Friday, 6 November 2020

      taking a break folks, back next month or maybe next year.

Friday, 30 October 2020

GGG Presents Glucose For Comfort Vol. 02

Tis the season for sweets so dig into this. Also, grab the Little Mitlon [REDUX] collection and other recent re-ups at the side-bar. Most include additional material and altered tracklisting.

01. Tyrone Davis - 1970 - I Keep Coming Back (Dakar LP SD 9027)
02. The Impressions - 1969 - Say You Love Me (Curtom 1946)
03. Con Funk Shun - 1972 - Without Your Love (51 West LP Q16106)
04. John Gary Williams - 1972 - In Love With You (Stax STA-0146)
05. Blue Magic - 1974 - Talking To Myself (Atco LP SD 36-103)
06. The Moments - 1975 - I Feel So Good Again (Stang LP ST-1026)
07. The Diddys w. Paige Douglas - 1977 - I Love You Baby [alt outtake] (Unissued Bam-Buu)
08. Turner Bros. - 1975 - I Remember (MB LP 5104N7)
09. Directions - 1976 - If You Ever (Brunswick ‎BLP 754209)
10. The Temprees - 1974 - Your Love (Is All I Need) (We Produce LP XPS-1905)
11. The Eight Minutes - 1972 - Oh Yes I Do (Perception PLP 027)
12. The Dontells - 1971 - I Can't Wait (Ambassador A3KM 3346)
13. The Victones - 1970 - I Need You So (Front Page 1001)
14. The Delfonics - 1970 - Baby I Love You (Philly Groove LP 1153)
15. Arthur Conley - 1968 - Put Our Love Together (Atco LP SD 33-243)
16. The Mad Lads - 1966 - Come Closer To Me (Volt 135)
17. Joy-Tones - 1965 - This Love (That I'm Giving You) (Coed 600)
18. The Casinos - 1967 - Talk To Me (Fraternity FLP-1019)
19. The Spinners - 1969 - Tomorrow May Never Come (Motown LP 639)
20. The Intruders - 1968 - Good For Me Girl (Gamble LP SG 5004)


Saturday, 24 October 2020

The Price I Have To Pay

Earlier this year when I posted my Willie Clarke project, I would have surely allocated some high praise for his one time partner in song writing and production, Clarence Reid. Much like the other artists featured this month, Reid was in a league entirely of his own. However, in stark contrast to, perhaps The Staple Singers especially, this was in large part due to his lewd, loud and audacious alter-ego, Blowfly. As Blowfly, Reid not only invented rap in the early 70s, but influenced nearly every artist along the road to its actualization, nearly a decade and a half later. By the late 70s Reid completely ceased to release music under his own name and committed in full to the Blowfly persona, cementing a career that brought him 40 years of moderate success. I personally don't care for Blowfly and cherish the early treasures of Reid's days with Deep City Records. His own recordings in the 60s rarely received a lot of acknowledgement while his compositions for ladies Helene Smith, Betty Wright and Gwen McCrae were considerably more successful. Once Reid (and Clarke} turned their song creating talents over to Henry Stone, they curated what would become the unmistakable Miami soul/funk sound that would eventually usher in disco.

