musicology #0616

ChristmasComing #9

The Nic Nacs – Gonna Have A Merry Xmas

Moving out of the festive sounds of Jamaica and into this majestic slice of West Coast Rhythm and Blues/Doo Wop/Vocal Group Christmas action from the Nic Nacs, fronted in the finest style by the vocal talents of Mickey Champion who has been working it since being ‘discovered’ by the Legendary band leader Johnny Otis in L.A back in the mists of time…BOSS tune.

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 #0596

Flow #15

Tony Allen – Nite Owl

5:30am New York Time….Today’s slice fits themusicologist like a glove…3 Nights in New York so far and 3 nights i’ve been the Nite Owl..wicked piece of 50’s vocal group action on Art Rupe’s Specialty label..

musicology #0595

Flow #14

Coasters – Shoppin’ For Clothes

Should have laid this down yesterday but didn’t make the time so before we hit the streets of Brooklyn today….here it is. All day yesterday I had this song running through my head mainly because we ended up on Madison Ave in gentlemens outfitters due to Sir Errol’s lack of clothes as a result of his luggage being redirected and not showing up !!

The day began with themusicologist getting my haircut in the excellent Tommy Guns on Ludlow St on the Lower East Side. If you’re in NYC and need a TOP RANKING cut, I would highly recommend it. Then it was over to the Deadly Dragon record shop where 3 hours slipped away before we realised that Sir E had to outfit himself for the upcoming night’s entertainment..

The first night of the Brooklyn Soul Festival was excellent..performances from Eli paperboy Reed, Vernon Garrett, Don Gardener, Roscoe Robinson, Tammi Lyn, Lee Fields and a few others that filled in for Barbara Lynn, whose names have slipped my mind…

Have to go now…the ‘Brooklyn Flea‘ is calling my name.

So hold this one from probably the longest serving Vocal group of all time.

musicology #593

Flow #12

(The Harptones – A Sunday Kind Of Love)

Sitting here this morning preparing for the trip to NYC, (and the Brooklyn Soul Festival) listening to Doo Wop and I just realised that I should be sharing it with youse Cats & Kittens so here it is…SUPREME harmony from Willie Winfield, Billy Brown, Claudie “Nicky” Clark, William Dempsey, William “Dicey” Galloway and last but certainly not least Raoul Cita.

Simply BEAUTIFUL. Listen this F****N’ Tune and weep.

musicology #551

Times #3

(Buckle My Shoe – The Dixieaires)

“When a man learns to love he must bear the risk of hatred”

musicology #549

Times #1

(Soul Stirrers – I Want To Rest)

Have to take a break from the Jamaican Musical History theme for a while. Recent developments along the way are calling for some diverse musicology. Have much to say but words fail me for now so I’ll leave it to the music to speak.

Immaculate Gospel cut from one of the greatest vocal harmony groups to ever grace the mic, the church, the stage, and themusicologist…

Listen Tune….

musicology #474

2LegendsClash II #10

(Dinah Washington – Journey’s End)

So just leaves Dinah to wrap up this session..beautiful duet with vocal group supreme The Ravens who along with The Mills brothers and The Orioles set the tone for the Doo Wop explosion that followed.

musicology #369

SuchIsLife #3

(The Soul Stirrers – Looking Back)

Slipping and sliding from Paul Weller into a slice from the greatest Gospel, (and possibly vocal), group to have ever stepped up to the M.I.C, into the studio or onto the stage, the Soul Stirrers with a fine piece on Sam Cooke and J.W Alexander’s groundbreaking Sar label. I think it’s the majestic Jimmy Outer singing lead on this one backed by Paul Foster, Richard Gibbs, Leroy Crume and J.J Farley. Recorded and released in 1964.

musicology #342

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #9

(The Coasters – Snake and The Bookworm)

Not even half way through the film yet so looks like themusicologist is in for the long haul. I promised myself after the 12AngryMen alternativesoundtrack that I would relax the rule of only throwing down music from the year the film was released but on reflection feel that the harmonies involved are too compelling so as a compromise for The Hustler I’m restricting the music to the year the film was released, (1961), and the year preceeding it…1960.

Today’s piece of dialogue features Eddie and Sarah after having spent the last few days together. Not sure whether our man has been hustling during this time but if he has there’s no mention of it. Maybe they have found what they have both been looking for…someone to share a life with? that’s the way I’m reading it anyway.

The music is a piece of ‘Rock and Roll’ from one of the great vocal groups The Coasters, (this line up features Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Cornell Gunter, Will “Dub” Jones and Albert “Sonny” Forriest), whose star, along with Rock and Roll’s was beginning to fade. Soul was stepping up to take it’s place because Rock and Roll was considered to have corrupted the nation’s youth !! but music is too powerful to control and what seemed at the time to be a more soothing sound was beginning to capture the attention of ‘the new breed’ who would take it on and use it to communicate a more powerful, (and popular), message of freedom and equality.

musicology #273

newyearboogie #1

(What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve)

themusicologist and full crew are off for a week’s break where ‘the rain falls mainly on the plain’ so I am hoping to continue the theme from there but of course it depends on the communication resources available….If I am unable to however then I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all you musicology cats out there for the love and support during 2008….what a year it has been, pure ‘hill and gully ride’ from beginning to end….

musicology #264

sleighbellsring #12

(The 5 Keys – It’s Christmas Time)

Ok…it’s not a ‘classic’ I’ll grant you that but Jerry Butler takes some following… so with that in mind, hold this 1951 cut on the Aladdin label from one of the greatest vocal groups to ever grace the M.I.C.

