musicology #0599

Flow #18

The Showmen – The Owl Sees You

Today’s cut is In memory of another Soul man who has left us…General Norman Johnson..whose voice rose to prominence first as Lead for the Showmen and then Chairman Of The Board. This was one of their, (unreleased), demo’s sent to Joe Banashak whose Minit label ranks high on themusicologist’s list of supreme Rhythm & Blues/Soul labels. Why this marrow trembler went unreleased is beyond me…Norman Johnson Rest In Peace…gone but never forgotten.

musicology #580

mOareEssentials #3

(The Spidells – Find Out What’s Happening)

Busy designing today so bit late with the 3rd instalment of the mOare selection…also I’m in the kitchen rustling up the evening meal, (Bangers & Mash), so It will have to be hit and run today while I’m running…Hold this TOP RANKING slice of Rhythm & Blues by the Spidells, (Lee Roy Cunningham, Wallace Brown, Billy Lockridge and Michael Young)..later covered by Elvis Presley, Nancy Sinatra and others. No prizes for guessing which one themusicologist favours. BIG Mod/ern/ist cut.

musicology #563

Tales From The Underground #5

Googie Rene Combo – Smokey Joe’s La La

Superb 1966 Rhythm & Blues instrumental and well known mod stomper from West Coast cats The Googie Rene Combo. Son of songwriter Leon Rene, Rafael Leon ‘Googie’ Rene was a suberb instrumentalist who led a combo full of legendary musicians that at various times included Plas Johnson, Rene Hall, Johnny Guitar Watson and Earl Palmer…

Special request to ‘Jumbo’…Hold tight.

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 #506

CoversWeek2 #3

(Solomon Burke – Maggies Farm)

bit later than expected on yesterday’s George Benson cut so I’m laying today’s slice of the covers pie down early…before I get sidetracked with my load. Cat still has my tongue a piece so without further delay hold Solomon Burke’s Rhythm & Blues version of Bob Dylan’s protest song. Especially poignant in the 21st Century as ‘Maggie’s Farm’ is well on the way to selling us into a desolate future full of debt, fear and loathing. Watch the ride, make sure you wear your seatbelt and brace yourself for the crash…heading our way sometime over the next 2/3 years.

musicology #433

Butterfly Mind #3

(Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Nobody’s Baby)

What can I say about Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings? not sure so I’m just going to let the cut speak.

musicology #399

Sound&Fury #3

(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.

musicology #370

SuchIsLife #4

(Howlin’ Wolf – How Many More Years)

Missed yesterday’s date with themusicologist but returning early this morning with a wicked slice of 1951 Rhythm & Blues from the magnificent Chester Burnett, (A.K.A Howlin’ Wolf), and band featuring none other than Ike Turner on Piano, Willie Steele on drums and Wille Johnson on guitar with the Wolf blowing up a storm on Harmonica. (Produced By Sam Phillips)

musicology #353

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #20

(John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom)

Words have been spoken and the action begins again..The trio ‘hit the track’ and meet Findlay, (Eddie’s next opponent). Some banter goes down and ‘Fast’ Eddie wastes no time and cuts to the chase and proposes to take Findlay on in game of ‘pocket billiards’. Bert manages to put Eddie down with another mention of him being a loser but this time Eddie, (almost), lets it go. Findlay takes the bait and invites them all to a party that he is throwing. Sarah doesn’t fancy it but Burt insists and finishes the dialogue with a dig at the two lovebirds.

The music today is one that had to be slipped in somewhere on this theme and this is as good a time as any to release it. Classic piece of Rhythm & Blues from Mr John Lee Hooker…yet another MASSIVE mod/ernist stomper that never fails to get the Cats off their arse and on the floor to ‘Block’. The second piece in as many days on this theme recorded and released on and for the Vee Jay label which seemed to have it’s finger well and truly on the pulse during the transition from Blues with Rhythm to Rhythm and Blues with a side order of Soul.

One of themusicologists earliest memories of this kind of sound that still sounds as good and fresh as it always has which is something for a slice nearly 50 years old

musicology #350

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #17

(Betty James – I’m A Little Mixed Up)

So Eddie has taken Bert up on his offer and is planning a trip to Kentucky to get back on the Hustling trail. He takes Sarah out to a fancy restuarant to break her the news that he’s going away for a few days and it doesn’t go down too well. We pick up this soul searching piece of quality dialogue after they have returned to the apartment.

Today’s cut must have been made for this scene. A 1961 cut again from the Chess Records vaults but this time a slice of the emerging sound that fused Rhythm, Blues and Soul. Featuring a little known female singer by the name of Betty James. Big early Mod/ernist cut that had London’s young, (and not so young), Cats throwing tight shapes at clubs like the ‘Whiskey’, The Scene, The ‘Disc’ and The Marquee, (to name but four), from late at night until the early hours.

musicology #346

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #13

(Howlin’ Wolf – Down In The Bottom)

Today’s dialogue is from the scene where ‘the kid’ hustles in the ‘wrong kind of place’ disregarding Bert’s ominous warning. If you’ve seen the film you may remember it as the bit where he comes unstuck. For me this is where the film really begins to deal with the human condition in post modern society.