Clarence Henry Reid was born in Cochran, Georgia, in 1939 and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in his adolescence. His stage name was given to him by his grandmother who he would visit in Georgia occasionally. During this time, Reid would make explicit parodies of the country music that was popular on the airwaves in Cochran then, prompting his grandmother to brand him a "blowfly". Reid's earliest recordings were in 1963 with vocal group The Demiras. Several more singles followed on various labels before Reid connected with Willie Clarke, Johnny Pearsall and the Deep City crew, eventually bringing the Reid/Clarke partnership to Henry Stone's T.K Records. Through this partnership Reid created his own label while he wrote for and produced artists including Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Gwen McCrae, Jimmy "Bo" Horne, Bobby Byrd, KC & The Sunshine Band, among many others. Reid wrote sexually explicit versions of hit songs for fun but only performed them for his friends at parties or in the studio. In 1972, he along with a band of studio musicians, recorded a whole album of these songs under the name Blowfly. The album, The Weird World of Blowfly, features Reid dressed as a low-rent supervillain on its cover. He created this alter ego to protect his career as a songwriter, and continued to perform in bizarre costumes as his Blowfly character and record sexually explicit albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Reid claimed to be one of the first artists to perform in a mask, and transitioned from a "tuxedo like Dracula" or a "buttless" Clint Eastwood inspired outfit, to the spandex suits that he is now known for in response to public demand. The albums were widely popular as "party records". The explicit version of his song "Rapp Dirty" (a.k.a. "Blowfly's Rapp") helped the album Blowfly's Party reach No. 26 on Billboard Magazine's black albums chart and No. 82 on the Billboard Top 200 in 1980. Blowfly's profane style earned Reid legal trouble. He was sued by songwriter Stanley Adams, who was ASCAP president at the time, for spoofing "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" as "What a Difference a Lay Makes". Reid's own compositions have been sampled by dozens of hip hop, R&B, and electronic artists (such as Beyonce, Wu Tang Clan, DJ Quik, DMX, Method Man & Redman, Main Source, DJ Shadow, Eazy-E, RJD2, Jurassic 5, Big Daddy Kane, Mary J. Blige, Brand Nubian, and the Avalanches) but Reid received almost no money from sampling due to signing away most of his royalties. In 2003, Blowfly sold the rights to his entire catalog after years of debt. The catalog was said to be worth millions of unpaid royalties. After 17 years of sporadic touring and occasional re-recording of his classic raps, Blowfly signed with Jello Biafra's independent record label Alternative Tentacles in 2005. Fahrenheit 69, the first album under the new contract, featured appearances from Slug of Atmosphere, King Coleman, Gravy Train, and Afroman. Blowfly's Punk Rock Party, a 2006 album release from Alternative Tentacles, features several punk rock classics given the Blowfly treatment—including a rewrite of the Dead Kennedys song "Holiday in Cambodia" recast as "R. Kelly in Cambodia", which features Biafra (the song's composer and original singer) playing a trial judge. The album also includes "I Wanna Be Fellated", "Gotta Keep Her Penetrated", "I Wanna Fuck Your Dog" and "Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho?". Blowfly completed his first tour of Australia in March 2007, and toured Germany with Die Ärzte in 2008. He performed at the 2010 Big Day Out music festival, held in Australia and New Zealand. The Weird World of Blowfly, directed by Jonathan Furmanski, premiered at South by Southwest in 2010 and received a wider release in September 2011. On January 12, 2016, Blowfly drummer "Uncle" Tom Bowker announced in a statement on the Blowfly Facebook page that Reid was suffering from terminal liver cancer and had been admitted to a hospice facility in Florida. According to Bowker, the singer would release his final LP – entitled 77 Rusty Trombones – in February 2016. Reid died on January 17, 2016, from cancer and multiple organ failure at the hospice facility in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, aged 76.

The Price I Have To Pay packs Clarence Reid's 4 full length albums alongside a near complete singles collection that includes some unissued material as well as Reid's recordings with Funky Party Band and The Nasty Dog Catchers. In an additional folder we have the first decade's worth of Blowfly's albums and a low res version of the 2010 documentary, The Weird World of Blowfly. All audio is chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and the mighty Sir Shambling for some rare and improved versions. Enjoy.

Clarence Reid - 1972 - With Friends Like These (Who Needs Enemies) (Glades 1705) (Alston 4616)
Clarence Reid - 1972 - Two People In Love (Alston 4613)
Clarence Reid - 1979 - You Get Me Up (Alston 3748)

Saturday, 17 October 2020

You've Got To Earn It

The actual 'First Family of Soul'.

Put this one together for a friend a while back, but when it comes to groups that are completely 'in a league of their own', this one truly fits the bill. Not much can be said about The Staple Singers that hasn't been already. They're practically a household name, and even if that is in large part, due to Mavis' lasting solo career, there is no doubt that as a group, they were the singular greatest soul/gospel outfit of all time. They appealed to the devout and free-thinking audiences alike, they rallied people of all race, creed and color, they waged protest during the civil rights movement, they continually pushed the boundaries of both traditional gospel and progressive secular music. Together they released over 30 full length albums and more than 60 singles between 1953 and 1985 ... and daughter Mavis, is still releasing music today.

