Sunday, 18 July 2021

How Could You Forget Our Love

Got some great deep soul in store for you all in the coming weeks. And I finally got around to putting the REDUX on the heavily requested Irma Thomas collection. Find it in the side-bar.

So obscure and unrecognized that their records are cheap, if you can find them. Despite most soul aficionados and collectors completely sleeping on The Swordsmen, this duo actually doled out some righteous deep and northern numbers. They never had adequate promotion and as result, their career was terribly brief. A bountiful booty long buried in the yesteryears of Ohio!

"Ya'll mothaf&@%ers need swashbuckling!"
Now that I have your attention ... this collection comes in near completion from our patron saint of deep soul, the mighty Sir Shambling and echoes his somewhat recent musings on the outfit. Click Here to go straight to the source for an inside scoop of The Swordsmen and a preview of the treasures buried below.

How Could You Forget Our Love is the whole enchilada; both albums and all the 45 sides / versions in one tight package. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks of course to our generous benefactor, Sir Shambling. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Glad To Do It

Sometimes being the best just ain't good enough. It can be debated but I feel this is factual summary of Clarence L. Lewis Jr's career. More commonly known as Junior Lewis/Little Junior Lewis in the early 60s, and C.L. Blast since the later 60s, Lewis was an extremely powerful and impassioned vocalist with a wide range of offerings. 
By all accounts he exceeded the expectations of and impressed every professional musician / producer he worked with. And looking back on his recorded output; nearly every single he released was truly hit worthy in its own right, yet sadly, chart success never once came for Lewis.

Born and later, laid to rest in Birmingham, Alabama. However, Lewis blazed a many trails up and down the eastern seaboard, with most of his career contributions out of NYC. Recording his debut in New York circa 1954, released via Bobby Robinson's Red Robin Records in 1955. In 1957 he was drafted into the Army, where he entertained troops for two years, touring military bases. Upon his return, Lewis re-kindled his relationship with Robinson as the two collaborated on several songwriting endeavours and Lewis recorded further material for the Fury label. Between 1961 and 1962 Lewis recorded quite prolifically for Arock Records (also in New York) though his only releases were leased to other outfits -- a few issued via Columbia Records and one via ATCO Records -- then a pair of singles surfaced on Scepter Records in 1963/64. Things slow down significantly at this point. An obscure release for Pearl Wood's imprint in 1966 and a final release as Junior Lewis in 1967 for MGM marks the end of an era for the singer. That same year though, he re-invented himself as C. L. Blast on the Stax imprint with a more befitting southern soul/blues style. Through to 1973 Lewis continued to drop one-off singles in a similar vein, each on different indie labels in New York and up and down the east coast. All of which were hit worthy, however that was not in the cards for Lewis. After a short recording hiatus, Lewis returned in 1976/77 with a pair of funky disco(ish) soul singles on Juana Records. Further recordings from this period resulted in Lewis' first full-length album, "I Wanna Get Down", released in 1980 via Cotillion Records. While barely registering in the US, the album was wildly successful in South Africa which led to an extended touring stay for Lewis. There he recorded the now extremely rare, aptly titled "Made In Africa" album. Back on US soil in 1984, Lewis' final album, "C.L. Blast" was released via Park Place Records. For a more in depth and impassioned look at Lewis' career please visit the patron saint of deep soul, Sir Shambling's site as he ranks Lewis/Blast among his all-time fav's!

Glad To Do It gathers the whole kit and caboodle folks ... the complete 45 collection, the unissued material, both albums released stateside and the fabled, highly sought-after South African album exclusive. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and especially Sir Shambling for the very special contribution. Enjoy.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 41

... and the slow train to Deepsville keeps on rolling down the line. You gettin' on board?