The music is courtesy of one of the greatest Rhythm & Blues practitioners to have ever graced the Earth, stage and studio the inimitable Chester Burnett otherwise known as ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ with a 1961 cut released on the Chess Label. Also featuring Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Willie Dixon, (Producer and Songwriter), on bass, Memphis Slim?, piano and Sam ‘Shuffle Master’ Lay on drums…Rhythm and Blues at it’s finest.

musicology #340

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #7

(John Lee Hooker – I’ll Know Tonight)

Our man Eddie wakes up from his short sleep at the bus station, sticks his bag in a locker there and heads back into NYC trying to decide what to do next..he hits a local bar and there in a booth, alone in an empty bar is the girl whose magnetism drew him to her at the Station..He buys her a drink and finds out that ‘Sarah’ is a ‘boozer’. Something about this lady intrigues and ‘attracts’ him but he only knows the “fast and loose” hustle so that’s the way he plays it..she clocks his small town play and initially declines his offer but as we are to find out later, birds with broken wings are a perfect match especially if they can help each other to become whole again.

The musicology is a 1960 slice borrowed from the LP ‘Travellin’ on Calvin and Vivian Carter’s Vee Jay label from the Inimitable John Lee Hooker, (featuring Lefty Bates, Sylvester Hickman and Jimmy Turner),with his unique combination of Delta and City blues perfected whilst drifting up from his birthplace near Clarksdale Missisippi through Memphis and eventually settling in Detroit.

musicology #338

AlternativeSoundtrack #5

(Barrett Strong – Money)

Not sure how fresh in your memory the film is? but this next scene is the one where Eddie, who has been drinking JTS Brown, (Bourbon), straight out of the bottle for hours is beginning to look tired as the alcohol takes it’s toll. Minnesotta Fats on the other hand steps into the washroom, combs his hair, washes his hands, puts on his suit jacket and looking as fresh as a daisy, (he’s been drinking Whiskey too), delivers a killer line of dialogue and proceeds to ‘wet’ the kid up.

“Fast Eddie……”

The accompanying slice of musicology is a famous 1960 cut on the Tamla, (Motown), label from Barrett Strong the rip roaring cut that catapulted Motown into the spotlight, (where it stayed for more than 20 years). Strong went on to become one of Motown, (and Soul’s), premier songwriters who, in collaboration with partner Norman Whitfield, wrote many a classic for Cats such as Marvin Gaye  ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, Edwin Starr ‘War’ and The Temptations ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’.

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 #308

Live&Direct #5

(Lou Rawls – Goin’ To Chicago Blues)

Today’s cut features yet another of the great vocalists…Louis Allen Rawls. Life long friend of ‘Mr Soul’ Who was equally at home singing Gospel, Soul or Jazz whose impassioned response to Sam Cooke on the immortal 1962 cut ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ deserves special mention. A singer of the highest order about whom Frank Sinatra was quoted to have said “he has the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”…

This cut, first performed, (and written), by Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie band was recorded for Capitol in 1966 featuring musicians James Bond, Earl Palmer, Tommy Strode, Herb Ellis..produced by David Axelrod.

musicology #276

newyearboogie #4

(Roy Milton’s Solid Senders – New Years Resolution Blues)

Today’s cut is courtesy of pioneering combo The Solid Senders, led by singer, drummer and band leader Roy Milton who together with Joe Liggins and Johnny Otis helped shape, (in the late 40’s), the emerging sound that became known as Rhythm & Blues. A much smaller sound than the precceding style made popular by the likes of Count Basie, Louis Jordan and Joe Turner. The contribution of female pianist Camille Howard is worthy of special mention as it was, (along with Milton’s drums), the driving force behind Milton’s hits. For themusicologist Roy Milton’s vocals and the Solid Senders music always hit ‘the spot’.

p.s the sentiment in the cut does not reflect, (as is often the case), my own feelings on the subject.

musicology #217

12AngryMen #12 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Yellow Coat)

back in the 12 angry saddle after almost a month ‘lost’ to philosophical meanderings, holidays, heartbreak, earning a living and soul searching…what have I learnt?

That true friends are essential, that a life lived alone is almost not worth living, that money is valued far beyond it’s worth and has become too important in the scheme of things. I believe it was Ruskin that said

“the only wealth is health” (and he wasn’t only refering to the physical). mind fuck is almost unbearable. harder to overcome than an expanding ‘darby’, which if youre careful can be dealt with by exercise and nutrition. I don’t know about you but my ‘butterfly mind’ is in a constant whirl and no matter how much I try to tame it’s fluttering wings with discipline or ‘will’ it always eludes me. I’m not going to go any deeper right now because it’s got nothing to do with the soundtrack, (at least not consciously), I just wanted to offer a ‘reason’ for my abscence, not an excuse.

anyway…back to the soundtrack with this classic piece of dialogue. a painful piece of prejudiced bigotry the likes of which, unfortunately, can still be heard around the globe today. not sure whether you remember the scene but one by one the jurors turn their backs on him in a show of contempt. the musicology, from Rhythm & Blues legend Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, was released in, yep you’ve guessed it, 1957 on Chicago’s famed OKeh label.

musicology #210

12AngryMen #7 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Rosco Gordon – Cheese & Crackers)

So, the ‘battle’ is on…our man Henry has done enough to convince the ‘old man’ that there is a possibility of doubt and therefore further questions need to be asked and answered…

the music is a 1957 slice of the Sun Records catalogue performed by the legendary Rosco Gordon. member of the famed collective of hip cats known as ‘the Beale Streeters’ out of whose ranks rose Bobby Bland, Johnny Ace and B.B King.

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’