First child to Roebuck "Pops" Staples and his wife Oceola Staples, Cleotha was born in Drew, Mississippi in 1934. Two years later, Roebuck moved his family from Mississippi to Chicago. Roebuck and Oceola's children, son Pervis and daughters, Mavis and Yvonne, were born in Chicago. Roebuck worked in steel mills and meat packing plants while his family of four children grew up. The family began appearing in Chicago-area churches in 1948. Their first public singing appearance was at the Mount Zion Church, Chicago, where Roebuck's brother, the Rev. Chester Staples, was pastor. They signed their first professional contract in 1952. While the family name is Staples, the group used "Staple" commercially. During their early career, The Staple Singers recorded in an acoustic gospel-folk style with United, Vee Jay and Riverside Records. "Uncloudy Day" was an early influence on Bob Dylan, who said of it in 2015, "It was the most mysterious thing I'd ever heard... I'd think about them even at my school desk... Mavis looked to be about the same age as me in her picture (on the cover of "Uncloudy Day")...Her singing just knocked me out...And Mavis was a great singer—deep and mysterious. And even at the young age, I felt that life itself was a mystery." Upon signing with Epic Records in 1965, the Staples started to really flirt with soul music, incorporating it into their already politically charged music. The move to Epic saw a run of impressive albums, including the live in-church Freedom Highway album produced by Billy Sherrill; the title track of which was a civil rights movement protest song penned by Pops Staples. It was on Epic that the Staple Singers developed a style more accessible to mainstream audiences, with "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)" and "For What It's Worth" (Stephen Stills) in 1967. By 1968 The Staple Singers had a full-blown southern soul sound and were signed to Stax Records, working with Steve Cropper for their first two albums (Soul Folk In Action and We'll Get Over). After Cropper left Stax, Al Bell produced their recordings, conducting the rhythm sessions at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and cutting the overdubs himself with engineer/musician Terry Manning at Memphis's Ardent Studios, moving in a more funk and soul direction. The Staple Singers' first Stax hit was "Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)" in early 1971. Their late 1971 recording of "Respect Yourself", written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both hits sold over one million copies and were each awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The song's theme of self-empowerment had universal appeal, released in the period immediately following the intense American civil rights movement of the 1960s. In 1972, "I'll Take You There" topped both Billboard charts. In 1973, "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)" reached No. 9 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the R&B chart. After Stax's 1975 bankruptcy, The Staple Singers signed to Curtis Mayfield's label, Curtom Records, and released "Let's Do It Again", produced by Mayfield; the song became their second No. 1 pop hit in the U.S., and the album was also successful. In 1976, they collaborated with The Band for their film The Last Waltz, performing on the song "The Weight" (which The Staple Singers had previously covered on their first Stax album). Through the remainder of the decade, The Staple Singers switched it up. They recorded 3 albums as by "The Staples" and Mavis released a couple more sole albums. Reverting back to "The Staple Singers" in 1981, however, they were not able to regain their momentum, releasing only occasional minor hits. The 1984 album Turning Point featured a cover of the Talking Heads' "Slippery People" (it reached the Top 5 on the Dance chart). The following year saw the final group effort from the whole family. 1985's self-titled album certainly wasn't the end for Mavis though. She's released over a dozen since the 80's with the most recent just last year. In 1999, The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018. Pops Staples died of complications from a concussion suffered in December 2000. In 2005, the group was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Cleotha Staples died in Chicago on February 21, 2013, at the age of 78, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for over a decade. Yvonne Staples died on April 10, 2018 at the age of 80. The 2015 documentary film Mavis! recounts the history of The Staple Singers and follows Mavis Staples' solo career after Pops Staples' death. Directed by Jessica Edwards, the film premiered at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival and was broadcast by HBO in February 2016.

You've Got To Earn It gathers damn near every studio recording from this essential outfit and contains plenty of extras. 31 of their 32 long players, a complete singles collection (less one side), solo sides, duets, rare and unissued sides, Mavis' 4 albums released during the groups run and the Pops Staples Stax album with Albert King and Steve Kropper. I've also included a couple lengthy mp4 video interviews with the mighty Mavis. All audio files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Sourced almost entirely from pristine remastered material. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Staple Singers Feat. Mavis Staples - 1980 - Brand New Day (Stax LP STM 7009)

Singles link has been replaced with new file that includes the previously missing D-Town side plus 4 additional sides from 1953/54. Thanks to hwolf, Loofer and Martynbirder for the contributions.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Heavy Sugar

All too often in the world of music, being in a league of your own means your wares will rarely reach the masses in a timely fashion, if at all for that matter. Going against the grain is rarely considered genius without long stretches of comparative gestation. We can only really access if an artist is 'ahead of their time' once said time has passed. Makes for a pretty raw deal in my opinion, yet on the other hand, it's why we're still unearthing buried soul treasures some 40, 50 and 60 years later. And even assuming creative genius is identified and nurtured early on in one's career, there's still many mitigating factors in the overall outcome. Being a creative force, with unparalleled work ethic, and having friends in high places sometimes still just isn't enough to obtain stardom or wider acclaim. Since the mid 50s, saxophonist/songwriter/bandleader, Oliver Sain, was on the cutting edge of nearly every major metamorphosis to black american music. Sain was highly influential to some of the most definitive figures in blues, R&B, soul and funk music. At every turn, Sain was ahead of the curve as a musician, composer and producer ... and was arguably the greatest singular exponent of the St. Louis rhythm n blues/soul community. 