01. Leon Haywood - 1964 - You All For Yourself (Galaxy LP 8206) [stereo]
02. Little Eddie Taylor - 1963 - Just The Way You Are (Tropical 101)
03. Walter B & The Untouchables - 1966 - She Was Wrong (Apollo AM-009)
04. Ted Taylor - 1965 - Try Me Again (Atco 6388)
05. Jessie James - 1965 - Someone To Love Me (Shirley 119)
06. Betty Harris - 1964 - Now Is The Hour (Jubilee 5480) [stereo]
07. Sam E. Solo - 1966 - Tears Keep Falling (Ruby 5075)
08. Joe Haywood - 1966 - Let's Walk Together (Rampage 1001)
09. Albert Washington & The Kings - 1967 - You Got To Pay Your Dues (Fraternity 998)
10. Lloyd Hendricks - 1968 - Your Cold Heart (Burns Me Up) (Mala 12,007)
11. The Soul Clan - 1968 - That's How It Feels (Atlantic 2530)
12. Eddie Campbell - 1967 - Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do (Artco 103)
13. Nancy Butts - 1969 - Please Please Tell Me Baby (Flaming Arrow 39)
14. William Bollinger - 196? - Teardrops (Unissued Sounds Of Memphis)
15. Floyd Smith - 1969 - Getting Nowhere Fast (Dakar 604) [stereo]
16. Wilmer & The Dukes - 1969 - St. James Infirmary (Aphrodisiac LP APH-6001) [stereo]
17. Hank Ballard - 1968 - Teardrops On Your Letter (King LP KSD 1052) [stereo]
18. Don Bryant - 1968 - I'll Go Crazy (Hi 2143)
19. Lou Johnson - 1965 - Please Stop The Wedding (Big Hill 554)
20. Thelma Jones - 1967 - Never Leave Me (Barry 1010)
21. Oscar Toney Jr. - 1967 - Unlucky Guy (Bell 688) [stereo]
22. The Kelly Brothers - 1966 - Falling In Love Again (Sims 265)
23. Harvey Scales & The Seven Sounds - 196? - Just Ain't Right (Unissued Cuca) [stereo]
24. The Paramount Four - 19?? - You Must Leave Her Because You Love Her (Unissued)
25. Dino & Doc - 1968 - Mighty Cold Winter (Volt 4006)

Friday, 2 July 2021

Love Will Rain On You

One of the paramount groups in Gamble & Huff's Philly-soul empire wasn't from Philadelphia at all. Not even close actually, Archie Bell & The Drells hailed from Texas yet they were instrumental in establishing the now world-renowned sound out of the TSOP/P.I.R. powerhouse. 

Archie Bell was born September 1, 1944 in Henderson, Texas, though his family moved to Houston before he was a year old. Son of Langston and Ruthie Bell, he is the second oldest of seven brothers, including Ricky Bell, USC and NFL football player and Jerry Bell, former world Karate champion and singer. He also is related to producer Thom Bell. Archie formed the group in 1966 with his friends James Wise, Willie Parnell and Billy Butler. They signed with the Houston-based record label Ovide in 1967 and recorded a number of songs including "She's My Woman" and "Tighten Up", which was recorded in October 1967 at the first of several sessions in which The Drells were backed by the instrumental group the T.S.U. Toronadoes. The origins of "Tighten Up" came from a conversation Bell had with Butler. Bell was despondent after receiving his draft notice, and Butler, in an attempt to cheer him up, demonstrated the "Tighten Up" dance to Bell. Bell asked Butler what it was, and Butler told him the name. Bell then put together the famous track, which hit the charts following his induction into the Army. Bell's promoter, Skipper Lee Frazier, unsuccessfully began pushing the flip side of "Tighten Up", a song called "Dog Eat Dog". But at the recommendation of a friend, he gave the other side a try. "Tighten Up", written by Archie Bell and Billy Butler, contained Archie Bell prodding listeners to dance to the funky musical jam developed by The T.S.U. Toronadoes. It became a hit in Houston before it was picked up by Atlantic Records for distribution in April 1968. By the summer it topped both the Billboard R&B and pop charts. It also received a R.I.A.A. gold disc by selling 1 million copies. According to the Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson, Bell heard a comment after the Kennedy assassination in Dallas that "nothing good ever came out of Texas." Bell wanted his listeners to know "we were from Texas and we were good." Many believe Bell was wounded in action in Vietnam while the band was still at the height of its fame, but he actually injured his leg in a truck accident while stationed in Germany. The success of the single prompted the band to rush out an album, despite their incapacitated leader. In 1969 the group recorded their first full album with famed Philly-based production pair, Gamble & Huff, I Can't Stop Dancing, which reached #28 on the R&B album chart. By this time another of Archie's brothers, Lee Bell (born January 14, 1946, Houston), had replaced Butler, and became the band's choreographer. The Drells were a popular act throughout the US in the early 70s and via Gamble & Huff's TSOP/P.I.R. powerhouse, cashed in on that popularity with a mitt-full of albums between 1975 and 1979. Starting with their "total-disco comeback album," Dance Your Troubles Away and ending with their somewhat pensive and more sophisticated endeavor, Strategy. The band backing Archie Bell & The Drells during this later period was called "The Melting Pot Band", which featured musicians from several states. McNasty McKnight was the band leader playing trombone. Graduates of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston traveled with the group, including Don Pope and Tony Salvaggio on saxophone. Other musicians included Lonnie LaLanne and Calvin Owens (trumpet), Abel Salazar (keyboards), and Mike Hughes (drums). LaLanne and Owens were alumni of B.B. King's band. The single "Soul City Walk" made # 13 in the UK Singles Chart, but reached only # 42 on the US chart. After moderate chart showings in the late 70s, the group split in 1980. Archie Bell later released one solo album (I Never Had It So Good) in 1981, on Beckett Records and continued to perform with The Drells on and off for the next twenty years.

