Friday, 10 July 2020

Groovin For The Groove

By the time Motown Records had firmly established D-Town as ground zero for all things soul and funk, they actually had little to no presence in Detroit, having moved to Los Angeles. Through the 60s, both directly and indirectly, Motown nurtured a bustling community of diverse and talented musicians and when they relocated, the ramifications to Detroit's recording industry were severe. The talent and the outlets were still there and but the means to majorly market and promote them had all but withered on the vine. Coupled with the economic crisis, decimating the manufacturing industries at the time, Detroit became a difficult city to be a successful musician in. By the early-mid 70's attention was turned towards Chicago and Philly, leaving lots of up and comers from Detroit in the lurch. Such was the case with The Propositions. Incredible young players from Detroit, who sadly never got anywhere near to the attention that they deserved.

As a teenager in a group called the Imperials lead singer Milt Harris made the doo-wop track Life Of Ease originally on Great Lakes Records. Moving on from the Imperials to become a producer, arranger, and writer he worked with various doo-wop artists at recording companies in Detroit, Michigan including Mutt Recordings and Correctone. Being based in Detroit through the 1960?s Harris rubbed shoulders and worked with many Motown musicians including William "Mickey" Stevenson, one of the unsung heroes behind the early success of the Motown sound. Harris had opened a studio on Warren Avenue with friend Robert Robertson on a whim that it might be something they could do in Detroit. It proved not to be Robertsons calling and he moved on as the 1960's became the 1970's. Harris moved the operations to 9120 Livernois St, and the New Dimension recording studio was born. "At the time I was working with several artists including a female vocalist called Vee-Vee and bands like the Psychedelic Lights and the Methods" says Harris. "I was looking for an in-house band for the vocalists I'd work with, and my friend James Ponder suggested I check The Prepositions" he adds. Ponder brought the band to studio. At the time they were made up of young teenagers, playing in a school band from Holland Park, Detroit. These were just 8 or 9 neighborhood friends that had got together to make music. Keeping an eye on their progress Harris soon decided the band could stand on their own. "They didn't just want to be a back-up band, so we decided to cut something with them," he said. A record release for the Prepositions would mean they could get more live gigs. They already played cabaret events, private parties, and anywhere they could get a gig with people who needed musical entertainment, including local army bases. "I held parties that featured all the bands I worked with in various halls across Detroit," said Harris. "But when singles were released the band had got to the point where they could be there own act, and not have to play with others." Three 7" singles were released during the bands existence. The first two were 'Funky Disposition' b/w 'Something Different' and 'Do What Ever Turns You On'. Playing across the city and into neighboring states the band quickly garnered a reputation and was held in the same esteem as legendary funk acts The Counts and The Ovations. Both singles sold-out 2 pressings, Harris estimates he printed 1000 of each title in total and that they sold mostly in Detroit and Toledo. They would practice at New Dimension Recordings and then cut at other studios including the spectacularly named Uncle Dirty Sound Machine. In the early 1970s Motown was going big, and Detroit became a breeding ground for smaller labels like Westbound and Tribe, and countless recording studios. Musicians, artists, and entertainment people mixed and networked in a very happening scene. The Local 212 hall was a place where bands of all calibers got to play, and the Prepositions appeared alongside The Floaters, The Fantastic Four, and many others. They also performed regularly at The 20 Grand, Mason Hall, High Chaparral and Cozy Corner. At their peak they appeared 3 or 4 times a week in the Summer. They even appeared as back-up band to David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks and ZZ Hill, and scored opening slots for the Chi-Lites and O'Jays. As the Prepositions developed they introduced vocal tracks into their otherwise instrumental funk set, with drummer Jerome "Stix" Williams stepping up to the mic and broadening the bands appeal. "You could never duplicate those times, there was so much music. It wasn't really a competitive scene, but some bands were more visible and active than others. The Prepositions lived and breathed to play, they were everywhere!" explains Harris. "You had to be 21 to get in, so we had to cut deals with the club because the band members were too young to be inside." Despite aspirations to become professional musicians the third 7" single signaled a change for the band, and it would be the last record they would release together. First a typographical error on the record label meant that The Prepositions would now be known as The Propositions. 'Africana' would outsell the previous two singles and therefore the name had to stick. In fact the single sold so well it forced the band and Harris to consider whether they should release an album. Sessions were recorded, tracks written and produced, but unfortunately the times were changing fast and economics dictated that the album remain unreleased. "The epic gasoline shortage caused the cost of vinyl to go sky high. It was almost cost prohibitive to press an LP," explains Harris. "And to make matters worse the payola-thing had become so rampant that it wasn't worth trying to promote a record. When you also consider that the DJs were taking over and live bands being forced out, or to have to perform for only tiny fees, it's no surprise that we couldn't release the record. Everyone was disappointed, but they understood," adds Harris. When the album didn't materialize some of the band members decided to take different career paths. Others got more responsibilities with jobs and families, and their musical progress slowed, members dropped off and they began to break up. There was no animosity or ill-will, the life of the band had run its course, and economics forced them into quitting, an unfortunately regular occurrence for Detroit and a once burgeoning music scene. Harris continued to write for various people and perfecting his craft in the recording studio. He also dabbled with politics and to this day does jingle and other commercial music work.