Oliver Sain Jr. was born in Dundee, Mississippi March 1, 1932. He was the grandson of Dan Sane, the guitarist in Frank Stokes' Memphis blues act the Beale Street Sheiks (The spelling discrepancy was the result of a birth certificate error). He played trumpet and drums as a child. In 1949, he moved to Greenville, Mississippi to join his stepfather, pianist Willie Love, as a drummer in a band fronted by Sonny Boy Williamson, soon leaving to join Howlin’ Wolf where he acted as a drummer intermittently for the following decade. After serving in the Korean War, he returned to Greenville and took up the saxophone to rejoin Love in Little Milton's backing band. Sain moved to Chicago in 1955, sometimes sitting in with Howlin' Wolf's band and becoming acquainted with the owners of Chess Records. In 1958, he was invited by Little Milton to join him for club engagements in East St Louis, and over time became Little Milton's musical director, as well as performing occasionally with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. He recruited Fontella Bass as the Little Milton band's keyboard player, only later discovering her incredible singing talents. From 1959 to 1962 Sain was an intrinsic component to Milton's indie label Bobbin Records, providing arrangements and instrumentation for many of the labels recordings, as well as playing a key role in landing their distribution deal with Chess Records. Soon after the official move to Checker Records, Sain left Little Milton's band to launch his own 'Oliver Sain Soul Revue' enlisting Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure as co-lead singers. The band made its first recordings in 1964, and the following year Sain wrote and produced Bass and McClure's number 5 R&B chart hit, "Don't Mess Up A Good Thing" recorded at the Chess studios in Chicago and released on the subsidiary Checker label. The song was later covered by Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band. Soon after, Bass left Sain's band for a solo career and was replaced by Barbara Carr. In 1965 Sain opened Archway Studios in St. Louis where recorded and produced material for a number of artists, with Sain and his orchestra providing backing for several of these earliest efforts. He launched his own label, Vanessa Records as a vehicle to move these recordings. Through the remainder of the decade Sain's focus was primarily on the production side of things. Working closely with artists such as the Montclairs and Julius Hemphill, developing "a distinctively full, dynamic sound" that would come to help define the St. Louis soul aesthetic. It wasn't until 1972 -- when funk was the driving force -- that Sain released his debut album. "Main Man" was a generally overlooked proto-disco/funk masterpiece. Fortunately, both follow-up albums, Bus Stop (1974) and Blue Max (1975) caught a bit of attention both in the US and abroad. Sain's final chart entry came with "Feel Like Dancing" in 1977. In 1981 Sain returned with his final album, So Good (In The Morning), but increasingly concentrated on his work as a producer as well as live performances. In 1982, he produced Larry Davis' album Funny Stuff, which won a W. C. Handy Award. In 1987, he composed and produced Johnnie Johnson's debut album Blue Hand Johnnie. In 1986 and 1987, Sain toured Europe with former Kings of Rhythm members Clayton Love, Billy Gayles, Stacy Johnson and Robbie Montgomery (one of the Ikettes) as part of the St. Louis Kings of Rhythm. They were officially appointed as ambassadors for the City of St. Louis by Mayor Vincent Schoemehl. Sain continued to perform and to undertake studio work despite being diagnosed with bladder cancer in the mid-1990s, and is credited with discovering local singer Kim Massie. Sain died on October 28, 2003 from bone cancer, which followed on from previous bladder cancer. Sixteen years later, Sain was inducted into the St. Louis Classic Rock Hall of Fame.

Heavy Sugar gathers Sain's four sax-laden albums, plus the odd-ball album released as by 'The 13th Floor', and a singles/rarities collection that couples his latter funk 45 releases with all his credited and uncredited early works with Fontella Bass, Bobby McClure, Little Milton, among others. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy. 

link has been updated to include 7 additional sides and 1 album [2020-10-26]

Friday, 2 October 2020

Stay In My Corner

Before we dig into another month of soul exploration, I'd like to take a moment to say that I am scaling back for the foreseeable future. I'm ceasing all compilations and Goodie Grab Bag collections for a spell and will only be posting once weekly, with an artist retrospective. Re-Ups and Redux's will continue as they have ... meaning, at my leisure, not by request. Lastly, positive comments and contributions may not be published for days but that doesn't mean they're not appreciated, please keep 'em coming. now back to the task at hand....