Love Will Rain On You gathers the complete Archie Bell (& The Drells) ... the 3 albums backed by The T.S.U. Toronadoes, the 4 albums backed by The Melting Pot Band, plus Bell's lone solo album and a complete singles / rarities collection. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

GGG Presents O-O-O-O-Oh Yeah!!! Vol. 22

Rolling on with the REDUX's ... Sugar Pie DeSanto has just been added to the stack. And though only a re-up, I replaced The Dells collection with a whopping 11 zippy links. Also, if you've been patiently awaiting further installments of Metamorphic Malfunktions, you'll have to wait a little longer. However, the compilation below may serve to ease your longing.

Today we have a very special "funky four corners" edition of the O-O-O-O-Oh Yeah! series, featuring a bakers dozen of (mostly) quite rare double-sided funk gems. Heavy and up-tempo for the most part with a fairly even distribution of vocal and instrumental tracks. Hope ya's dig!

01. Road Runners - 1969 - Every Man For Himself (Custom Sound SC 1023_a) [mono]
02. Road Runners - 1969 - No Names Will Be Called (Custom Sound SC 1023_b) [mono]
03. The Illusions - 1968 - Shake Your Mini (Showtime 1818_a) [mono]
04. The Illusions - 1968 - The Funkey Donkey (Showtime 1818_b) [mono]
05. Soul East - 1969 - Funky Lady [Part 1] (DeLuxe 108_a) [mono]
06. Soul East - 1969 - Funky Lady [Part 2] (DeLuxe 108_b) [mono]
07. Human Race - 197? - Human Race (Gem 101_a)
08. Human Race - 197? - Grey Boy (Gem 101_b)
09. Weston Prim & Blacklash - 197? - Spider Web (Memphis Express 4014_a)
10. Weston Prim & Blacklash - 197? - Simmerin' (Memphis Express 4014_b)
11. Alias Funk & Soul - 1973 - Well Good (AOE 017_a)
12. Alias Funk & Soul - 1973 - Bells (AOE 017_b)
13. 5 Miles Out - 1973 - Super Sweet Girl Of Mine (Action UK 4614_a)
14. 5 Miles Out - 1973 - Set Your Mind Free (Action UK 4614_b)
15. Duralcha - 1974 - Jody Is Gone (Microtronics Sound M-1001_a) [mono]
16. Duralcha - 1974 - Ghetto Funk (Microtronics Sound M-1001_b) [mono]
17. World Wonders - 197? - Funky Washing Machine (Alarm 21644_a) [mono]
18. World Wonders - 197? - Flip A Coin (Alarm 21644_b) [mono]
19. Pam Kellum - 1972 - What You See You Can't Get (A & B 7171_a)
20. Pam Kellum - 1972 - (It's Gonna Be A) Long Hot Summer (A & B 7171_b)
21. Untouchable Machine Shop - 1973 - Machine Shop [Part 1] (Wavelength 3890_a)
22. Untouchable Machine Shop - 1973 - Machine Shop [Part 2] (Wavelength 3890_b)
23. Apollis - 1976 - What It Is [Part 1] (Soul Set 102_a)
24. Apollis - 1976 - What It Is [Part 2] (Soul Set 102_b)
25. The Hidden Cost - 1973 - Bo Did It (Marmaduke 4001_a)
26. The Hidden Cost - 1973 - Vibrations (Marmaduke 4001_b)

Thursday, 17 June 2021

I Found A New Love

Here's another soul sister for you all, and take note of the new Harvey Scales REDUX posting.

Despite having a delightful voice and relatively decent production, it's a little sad and somewhat surprising that Tina Britt's career was so terribly brief. Her earliest recordings radiate confidence but are rather standard northern soul fare, while her Veep/Minit recordings are significantly more interesting. The arrangements are still in a NYC northern style, yet the majority of selections are signature southern soul burners. Not entirely unlike the Jerry Wexler formula that favored so well for many of Atlantic Records artists' throughout the late 60s.