Groovin For The Groove gathers the complete recordings as The Propositions/Prepositions and includes the unissued album and a number of other unissued and alternate recordings, on top of the 3 issued singles. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 6 July 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 50

Nat Turner Rebellion - Discography 1969-72 [15sides]

01. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Tribute To A Slave (Delvaliant 100) (Unissued LP)
02. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Plastic People (Delvaliant 100) (Unissued LP)
03. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Fat Back (Unissued LP)
04. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Care (Unissued LP)
05. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - McBride's Daughter (Unissued LP)
06. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Fruit Of The Land (Unissued LP)
07. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Never Too Late (Unissued LP)
08. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1969 - Going In Circles (Unissued LP)
09. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1970 - Love, Peace & Understanding (Philly Groove 164)
10. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1970 - Getting Higher Together (Philly Groove 164)
11. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1971 - Can't Go On Living (Philly Soulville 1422)
12. Nat Turner Rebellion - 1971 - Laugh To Keep From Crying (Philly Soulville 1422)
13. Nat Turner Rebellion - 197? - Right On, We're Back (Unissued)
14. Nat Turner - 1972 - Ruby Lee (Philly Groove 171)
15. Nat Turner - 1972 - You Are My Sun Sign (Philly Groove 171)

Power Of Attorney - Discography 1973-75 [14of15sides]

01. Power Of Attorney - 1973 - Changing Man (Nicetown 650)
02. Power Of Attorney - 1973 - Fillet Of Soul (Nicetown 650)
03. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Turn Around (Polydor 14259)
04. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Jelly Roll (Polydor 14259)
05. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Life Is Nowhere In The Ghetto (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
06. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Loving You (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
07. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - I've Been Thinking (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
08. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - The Children (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
09. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Buck Naked (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
10. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Turn Around (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
11. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - Jelly Roll (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
12. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - I Wanna Be Free (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
13. Power Of Attorney - 1974 - No More (Polydor LP  PD 6031)
14. Power Of Attorney - 1975 - You Got Over On Me (Nicetown 002)
15. Power Of Attorney - 1975 - The Boom Boom Song (Nicetown 002) **missing**


Friday, 3 July 2020

Do The Dirt

So if the recent New Recipes wasn't a dead give away let me now be emphatic. I had a lot of fun digging into the funk month before last, and frankly, I still got a lot of making up for. So let's bring that beat back and dig into a second month of funk. I've got some relatively obscure stuff and some funky little surprises in mind this month, but before that, let's start with the most formative of outfits in southern funk. The Meters re-defined the Crescent City sound in the late 60s and by the early 70s were directly altering the course of not just rhythm n blues, but jazz, blues, rock n roll and even country music. New Orleans had been a recognized hub for musical ingenuity long before these bayou boys were even born so when they became the talk of the town, their sound spread like wildfire, with really little effort on their part. Considered by many to be the founding fathers of funk, The Meters created a unique sound that eclipsed the 60s, 70s and even the 80s. Their sound is defined by a combination of tight melodic grooves and syncopated New Orleans "second line" rhythms, under highly charged guitar and keyboard riffing.

The story of the Meters starts with its frontman and at least ten years prior to their hey day. Recently deceased, Art Neville, was a staple of the New Orleans music scene for over five decades. Neville grew up in New Orleans, he was the son of Amelia (Landry) and Arthur Neville Sr. He started on piano and performed with his brothers at an early age. In high school he joined and later led The Hawketts. In 1954 the band recorded "Mardi Gras Mambo" with Neville on vocals. The song gained popularity and became a New Orleans carnival anthem. The band toured with Larry Williams. Neville performed regularly in New Orleans, joined the U.S. Navy in 1958, and returned to music in 1962. In early 60s Neville formed the Neville Sounds. The band included Aaron Neville, Cyril Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli, and Ziggy Modeliste. Shortly after, Aaron and Cyril left the group to form their own band. The remaining four members continued playing at the Nitecap and the Ivanhoe nightclubs. The band backed many notable artists such as Lee Dorsey, Betty Harris and The Pointer Sisters. They  had a strong sense of groove and unlike traditional groups each instrument was free to lead and go anywhere musically. Over time the band's style came to represent New Orleans funk. In the late 60s the band changed its name to The Meters and became the house band for Allen Toussaint and his record label, Sansu Enterprises. In 1969 the Meters released "Sophisticated Cissy" and "Cissy Strut", both major R&B chart hits. "Look-Ka Py Py" and "Chicken Strut" were their hits the following year. After a label shift in 1972, Cyril returned to the unit but the Meters had difficulty returning to the charts. They did however, work extensively with Dr. John, Paul McCartney, King Biscuit Boy, Labelle, Robert Palmer and many other charting musicians of their time. In 1975 Paul McCartney invited the Meters to play at the release party for his Venus and Mars album aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones was in attendance at the event and was greatly taken with the Meters and their sound. The Rolling Stones invited the band to open for them on their Tour of the Americas '75 and Tour of Europe '76. That same year, the Meters recorded one of their most successful albums, Fire on the Bayou. From 1976 to 77 they played in The Wild Tchoupitoulas with George and Amos Landry and The Neville Brothers. Art and Cyril Neville left the band in early 1977, but The Meters still appeared on Saturday Night Live on March 19, 1977, during the show's second season. After the Nevilles' departure, David Batiste Sr. took over on keyboards while Willie West joined as the band's lead singer. Porter left the group later that year and by 1980 The Meters had officially broken up. After the break-up, Neville continued his career as part of The Neville Brothers, Modeliste toured with Keith Richards and Ron Wood, while Nocentelli and Porter became in-demand session players and also formed new bands. Nearly a decade later Art Neville, George Porter Jr. and Leo Nocentelli reunited as The Meters, adding drummer Russell Batiste Jr. to replace Zigaboo Modeliste. Nocentelli left the group in 1994 and was replaced with guitarist Brian Stoltz, formerly of The Neville Brothers. The band was renamed The Funky Meters. They were referred to as "the Funky Meters" as early as 1989. They were billed as such when playing in a tiny venue called Benny's Bar at Valence and Camp streets. The Funky Meters continued to play into the 2000s with Stoltz being replaced by Art Neville's son, Ian Neville, from 2007 to 2011 while he went to pursue a solo career. Stoltz returned to the band permanently in 2011. In June 2011 The Original Meters along with Allen Toussaint and Dr. John played the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The six men performed Dr. John's album Desitively Bonnaroo which was originally recorded with the Meters, to a sold-out crowd. The Original Meters also played a set at the 2011 Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. On May 5, 2012 The Meters returned to New Orleans for a performance to a sold-out crowd at the Howlin' Wolf. In late 2012, Zigaboo Modeliste, Leo Nocentelli, and George Porter Jr. played concerts with Phish keyboardist Page McConnell under the name The Meter Men. During his time off from Phish, Page McConnell has continued to play with Porter Jr., Nocentelli, and Modeliste under the moniker of The Meter Men since those shows in 2012. The Meter Men had performed 16 shows together as of spring 2015, with their third annual appearance as a late night act during New Orleans' Jazz and Heritage Festival. As of 2017, The Funky Meters tour consistently performing songs by The Meters, while The Meters perform sporadically. The lineup of Neville, Porter, Nocentelli and Modeliste typically bill themselves as The Original Meters to avoid confusion with The Funky Meters. When not performing with The Original Meters, guitarist Leo Nocentelli leads his own group, The Meters Experience, which also performs the music of The Meters. As of 2018, the most recent performance of the original Meters (with all four of the founding members) took place at the Arroyo Seco Festival in Pasadena, California on June 25, 2017. Art Neville announced his retirement from music on December 18, 2018. Neville died just six months later, on July 22, 2019.