I've seen it written and heard it said that if it had not been for The Beatles, The Temptations were poised to become the biggest music act in America, and possibly beyond. I believe there to be a lot of validity in that line of thinking, but allow me to expand upon this hypothesis. Assuming the Beatles never were and the world embraced The Temptations as Gordy envisioned, vocal groups in the same vein would become the ultimate rage and I suspect it wouldn't take adoring fans too long to discover that there were other outfits that could do it even better. The list isn't incredibly long of course, but sitting several notches above The Temptations (in my opinion) is The Mighty Dells! This month, my theme is a little more abstract than usual. Not quite a master-class series but a look at some artists who I would describe as being "in a league of their own". A look at some artists who did things a little different, led a charge, and/or stood distinctly apart from the pack. The Dells are a great example to kick off with as they bear several distinctions from their contemporaries. Most notably their near 60 year career run, over 50 of those years with the same members, and the unrivaled vocal pairing of their leads Marvin Junior (baritone) and Johnny Carter (falsetto). Most humorously, for being fired because they were too good at their jobs. People rarely address the versatility of The Dells, but perhaps they should. R&B at their core but their offerings extend well beyond the usual doo wop to soul progression of similar groups. Rock n Roll, Blues, Jazz, Lounge Pop, Folk, Country and Psychadellia were all part of this group's repertoire at one time or another. Their ability to draw from these influences and incorporate it into their soul balladry, made for some richly unique offerings during the height of their success. However, for me personally, The Dells bear one very odd distinction ... I love their mid-70s to early 80s era recordings above all others! I seriously can't say that about one other soul group or soloist. And that's not to say their earlier recordings are sub-standard, quite the opposite in fact!

The Dells grew up in Harvey, Illinois and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School. Forming in 1952 under the name the El-Rays, the group initially consisted of Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, and Johnny Funches. Lucius McGill soon left the group and the remaining quintet signed with Checker Records, releasing their first single, "Darling I Know," which flopped. In 1955, the group renamed themselves the Dells and signed with Vee-Jay Records. In 1956, they recorded their first hit, "Oh, What A Night", which hit the Top 5 of the R&B singles chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The song, co-written by Johnny Funches, who also sang lead on the recording alongside Marvin Junior, is ranked #260 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In November 1958, the Dells suffered a car accident that left McGill in a hospital in Ohio for six months. The group temporarily disbanded and Barksdale sang as a member of Harvey Fuqua's spinoff Moonglows act, Harvey and the Moonglows, which included a young Marvin Gaye. In 1961, the Dells reunited and auditioned for Dinah Washington. After Washington agreed to hire them, Johnny Funches left the group to take care of his family. Funches was replaced by Flamingos founding member Johnny Carter and sang background for Washington for two years. They were hired to open for Ray Charles, only to be fired after a performance resulted in several standing ovations. The group would also sing background for Barbara Lewis, mainly on Lewis' 1963 hit, "Hello Stranger", while also working with Quincy Jones, who helped to fine-tune their vocals for standards and jazz material. In 1966, the Dells returned to Chess under the label's Cadet subsidiary working with Bobby Miller and future Earth, Wind & Fire arranger Charles Stepney. In 1967, the Dells issued the album There Is which included their first R&B chart-topper in years with the title track, which showcased the sharp baritone of Marvin Junior and the harmonies with the four other Dells. The song was also their first top 20 pop hit. Subsequent R&B hits included "Wear It On Our Face," "Always Together" (Top 20 Pop), "I Can Sing A Rainbow/Love Is Blue" (UK No. 15), and their first No. 1 R&B hit and first Top Ten pop hit, 1968's "Stay In My Corner," which reached No. 10 on the pop chart and showcased both Carter and Marvin in lead vocals. In the following year, 1969, The Dells' soulful remake of their debut hit, "Oh What a Night" gave the group their second chart-topping R&B single and also reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. For a second time, the song sold over a million copies. Subsequent hits included "Open Up My Heart," "Oh What A Day," and "On The Dock Of The Bay." In 1971, the Dells' "The Love We Had Stays On My Mind" became another Top Ten hit on the R&B chart, also reaching the pop Top 30. By this time Charles Stepney had taken over production duties from Bobby Miller. 1973's "Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation" was their third certified gold record. The song was written by L.V. Johnson and produced by Don Davis. Leaving Cadet around the end of 1974 with the parent company in financial difficulties, the group would continue recording in order under the Mercury, ABC, and Virgin labels finding some hits, including 1980's "I Touched a Dream", which returned the group to the top 40 on the R&B chart. The Dells were confined mostly to the oldies market afterwards until they were asked to be creative consultants to Robert Townsend's acclaimed 1991 film, The Five Heartbeats, which was loosely based on the lives of The Dells and other groups of its era. The group recorded a composition titled "A Heart Is a House for Love". The song reached number 13 on the Billboard R&B chart, making them only one of two groups to have hit singles in five decades. The following year, signing with PIR, they released the album, I Salute You. The Dells continued performing and recording sporadically in the early years of the new millennium. In 2004, the group were inducted to both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnny Carter is one of the few artists to be a double Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted with The Flamingos in 2001, and the Dells in 2004.  Carter died of cancer on August 21, 2009, at the age of 75. The group continued performing until 2012. On May 29, 2013, founding member Marvin Junior died in his sleep at his home in Harvey, Illinois, succumbing to complications of kidney failure and a weak heart at the age of 77. Chuck Barksdale died on May 15, 2019. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed The Dells among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Stay In My Corner collects damn near everything from The Dells up until the early 80's! Over twenty full-length albums and some various video material (concert footage, interviews and an NBC produced documentary) split between THESE THREE LINKS. Note that you must download all 3 and extract together to unpack. The corresponding SINGLES collection features lots of unissued cuts, alternate recordings, live recordings, promo versions, plus their cuts from the split LP with The Dramatics, and more. A great deal of this discography has never been remastered/reissued and is sourced from the best vinyl options available to me. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original rippers, uploaders, plus Loofer and Sir Shambling for their contributions. Enjoy!