Born Marion Brittingham July 5, 1938 in Smyrna, Delaware. She had a peripatetic childhood travelling with her father, and started singing as a teenager at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford, Florida. Whilst working in New York in 1965 she was introduced to Henry 'Juggy' Murray who offered her the chance to record secular rhythm and blues for the Eastern record label, a subsidiary of the Sue label. Her first single, a version of "The Real Thing" written by Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Jo Armstead, but originally credited to their publisher Ed Silvers, reached #20 on the R&B chart. The session that produced "The Real Thing" also gave up the follow-up single "You're Absolutely Right", another Ashford-Simpson-Armstead song and "Look", a side penned by Sidney Barnes and J.J.Jackson. Competition came from a version by the Apollas on the Loma label and sales were split, resulting in a chart miss for both. It would be three years before her next releases for the Veep label, a subsidiary of United Artists Records, in 1968. They released two singles, "Who Was That", which reached #39 on the R&B chart, and a revival of Don Covay's "Sookie, Sookie". Both records were produced by Juggy Murray. Veep Records ceased production in 1969 resulting in Britt being transferred to Minit Records, a subsidiary of the newly acquired Liberty Records. Already in the bag, they released Blue All The Way -- Britt's only long player, also recorded and produced by Murray. Her only single for Minit, a cover of Otis Redding's "Hawg For You", failed to chart. Aside from occasional session work as a background vocalist, notably for Wilbert Harrison's album Let's Work Together, her recording career had ended by 1970, and Britt left the recording industry soon afterwards. Her later life centred around raising her children. In autumn 2009, when interviewed by In The Basement magazine, she was living in Philadelphia. In 2012, she released a new download single, "Play It Back".

I Found A New Love boasts Britt's complete recordings ... both 45s for Eastern, both 45s for Veep, the 45 and LP for Minit, plus a few rare and unissued cuts. All files are chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

GGG Presents Glucose For Comfort Vol. 05

In case you had not noticed, last week I added Roscoe Shelton to the REDUX'd list and today comes the talented Ted Taylor. Both are serious upgrades in terms of sound quality, (head) phonies enjoy. Co-incidentally, the original postings of these artists was also posted back to back in same order, over three years ago now. And speaking of 'order' ... in blogger's infinite sense of wisdom, they've re-formatted so that users (in this case me) can list their lists (in this case REDUX) in a a wide variety of ways. Nearly every way possible, except of course 'newest to oldest' ... the way it was, the way I liked it. Thanks for yet another stupid alteration blogger. Readers, the long and short of it is, moving forward the newest REDUX entries will be at the bottom of the list, ok. 

Now, enough blah blah blah ... here's some sweet soul music for the weekend.

01. The Determinations - 1970 - Girl, Girl, Girl (King 6297)
02. Lee Williams & The Cymbals - 1968 - I Need You Baby (Carnival 538)
03. Jerry Butler - 1968 - Can't Forget About You, Baby (Mercury LP SR-61198)
04. The Spinners - 196? - That's What Girls Are Made For (Unissued Motown)
05. The Commands - 1966 - Don't Be Afraid To Love Me (Dynamic 111)
06. The Dontells - 1965 - I'm Gonna Tell The World (Vee-Jay 697)
07. Little Joe & The Latinaires - 1968 - I'm Your Puppet (Tomi LP TLP-1002)
08. Maxine Brown - 196? - Love That Man (Unissued Wand)
09. The Sharpees - 196? - Darkness Of The Night (Unissued One-Derful)
10. The Fascinations - 1967 - Such A Fool (Mayfield 7718)
11. Brothers Of Soul - 1969 - The Love I Found In You (Boo 1005)
12. Brenda & The Tabulations - 1970 - And My Heart Sang (Top & Bottom LPS TB-100)
13. Sam Nesbit - 1970 - Chase Those Clouds Away (Amos AJB-154)
14. Phoenix Express - 197? - You Make My Life A Sunny Day (Unissued)
15. The 8th Day - 1971 - I've Come To Save You (Invictus LP ST-7306)
16. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - 1971 - That Girl (Tamla 54205)
17. Billy Jones & The Stars - 1970 - Save All My Lovin' (Catfish LP 5C-054.24.306)
18. The Temprees - 1972 - Love... Can Be So Wonderful (We Produce LP XPS-1901)
19. The Montclairs - 1972 - Do I Stand A Chance (Paula LPS-2216)
20. Mayberry Movement - 1974 - It's So Good To Know (Event 214)

