Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Ain't Doin' Too Bad

Bobby 'Blue' Bland is the embodiment of soul blues, perhaps even it's first (and finest) architect.

Born Robert Calvin Brooks in the small town of Barretville, Tennessee and abandoned by his father shortly after. Robert dropped out of school in third grade to work in the cotton fields and never graduated from school. With his mother, he moved to Memphis in 1947 where he started singing with local gospel groups as Bobby Bland. Between 1950 and 1952, Bland recorded commercially unsuccessful singles for Modern Records and Sun Records then signed a contract with Duke Records. Bland's recordings from this era show him striving for individuality, but his progress was halted for a couple years while he served in the US Army. When Bland returned to Memphis in 1954, several of his former associates were enjoying considerable success. He returned to Duke Records and released his first single with the label in 1955. The following year he began touring on the chitlin' circuit with Junior Parker in a revue called Blues Consolidated. Bland's first chart success came in 1957 with 'Farther Up the Road' which reached number 1 on the R&B chart and number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by a series of hits on the R&B chart including 'Little Boy Blue'. He also recorded an album with Junior Parker, 'Blues Consolidated' in 1958. Bland's craft is most clearly heard though on a series of early 60s releases, including 'Cry Cry Cry', 'I Pity the Fool' and 'Turn On Your Love Light', which became a much-covered standard by the Grateful Dead and other bands. His last record to reach #1 on the R&B chart was 'That's the Way Love Is' in 1963 but he continued to produce a consistent run of R&B chart entries through the mid 60s. Bland barely broke into the mainstream market though. His highest charting song on the pop chart was 'Ain't Nothing You Can Do', which peaked at #20 in 1964. Bland's albums mostly sold on the R&B market rather than achieving crossover success. He had 23 Top Ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts. Financial pressures forced Bland to cut his touring band and in 1968 the group broke up. Bland suffered from depression and became increasingly dependent on alcohol but eventually stopped drinking in 1971. His record company, Duke Records, was sold to the larger ABC Records group. This resulted in several successful and critically acclaimed contemporary soul blues albums including 'His California Album' and 'Dreamer'. The single 'This Time I'm Gone for Good' took Bland back into the pop Top 50 for the first time since 1964 and he of course made the R&B Top 10 in late 1973. The opening track from the 'Dreamer' LP, 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City' was a strong R&B hit. The follow up albums 'Reflections In Blue' and 'Come Fly With Me' were recorded in Los Angeles and featured many of the city's top session musicians at the time. This is where my collection comes to an end but it's worth noting that after a brief, belated and utterly awful attempt at disco soul blues, Bland returned to his roots and recorded fairly traditional blues through the early 80s and in 1985, Bland signed a contract with Malaco Records, for which he made a series of albums while continuing to tour and appearing at concerts with B.B. King. Despite occasional age-related ill health, Bland continued to record new albums for Malaco and perform occasional tours alone, performing at blues and soul festivals worldwide. Bland was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as "second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis's Beale Street blues scene".

Ain't Doin' Too Bad is a complete collection of Bobby Blue Bland's recordings between 1951 and 1978, represented by his 14 albums, 136 single sides, plus 11 unissued sides from the period. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. As always, thanks to original uploaders. Enjoy!

Monday, 28 May 2018

Guilty Of Loving You

Born Mildred Pullman and raised in Missouri by a church going, gospel singing family. Mildred grew up singing gospel and first sang solo in her church at the tender age of 6. In the late 60s Mildred was singing for rock group The Decisions and was encouraged by local radio station owner Larry Robinson to start a solo career in R&B music. Robinson in fact, won her a contract with Stax Records in 1971, and she took the stage name of Veda Brown.

Her first single 'Living A Life Without Love' was released by Stax in May 1972 and was followed by 'I Know It's Not Right (To Be In Love With A Married Man)', recorded like many of her singles at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In 1973 Veda's third single 'Short Stopping' (written by Mack Rice, Bobby Manuel and Bettye Crutcher, and produced by Henry Rush and John Wesley) became her most successful release, reaching #34 on the Billboard R&B chart. Her follow-up single 'Don't Start Lovin' Me (If You're Gonna Stop)' is described as "one of the heaviest pieces of soul put out by Stax in the 70s", also made the R&B chart, reaching #87 in early 1974. However, Stax Records fell into serious financial difficulties around this time and Veda's contract lapsed. Some of her recordings for Stax were issued by former staff member John Wesley Smith on the small Raken label in 1975 but these were poorly distributed and unsuccessful. In 1977 Larry Robinson paid for Veda's final Memphis session, producing the single 'Play Brother, Play Sister' / 'I Had A Fight With Love' on the Rav Records label. Once again though this single failed to make the charts. Veda called it a day and she returned to Missouri, married James Whitehorn, had a family and worked as a cosmetologist. Throughout the 80s and 90s she became well known as a gospel singer and choir leader, at one time leading a choir of over 100 which won a contest on BET. In the mid 90s she was chosen to participate as a master artist in Missouri's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

