Monday, 30 July 2018

You Can't Run Away From Love

Here we have the most ironic collection I've assembled to date. Thanks to the fine folks at Kent/Ace, there's more than 6 full-length CD collections containing the rare and unissued recordings of George Jackson (well over 100 tracks), showcasing a treasure trove of impressive efforts by this prolific singer/songwriter. And while these gems vastly outnumber Jackson's 50-60 issued recordings, they're also much easier to track down than Jackson's official releases.

Jackson was born in Indianola, Mississippi, and moved with his family to Greenville at the age of five. He started writing songs while in his teens, and in 1963 introduced himself to Ike Turner. Turner took him to Cosimo Matassa's studios in New Orleans to record "Nobody Wants to Cha Cha With Me" for his Prann label, but it was not successful. Jackson then traveled to Memphis to promote his songs, but was rejected by Stax before helping to form vocal group The Ovations with Louis Williams at Goldwax Records. Jackson wrote and sang on their 1965 hit 'It's Wonderful To Be In Love', which reached #61 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #22 on the R&B chart. He also wrote for other artists at Goldwax, including Spencer Wiggins and James Carr, and recorded with Dan Greer as the duo George and Greer. After the Ovations split up in 1968, he recorded briefly for Hi Records, and also for Decca using the pseudonym Bart Jackson. As a singer, he had a versatile tenor that was influenced by Sam Cooke, and released many records over the years, for a host of different labels, but his recordings never made him a star. At the suggestion of record producer Billy Sherrill, Jackson moved to Rick Hall's FAME Studios at Muscle Shoals in the late 60s, where he wrote for leading singers including Clarence Carter - whose 'Too Weak To Fight' reached #13 on the pop chart and #3 on the R&B chart in 1968 - Wilson Pickett, and Candi Staton. Some of Jackson's songs for Staton, including her first hit in 1969, 'I'd Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart (Than A Young Man’s Fool)'. Jackson also recorded for Fame Records, and had his first chart success as a singer in 1970 with 'That's How Much You Mean To Me', which reached #48 on the R&B chart. In 1972 he briefly rejoined the Hi label, and had his second and last solo recording success with 'Aretha, Sing One For Me', an answer song to Aretha Franklin's 'Don't Play That Song'; Jackson's song reached #38 on the R&B chart. He then released several singles for MGM Records, while continuing to write for other artists. In the early 70s he began working as a songwriter for the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and, with Thomas Jones III, wrote 'Old Time Rock & Roll' which Bob Seger recorded in 1978; Seger's version reached #28 on the pop chart. While with Muscle Shoals Sound, he also wrote 'Down Home Blues', recorded by Z.Z. Hill, which became a theme tune for Malaco Records in the 80s, 'Unlock Your Mind', recorded by the Staple Singers and a #16 R&B hit in 1978; and 'The Only Way Is Up', originally recorded by Otis Clay in 1980. In 1983, Jackson formed his own publishing company, Happy Hooker Music, before joining Malaco Records as a staff songwriter. There he wrote hits for Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Latimore, Denise LaSalle, and Z.Z. Hill. Between 2011 and 2013 Kent released 3 Unissued Fame Recordings Collections. Jackson died on April 14, 2013, at his home in Ridgeland, Mississippi, from cancer at the age of 68.

You Can't Run Away From Love collects pretty close to (if not) everything "currently" available. The 3 Rare Fame Recordings CDs, The Fame Sessions LP, Leaving Your Homework Undone, George Jackson In Memphis, George Jackson & Dan Greer At Goldwax (all @ 320kbs) and as indicated above, a Groovy Gumbo special ... the now-rare issued recordings of George Jackson and a handful of unissued recordings that are surprisingly not featured on the fore mentioned Kent collections. Quality of source files in singles collection range from FLAC to YT capture, I've done my best to clean em up but it is what it is. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and exported as MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

GJ01 *New Link*

*Extract parts 2 and 3 together

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Two Time Loser

I don't mind any regulars here making requests but I'll be straight, if the artist doesn't interest me, I'm not gonna get to it. That said, here's a requested retrospective that was both a real challenge and absolute pleasure to put together. Allen Rathel Bunn who was sometimes credited as Alden Bunn was an American singer, guitarist and songwriter whose work spanned gospel, blues, doo-wop, R&B, pop, and rockabilly. After singing in various gospel groups he became a member of The Larks before recording with his wife Anna Lee 'Little Ann' Sandford, under the more recognized name of Tarheel Slim.