Monday, 7 June 2021

The World Is Round

I've always considered the 'dance craze' era to be the lowest common denominator of soul music ... do the this, do the that, do the blah blah blah, not for me folks. And well, the way he did the "Dog" to the death, always deterred me from really exploring the depths of Rufus Thomas. However, I have to say I'm quite happy to have gotten over that hump. First off, unlike the breadth of R&B outfits looking to bolster their songs with latest dance fads -- Thomas was a dancer first and foremost -- he was looking rather for the next best song to bolster the dance in his heart. Secondly, Thomas was in fact, an immensely talented and innovative artist musically speaking. Also he was a born entertainer, well known and appreciated for his comedic nature and kindness.

Thomas was born in the rural community of Cayce, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper. He moved with his family to Memphis, Tennessee, around 1920. His mother was a "church woman". Thomas made his debut as a performer at the age of six, playing a frog in a school theatrical production. By the age of 10, he was a tap dancer, performing on the streets and in amateur productions at Booker T. Washington High School, in Memphis. From the age of 13, he worked with Nat D. Williams, his high-school history teacher, who was also a pioneer black DJ at radio station WDIA and columnist for black newspapers, as a master of ceremonies at talent shows in the Palace Theater on Beale Street. After graduating from high school, Thomas attended Tennessee A&I University for one semester, but economic constraints led him to leave to pursue a career as a full-time entertainer. Thomas began performing in traveling tent shows and in 1936 he joined the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, an all-black revue that toured the South, as a tap dancer and comedian, sometimes part of a duo, Rufus and Johnny. He married Cornelia Lorene Wilson in 1940, at a service officiated by Rev. C. L. Franklin (the father of Aretha Franklin), and the couple settled in Memphis. Thomas worked a day job in the American Finishing Company textile bleaching plant, which he continued to do for over 20 years. He also formed a comedy and dancing duo, Rufus and Bones, with Robert "Bones" Couch, and they took over as MCs at the Palace Theater, often presenting amateur hour shows. One early winner was B.B. King, and others discovered by Thomas later in the 1940s included Bobby Bland and Johnny Ace. In the early 1940s, Thomas began writing and performing his own songs. He regarded Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Gatemouth Moore as musical influences. He made his professional singing debut at the Elks Club on Beale Street, filling in for another singer at the last minute, and during the 1940s became a regular performer in Memphis nightclubs, such as Currie's Club Tropicana. As an established performer in Memphis, aged 33 in 1950, Thomas recorded his first 78 rpm single, for Jesse Erickson's small Star Talent label in Dallas, Texas. Thomas said, "I just wanted to make a record. I never thought of getting rich. I just wanted to be known, be a recording artist. . . . [But] the record sold five copies and I bought four of them." The record, "I'll Be a Good Boy" backed with "I'm So Worried", gained a Billboard review, which stated that "Thomas shows first class style on a slow blues". He also recorded for the Bullet label in Nashville, Tennessee, when he recorded with Bobby Plater's Orchestra and was credited as "Mr. Swing"; though the recordings were not recognised by researchers as being by Thomas until 1996. In 1951 he made his first recordings at Sam Phillips's Sun Studio, for the Chess label, but they were not commercially successful. He began working as a DJ at radio station WDIA in 1951, and hosted an afternoon R&B show called Hoot and Holler. WDIA, featuring an African-American format, was known as "the mother station of the Negroes" and became an important source of blues and R&B music for a generation, its audience consisting of white as well as black listeners. Thomas used to introduce his shows saying, "I'm young, I'm loose, I'm full of juice, I got the goose so what's the use. We're feeling gay though we ain't got a dollar, Rufus is here, so hoot and holler." He also used to lead tours of white teenagers on "midnight rambles" around Beale Street. Thomas claimed to be the first black DJ to play Elvis Presley records, which he did until the police made him stop due to segregation. He performed on stage with Elvis to an all-black audience, and although the police tried to shut it down, the audience stormed through to get to him. After that, the police allowed Elvis songs on black radio stations. His celebrity in the South was such that in 1953, at Sam Phillips's suggestion, he recorded "Bear Cat" for Sun Records, an "answer record" to Big Mama Thornton's R&B hit "Hound Dog". The record became the label's first national chart hit, reaching number 3 on the Billboard R&B chart. However, a copyright-infringement suit brought by Don Robey, the original publisher of "Hound Dog", nearly bankrupted the record label. After only one recording there, Thomas was one of the African-American artists released by Phillips, as he oriented his label more toward white audiences and signed Elvis Presley, who later recorded Thomas's song "Tiger Man". Thomas did not record again until 1956, when he made a single, "I'm Steady Holdin' On", for the Bihari brothers' Meteor label; musicians on the record included Lewie Steinberg, later a founding member of Booker T & The MGs.