Guilty Of Loving You collects Veda Brown's complete body of work. The 8 sides released on Stax Records, the 8 sides buried in the Stax vault, the 4 sides issued by Raken Records and the final 45 on Rav Records. I'm not entirely sure how Veda Brown fell through the cracks because these 22 cuts are quality! All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A Long Time Ago

Earl Gaines' late 60s to early 70s work has got to be some of my most preferred deep soul / soul blues offerings out there. It wasn't easy amassing this collection but damn, was it ever worth it!

Born in Alabama and relocating to Tennessee as a teenager, Earl Gaines found work as a vocalist and occasional drummer in the local club circuit. His recording career started a couple years later upon meeting Louis Brooks. Brooks led instrumental R&B outfit, The Hi-Toppers who had a recording contract with Excello Records. Brooks enlisted Gaines to sing lead on 'It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)' in 1955 which peaked at #2 on the US R&B charts. Despite not being credited, Gaines still garnered the attention of the R&B community and became a member of the 1955 R&B Caravan of Stars with Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner, and Etta James. Gaines released a few singles with Excello before signing with Champion Records in 1958. Without any real success, Gaines moved on and released a single with Poncello Records then joined Bill Doggett's band as lead vocalist. Several years later, Gaines resurfaced and released the deep soul blues masterpiece 'Best Of Luck To You' in 1966. The title track reached the Top 40 US R&B charts. The following year Gaines signed with Hollywood Records and released a handful of singles with the label before venturing on to De Luxe Records in 1968. Several more singles and companion LP 'Lovin' Blues' were issued via De Luxe. Throughout the early 70s Gaines recorded material with Sound Stage 7 and King Records but most of that material didn't see the light of day until the late 90s. A final single was released by Ace Records in 1975 and soon after Gaines retired from the music business to become a truck driver. Gaines returned to music business in the early 90s and enjoyed minor success with collaborative rhythm and blues efforts up until his death in 2009.

A Long Time Ago collects both classic LPs, the Lost Soul Tapes issued by AIM Records in 2005, the complete singles collection from 1955 to 1975 and includes a handful of collaborative outings and unissued recordings. All files mp3 @ 320kbs. Much thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

Friday, 25 May 2018

GGG Presents Midnight Snacks Volume 01

Shifting gears this weekend with the introductory volume of Midnight Snacks. I am someone who literally can not function without music ~ I wake up with music, I drive with music, I work with music, I eat with music, I play with music and I even need music to fall asleep at nights. And that last one is what prompted this series. Often I find myself quite swept up in the vocal solos and arrangements, catchy chorus hooks and the hard, sharp horns that tend to come with my preferred funky soul cuts! Tough to catch some zzz's when you just wanna get up and hit the floor right!? This collection has proved to be great company for hitting the hay and also for archiving/researching/writing projects ... this isn't elevator music but it's certainly elevating. In typical 'Groovy Gumbo' fashion, Midnight Snacks collects a wide variety of funk infused instrumentals ranging from subtle souljazz arrangements to experimental soul to heavy p-funk floor fillers with a slough of great stuff in between. Playing a little faster and looser than usual with the content on this one as I've included tracks without confirmed release dates (please provide those details if you have them) and some more recent compositions. I'm not done with my regular GGG Volumes but thought I'd try something new this weekend. Feedback greatly appreciated

01. P-I-R Square - 1976 - Fantasy Pt. 1 & 2
02. Sound Stylistics - 2002 - Night Theme (256kbs)
03. Jr. Walker & The Allstars - 1965 - Cleo's Mood
04. Harold Johnson Sextet - 1967 - House On Elm Street (256kbs)
05. Timothy McNealy - 1968 - Sagittarius Black
06. Black Merda - 1970 - Windsong
07. Soulful Two - 1966 - Fi-Yi Dance
08. The Peppers - 196X - Bringing It Down
09. Monk Higgins - 1966 - What Fah
10. Reuben Wilson - 1972 - Inner City Blues
11. Floyd Morris - 1968 - A Mellow Mood
12. The Interns - 19XX - Soul Drippings
13. Third Point - 2000 - Welfare Line
14. The Backyard Heavies - 1971 - Soul Junction
15. Grant Green - 1970 - Ease Back
16. The Prince Royals - 196X - Like It Like It
17. Jiro Inagaki - 1970 - Head Rock
18. The Mar-Keys - 1969 - Black
19. Soul Vibrations - 1973 - The Dump (192kbs)
20. Ceasar Frazier - 1972 - Hicky Burr

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Back To Beaufort

The Pazant Brothers made some awesome, obscure and largely instrumental funk recordings between the late 60s and mid 70s. Highly regarded by funk collectors, though they never really made a dent in the market.