Bunn was born in Bailey, North Carolina and initially he worked in local tobacco fields, but by the early 1940s he had started singing with various gospel groups, including the Gospel Four and the Selah Jubilee Singers, where he joined the latter group's founder, Thermon Ruth. Bunn was the group's baritone and second lead singer, and provided guitar accompaniment. In 1949, Ruth and Bunn decided to form a secular singing group as a spin-off from the Selah Jubilee Singers. Initially called the Jubilators, the group recorded for four different record labels in New York under four different names on one day in 1950. Eventually settling on the name The Larks, the group's recording of 'Eyesight To The Blind' on the Apollo label, with lead vocals and guitar by Bunn, reached #5 on the Billboard R&B chart in July 1951; and the follow-up, 'Little Side Car' also sung by Bunn, reached #10 on the R&B chart later the same year. The Larks then toured with Percy Mayfield and Mahalia Jackson. Early in 1952, Allen Bunn (so credited) left for a solo career, first recording blues for Apollo, accompanied by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and then moving to Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label in 1953. Around 1955, he married Anna Lee Sandford and they began singing together, recording as The Lovers for the Lamp label, a subsidiary of Aladdin Records. Their first record together, 'Darling It's Wonderful' written by Bunn and arranged by Ray Ellis, reached #15 on the R&B chart and #48 on the Billboard pop chart, in 1957. Bunn also managed, and recorded with, a group known variously as the Wheels. Bunn returned to solo recording, using the name Tarheel Slim, in New York in 1958, for producer Bobby Robinson's Fury label. His first recordings for Fury, 'Wildcat Tamer/Number 9 Train' have been described as "a pair of rockabilly rave-ups". Both sides of the record featured guitarist Jimmy Spruill as well as Bunn. However, the record was not a success at the time, and Bunn's later recordings for Robinson's Fire and Fury labels, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, were all co-credited to the duo of Tarheel Slim and Little Ann. Their first record for Fire, 'It's Too Late' – described as "a doom laden dirge with Slim's tremolo laden guitar work and Ann breaking down into a sobbing fit at the end" – reached #20 on the R&B chart in 1959, the record was also issued on the Checker label. Later records by Tarheel Slim and Little Ann covered a variety of styles, including rockabilly, but none were commercial successes. The duo recorded briefly for Atco Records in 1963, but then disappeared from view. In the early 70s, Tarheel Slim was "rediscovered" by researcher Peter Lowry, and emerged to play solo, with acoustic guitar in the style of Brownie McGhee, at festivals and for college audiences. He recorded an album, No Time At All, released on Trix Records in 1975, with pianist Big Chief Ellis on some tracks. The following year he also played with John Cephas on Ellis' own album. Tarheel Slim was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1977, and died from pneumonia brought on by chemotherapy, at the age of 53.

Two Time Loser is a damn near complete collection of Bunn/Slim's secular recordings from 1949 to the mid 60s including late 40s unissued cuts with Dan Pickett, his singles with the Larks and solo efforts for Apollo, 5 of the 6 sides cut for Lamp Records and the Checker 45 (as The Lovers), the complete Fury Records recordings (as Tarheel Slim & Little Ann), their later one-off's with Enjoy, Port and Atco (less 1 side) and an unissued track. As an added bonus, I've included a zip with both of the mid 70s Trix Records LPs. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

41. The Lovers - 1957 - Love Bug Bit Me (Lamp 2018 *Promo)
61. Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - 1963 - Goodnight Irene (Atco 6259)

Friday, 27 July 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 34

All things eventually come to an end and Gusto's Groovy Gumbo is no exception.  I've barely scratched the surface of my stockpile so I'm sure I'll return with a similar series down the road but for now I'm wrapping this one up. Perhaps you've noticed that volumes 31-33 had more of a chronological flow than my earlier offerings; moving from the late 50's through to 1970, and volume 34 concludes with selections spanning 1971-75 (with a slightly extended edition). However, I did not want to end this high caliber collection with such a limited scope so this one will be the second to last volume ... I'll be continuing on with the Goodie Grab Bags, the Sizzlin' Slabs series and artist retrospectives but I will return next Friday with the finest and final GGG offering. Until then ...