In 1960 he made his first recordings with his 17-year-old daughter Carla, for the Satellite label in Memphis, which changed its name to Stax the following year. The song, "Cause I Love You", featuring a rhythm borrowed from Jesse Hill's "Ooh Poo Pa Doo", was a regional hit; the musicians included Thomas' son Marvell on keyboards, Steinberg, and the 16-year-old Booker T. Jones. The record's success led to Stax gaining production and distribution deal with the much larger Atlantic Records. Rufus Thomas continued to record for the label after Carla's record "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)" reached the national R&B chart in 1961. He had his own hit with "The Dog", a song he had originally improvised in performance based on a Willie Mitchell bass line, complete with imitations of a barking dog. The 1963 follow-up, "Walking the Dog", engineered by Tom Dowd of Atlantic, became one of his most successful records, reaching #10 on the Billboard pop chart. He became the first, and still the only, father to debut in the Top 10 after his daughter had first appeared there. The song was recorded in early 1964 by the Rolling Stones on their debut album, and was a minor UK chart hit for Merseybeat group the Dennisons later that year. As well as recording and appearing on radio and in clubs, Thomas continued to work as a boiler operator in the textile plant, where he claimed the noises sometimes suggested musical rhythms and lyrics to him, before he finally gave up the job in 1963, to focus on his role as a singer and entertainer. He recorded a series of novelty dance tracks, including "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog'" and '"Somebody Stole My Dog" for Stax, where he was often backed by Booker T. & the MGs or the Bar-Kays. He also became a mentor to younger Stax stars, giving advice on stage moves to performers like Otis Redding, who partnered daughter Carla on record. After "Jump Back" in 1964, the hits dried up for several years, as Stax gave more attention to younger artists and musicians. However, in 1970 he had another big hit with "Do the Funky Chicken", which reached #5 on the R&B chart, #28 on the pop chart, and #18 in Britain where it was his only chart hit. Thomas improvised the song while performing with Willie Mitchell's band at a club in Covington, Tennessee, including a spoken word section that he regularly used as a shtick as a radio DJ: "Oh I feel so unnecessary - this is the kind of stuff that makes you feel like you wanna do something nasty, like waste some chicken gravy on your white shirt right down front." The recording was produced by Al Bell and Tom Nixon, and used the Bar-Kays, featuring guitarist Michael Toles. Thomas continued to work with Bell and Nixon as producers, and later in 1970 had his only number 1 R&B hit [and his second-highest pop charting record] with another dance song, "Do the Push and Pull". A further dance-oriented release in 1971, "The Breakdown", climbed to number 2 R&B and number 31 Pop. In 1972, he featured in the Wattstax concert, and he had several further, less successful, hits before Stax collapsed in 1975. He worked as a DJ at WDIA until 1974, and worked for a period at WLOK before returning to WDIA later in the mid 80s to co-host a blues show. Thomas continued to record and toured internationally, billing himself as "The World's Oldest Teenager" and describing himself as "the funkiest man alive". He "drew upon his vaudeville background to put [his songs] over on stage with fancy footwork that displayed remarkable agility for a man well into his fifties", and usually performed "while clothed in a wardrobe of hot pants, boots and capes, all in wild colors." In the late 70s and early 80s he appeared regularly on television and recorded albums for various labels. Thomas released a pair of half decent yet unsuccessful disco-funk albums via Ed Cobb and Ray Harris' AVI Records circa 1977/78. And an album entirely comprised of re-recorded former glories surfaced on the re-vamped Gusto Records Inc, in 1980. Thomas performed regularly at the Porretta Soul Festival in Italy; the outdoor amphitheater in which he performed was later renamed Rufus Thomas Park. He played an important part in the Stax reunion of 1988, and appeared in Jim Jarmusch's 1989 film Mystery Train, Robert Altman's 1999 film Cookie's Fortune, and D. A. Pennebaker’s documentary Only the Strong Survive. Thomas released an album of straight-ahead blues, That Woman is Poison!, with Alligator Records in 1990, featuring saxophonist Noble "Thin Man" Watts. He received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1992, and a lifetime achievement award from ASCAP in 1997. In 1996, he and William Bell headlined at the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, he released an album, Rufus Live!, on Ecko Records. That same year,  to commemorate his 80th birthday, the City of Memphis renamed a road off Beale Street, close to the old Palace Theater, as Rufus Thomas Boulevard. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Rufus Thomas Jr. died of heart failure in 2001, at the age of 84, at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis. He is buried next to his wife Lorene, who passed the year prior, at the New Park Cemetery in Memphis.