Brothers Eddie (saxophone) and Al (trumpet) Pazant along with their NYC based ensemble struck a relationship with Ed Bland and the group laid down nearly an albums worth of material for GWP Records, almost entirely penned and produced by Bland. These tracks were released via a series a 45s from 1968 to 1970 but shortly after, the relationship with Bland seemingly dissolved and the group's output slowed considerably. From 1971 to 1974 they managed to eke out a few more singles between smaller labels Vigor and Priscilla Records. Some of these recordings are credited to The Beaufort Express and some to The Pazant Brothers but I do believe they are essentially one in the same. As The Pazant Brothers & The Beaufort Express the group signed to Vanguard Records and again working with Bland, releasing their one and only album, 'Loose And Juicy' in 1975. I'm mighty particular about my funk and for the life of me I can't find a sub-par offering from The Pazant Brothers. Spectacular floor fillers that pull subtle tid-bits of both Latin and New Orleans style jazz funk and throw in a heavy helping of urban soul for some real tasty results. Be it one of Bland's many compositions, one of the brothers' originals or a reworking of classic jazz staples, one thing is evident. This stuff is fire!

Back To Beaufort contains 3 folders ... the 2003 Ace Records offering 'Live At The Museum Of Modern Art' which is an amazing performance circa 1971, just prior to the groups Vigor and Priscilla sessions. Another Ace/BGP offering, 'Skunk Juice : Dirty Funk From The Big Apple' released last year. This one is just a limited collection of studio recordings and I've only included it because it also contains an unissued version of 'High Heel Sneakers' and a pair of bluesy live recordings with Betty Barney fronting the band. The remainder of the Skunk Juice tracks are also included in the third folder along with a (near complete*) collection of the groups studio output. The near entirety of those tracks come from yet another Ace/BGP rendering, the 2005 release 'The Brothers Funk: Rare New York City Funk 1969-1975' which has all of the collaborative efforts with Bland, both from the GWP and Vanguard sessions and I've managed to add 6 of the 8 recordings from the Vigor and Priscilla sessions to the lot. All MP3 @ 320kbs. Big, big thanks to the original uploaders and Ace Records for this one, Enjoy!

*missing tracks:
(please contribute if you have)
#14 Beaufort Express - 1972 - Water Front Blues (Priscilla 1002 B-side)
#18 Pazant Brothers & Beaufort Express - 1974 - Dixie Rock (Vigor 1713 B-side)

Monday, 21 May 2018

Trouble I've Seen

The Volumes formed In Detroit back in the days of doo wop, members had gotten together on the street corners after school to practice their harmony singing. The group consisted of Eddie Union (lead), Elijah Davis (first tenor), Larry Wright (second tenor), Joe Truvillion (baritone), and Ernest Newsome (bass). Willie Ewing became their manager in 1961 and established Chex Records. The group hit the floor running. Their first release, 'I Love You' quickly entered local charts. It soon broke out of Detroit and rose to reach the US R&B Top 10 and Pop Top 30 in 1962. Chex issued a second 45 but this one failed to repeat the huge success of their first outing. Chex was only a tiny label with few resources and no means of effectively distributing their releases. When 'I Love You' had exploded onto the charts, a deal was done with Jubilee Records for national distribution. Unable to cope with the workload their success brought, Chex handed over the reins to Jubilee almost entirely for the group’s next two releases in 1963. The group had teamed up with Harry Balk and Duke Browner to work on these sides issued with Jubilee. Recording in New York, the songs they cut were written by Maron McKenzie and produced by Duke Browner. Further label changes came in the mid 60s after Balk and Jubilee had a falling out. The group’s next outing was released on New York label, Old Town Records in 1964, with a second 45 that same year on the American Arts label and another the following year. These changes weren’t instigated by the group themselves and they certainly didn’t indicate that they were difficult to work with. The production team behind all of these recordings being Harry Balk and Duke Browner. At this point The Volumes had made a seamless transition to cutting soul tracks as Eddie Union adapted his lead vocal style perfectly to suit the new sound. Unfortunately I can't seem to find much detailed information about their latter northern soul cuts but the songs can speak for themselves. Six strong singles were cut for five different labels between 1966 and 1970, before eventually disbanding.