Friday, 25 September 2020

Treat Him Right

Our final southern soul man this month is considerably lesser known than the previously featured heavyweights. Crossing over from the Augusta gospel scene, Mickey Murray had a huge hit out the gates with Shout Bamalama, but was unable to back it up despite some valiant efforts. He was a fan of James Brown and James Brown was a fan of his. Murray modelled a great deal of his material around the stylings of Brown, and also that of Otis Redding. Both of which, called Georgia home as well. Murray had a thickened layer of grit and gruff that give his songs a real raw and emotive feel, especially prominent on my preferred stock, his deep sides.

Born in South Carolina in the 1930s, Mickey Murray had roots in Georgia and shined shoes to help earn a living early in life. Murray and his brother, Clarence, started out singing gospel songs in Augusta and North Augusta. His brother would become a lead vocalist with the legendary Swanee Quintet based in Augusta. Mickey sang with the Dixie Jubilaires. It was Murray’s band teacher, Raymond Dean, at Jefferson High School in Bath, who hooked him up with Augusta show promoter Sam Gantt, the manager of a popular band called The Zippers. Through engagements promoted by Gantt, Murray was spotted by Shelby Singleton who signed him to his newly minted SSS International label in 1966. Early the following year Murray's "Shout Bamalama" single and accompanying album proved to be the labels first smash hit. The song was a million-seller and thrust Murray into an albeit brief brush with success. Murray opened shows for Aretha Franklin at Harlem’s famed Apollo theater and toured with such hot acts as Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers and The Isley Brothers. His follow-up singles for SSS included a duet 45 with brother Clarence but it and the others did not register sadly. Murray signed with King Records subsidiary Federal Records in early 1970 and recorded the album People Are Together. The album however, wasn't really released. If it was, it was in limited numbers and not promoted at all. "It was a risky endeavor to push “People Are Together” as the album’s lead single in the South.  It was reportedly black DJs who killed the record, labeling it as too progressive and fearing that they’d lose their on-air jobs should they play it. It doesn’t sound remotely controversial today:  It’s a call to all of mankind to join together and love one another, in the spirit of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and many other songs of its time. Regardless, fame and a longer singing career didn’t follow for Murray, although he’d record later in life.  But the defiantly hopeful “People Are Together,” written by Bob Garrett and Calvin Arline, now stands as a virtually unheard gem; whether it was known to the public when it was recorded more than 40 years ago is irrelevant. What is relevant is the song itself, a timeless three-minute sermon which implores us all to give a little more love." Other singles from the album were released but also failed to register. Murray had one follow-up 45 for Federal in 1972 and then dwindled into obscurity. He had a terrible 45 for the Pepco label in 1975 and an even worse one for Earth Quake Records in 1979. A near decade later Murray fronted some tracks for funk-revival outfit, The Jungle Band, whose recordings were issued by Charly Records in 1988. Fast forward to 2012. After a little gentle persuasion, a 74 year-old retired Murray, sees his People Are Together album finally getting the release and acknowledgement it deserved over forty years prior. Secret Stash re-issued the album and convinced Murray to perform to promote the release at the Cedar Cultural Centre in Minnesota. He was backed by a six-piece band that included Secret Stash owners Eric Foss on drums and Cory Wong on electric guitar. 