Do The Dirt delivers the complete classic studio discography by The Meters. Recorded between 1968 and 1977, we have all eight albums plus the Unreleased mid-70s LP 'Kickback', the (1968-75) Sansu Records compilation released on Rounder Records in 1990, and a complete singles collection, featuring a half dozen unissued sides and the 1969 single recorded by most of The Meters, billed as The Rhine Oaks. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

GGG Presents New Recipes Volume 04

Technical difficulties had me derailed for the last several days but back on track now and will be gaining ground in no time. Should have more Redux re-ups coming soonish, the treasure chest has been padded today, and here's a little something something out of left field.

01. Crowd Company - 2020 - On This Love You Can Count
02. Fusion Funk Foundation - 2020 - Sweet Bread [inst]
03. Ricky Hopkins - 2020 - Stranger Things [inst]
04. Lee Fields & Soul Providers - 2020 - Put It On Me
05. Speedometer w. Najwa Ezzaher - 2020 - Look No Further
06. Jungle Fire - 2020 - Slipshot [inst]
07. Flyjack - 2020 - Tell Me What You Want [inst]
08. The New Mastersounds - 2019 - Live Life Free
09. Diplomats Of Solid Sound - 2019 - Move On
10. Crowd Company - 2020 - Express 76 [inst]
11. The Soul Motivators - 2020 - Savalas [inst]
12. Tragic City - 2020 - BJCC [inst]
13. Solid Bronze - 2019 - The Critter Walk
14. Funky Butt Brass Band - 2020 - For The Marks [inst]
15. Don Bryant - 2020 - Your Love Is To Blame
16. Lee Fields & Soul Providers - 2020 - I'm A Millionaire
17. Black Market Brass - 2020 - War Room [inst]
18. Lettuce - 2020 - Good Morning Mr. Shmink [inst]
19. Gallowstreet - 2020 - Purple Whip [inst]
20. The Summits - 2020 - P's And Q's
21. Funky Butt Brass Band - 2020 - Dive [inst]
22. Antibalas - 2020 - Fist Of Flowers


Friday, 26 June 2020

Come Closer To Me

Moving a little westerly to Memphis, Tennessee where we'll wrap this month of vocal groups up with The Mad Lads! Certainly not the most notable collective in the Stax stable, however, I feel they deserved a better fate than what was afforded them. Like many of artists, their greatest success came early on and the pressure to repeat it, took a terrible toll on the groups members. Personnel changes further compounded the challenges facing the Lads. Much of their careers was in a sense, spent playing catch-up, holding them back from truly hitting their stride. They did manage to eke out a few albums before calling it a day, and despite the lack of continuity or chart success, all three are fairly decent in my opinion. As is John Gary Williams' solo album.