Trouble I've Seen collects both era's of the groups work with all these fore mentioned singles and more. All mp3 @ 320kbs, chronicled and cleanly tagged. I've also included the Chex LP (discogs says issued in 1985 but these strike me as the groups earliest acappella recordings, circa 1961/62). As always, thanks to original uploaders. Enjoy!

Saturday, 19 May 2018


UPDATED October 28, 2020 Amassing the recent Oliver Sain collection served as a painful reminder that there was a larger collection that needed to be re-vamped. St. Louis  blues/soul legend Little Milton exemplified the spirit of this holy musical union. A hard hitting, head strong and heart felt songster with subtle and soulful arrangements, bursting with dirty blues guitar and driven home by Milton's bombarding baritone. His recording career championed 50 years and graced Sun, Chess, Stax, Glades, MCA and Malaco Records, among others. Milton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1988 and continued to record and perform into the new millennium.

Milton was born James Milton Campbell Jr. on September 7, 1934 in Inverness, Mississippi. We was and raised in Greenville, Mississippi by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries. He joined the Rhythm Aces in the early part of the 1950s, a three piece band who played throughout the Mississippi Delta area. One of the members was Eddie Cusic who taught Milton to play the guitar. In 1951, Milton recorded several sides backing pianist Willie Love for Trumpet Records. In 1953, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner, who was at that time a talent scout for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Milton signed a contract with the label and recorded a number of singles. None of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores, however, and Milton left the Sun label by 1955. The next two years he released singles on Modern Records subsidiary, Meteor Records. In 1958, Milton moved to East St. Louis and set up the St. Louis-based Bobbin Records label, which ultimately scored a distribution deal with Leonard Chess' Chess Records. As a record producer, Milton helped bring artists such as Albert King and Fontella Bass to fame, while experiencing his own success for the first time. After a number of small format and regional hits, his 1962 single, "So Mean To Me," broke onto the Billboard R&B chart, eventually peaking at #14. Following a short break to tour, managing other acts, and spending time recording new material, he returned to music in 1965 with a more polished sound, similar to that of B.B. King. After the ill-received "Blind Man" (R&B: #86), he released back-to-back hit singles. The first, "We're Gonna Make It," a blues-infused soul song, topped the R&B chart and broke through onto Top 40 radio, a format then dominated largely by white artists. He followed the song with #4 R&B hit "Who's Cheating Who?" All three songs were featured on his album, We're Gonna Make It, released that summer. Milton's song "Let Me Down Easy" was recorded by the Spencer Davis Group on The Second Album (1965), but his authorship was not acknowledged on the record. He released a single of it himself in 1968 on Checker. Throughout the late 60s Milton released a number of moderately successful singles, but did not issue a further album until 1969, with Grits Ain't Groceries featuring his hit of the same name, as well as "Just a Little Bit" and "Baby, I Love You". With the death of Leonard Chess the same year, Milton's distributor, Checker Records fell into disarray, and Milton joined the Stax label two years later. Adding complex orchestration to his works, Milton scored hits with "That's What Love Will Make You Do" and "What It Is" from his live album, What It Is: Live at Montreux. He appeared in the documentary film, Wattstax, which was released in 1973. Stax, however, had been losing money since late in the previous decade and was forced into bankruptcy in 1975. After leaving Stax, Milton struggled to maintain a career, moving first to T.K. imprint, Glades Records, then the short lived indie-label, Golden Ear, and briefly MCA before finding a home at the independent record label, Malaco Records, where he stayed for much of the remainder of his career. His last hit single, "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number," was released in 1983 from the album of the same name. In 1988, Milton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and won a W.C. Handy Award. His final album, Think of Me, was released in May 2005 on the Telarc imprint, and included writing and guitar on three songs by Peter Shoulder of the UK-based blues-rock trio Winterville. Milton died at the age of 70 on August 4, 2005 from complications following a stroke. He was posthumously honored with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in Inverness.

Meddlin' was a monstrous collection to begin with and though some fat has been trimmed, the additions keep the scales fairly well balanced. The updates and upgrades here are vast ... re-assembled from scratch, it still features all 27 studio albums and 4 live albums, as well as 4 select compilations. Now however, we're featuring a re-vamped and expanded Singles/Rarities collection, corrected over-all chronology and of course, improved quality. All files sourced from FLAC remasters and/or vastly improved vinyl formats. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, Chris (@ Blues Blues Blues), Loofer and Sir Shambling. Enjoy.