Rudy West singing lead on this one backed up by Maryland Pierce (second tenor), Ripley Ingram (octave tenor), Dickie Smith (baritone/second tenor), Bernie West (bass), and guitarist Joe Jones.

musicology #219

12AngryMen #14 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(The Soul Stirrers – Lord Remember Me)

penultimate cut of the 12 angry and I must say that I’m looking forward to the end. this soundtrack has been the hardest of all to complete. mainly because of my foolishness in deciding to only throw down music from 1957, (the year the film was released), but also there not being any music in the film has made it difficult to edit in. sounds like a case of ‘bad workman blaming his tools’ !! so I’ll move on….

the dialogue features the ‘old man’ whose 20/20 eagle eyes have spotted something that no-one else had noticed and the stoical cat whose conviction in the boy’s guilt has been, until now, unshakeable…

the music, (another of my personal favourites), is courtesy of gospel group supreme the Soul Stirrers featuring Sam Cooke and is taken from their final recording session together on Art Rupe’s Specialty label in, yep, 1957. the year that Mr Soul announced his arrival on the secular scene with ‘You Send Me’. this one, a traditional gospel tune, is given the full treatment by ‘the lion’ as he roars out a plea to not be forgotten.

Listen tune…

musicology #205

12AngryMen #2 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers – I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent)

day two of the 12 Angry Men selection and the ‘action’ begins. 12 jurors, 1 Room, Hottest day of the year…No Air-Con. The jockying has already started as Lee J. Cobb, (Juror #3), lets his feelings known on what he thinks the verdict should be.

themusicologist wasn’t even born in 1957 but from what I have read and heard the ‘Teenager’ had most definately arrived. Music, (Rock and Roll), being an example of this. The way I have understood it, before World War II music was made predominantly by and for ‘grown ups’.  Swing had begun to change that but by the time Rock and Roll emerged the writing was well and truly on the wall for who to target…Teenagers.

the slice of, (1956), musicology, (released in early ’57), is courtesy of 13 year old !! Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, (Herman Santiago, Joe Negroni, Jimmy Merchant, Sherman Garnes), who epitomised the change as well as anyone. Of note is that the majority of the group members were of Puerto Rican descent, as was the kid charged with murder in the film, and half of the subjects of the original 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story.

musicology #162

vocalgroupaction2 #7

(The C.O.D’s – Michael)

I’m almost at the end of my tether with the f*****g BOXNET audio widget and Ive been looking at alternatives so in the VERY NEAR future expect that there will be changes made ….

in the meantime hold this 1965 Mod classic from Chicago vocalgroup The C.O.D’s. who were overheard singing under a streetlamp by two cats who were so impressed with their talent that they decided to setup a label, (Kellmac), just to record them. unfortunately this was their only ‘hit’ so the label only lasted less than two years and a handful of releases, (3 of which are by the group)

the lineup consisted of lead singer Robert Lewis, Carl Washington and (songwriter), Larry Brownlee who alone went on to have fame as a member of the Lost Generation. Sadly Brownlee was murdered on Chi’s tough streets in 1978. the other two members disappeared without musical trace…

one that themusicologist remembers well from ‘back in the day’ thanks to ‘Uncle Johnny’ who was a major influence in the formative years of my musical journey.

the tune is based on a local Chi’ cat who was obviously a hit with the ladies.

starting tomorrow it’s male vocal week

musicology #160

vocalgroupaction2 #5

(The Emotions – Blind Alley)

first outing on themusicologist for this female vocal group with a tune that never fails to lift my spirits which, today need lifting….not for any specific reason, just one of them days when ‘the pressure drop’

better known for their part in Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Boogie Wonderland’ this piece is from their earlier days, (1972), at Stax and has formed the foundation for many a ‘version’ since from Big Daddy Kane and Pharcyde to Mariah Carey, (one listen should explain why)

musicology #156

vocalgroupaction2 #1

(The 5 Keys – The Glory Of Love)

it’s been a challenge keeping on top of themusicologist these last few days, (and weeks), especially as ‘the project’ has been taking up most of my, (physical and mental), time.

on top of that I have also been tied up with the selling of the family drum. as a result themusicologist has suffered a drop in quantity, (the quality I am very happy with)

all I can do is apologize for not ‘taking care of business’ and hope that the quality is enough for you to stand by themusicologist….

this week it’s round 2 of the vocalgroupaction theme and I’m kicking off with this seminal cut from the dawn of doo wop courtesy of one of the greatest of the vocal groups ‘The 5 Keys’. it’s from their second recording session for LA label Aladdin, recorded in New York’s RCA Studio on March 22nd 1951. The song, (written by Billy Hill), had already been a #1 for Benny Goodman in 1936 but, (as much as I rate brother Goodman), performed by the 5 Keys it reached new heights.

the lineup..

Rudy West (first tenor), Maryland Pierce (second tenor), Ripley Ingram (octave tenor), Dickie Smith (baritone/second tenor), Bernie West (bass) and the group’s regular accompanist Joe Jones on Piano…

what a tune…

musicology #48

vocalgroupaction .. day7

(Back Up Train – Soulmates)

last piece. 1967 .. who can tell us the name of the lead singer?