The group was formed at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The original line-up comprised John Gary Williams, Julius E. Green, William Brown and Robert Phillips. They were originally called The Emeralds, but changed their name because there was another group of that name; the name "Mad Lads" was suggested by Stax employee Deanie Parker in response to the group's behavior and also in recognition of local disc jockey Reuben "Mad Lad" Washington. They first recorded for Stax in 1964, releasing novelty single, "The Sidewalk Surf", co-written by Isaac Hayes (under the name Ed Lee). It was not a hit. However, their second record, "Don't Have To Shop Around", rose to no. 11 on the Billboard R&B chart, and no. 93 on the pop chart. Featuring organ by Hayes and piano by Booker T. Jones, and featured "the high, innocent tenor of John Gary Williams." They followed up with "I Want Someone", "I Want A Girl" and "Patch My Heart", which were all R&B hits in 1966. However, towards the end of the year Williams and Brown were drafted. The group continued to make live appearances with the pair being replaced by Sam Nelson and Quincy Billups Jr., but the new line-up's recordings were not as successful. After Williams returned from military service, he was reinstated in the group at the insistence of record company co-owner Jim Stewart. The other members were not keen on this but they powered through and continued to have R&B chart hits through to 1969 together, their final hit being a version of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" which also reached the pop chart. Sessions and subsequent singles got fewer and further between moving into the 70s. By 1972 things were looking pretty bleak, then with a final album and less than a handful of live performances, the group called it quits in 1973. Williams recorded a self-titled solo album at Stax in 1973. He later worked outside the music business in Iowa and Los Angeles, before forming a new touring version of The Mad Lads in 1984. The new group recorded an album, Madder Than Ever, in 1990. Julius E. Green died on January 14, 2013. William C. Brown III died on July 24, 2015, aged 69. John Gary Williams died in May 2019, aged 73.

Come Closer To Me collects the near complete classic recordings of The Mad Lads. The 3 full length albums, a complete singles collection (less 1 side) with a few unissued cuts and I've included John Gary Williams' album and 3 singles cut for Stax. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

The Mad Lads - 1964 - Surf Jerk (Stax 160)

Monday, 22 June 2020

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 36

Well it's official ... Deep Dish Delicacies is now the longest running compilation series on the site. The initial Gusto's Groovy Gumbo series ran 35 volumes. And folks, the well is far from dry!!! When I launched the first Deep Dish, my source folder contained just over 1000 tracks, now 36 volumes deep at 25 tracks per volume (with no repeats) and I have roughly 950 tracks still in my source folder. Do the math pals, this delightful series is gonna go the distance. Dig in!

01. Allen Green - 196? - Laughing At Me (Stop 1511)
02. Donnie Elbert - 1968 - Good To Me (Polydor UK LP 236 560)
03. Johnny Dynamite - 1969 - Everybody's Clown (Minaret 141)
04. Sam Dees - 1969 - Easier To Say Than Do (Lolo 2306)
05. Otis Clay - 1968 - Don't Pass Me By (One-Derful! 4852)
06. Tyrone Davis - 1969 - I'm Confessin' (Hit Sound 888)
07. The Cherries - 1970 - Why Don't You Love Me And Treat Me Right (Big Beat 133 + 1269)
08. The Masqueraders - 1968 - I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else (Bell 733)
09. Thomas Bailey & The Flintstone Band - 197? - I Need You (Most Of All) (Stone 361)
10. Lee Moore - 1971 - I Been Down Too Long (Tri-City 320)
11. Ella Washington - 1970 - He'll Be Back (Sound Stage 7 2659)
12. Richard Marks - 19?? - Why Did You Leave Me (Unissued)
13. Willie & The Mighty Magnificents - 197? - Always Lovers [alt] (Unissued Stang)
14. Bobby Patterson - 1973 - I'm In The Wrong (Paula 388)
15. Johnnie Taylor - 1974 - At Night Time (My Pillow Tells A Tale On Me) (Stax 5509)
16. Syl Johnson - 1974 - Please Don't Give Up On Me (Hi 2269)
17. Ernest Jackson - 1973 - Love And Happiness (Stone 001)
18. Sonny Green - 1973 - You Better Take Time (United Artists 50978)
19. Betty Wright - 1975 - My Baby Ain't My Baby Anymore (Alston 3713)
20. Big Daddy Rucker - 1972 - He Made You Mine (Hawk Sound 101)
21. Wanda Davis - 197? - Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Unissued)
22. Earl Gaines - 197? - I'll Take Care Of You (Unissued)
23. Darondo - 197? - Didn't I (Unissued)
24. Sam & Dave - 1971 - Don't Pull Your Love (Atlantic 2839)
25. Willie Hightower - 1970 - I Can't Love Without You (Fame 1474)


Friday, 19 June 2020

What's Your Name?

The time has come to take a lingering moment to ruminate upon The Moments. At a glance you might see just another sickly sweet soul group, and on the surface, you wouldn't be wrong. However, behind the sappy subject matter, beneath the airy arrangements and beyond the heavenly harmonies is a deliciously rich serving of eccentricity. Not aptly exemplified by their 45 output, but once you dig into this group's long-players, a treasure trove of treats await. A wide array of offerings with some highly creative technique in both the song writing process and post production work. Often lilting and airy, but rarely sparse -- their subtle string-based arrangements are actually deeply layered and interwoven quite well with the groups introspective lyrics of love. I personally have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this outfit -- adoring some of their efforts while being repulsed by others. I tend to lean towards their pre-disco era material but both certainly have creative merit in my opinion. The group went through a number of significant overhauls in the early years but by the time the settled into the Stang Records roster, they enjoyed a consistent run of well received singles and albums through the 70s and beyond.