**extract all four parts together**

Friday, 18 May 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 27

01. Eldridge Holmes - 1968 - Where Is Love
02. Richard Barbary - 1967 - When Johnny Comes Marching Home
03. The Hesitations - 1969 - No Brag Just Fact
04. Barbara & The Uniques - 1970 - What's The Use
05. Pat Hunt - 1968 - Super Cool
06. Ivy Jo - 1971 - I Can Feel The Pain
07. Jiro Inagaki & Soul Media - 1970 - Head Rock
08. The Rance Allen Group - 1972 - See What You Have Done
09. Carolyn Veal - 1972 - Your Love Is Like a Chain Around My Heart
10. The Lovelles - 1969 - I'm Comin' Today
11. Carl Hall - 1966 - As Long As She Needs Me
12. Albert Washington - 1968 - Bring It On Up
13. Little Milton - 1970 - If Walls Could Talk
14. Erma Franklin - 1969 - Baby I Love You
15. Rita Wright - 1969 - You
16. Skip Mahoaney & The Casuals - 1974 - Town Called Nowhere
17. The Dramatics - 1975 - Never Let You Go
18. Pazant Brothers & Beaufort Express - 1975 - You've Got To Do Your Best
19. Aggregation - 1971 - Can You Feel It
20. Sylvia Smith - 1975 - I Don't Need No Man
21. Cold Blood - 1969 - I'm A Good Woman (256kbs)
22. Sam Dees - 1969 - It's All Wrong
23. Earl Gaines - 1972 - Keep Your Mind On Me
24. The Glass House - 1972 - Thanks I Needed That
25. Spice & Bunny Davis - 1974 - Sweet Norma Jones (192kbs)
26. Salt - 1972 - Hung Up

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Other Franklin's

Everyone, and I literally mean everyone, knows just who Aretha Franklin is! An absolute superstar whose efforts transcend all style or genre. Subsequently, most soulies are probably familiar with her youngest and eldest sisters, Erma and Carolyn. Both had a hefty hand in Aretha's success and seminal recordings as well as recording careers of their own. I'm not gonna dive into it too much here as I feel this a family legacy that's novel worthy and it's all very well documented already so without further ado, here are the other Franklin's ...

Throughout the mid to late 50s Erma had many stutter steps, set backs and moments of adversity which really impeded her from starting a strong successful recording career like her sister Aretha. Erma didn't sign with a label until 1961. Between 1961 and 1963 she cut 7 singles and an LP for Epic Records with marginal success. After a few years Erma gave it a go again, 4 singles in 1967/68 with Shout Records before moving to Brunswick Records in 1969. There she released another 4 singles and an LP with the label before reverting to more behind the scenes sort of work and eventually leaving the music industry all together in 1975. Higher & Higher collects this complete body of underrated work and includes the bonus live album featuring Erma fronting funk rock outfit Electric Flag. Some of these sides were tough to find so I suspect there's even some buried treasure here for soulies already in the know.

By the early 60s with Aretha's stardom and Erma's career finally up and running, youngest sister Carolyn wanted in on the action but much like Erma suffered from a series of set backs and hindrances. Finding an outlet throughout the decade penning numbers with and for her sister Aretha. This eventually led to some collaboration recordings in the late 60s witch charted quite well. These recordings prompted an offer from RCA Records and Carolyn released her debut single 'Ain't That Groovy' with the label in 1969, essentially picking up where Erma left off. Carolyn continued writing numbers for sister Aretha into the 70s while releasing 5 soulful funk LPs between 1969 and 1976, 4 with RCA and one with Joy Records. Ain't That Groovy collects these 5 full lengths and the debut 7" ... all other singles are on the LPs so no collection required here.

All files MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Way Out There

Little is known about the origins of The Sensations.

Believed by some to be from Michigan, believed by others to be from Ohio, where they recorded with short lived and constantly struggling label, Way Out Records. The Sensations were the label's lead act and cut more sides than any other artists on the roster. 12 sides total between 1966 and 1969, displaying a pretty wonderful array of R&B and Motown(ish) Soul despite such minimal output. I get a real Four Tops feel from this group and that's a good thing in my books. If they had had a more competent label backing them, I suspect they would have soared to great heights instead of fading into obscurity. I probably never would have heard of the Sensations if not for the Numero Groups 'Eccentric Soul Series' which makes 2/3's of their material available and I was able to find the remaining 4 sides to complete this great little collection.
This one's super short but super sweet, enjoy!