The World Is Round collects the complete Rufus Thomas recordings of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Kicking off with the Bear Family compilation featuring Thomas's complete issued and unissued (pre-Stax) recordings, then his handful of Stax albums, plus the 20 track Kent compilation of unissued Stax material (all remastered), both albums released on AVI Records and even the lack-lustre album for Gusto Records. Augmented by a complete singles and rarities collection (reflecting the same period) chock-full of additional unissued material, live cuts and capped with a little interview/bio/soundclip with the man himself. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and Sir Shambling for a few specific contributions. Enjoy.

Monday, 31 May 2021

GGG Presents Darling Dear Vol. 10

Lord, won't you forgive me when I say, "this one's tighter than a nun's hoohah!"

01. Ohio Untouchables - 1962 - Forgive Me Darling (Lu Pine 110)
02. Ann Fleming & Group - 1961 - Beside You (Cookin 605)
03. The Miracles - 1961 - The Only One I Love (Tamla 54036)
04. Hollywood Flames - 1959 - Romance In The Dark (Ebb 163)
05. The Fabulous Terrifics - 195? - Keeper Of Your Heart (Unissued)
06. The Jesters - 1958 - Please Let Me Love You (Winley 221)
07. The Velours - 1958 - Remember (Onyx 520) (Orbit K9001)
08. The Dreamers - 1957 - Do Not Forget (Flip 319)
09. Pauline Rogers - 1957 - I've Been Pretending (Everything's All Right) (Flair X 5001)
10. Richard Berry - 1956 - Please Tell Me (Crown LP CST-371)
11. Donald Woods & The Vel-Aires - 1956 - Heaven In My Arms (Flip 312)
12. Shirley & Lee - 1954 - Confessin' (Aladdin 3244)
13. Billy Dawn Quartet - 1955 - Proud Of You (Vintage 1010)
14. The Mellows w. Lillian Leach - 195? - My Darling (Celeste 3002)
15. The Re-Vels - 1956 - So In Love (Teen 122)
16. The Revalons - 1958 - Dreams Are For Fools (Pet 802)
17. The Five Chances - 1957 - Tell Me Why (Federal 12303)
18. Bob & Earl - 1957 - That's My Desire (Class 213)
19. The Chantels - 1959 - I Can't Take It (End 1037)
20. Beverly Ann Gibson - 1959 - Call On Me (King 5244)
21. Frankie & Johnny - 1960 - My First Love (Sabrina 331)
22. Vicki Burgess & The Solerettes - 196? - I Call To You (Unissued Old Town)
23. Little Milton - 1961 - Saving My Love For You (Checker 977)
24. Jessie Hill - 1961 - My Love (Minit 628)
25. Bobby Smith & The Spinners - 1962 - She Don't Love Me (Tri-Phi 1018)

Monday, 24 May 2021

Stand In For Love

Here's everyone's favorite minor hit makers for Gamble & Huff's P.I.R. Records, The O'Jays
Not quite comprehensive enough to call this one a masterclass collection but the bulk of the best and much more is here ~ and they've certainly earned any / all credits due. With a career spanning 60 years, I don't think we need much more of an introduction here.