Initially the group (Eric Olfus Sr, John Morgan and Richard Gross) came together in Washington, DC during the mid 60s. In 1965, at Washington D.C.'s Howard University, the Mizell Brothers and Freddie Perren (along with schoolmate Toby Jackson) founded Hog Records and signed the harmony group as The Moments. The Moments recorded "Baby I Want You" and "Pray For Me" for Hog. Mark Greene joined after the single's release. The group then signed with the newly established Stang Records label, set up by Sylvia Robinson at All Platinum Studios in Englewood, New Jersey with her husband Joe. The group had its first hit almost immediately late in 1968 with "Not On The Outside", which reached #13 on the R&B chart and #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 (with Greene on lead vocal). Robinson then hired a management firm headed by radio stars Frankie Crocker, Herb Hamlett and Eddie O'Jay. The trio began promoting the Moments and booking them for live events in major cities. When Hamlett moved to WCMF in Rochester, New York, he booked the Moments exclusively. Their first Stang album release pictured William "Billy" Brown, Al Goodman and Morgan on the cover, although various members' voices appeared on different tracks recorded between 1968 and 1969. There also appear to be female voices; although never confirmed, it is believed that Sylvia Robinson (herself a professional singer) supplied some of those parts, along with Stang artist Lezli Valentine and studio vocalist Rhetta Young. When members left (or were replaced) it was less costly to re-cut only the lead vocal (which, in the case of the Moments' earliest studio productions, makes it difficult to determine who is backing the lead voice). Before three of the original members of the Moments left All Platinum, they recorded their breakthrough song "Love On A Two Way Street" (which reached #1 on the R&B chart and #3 on the pop chart in the spring of 1970). It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The group quickly scaled down to a trio after one live appearance at the Apollo Theater as a quartet (some sources credit Greene, Gross—aka Richie Horsley and Morgan or sometimes Greene, Horsley and Johnny Moore as the trio lineup). Greene, Olfus and Gross left All Platinum together in 1969, replaced by baritone Goodman and new lead tenor/baritone singer William "Billy" Brown while Morgan stayed on. Gross was incorrectly credited as Richie Horsley on legal documents, liner notes, websites, articles and in books about the Moments. Brown had previously been a member of The Broadways, who had recorded on the MGM label. Goodman (after a couple of performances with The Corvettes and The Vipers) was hired by Joe Robinson as a studio-production creative assistant, singer and songwriter. On records, he played the substitute role of Mickey (in Mickey & Sylvia, of whom Sylvia Robinson was formerly one-half). After three of the four original members of the Moments had left All Platinum, Billy Brown rerecorded a new lead-vocal track of "Love On A Two Way Street". The song had originally been recorded by Stang artist Lezli Valentine, but failed to chart; the Moments' version (produced by Sylvia Robinson) was originally included as a filler cut on their first LP (released in 1969) entitled Not On The Outside...But On The Inside, Strong! Early in 1970 it was remixed, issued as a single and reached the #1 R&B spot for five weeks. The first album also contained a Moments version of another Lezli Valentine song entitled "I Won't Do Anything", with Brown on lead vocals; it became the flip side of the hit single. In 1971 Bert Keyes encouraged Greene, Gross and Olfus to sign with Volt Records, a subsidiary of Stax. Keyes had worked with the group at All Platinum Records as a producer, arranger and session keyboardist in the studio's house band (later leaving the label because of disputes with the Robinsons). The group signed with the Volt/Stax label as The Leaders, recording in New York City. The Leaders had four members: Greene, Gross, Olfus and Donald Spriggs. They were managed by songwriter Myrna March, and Keyes produced several of the songs they recorded for Volt. Between the first album's release and the Moments' #1 hit, Morgan was briefly replaced by Sylvia Robinson's brother-in-law Johnny Moore (not to be confused with the Drifters' singer). He appeared with Goodman and Brown on the cover of the group's 1970 second album; however, Moore was absent from a live appearance. Since the Moments were now considered a headline attraction, he was fired; Goodman and Brown worked as a duo until new arrival Harry Ray rounded out the trio. This lineup became Sylvia Robinson's favorite, and the one most heavily promoted by All Platinum. While Brown recovered from vocal overuse, Ray sang lead on many of the Moments' subsequent hits including the follow-up "If I Didn’t Care" (#7 R&B, #44 pop, 1970), "Sexy Mama" (#3 R&B, #17 pop, 1973), and "Look At Me (I'm In Love)" (#1 R&B, #39 pop, 1975). After Brown recovered, they shared lead vocal duties; occasionally Goodman took a turn, and served as spokesman for the group. Their album, entitled A Moment with the Moments, showed Goodman, Brown and Johnny Moore on the cover and was hastily released while Brown was still recovering. The release numbers ran out of sequence in their hurry to support the single "If I Didn't Care" in 1970. This was the first Moments lead vocal for Ray, and the only track on which Ray appeared. Another remix of "Love On A Two Way Street" was included, but the rest of the album consisted of tracks recorded before Brown's illness (mainly B-sides from earlier singles). Moore was gone from the group by the time the album reached the charts. After Brown's voice returned, Stang began releasing singles from the On Top album, with Ray and Brown dividing lead vocals. Ray also recorded a duet with Sylvia Robinson, "Sho Nuff Boogie" (credited as Sylvia & The Moments), in 1973. The Moments were co-credited with labelmates The Whatnauts on their hit "Girls (Part 1)"; it reached #25 on the U.S. R&B charts and became one of their biggest international successes, reaching #3 on the UK Singles Chart in 1975. Ray and Goodman were strongly involved in writing and producing much of the Moments' material from the mid-1970s, as well as producing and writing for The Whatnauts and All-Platinum's other artists. By 1979, the group had had a total of 27 R&B chart hits and decided to leave Stang, signing with the larger Polydor Records label. A legal dispute arose, barring them from using "The Moments" on their new label, so they renamed the group with their last names: Ray, Goodman & Brown. The first single under their new name, "Special Lady, became one of their biggest hits, reaching #1 on the R&B chart and #5 on the pop chart in early 1980. The B-side featured “Déjà Vu”, with lyrics by Bob Natiello and music by Lou Toby. They followed up with more hits, including "Inside Of You" (#14 R&B, 1980). In 1982, following the release of their fourth (and final) Polydor album, Ray left to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Kevin "Ray" Owens, a backing vocalist for Luther Vandross. Ray re-joined Sylvia and Joe Robinson at their new venture (Sugar Hill Records), but after one album and a minor hit, "Sweet Baby," he rejoined Goodman and Brown in 1983 for their comeback on EMI with the ballad "Take It To the Limit" (which put them back on the R&B charts at #8 in 1987). In 1991, Harold "Eban" Brown, former vocalist for The Delfonics, became the lead vocalist for Ray, Goodman & Brown. He stayed for two and a half years before joining The Manhattans and became lead vocalist for The Stylistics in 2000. Ray suffered a fatal stroke in 1992 and was again replaced in the group by Kevin "Ray" Owens. Occasionally solo artist Greg Willis joined Ray, Goodman and Brown in performances (and later on records), but never became a full-time member. Vocalist Wade "Silky" Elliott also did a stint, before signing a solo contract with CBS Records during the 90s and temporarily joining Blue Magic. With Owens' return, the trio continued to perform and tour as Ray, Goodman & Brown. They released two albums in 2002 and 2003: one with new material, and the other featuring re-workings of soul songs by other male vocal groups. These albums reunited them with former All-Platinum producer George Kerr. In one of their public appearances, they teamed with Gerald Alston to perform The Manhattans' hit "Kiss And Say Goodbye". They sang backup vocals for Alicia Keys song "You Don't Know My Name", which was a #1 soul/R&B song in 2003. As of 2008 Owens, Goodman and Brown continued to record together and tour (sometimes with vocalist Larry "Ice" Winfree), performing hits from both the Moments and Ray, Goodman and Brown. On July 26, 2010 Goodman died at the age of 67. In 2012, Harold "Eban" Brown rejoined remaining original member Billy Brown to re-record The Moments Greatest Hits - Volume 1. It was released in April 2014 on the Universal Music Group label - featuring the vocals of Harold "Eban" Brown and Billy Brown only. As of 2014, Winfree was officially welcomed into the group as the replacement for Goodman, with Owens and Brown, bringing the group back to its regular trio status.