01. The Patterson Singers - 1971 - I Wanna Be Free
02. Funkadelic - 1971 - You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks
03. Margie Alexander - 1971 - It Can't Last Forever
04. Patrice Holloway - 1971 - Evidence
05. Geater Davis - 1971 - My Love Is So Strong For You
06. ZZ Hill - 1971 - Think People
07. The Backyard Heavies - 1971 - Soul Junction
08. Miss Soul - 1971 - Payback
09. Eddie Bradford - 1972 - You Made Your Bed
10. Sonny Green - 1972 - You Better Take Time
11. The Classic Example - 1972 - We Got A Thing Going On
12. Jr. Walker & The All Stars - 1972 - Groove Thang
13. Marie Adams - 1972 - Get Up & Do It
14. Wess & The Airedales - 1972 - Vehicle
15. Ray Agee - 1972 - It's Hard To Explain
16. Gospel Hi-Lites - 1972 - One More Time
17. Margie Joseph - 1973 - I'll Take Care Of You
18. The Scott Brothers - 1973 - Gotta Get Away From You
19. The 2nd Amendment Band - 1973 - Backtalk (224kbs)
20. P.J. Smith & Co. - 1973 - Hold On To It
21. Mixed Breed - 1973 - Wise
22. Melvin Sparks - 1973 - Whip Whop
23. Earl Gaines - 1973 - Soul Children
24. Willie Clayton - 1974 - It's Time You Made Up Your Mind
25. Syl Johnson - 1974 - Please Don't Give Up On Me
26. The Eliminators - 1974 - Rump Bump
27. The Voices Of East Harlem - 1974 - Can You Feel It
28. The Sylvers - 1974 - TCB
29. The Counts - 1974 - Flies Over Watermellon
30. Chocolate Snow - 1974 - A Day In The Life
31. The Ziontones - 1974 - There's Hope Ahead
32. Magnum - 1975 - Your Mind
33. Barbara Mason - 1975 - What Am I Gonna Do
34. Water & Power - 1975 - If You Don't Want Me
35. The Rance Allen Group - 1975 - What A Day
36. Carla Whitney - 1975 - Wisdom
37. Vernon Garrett - 1975 - One Man's Loss

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 04

Digging deep into the Goodie Grab Bags again to deliver you some delectable treats. Billy Soul, Lonnie & Floyd, Dori Grayson and Levert Allison (Gene Allison's brotha-from-the-same-motha).

Billy Soul - Discography 1964 [4sides]

01. Billy Soul - 1964 - She's Gone Part 1 (King 45-5904)
02. Billy Soul - 1964 - She's Gone Part 2 (King 45-5904)
03. Billy Soul - 1964 - Big Balls Of Fire (King 45-5929)
04. Billy Soul - 1964 - My Darling Honey Baby (King 45-5929)

Lonnie & Floyd - Discography 1965 [4sides]

01. Lonnie & Floyd - 1965 - What You Gonna Do (Jewel 781)
02. Lonnie & Floyd - 1965 - You Got To Feel It (Jewel 781)
03. Lonnie & Floyd - 1965 - I Pledge (Jewel 786)
04. Lonnie & Floyd - 1965 - Whip It Up Baby (Jewel 786)

Dori Grayson - Discography 1968-70 [6sides]

01. Dori Grayson - 1968 - Try Love (Murco 1038)
02. Dori Grayson - 1968 - Got Nobody To Love (Murco 1038)
03. Dori Grayson - 1969 - I Can Fix That For You (Murco 1045)
04. Dori Grayson - 1969 - Never Let Go (Murco 1045)
05. Dori Grayson - 1970 - Sweet Lovin' Man (Peermont 1056)
06. Dori Grayson - 1970 - Be Mine Sometime (Peermont 1056)