The Sensations - The Way Out Recordings (Discography 1966-69)

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Down The Street

New Orleans native Jessie Hill was drumming in local bands as a teen and in 1951 formed his own short lived group, The House Rockers. Hill also served as a drummer for Professor Longhair and then Huey "Piano" Smith throughout the mid 50s. Hill formed a new version of The House Rockers in 1958, which enabled him to focus on singing and this was the birth of the 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo'

The origins of 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo' were apparently created from a tune played by a New Orleans pianist known only as Big Four. Hill wrote the lyrics and melody, later expanding the work with an intro taken from Dave Bartholomew. It was further honed on stage before Hill recorded a demo that he shopped to local record labels, finally recording a session at Cosimo Matassa's studio produced by Allen Toussaint. Upon its early 1960 release by way of Minit Records, 'Ooh Poo Pah Doo' emerged as a favorite at Mardi Gras, selling 800,000 copies and reaching the Top 5 in the US Billboard R&B chart and a Top 30 slot in the Billboard Hot 100 charts. There have been over 100 cover versions of the fan favorite recorded and performed live over the years by many other popular musicians. Further recordings in New Orleans were less successful and Hill parted ways with Minit in 1962. Bouncing back in 1964 with a few singles on Detroit label Downey Records and then Hill headed westward to California where he worked with a handful of fellow NOLA musicians including Harold Battiste and Mac Rebennack. Hill penned numbers for Ike & Tina, Sonny & Cher and Willie Nelson while releasing sporadic (and often collaboration cuts) for a few different labels such as Yogi-Man, Pulsar and Wand Records between 1965 and 1968. A solo funky soul LP titled 'Naturally' was released by Blue Thumb Records in 1971 but it was poorly received and Hill began to suffer financial difficulties exacerbated by a drinking problem. These problems continued after his return to New Orleans in 1977. Several benefit gigs were held but did little to revive Hill's personal or professional fortunes. Jessie Hill died of heart and renal failure in New Orleans in September 1996, at the age of 63.

Down The Street contains 3 folders ... A complete collection of his singles from 1960-68, the 1971 'Naturally' LP and the 1987 issued 'Y'All Ready Now ...Plus' compilation, which collects both issued and unissued seminal material from 1960-62. All files MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, Enjoy!

Friday, 11 May 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 26

01. Judy Clay - 1968 - It Ain't Long Enough
02. Betty Harris - 1968 - Trouble With My Lover
03. Allen Toussaint - 1970 - Either
04. The Mighty Hannibal - 1966 - The Right To Love You
05. O.V. Wright - 1972 - Drowning On Dry Land
06. Yvonne Fair - 1963 - Say Yeah Yeah
07. Gloria Grey - 1964 - It's A Sweet World
08. Billy Preston - 1970 - Ain't Got No Time To Play
09. Singin' Sammy Ward - 1964 - You've Got To Change
10. The Fantastic Four - 1968 - I've Got To Have You
11. Mavis Staples - 1970 - What Happened To The Real Me
12. Carol Woods - 1971 - Can You Remember
13. Maceo Parker - 1970 - Better Half
14. G.C. Cameron - 1974 - Your Love Won't Turn Me Loose
15. Ronnie Keaton - 1974 - Going Down For The Last Time
16. Lea Roberts - 1973 - Find A Place
17. Ann Peebles - 1975 - I Don't Lend My Man (192kbs)
18. The Fame Gang - 1969 - Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
19. Willie Hobbs - 1971 - You Don't Know What You Got (Until You Lose It)
20. Howard Tate - 1971 - You Don't Know Anything About Love
21. Erma Franklin - 1969 - Hold On I'm Coming
22. Mamie Galore & Specialities UnLtd - 1970 - You Saved Me
23. Soul Partners - 1969 - Spead
24. The Precisions - 1967 - Why Girl
25. Darrow Fletcher - 1968 - The Way Of A Man
26. Raelettes - 1972 - Love Train
27. Millie Jackson - 1974 - (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right
28. Baby Cortez - 1970 - Feel Like The World

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Here Comes The Tears

I absolutely adore Darrell Banks!!! Deep and gritty soul steeped in that Detroit sound and often delivered with a funky southern soul style.