Treat Him Right collects the complete recordings up until 1972. It omits the two less than favorable mid to late 70s singles but does include the Jungle Band LP (c/o the mighty Sir Shambling). All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 39

01. Kim Melvin - 1969 - Keep The Faith (Hi 2160)
02. A.C. Poston - 196? - You Were Made For Me (Sympathy 39133)
03. Gorgeous George - 196? - You Can't Stop A Woman (Unissued Peachtree)
04. Leon Haywood - 1964 - Ever Since You Were Sweet Sixteen (Galaxy LP 8206)
05. The Mad Lads - 1967 - You're My Inspiration (Volt 150)
06. Nancy Butts - 1969 - Go On To Her (Flaming Arrow 38)
07. Danny White - 1968 - One Way Love Affair (SSS International 754)
08. The Capitols - 1970 - When You're In Trouble (Karen 1549)
09. Bobby Patterson - 1972 - One Ounce Of Prevention (Paula LPS 2215)
10. Maurice & Mac - 1969 - I'm Afraid To Let You Know (Unissued)
11. Roy Lee Johnson - 1968 -Take Me Back And Try Me (Phillips 40558)
12. Howard Tate - 1970 - My Soul's Got A Hole In It (Turntable LP TTS-5002)
13. Debbie Taylor - 1969 - Let's Prove Them Wrong (GWP 501)
14. Jimmy Hughes - 19?? - I Worry About You (Unissued Volt)
15. Bobby Bland - 1973 - (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right (ABC LP DSX-50163)
16. O.C. Tolbert - 1974 - That's Enough (Unissued Power House)
17. The Temprees - 1973 - You Make The Sunshine (We Produce LP XPS-1903)
18. Betty Wright - 1972 - Cryin' In My Sleep (Alston 4611)
19. James Carr - 1971 - I'll Put It To You (Atlantic 2803)
20. Arthur Ponder - 197? - Oh Baby Why You Want To Make Me Cry (Unissued Crow)
21. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You're No Longer Mine (Lanor 547)
22. Richard Russell - 1969 - Wish You Were Here (Kashe 444)
23. Arthur Conley - 1967 - Let's Go Steady (Atco 6463)
24. Maxine Brown - 196? - That's All I Want From You (Unissued Wand)
25. Calvin Scott - 1971 - I've Made A Reservation (Stax 0094)


Friday, 18 September 2020

I'm A Lonely Stranger

Perfectly fitting for this month's motif but incredibly surprising even to me, that I've somehow managed to omit the incredible Arthur Conley from this site, up until now. As far as southern soulies go, this cat was in the upper echelons of the scene. He didn't draft the blueprint, but he was one of the most gifted architects to build upon it. Hell, he brought us the (inter)national anthem in 1967. 'Sweet Soul Music', co-written with mentor Otis Redding and based on Sam Cooke's 'Yeah Man', crams pretty much every key element of soul music into a blissful two and a half minute package. It's sweet, it's striking, it's tender, it's gritty, it get's mellow, it get's hard ... and all while paying homage to the heroes that came before. I don't often go for the "fan favorites" per say, I usually find my fav's in lost long player selections and 45 flipsides but you'd simply have to be off your rocker to not absolutely adore this jam. And though no other cut was ever as well received, Conley's sweet soul music didn't stop there. He recorded prolifically in the late 60s and early 70s, but sadly never achieved the stardom he most certainly deserved.

Arthur Lee Conley was born January 4, 1946 in McIntosh County, Georgia and grew up in Atlanta. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & The Corvets. With this group, he released three singles in 1963 and 1964—"Poor Girl", "I Believe", and "Flossie Mae"—on the Atlanta-based record label, NRC Records. In 1964 Conley travelled to Baltimore where he recorded some demo tracks for the newly formed, Ru-Jac Records. No Conley single materialized but he was the featured vocalist on Harold Holt's release, "Where You Lead Me" bw "I'm A Stranger" for Ru-Jac. When Otis Redding heard this, he asked Conley to re-record new versions of the tracks, which was released on Redding's own fledgling label Jotis Records, as only its second release. An additional Jotis single was followed by a couple issued on Fame Records and then in 1967, Conley and Redding re-wrote Sam Cooke's "Yeah Man" into "Sweet Soul Music" and recorded it at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It proved to be a massive hit, going to the No. 2 position on the U.S. charts and the Top 10 across much of Europe. "Sweet Soul Music" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The Sweet Soul Music long player was released that same year on Atco Records, subsequently followed by 3 more LP's for the label and a short-lived super group (The Soul Clan) featuring Joe Tex, Don Covay, Solomon Burke and Ben E. King all before the end of 1969. Conley maintained a modest string of minor hits through to the early 70s but never matched his prior success. Late in 1971 Conley moved to Capricorn Records and released a few singles but each proved to be less successful than the previous. In and around 1973/74 Conley recorded an albums worth of material produced by Jerry 'Swamp Dogg' Williams Jr. which went largely unissued until 1988. Soon after these recordings, Conley relocated to England in 1975, and spent a couple years in Belgium, settling in Amsterdam (Netherlands) in the spring of 1977. Conley was gay, and several music writers have said that his homosexuality was a bar to greater success in the United States and one of the reasons behind his move to Europe in the first place. Finally he was free to live the life he was meant to, without prying eyes. With only one single release since his departure from the U.S., clearly music was not his concern. He did however re-surface early in 1980 for a series of live performances at the Ganzenhoef, Paradiso, De Melkweg and the Concertgebouw as Lee Roberts & The Sweaters. The set list was largely comprised of classics by Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Sam Cooke and the Big O. The concerts were recorded and a portion of the songs were eventually released in 1988. At the end of 1980, Conley moved to the Dutch town of Ruurlo legally changing his name to Lee Roberts—his middle name and his mother's maiden name. He promoted a variety of new and local music via his company, Art-Con Productions. Conley died at the age of 57 from intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, Netherlands in November 2003. He is buried in Vorden.