What's Your Name? is the near entirety of the groups Stang Records output. Ten full-length studio albums, two live albums, some mysterious re-recordings and a collection of 45 sides, non-album sides and other obscurities (including the tracks cut for the Patty soundtrack and tracks from their split LP with The O'Jays, among other treats) spanning 1968 to 1980. Only a limited amount of their music has been officially remastered and most of what claims to be, sounds pretty shotty to me. As such, nearly every album here has been sourced from Mr Moo (who I suspect was the original ripper) and has been ggmastered if you will. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and in this instance, mostly the mighty Mr. Moo! Enjoy.

Monday, 15 June 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 49

The Chandeliers - Discography 1963-64 [4sides]

01. The Chandeliers - 1964 - Double Love (Loadstone 1601)
02. The Chandeliers - 1964 - It's A Good Thought (Loadstone 1601)
03. The Chandeliers - 1965 - Stop Dragging My Heart Around (Loadstone 1607)
04. The Chandeliers - 1965 - Fading Day (Loadstone 1607)

The Intertains - Discography 1965-66 [4sides]

01. The Intertains - 1965 - Gotta Find A Girl (Uptown 717)
02. The Intertains - 1965 - I See The Light (Uptown 717)
03. The Intertains - 1966 - Need Your Love (Right Now) (Uptown 729)
04. The Intertains - 1966 - Glad I Found You (Uptown 729)

The Temptones - Discography 1967 [11sides]

01. The Temptones - 1967 - Girl I Love You (Arctic 130)
02. The Temptones - 1967 - Good-Bye (Arctic 130)
03. The Temptones - 1967 - Say These Words Of Love (Arctic 136)
04. The Temptones - 1967 - Something Good (Arctic 136)
05. The Temptones - 196? - Baby, Yes I Do [demo] (Unissued)
06. The Temptones - 196? - So Hard To Be Loved By You [demo] (Unissued)
07. The Temptones - 196? - Good-Bye [demo] (Unissued)
08. The Temptones - 196? - Girl I Love You [demo] (Unissued)
09. The Temptones - 196? - Good-Bye [alt] (Unissued)
10. The Temptones - 196? - Say These Words Of Love [alt] (Unissued)
11. The Temptones - 196? - I Don't Want To Cry [live] (Unissued)

The Paramount Four - Discography 1968-7? [4sides]

01. The Paramount Four - 1968 - I've Made Up My Mind (Southern City 1114)
02. The Paramount Four - 1968 - You Don't Know Till It Happens To You (Southern City 1114)
03. The Paramount Four - 19?? - You Must Leave Her Because You Love Her (Unissued)
04. The Paramount Four - 19?? - Sorry Ain't The Word (Unissued)