Levert Allison - Discography 1964-70 [12sides]

01. Levert Allison - 1964 - I Want To Give My Heart To You (Poncello 7704)
02. Levert Allison - 1964 - I'm Going Home (Poncello 7704)
03. Levert Allison - 1966 - My All Is You (Spar 30022)
04. Levert Allison - 1966 - Please Send Me Someone To Love (Spar 30022)
05. Levert Allison - 1967 - Can You Handle It (Boyd 161)
06. Levert Allison - 1967 - Hear That River (Boyd 161)
07. Levert Allison - 1968 - Lovin' On My Mind (Tupelo Sound 003)
08. Levert Allison - 1968 - The Shape I'm In (Tupelo Sound 003)
09. Levert Allison - 1969 - Sugar Daddy (Elbejay 103)
10. Levert Allison - 1969 - You Made A World (Elbejay 103)
11. Levert Allison - 1970 - Chase The Sun Boy (Eleventh Hour 127)
12. Levert Allison - 1970 - A Long, Long Way (Eleventh Hour 127)

Monday, 23 July 2018

If I Ever Needed Your Love

In my last post I tackled Larry Birdsong and I would be remiss to not not also shine a spotlight on his more recognized contemporary, his cohort, his brotha-from-anotha-motha, Gene Allison.

Born Versie Eugene Allison in Pegram, Tennessee, he grew up in Nashville, Tennessee singing in the church choir with his brother Leevert. As a teenager, Allison was offered a chance to sing with The Fairfield Four and later, The Skylarks. Record producer Ted Jarrett signed Allison to Calvert Records to record secular music in 1956 and soon after Jarrett got him a recording contract with Vee-Jay Records along with Larry Birdsong. Allison's debut single was 'You Can Make It If You Try', written by Ted Jarrett and released in 1957. The song became a hit in the US, where it entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1958. Allison would go on to score two more hit singles at the end of the 50s, and the success of 'You Can Make It If You Try' allowed him to open a 24-hour soul food restaurant called Gene's Drive-In in Nashville. Allison continued to perform well beyond his brief period of fame, releasing singles with Valdot, Fortune, Monument, Tee Jay and Paradise Records through the early to mid 60s and wrapping up his recording career with Ref-O-Ree Records in the late 60s (again along side Larry Birdsong), with a few delicious deep soul offerings.

If I Ever Needed Your Love collects the near entirety of Allison's efforts. Almost completely sourced from FLAC, all files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

I Can't Keep From Crying

Here we have an unsung hero of R&B. Larry Birdsong has been described as "a very versatile singer, who recorded blues, doo-wop, jazz, gospel, rock n roll, smooth crooning and soul."

Lawrence E. Birdsong was born in Pulaski, Tennessee, into a musical family; all his brothers and sisters also sang. As a teenager, he was sent to Pikeville Reformatory School, but was discovered by Nashville music promoter Ted Jarrett, who later claimed that he managed to secure Birdsong's release from probation by signing him to a recording contract for Excello Records. He first recorded with Louis Brooks and his Hi-Toppers in 1955, and his second record, 'Pleading For Love', reached #11 on the R&B chart the following year. Birdsong then recorded for the Calvert label owned by Jarrett; one of his records, 'Let's Try It Again', was leased to Decca Records without success. In 1957 he signed to Vee-Jay Records, together with another of Jarrett's proteges, Gene Allison. Although Allison found some success, Birdsong's records for Vee-Jay failed to sell. After he left Vee-Jay, several of his earlier recordings were issued by Jarrett in 1958 and 1959 on another of his labels, Champion Records. In 1961, Birdsong recorded some smokin' singles for the Home Of The Blues record label in Memphis, where he was produced by Willie Mitchell. On some recordings his backing group was credited as the Larryettes. However, commercial success still eluded him and he did not record again until signing for the Sur-Sound label owned by Red Wortham in 1966. In the late 1960s he recorded for the Ref-O-Ree label, again owned by Ted Jarrett. From here, Birdsong fell into obscurity only to surface again in 1981 with an awful gospel record. Birdsong passed in 1990 at age 56.