Born in Ohio, raised in Buffalo, New York, Darrell Banks learned to sing gospel in the church before choosing a career in secular music. Banks signed with Revilot Records in 1966, releasing the single 'Open the Door to Your Heart' written by Donnie Elbert. When the single came out, Banks was credited as the songwriter instead of Elbert and a protracted legal battle ensued. While the courts settled the matter (eventually in Elbert's favor), Banks' version of the tune topped the US charts, peaking at #2 R&B and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. A second single 'Somebody (Somewhere) Needs You' reached #34 on the R&B charts later that year. Moving to Atco Records, Banks released the singles 'Here Come The Tears' and 'Angel Baby' in 1967 but neither of which charted. Atco also released an LP which included his Revilot singles. Atco subsidiary Cotillion Records released his follow up single 'I Wanna Go Home' in 1968. From there Banks signed to Stax/Volt Records, who released the ironically and tragically titled LP 'Here To Stay' in 1969. For these would be Darrell Banks's last recordings ... in February 1970, Banks was shot and killed by policeman Aaron Bullock in Detroit, Michigan after Banks intervened in his affair with girlfriend, Marjorie Bozeman. Reports at the time painted Banks as a violent womanizer and possibly he was but years later, little to no evidence that he was either has surfaced. One thing certainly remains evident, Darrell Banks died far too soon and I suspect he would have achieved great things musically and found ranks among the genre's brightest stars.

Here Comes The Tears collects it all and more. Both LPs and the Cotillion single (not featured on the LPs) and two compilations that certainly have considerable over-lap but also unearth a treasure trove of tracks previously unreleased. Goldmine Supply's 'The Lost Soul' CD issued in 1997 and Kent Soul's 'Complete Volt Recordings' CD issued in 2013. All here in one place and all MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

That's Enough!

New Jersey native Cynthia Coleman cut her teeth with her family's vocal gospel group, the Coleman Brothers before forming her own outfit The Colemanaires in 1949. The Colemanaires recorded with Timely and Apollo Records while touring rigorously right through to 1954 until Coleman switched to secular soul/R&B and perused a solo career under the pseudonym Ann Cole. Picked up by Baton Records a couple years later Cole recorded some seriously passionate and prolific singles with the label, most notably the first performance of the later popularized 'Got My Mojo Working'. While most of the early Baton 45s charted well, the latter ones did not fare so well. Cole then bounced around from Sir, MGM and Roulette Records in the early 60s until she was involved in a serious car accident leaving her wheelchair bound and effectively ending her career. A mighty damn shame as the general consensus regarding Ann Cole was quite clear ... a powerhouse performer who was years ahead of her time.

That's Enough! is a complete and chronicled collection of Ann Cole's secular 45s 1954-62 which were mostly from The Greatest Hits CD issued in 2001 but I also scraped together the scraggler sides and included the final Colemanaires single cut for Apollo Records. The only down side about this collection is the bitrate, files are MP3 @ 128kbs but luckily they're not terrible sounding. Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Pigfeet ... Plus

Robert Ward was born in rural Georgia. At the age of 10 he began teaching himself the guitar, emulating what he heard on 78s of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Muddy Waters. After serving in the military, Ward formed his first band, the Brassettes, in Florida in 1959. They opened for James Brown and other rising stars but saw little to no financial gains for their efforts, so Ward sold his guitar and left for Dayton, Ohio to live with his aunt. There he acquired a Fender Telecaster guitar and Magnatone amplifier and began developing the distinctive vibrato-soaked sound that became his trademark.

His new band, the Ohio Untouchables, developed a strong regional following and were signed by Detroit producer Robert West to his LuPine label in 1962, they recorded several striking 45s. West then paired the Untouchables with the gospel quartet the Falcons on 'I Found A Love' which was a huge US R&B hit, launching the career of Falcons vocalist Wilson Pickett while gaining Ward's guitar-playing wide attention. In 1965 Ward left the Ohio Untouchables and recorded a couple solo singles for tiny Detroit labels but none were hits. They did however develop his reputation as an able and powerful guitarist. By 1970 he was earning steady wages as a Motown session guitarist, backing the Temptations and the Undisputed Truth. When the label moved to LA in 1973 and shifted their focus to the emerging disco scene, Ward found himself a man out of time. In 1977 his wife and his mother died, sending him into a spiral of self-destructive behavior that ended with a year's imprisonment. Once he was released, Ward remarried and did not consider returning to music. Rumors circulated that he was dead, and during the 1980s Hammond Scott, the owner of independent record label Black Top, spent two years searching fruitlessly for him. Scott and Ward staged a return to recording in 1990 and several albums followed within the coming decade including a collection of Ward's early works with Ohio Untouchables, The Falcons and Benny McCain. Ward passed away Christmas day, 2008.

Pigfeet collects Ward's 1962-65 material with Ohio Untouchables and also, the released and unreleased solo recordings from 1965/66.

this one's fairly short and sweet so thought I'd include this bonus ...