I'm A Lonely Stranger gathers all four LPs in both mono and stereo (*), the Swamp Dogg recordings issued by P-Vine, the full digital release of Lee Roberts & The Sweaters and a complete singles collection featuring some really rare sides, demo recordings, unissued cuts, and other treats. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, plus Loofer and SirShambling for their direct contributions. Enjoy.

(*) Note: the Sweet Soul Music LP was mostly tracked in mono and as such only 2 or 3 of the songs are true stereo. The majority are actually presented in electronically enhanced dual-channel mono, for a faux-stereo effect.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 53

Here's some fairly obscure southern soulies in a nice tight Goodie Grab Bag ....

Oscar Mack - Discography 1963-68 [8sides]
01. Oscar Mack - 1963 - Don't Be Afraid Of Love (Volt 107)
02. Oscar Mack - 1963 - I See My Baby Coming (Volt 107)
03. Oscar Mack - 1964 - Dream Girl (Stax 152)
04. Oscar Mack - 1964 - You'll Never Know How Much I Love You (Stax 152)
05. Oscar Mack - 196? - I'll Go On Lovin' You (Tyrone 101)
06. Oscar Mack - 196? - Hotdogs, Peanuts, Popcorn (Tyrone 101)
07. Oscar Mack - 1968 - I'm Glad It's Over (Walco 1107) (Amy 110007)
08. Oscar Mack - 1968 - Put Out The Fire (Let Me Go) (Walco 1107) (Amy 110007)

Lee Bernard - Discography 1968 [4sides]
01. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Getting Out Of Town (Goldband 1190)
02. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Don't Drive Me Deeper (Goldband 1190)
03. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Our Love Will Always Be (Goldband 1198)
04. Lee Bernard - 1968 - Turn Around And Go (Goldband 1198)

Hugh Boynton - Discography 1969-74 [11sides]
01. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You're No Longer Mine (Lanor 547)
02. Huriah Boynton - 1969 - You Went Back On What You Said (Lanor 547)
03. Hugh Boynton - 1970 - Girl I Feel It (Lanor 553)
04. Hugh Boynton - 1970 - Running Out Of Fools (Lanor 553)
05. Hugh Boynton - 1971 - I Can't Live My Life Without You [Part 1] (Lanor 561)
06. Hugh Boynton - 1971 - I Can't Live My Life Without You [Part 2] (Lanor 561)
07. Hugh Boynton - 197? - Sweeter As The Days Go By (Unissued Lanor)
08. Hugh Boynton - 197? - Funky Grasshopper (Lanor 571)
09. Hugh Boynton - 197? - No More No Less (Lanor 571)
10. Hugh Boynton - 1974 - We're Gonna Make It (Soul-Po-Tion 144)
11. Hugh Boynton - 1974 - If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right (Soul-Po-Tion 144)

Lots-A-Poppa - Discography 1963-67 [10sides]
01. Little Julius - 1963 - The Bachelor (Diamond 134)
02. Little Julius - 1963 - The Happy Song (Diamond 134)
03. Lots-A-Poppa - 1964 - I Found A Love (Tribe 8305) (Jet Stream 710)
04. Lots-A-Poppa - 1964 - That's Where It's At (Tribe 8305) (Jet Stream 710)
05. Lots-A-Poppa - 1965 - Look In Your Mirror (Jet Stream 714)
06. Lots-A-Poppa - 1965 - Tribute To Sam (Jet Stream 714)
07. Lotsa Poppa - 1967 - Tennessee Waltz (Jet 4011) (Lotta Soul 5001)
08. Lotsa Poppa - 1967 - She Ain't Gonna Do Right (Jet 4011) (Lotta Soul 5001)
09. Lukas Lollipop - 1967 - Don't Hold On To Someone (Who Don't Love You) (Loma 2067)
10. Lukas Lollipop - 1967 - Hoochi-Coochi-Coo (Loma 2067)