Originally known as The Triumphs, and then The Mascots, the group was formed in Canton, Ohio in 1958, while its members were attending Canton McKinley High School.  "In those days, the school hallways and the men's room walls were marble," recalls Williams, who first met Levert when he was 6 and Levert was 7. "Those walls gave off a kind of echo and our harmonies sounded real good. We used to flirt with the girls and sing instead of study. That's where it all started." Then known as The Triumphs, the quintet sang on local radio and also in the church choir where Williams' father was the choir director. The son of a local Greek grocer heard the guys harmonizing one day as they were passing by the store and later arranged for the group to go to Cincinnati where King Records' Sid Nathan gave the high school juniors contracts and renamed them The Mascots. They were invited to do a sock hop in Cleveland where they met DJ Eddie O'Jay and became fast friends. He later took the group to Detroit. It was during this period that the group, referred to now as "O'Jay's boys," was rechristened The O'Jays. Their first single "Can't Take It" bw "Miracles", produced by Daco Records, didn't make a lot of waves. Their follow-up "How Does It Feel" bw "Crack Up Laughing" however, did well locally -- landing the lads a deal with the re-vamped Imperial Records. Recently sold to Liberty Records, the management team shifted more focus towards soul music, making The O'Jays a very welcomed addition to the label. In 1963, The O'Jays released "Lonely Drifter," their first national chart hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #93. Their debut album, released thereafter was Comin' Through. Throughout the 1960s, they continued to chart with minor hits such as "Stand In For Love," "Stand Tall," "Let It All Out," "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow," "Look Over Your Shoulder," "Deeper In Love With You," and "One Night Affair." However, while they issued dozens of singles throughout the decade, they never hit the US top 40 (although "Lipstick Traces" made it to #19 in Canada). On the R&B charts, The O'Jays were somewhat more prominent, but their only top 10 R&B single prior to 1972 was 1968's "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow". In spite of their success as a touring group and on the R&B charts, the group had been considering quitting the music industry in 1972. Around that time, original members Bill Isles and Bobby Massey departed, leaving the group a trio. The remaining three original members, Eddie Levert, William Powell, and Walter Williams, soldiered on and Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters with whom The O'Jays had been working for several years, signed them to their Philadelphia International label. Suddenly, The O'Jays' fortunes changed, and they finally scored with their first million-seller, "Back Stabbers, from the album of the same name. This album produced several more hit singles including "992 Arguments," "Sunshine," "Time To Get Down", and the #1 pop smash, "Love Train". During the remainder of the 1970s, the O'Jays continued releasing hit singles, including "Put Your Hands Together" (Pop #10), "For the Love of Money" (Pop #9), "Give the People What They Want," "Let Me Make Love To You," "I Love Music" (Pop #5), "Livin' for the Weekend," "Message in Our Music," and "Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet Tender Love)." Original member William Powell died of cancer in 1977 at age 35. After adding Sammy Strain (born December 9, 1939) (of Little Anthony and the Imperials), the O'Jays continued recording, though with limited success. In 1978, the group released "Use ta Be My Girl," which was their final Top-Five hit, though they continued placing songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1980s. The O'Jays' success was not confined to the United States, as they also logged up nine hit singles in the United Kingdom between 1972 and 1983, including four tracks that reached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart. Their 1987 album, Let Me Touch You, was a breakthrough of sorts, and included the #1 R&B hit "Lovin' You." Though they continued charting on the R&B charts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the O'Jays never again achieved pop success. In 1992, Sammy Strain left the group and returned to the Imperials. Strain's departure was filled by Nathaniel Best (born December 13, 1960), who was later replaced by Eric Grant. Later in the 1990s, the group did little recording, though they remained a popular live draw. Their latest album was Imagination that was released in 2004. In 2005, the O'Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Original members Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Bobby Massey and, posthumously, William Powell, were inducted. In a note of controversy, Sammy Strain was also inducted with the group, while original member Bill Isles was not. (Strain is one of the few artists in popular music history who is a double RRHOF inductee: with The O'Jays in 2005, and Little Anthony and the Imperials in 2009). In 2006, the O'Jays performed at the ESPY awards, hosted by Lance Armstrong. On June 28, 2009, at the 2009 BET Award Show in the Shrine Auditorium the O'Jays were honored with BET's 2009 Life Time Achievement Award. Tevin Campbell, Trey Songz, Tyrese Gibson, and Johnny Gill performed a medley of the group's songs, followed by the presentation of the award by Don Cornelius. The group reminisced, joked with the audience, and accepted their award before performing renditions of their hit songs. In Cleveland, Ohio, on August 17, 2013, The O'Jays were inducted into The National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. The O'Jays are also two-time Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees for their songs "Love Train" (inducted 2006) and "For the Love of Money" (inducted 2016) ... The Last Word, The O’Jays’ first studio album in 15 years and what the band has announced will be their FINAL album, emotes the same hunger and vocal craftsmanship as the 2005 Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s greatest 70s and 80s works. The 9-track S-Curve/BMG released April 2019, finds the Grammy-nominated act still in fine form. 

Stand In For Love like most collections shared here, is focused on the groups earlier output. Spanning 1960 to 1982, and featuring all 16 full length albums (beautifully remastered), a compilation of unreleased 70s and 80s recordings, plus a limited singles / rarities collection compiling all their early sides and obscurities, only up until 1969. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.