Ohio Players ...
Observations In Time (Capitol ST-192)
First Impression (Trip TLP-8029)
Trespassin' (Charly SNAP 156 CD) [192kbs]

Why you ask? Well, Ohio Players were a highly successful funk outfit formed by the remaining members The Ohio Untouchables after Ward's departure. Observations In Time is their official 1969 debut album and the only one with Capitol Records. The band hadn't quite found their firm footing in the realms of funk with this release. As a result we have some really interesting and entertaining R&B/funk fusion. Fast forward (a few years, two albums and a label change later) to 1972 and we come to 'First Impressions' a compilation LP issued on Trip Records showcasing mostly material recorded prior to 'Observations In Time' and featuring this same fusion sound. Lastly, the 2003 compilation CD 'Tresspassin', issued by Charly Records which is the near entirety of both fore mentioned LPs plus a handful of tracks from the earliest recordings without Ward. All of the Ohio Untouchables/Players were fantastic musicians but these 3 particular releases are a real testament to Robert Ward's impact on the band as his influence seeps through on these early arrangements even years after leaving the group.

All files MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted

Friday, 4 May 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 25

01. Mary Wells - 1961 - Strange Love
02. Barrett Strong - 1961 - Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right
03. Mary Ann Fisher - 1961 - I Can't Take It
04. Tawney Williams - 1962 - Pretty Little Words
05. McKinley Mitchell - 1962 - No Love
06. Willy McDougal - 1962 - I Can't Wait
07. Pamela Baitey - 1964 - Action Speaks Louder Than Words
08. Napoleon Tyce - 1962 - Sitting Here
09. Jerry Butler - 1963 - Just A Little Bit
10. Dorothy Williams - 1964 - Closer To My Baby
11. The Del-Chords - 1964 - Everybody's Gotta Lose Someday
12. The Question Marks - 1964 - Ain't That Kinda Sad
13. The Trends - 1965 - If You Don't Dig The Blues (192kbs)
14. Barbara Lynn - 1965 - Can't Buy My Love
15. Julie Grant - 1965 - Giving Up
16. Little Milton - 1966 - Believe In Me
17. Stacy Johnson - 1966 - Don't Try To Fool Me
18. Jackie Day - 1967 - What Kind Of Man Are You
19. Aretha Franklin - 1967 - (No, No) I'm Not Losing You
20. Lucas & The Mike Cotton Sound - 1967 - Ain't Love Good, Ain't Love Proud
21. The Apollas - 1968 - Seven Days
22. Jean Wells - 1968 - Try Me & See
23. Tony Newman - 1968 - Soul Thing
24. Joe Frazier - 1969 - Gonna Spend My Life
25. Randolph Walker - 1969 - 40 Love Street
26. The Sisters Love - 1969 - Forget It, I've Got It
27. Johnny Jones & The King Casuals - 1969 - Chip Off The Old Block
28. James Brown - 1969 - It's A Man's Man's Man's World (ext)

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Never Let Go

We most often associate 'Girl Groups' with the 60s and rightly so. However, one of the first and finest emerged in 1957. The Chantels were formed by Arlene Smith and four childhood friends who sang for a church choir together in the Bronx. Most well known for early chart topping single 'Maybe' which is commonly regarded as a definitive song of the genre and like the near entirety of their early efforts was penned by Smith.

Arlene Smith convinced the group to audition for Richard Barrett in 1957 who immediately signed The Chantels to End Records where the ladies laid down over a dozen 45s, 2 EPs and 2 LPs between 1957-1961. Several other hits came out of these recordings but none ever touched the success of 'Maybe' unfortunately. End Records terminated their contract and Arlene left the group. In 1963 The Chantels enlisted Anette Smith (no relation to Arlene) on lead vocals and released a few 45s with Carlton Records but were dropped the following year and quickly relocated to Ludix Records with Sandra Dawn taking over lead vocals. There the group experienced success with the single 'Eternally' but were unable to follow it up with anything substantial. A couple years later they resurfaced with a 45 on 20th Century Fox, 2 with Verve Records the following year and a final 45 on RCA Victor in 1970. Not sure who is singing lead on these 4 final singles and frankly, I don't really care as they're pretty weak in comparison to previous efforts. Arlene Smith did re-form another version of The Chantels with entirely new members in 1973 and preformed with them well into the 80/90s.

Never Let Go collects all the fore mentioned material (and more) released between 1957-70. Largely sourced from remastered FLAC files but the last 10-12 tracks came from various mp3's . All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs.

Enjoy and as always, thanks to original uploaders.