The Visitors - Discography 1969-70 [4sides]

01. The Visitors - 1969 - My Love Is Ready And Waiting (Tangerine 1003)
02. The Visitors - 1969 - What About Me (Tangerine 1003)
03. The Visitors - 1970 - Anytime Is The Right Time (Tangerine 1010)
04. The Visitors - 1970 - Never The Less (Tangerine 1010)

The Victones - Discography 1970 [4sides]

01. The Victones - 1970 - Two Sides To Love (Front Page RAA-2302)
02. The Victones - 1970 - Somebody Really Loves You (Front Page RAA-2302)
03. The Victones - 1970 - I Need You So (Front Page 1001)
04. The Victones - 1970 - My Baby Changes (Front Page 1001)


Friday, 12 June 2020

Trying To Make A Fool Of Me

All aboard the train from D-Town to the city of brotherly love ... The Delfonics were the definitive sweet soul outfit of Philidelphia. They weren't the first and they weren't the last (by a long-shot) but their influence dominated the city's late 60s / early 70s sound and can still be heard today. Chief vocalist William 'Poogie' Hart was also the groups primary writer, composer and producer, while the legendary Thom Bell handled the majority of the arrangements. This production partnership proved quite successful for the group and I personally prefer it to the sound coined by by Gamble & Huff a few years later that is more commonly regarded to as the 'Philly soul sound'.

Prior to forming the Delfonics, William "Poogie" Hart sang in a variety of groups including Little Hart and The Everglows, the Veltones, the Four Guys, and the Four Gents. Members of some of these early groups included brothers William and Wilbert Hart, Ritchie Daniels, Randy Cain, Stan Lathan, and Donald Cannon, friends who met at Overbrook High School in the early 60s. In 1964 William and Wilbert Hart enlisted Randy Cain and Richie Daniels and formed a group called The Orphonics.  After Daniels joined the armed services, they used Ricky Johnson. Randy Cain later rejoined, and the original trio of William Hart, Wilbert Hart, and Randy Cain became The Orphonics. The name came from a stereophonic machine the Harts had in their basement. In 1965, William Hart was working in a barbershop in Philadelphia. A man named Stan Watson came into the barbershop one day, where William Hart, who had written quite a few songs by this point, would sing while playing his guitar. Watson told William Hart that he knew a young arranger/producer for Cameo-Parkway Records named Thom Bell, who was at the time working with Chubby Checker. Watson thereafter introduced the group to Bell. William Hart recalls that the first song he presented to Bell was an original composition of his entitled "He Don't Really Love You". Bell immediately produced the music arrangement to that song and it was released on Moon Shot which later became Cameo-Parkway Records. The Orphonics were soon renamed "The Delfonics," and their first recording, "He Don't Really Love You" b/w "Without You", which had been arranged and produced by Thom Bell, was released on the small Moon Shot Records in around August 1966. (The artist on first pressings of the 45 RPM record was actually listed as "The Del Fonics" and Thom Bell was credited as "Tommy Bell." Following the increased popularity of the group, the Moon Shot record was reissued in April 1968, and on this later release it was distributed by Calla Records.) The second Delfonics' recording, "You've Been Untrue" b/w "I Was There," once again arranged/produced by Bell (now credited as "Thom Bell") was released in April 1967 on Cameo Records. By the end of 1967, Cameo-Parkway Records announced that it would soon no longer exist as a record company. In December of that year, Thom Bell took the Delfonics into Cameo-Parkway's recording studio to record a William Hart composition, entitled "La-La (Means I Love You)", which featured Hart on falsetto lead. With Cameo-Parkway about to be defunct, Stan Watson started up his own label entitled Philly Groove Records, and in December 1967 "La-La (Means I Love You)" was first released to the local Philadelphia music market. After gaining national distribution/promotion with New York's Amy-Mala-Bell, the single became a hit in 1968, selling over one million copies. It reached #4 on the pop charts, and was awarded a gold disc. The group's debut album La La Means I Love You, released on Philly Groove Records in 1968, featured the hit original compositions "La-La (Means I Love You)", "Break Your Promise", "I'm Sorry", and "Can You Remember"; along with covers of the Hal David/Burt Bacharach compositions "Alfie" and "The Look of Love". Four more Bell-produced albums appeared in the next few years: The Sound of Sexy Soul, The Delfonics Super Hits, The Delfonics and Tell Me This Is a Dream. Among the Delfonics' popular hits were the Grammy Award-winning "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)", "(For The Love) I Gave To You", "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)" and "Hey Love". The Delfonics and Bell had to work with a basic budget on the first creation as Thom explained "When I took them into the studio we didn't have any money to pay for string players and an orchestra so I played most of the instruments myself!" – a far cry from the full classical productions from 1968 to the beginning of the 70s. "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" also sold a million copies and by March 1970 received a gold disc from the R.I.A.A. Randy Cain left the group in 1971, and in 1973 had a hand in forming Blue Magic. Cain was replaced by Major Harris; by then, however, Thom Bell had moved on to produce The Stylistics and later, The Spinners. The Delfonics swiftly produced another album, Alive & Kicking (1974), produced by Stan Watson. However, in the absence of Thom Bell, the Delfonics' career declined sharply, and with the exception of the aforementioned "Hey Love" and the minor hits "When You Get Right Down to It", "I Don't Want To Make You Wait" and "I Told You So", success eluded them after 1975. With an album on the shelf, the group split around 1975; one group featured Major Harris and Wilbert Hart, with new member Frank Washington, formerly of the Futures. The other group featured William Hart with new members. Lineups would become confusing as members shifted between groups and multiple groups toured. Major Harris moved to Hart's group around 1980, with their third member being the returning Randy Cain. Frank Washington also switched from Wilbert Hart's group, joining in 1985. While the main recording lineup of the group was William Hart, Major Harris, and Frank Washington, they would tour as two separate trios with additional members added. One group featured William Hart, Randy Cain, and Garfield Fleming, and the other consisted of Frank Washington, Major Harris, and Freddy Ingleton. William Hart also toured with another lineup consisting of himself, Johnny ("JJ") Johnson and Pat Palmer, and toured in Japan at least one time with Ingleton and Dr. Salaam Love. Through the 1980s and the 1990s, the Delfonics groups continued to perform. The William Hart/Major Harris/Frank Washington group made several recordings, including backing vocals on the track "After the Smoke is Clear", on the 1996 hip hop album Ironman by Ghostface Killah. The groups reorganized again in the late 1990s. William Hart began touring with Johnnie Johnson and Garfield Fleming; this group recorded as the Delfonics. Major Harris toured with Frank Washington and Pat Palmer. Wilbert also led a Delfonics group; members in the 1990s included Salaam Love (formerly in William's group) and Eban Brown (falsetto). They were replaced by Greg Hill (former bassist for Teddy Riley & New Edition) and Van Fields. Fields left the Delfonics to sing with an acappella group called A Perfect Blend and later, along with Eban Brown, joined The Stylistics. Greg Hill brought Joe Branch down to one of the rehearsals, and Branch was hired as the new lead vocalist. Greg Hill departed from Wilbert Hart's group and continued touring with his own unit called Greg Hill "Delfonics Live". Hill also went on to become the founder & C.E.O. of the Soul 1 Entertainment Group, located in New York City. Hill was replaced by Dr. Salaam Love. Before Hill's departure from the group, Wilbert Hart released a CD in 2005 called Fonic Zone featuring himself, Greg Hill and Joe Branch. Along with touring, the trio (Wil Hart, Greg Hill & Joe Branch) recorded a single with Rick Ross entitled "Here For U". In 2007, William "Poogie" Hart recorded a CD with Russell Thompkins, Jr., original lead singer of The Stylistics and Ted Mills of Blue Magic entitled The Three Tenors of Soul. Major Harris died on November 9, 2012. William "Poogie" Hart and The Delfonics are featured actors and performers in Harlem's Paradise in episode nine, entitled "DWYCK", of the Netflix original series Luke Cage, which premiered on Netflix on September 30, 2016. In 2020, William "Poogie" Hart & The Delfonics; Wilbert Hart, formerly of The Delfonics; and Greg Hill's "Delfonics Live" are all actively touring in the United States and abroad. These three groups are the only Delfonics units recognized by promoters and booking agents worldwide.

