

The cat’s name is Lloyd Johnson and no date is mentioned but from the sounds of the ‘clobber’ it’s likely to have been before 1964

From themusicologist’s perspective what is beyond doubt are the release dates of the music contained on the theme which is obviously, (in almost all cases), not subjective and delivers insight into the most important aspect of any ‘scene’..the music and today’s cut is, in my mind, one of the greatest pieces of mod/ernist musicology of the period from quite possibly the driving force behind the winds of change none other than Curtis Mayfield who has featured heavily on themusiciologist over the last few years but also in my life since babe in arms.

hold this next quote on today’s cut from a book on the legend by author Peter Burns.

“Recorded in August 1963 the horn arrangement, a suggestion of Mayfield’s, took it’s inspiration from a Bobby Bland single but the idea for the song itself had come from a conversation between Curtis and Fred, (Cash, member of ‘the holy trinity’), one night when the Impressions were on tour in Nashville. Mayfield was effusively expounding some ideas and future plans and Cash was interjecting from time to time and concurred with “Right” and “Well that’s allright”, suddenly Curtis had a hook line ‘Say It’s Alright’. They cut this historic track at Universal studios in Chicago just two months after Curtis’s hit production of Major Lance’s ‘The Monkey Time’ which was still riding high on the charts. All the vital elements came together and this modern classic brought The Impressions back even stronger than before”.

Released on ABC-Paramount and arranged by Johnny Pate

“Say It’s alright, (it’s alright), say it’s alright, (it’s alright),
It’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright wooohh it’s alright,
We’re gonna move it slow, when lights are low,
When you move it slow it sounds like a moan and it’s alright wooohh it’s alright
Now listen to the beat, trying to catch your feet,
You got Soul and everybody know that it’s alright wooohhh it’s alright,

When you wake up early in the morning feeling sad like so many of us do,
Hum a little Soul make life your goal and surely something’s gotta come to you,
And say it’s alright, say it’s alright…it’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright woohhh it’s alright,
Now everybody clap your hands give yourself a chance,
You got Soul and everybody know that it’s alright wooohh it’s alright,

Some day I’ll find me a woman who will love and treat me real nice,
Then my roams? gotta go and my love she will know from morning noon and night,
And she’s gotta say it’s alright..say it’s alright,
It’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright woohhh it’s alright,
Now everybody clap your hands, now give yourself a chance…you got Soul now baby..”

musicology #376

Modernist #4

(Mary Wells – You Beat Me To The Punch)

As the the theme moves into the second half I would just like to add that as far as the music is concerned I am resisting the urge top throw down obscure cuts from the period in question purely because the chances of them being played back in the day were almost non existent. The fact is that the rare pieces that have come to light over the last 20 years would NOT have been available to the cats who were exposing the music of America and even Jamaica in and around London’s clubs and venues. Not even Guy Stevens or Sammy Samwell would have had access to pieces on such labels as One-Derful, Butane, Witch, Cortland, Sar and the like so as much as I would LOVE to expose them here It’s not my intention to impress anyone with the lesser known cuts rather it’s to lay down pieces that were actually played in places like The ‘Ly, Scene, Disc, Flamingo, Disc, Tottenham Royal, Streatham Locarno etc so if that’s a dissapointment to some then, (in the words of Lord Creator), ‘Such Is Life’…..

With that in mind today’s slice of the Modernist pie is another classic from the Tamla Motown stable that shook up some of the London venues mentioned above. A response to Gene Chandler’s majestic ‘You Threw A Lucky Punch’ from yet another ‘Mod/ernist’ Icon Mary Wells who went on to feature heavily between 1962-1964 and along with The Marvelettes blazed the trail for the inclusion of the ladies in the male dominated world of Modernist musicology.

musicology #357

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #24

(The Twistin’ Kings – Congo Twist Pt1)

Martin Luther King was quoted to have said

“No Victory without Sacrifice”

Well Sarah has made the Ultimate sacrifice and took her life..I think it was the philosopher Schopenhauer who said/wrote that suicide was a cowardly act and not one of bravery and much as I check for some of his philosophy as far as this act was concerned he was wrong. Sarah took her life for more reasons than one…Eddie. She sacrificed her body to Bert and in the process her heart to Eddie. Some might call that selfish but again they would be wrong. If you know the film, (and if not I hope the dialogue has provided some insight), you may agree that Eddie’s salvation was uppermost in Sarah’s heart and mind. ‘Fast’ Eddie Felson wasn’t cut out for the world in which he found himself…he thought he was but in reality he wasn’t. As Bert said “You’ve got to be hard Eddie” where what we meant to say is “You’ve got to be heartless Eddie” and he is right. There’s no room for ‘weakhearts’ in an environment like that you’ve got to be a killer and grind your opponent into the dust and when they plead for mercy you have to twist the knife harder and further and take no prisoners…and as far as I have read it, Eddie isn’t that kind of person. He just loves to play Pool. A few scenes ago when Eddie asked Sarah whether she thought he was a loser, (as Bert never stopped telling him), Sarah answered that he was a Winner because of the love and passion and childlike joy he got out of playing Pool at the top of his game. He retained the child and that is what made him a winner. Bert on the other hand for all his money and material possesions was twisted, crippled and alone and Sarah knew that. She is the film’s hero not Eddie and in this scene we hear him clarify that. All too late. Remember “No Victory without Sacrifice . If you want something chances are you have to make sacrifices…and very few of us are genuinely willing/able to do that….anyway enough of the philosophy and back to the action.

Eddie’s back at Ames Pool room, the place where it all began to unravel and he’s looking to take Fats on again. But this time he has a lot more to say…

Today’s music is an early Motown, (1961?) instrumental cut by a collective known here as ‘The Twistin Kings’. Who were they? I can only hazard a guess that it’s the same band who backed almost all the Motown artists from 1959 right through. None other than what became known, (after The Soul Brothers), as The Funk Brothers. Far too many Cats were a part of this collective to namecheck here but if they are listening they know who they are so I won’t even begin to list them

musicology #356

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #23

(Bobby Bland – St James Infirmary)

Leaving it all to the dialogue and Bobby Bland today..(both from 1961). So you’ll just have to take a listen for yourself if you want to know what’s occured.

musicology #355

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #22

(Dee Clark – Raindrops)

As yesterday’s slice of musicology pronounced…themusicologist is ‘A Little Busy’ at the moment so i’ll keep it brief. The dialogue today says it all. Eddie’s done his conkers and still hasn’t learnt any ‘character’, Bert still hasn’t learnt any compassion and Sarah, (who comes down to the arena unnoticed), learns that maybe Eddie is not the man of her ‘dreams’. Heart wrenching….

The music is courtesy of the majestic Delectus ‘Dee’ Clark whose voice is how I have always imagined an angels would sound. Yet another BIG mod/ernist dancehall classic, (and eary musicologist memory) from the dawn of a new era, (1961), and yet another on the Vee Jay label which between the years 1960 – 1962 did as much as any label to direct the new sound. Unfortunately that wasn’t backed up by artist renumeration and even though the record sold TWO million copies and hit #2 on the ‘Pop’ charts it signalled the end rather than the beginning for Dee who never scored another hit and ended up absolutely ‘pot-less’ in a Welfare motel in the 1980’s….Tragic.

But his memory lives on and the music he made is as good as it gets…So even though he is no longer with us…Dee this one’s in honour of you..