Trying To Make A Fool Of Me gathers the group's classic recordings, including the first five albums, the unissued final effort of the 70s, a small folder of non-album sides and (though a little out of place) I've included the instrumental version of the 2013 collaboration album between William Hart and Adrian Younge because I really dig it. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 8 June 2020

GGG Presents Darling Dear Vol. 06

It's been a stretch but here is the latest installment to the Darling Dear series ... Volume 6(0's)!

01. The Cupids [NY] - 1963 - Brenda (Aanko 1002)
02. Johnny & The Jokers - 1962 - I Know (Beltone 2028)
03. The Blossoms - 1962 - I'm In Love (OKeh 7162)
04. The Sharmettes - 1962 - I Want To Be Loved (Only By You) (King 5686)
05. The 5 Sounds - 1960 - That's When I Fall In Love (Baritone 0941)
06. The Five Satins - 1961 - Tell Me Dear (Ember 1070)
07. The Jive Five - 1961 - Never, Never (Beltone 1014)
08. The Vibrations - 1960 - Feel So Bad (Checker 961)
09. The Jesters - 1960 - The Wind (Winley 242)
10. The Impressions - 1961 - I Need Your Love (Swirl 107)
11. Dave Ford & Hollywood Flames - 1962 - Believe In Me (Coronet 7025)
12. Roxy & The Daychords - 1962 - I'm So In Love (Don-El 116)
13. Bobby James - 1962 - 5000 Tears Ago (Indigo 145)
14. The Orlons - 1962 - Holiday Hill (Cameo 218)
15. The Fasinations - 1963 - Tears In My Eyes (ABC-Paramount 10443)
16. The Blendtones - 1963 - Lovers (Success 101)
17. The Fabulous Pearl Devines - 1963 - So Lonely (Alco 1016631)
18. The Wil-Sones - 1961 - Let Me Help You (Highland 1020)
19. The Catalinas - 1960 - Ring Of Stars (Rita 1006)
20. Beverly Ann Gibson - 1960 - No Other But You (King 5315)
21. Shirley & Lee - 1960 - I've Been Loved Before (Warwick 535)
22. Lena Calhoun & The Emotions - 1961 - I Ran To You (Flip 357)
23. Bunny Sigler - 1961 - I Won't Cry (Craig 501)
24. Sam Cooke - 1962 - Nothing Can Change This Love [alt] (Unissued RCA Victor)
25. The Classics [NY] - 1963 - Till Then (Musicnote MX 1116)