I Can't Keep From Crying collects the breadth of Birdsong's recordings from 1955 to 1969. Largely sourced from FLAC, all files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Friday, 20 July 2018

GGG Presents Sizzlin' Slabs of...

This week got away from me and as such, there will be no Groovy Gumbo this weekend but in an effort to not leave you hangin' ... here's the first in a different kind of series. Sizzlin' Slabs are essentially my own renditions of a 'Greatest Hits' collection, mostly by more recognized artists. However, chart success and popular consensus do not factor into these; culled from complete discographies (for the most part) purely for personal pleasure, these are my preferred picks.

Without further ado...
GGG Presents Sizzlin' Slabs of The Dramatics (1972-82)

31 cuts from one of my favorite vocal groups of the 70s .... The Dramatics !!! 

All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

I Found A Love

When I launched this blog last autumn I really didn't think it would become the consistent outlet that it has and certainly didn't expect the positive feedback that it's received. In fact, being one of those weirdos who imposes certain standards and mile-markers upon themselves, I wouldn't even consider this a real blog until one of three thing happened ... 1) I kept it going for at least a year, 2) it got shut down by the powers that be or 3) I'd made 100 postings. Well groovers, it hasn't quite been a year but we're still here and I'm happy to report that my previous post was #100 !!! Thanks all for joining me thus far, guess I better start taking this thing seriously now ...

I've been sitting on this whopper for a while and waiting for a special occasion to share it. Faithful followers of this blog likely saw this one coming a mile away. Not a matter of if, but simply when! Well, in celebration of 100 posts, that time is now ... it's time for the incredible Wilson Pickett!

Born in Prattville, Alabama Wilson Pickett sang in his local Baptist church choir throughout childhood. Often suffering abusive treatment from his mother, Pickett relocated to Detroit at age 14 to live with his father. There he joined gospel vocal group, The Violinaires in 1955. After singing with the group for several years, Pickett joined secular soul/r&b vocal group The Falcons in 1959-60. The group featured notable members Eddie Floyd and Mack Rice who both also went on to have successful solo careers. Pickett, Floyd, Rice and even Benny McCain all took turns singing leads with The Falcons and as such produced some varied and very good seminal soul music. Many of these recordings went unissued for years and the ones that were didn't get nearly half the credit they deserved. Pickett's greatest success with The Falcons took the form of 1962's 'I Found A Love', co-written by Pickett and featuring his lead vocals. While only a minor hit for the Falcons, it paved the way for Pickett to embark on a solo career. In fact, Pickett went on to record over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100.

After a handful of successful singles in 1963, Pickett's first LP 'It's Too Late' debuted on Double L Records and the hit parade was off to a promising start. Signing with Atlantic Records the following year, Pickett went on a relentless run with the label ... releasing 10 LPs and countless 45s between 1965-1972. During this time Pickett recorded in some of the country's most prominent studios, with a who's who laundry list of talented writers, producers and musicians. Pickett quite literally produced hit after hit including a two part return to 'I Found A Love' in 1967 that fortunately charted far better than the original version with The Falcons. Pickett left Atlantic in 1972 and signed with RCA Records where he released 4 LPs in 3 years. While still charting decently on the R&B charts, crossover pop charts were not picking up what Pickett was putting down and with this waning decline, RCA dropped Pickett in 1975. However, Pickett bounced back the following year with the 'Chocolate Mountain' LP released on Pickett's own short lived label, Wicked Records. Embracing the disco craze, Big Tree Records released 'A Funky Situation' in 1978 and a pair of LPs in the same vein were released via EMI America between 1979 and 1981. Sporadic recording throughout the 80s led to a Motown issued LP in 1987 and after a decade of delinquency through the 90s which even resulted in jail time, a successful comeback LP was issued in 1999 and Pickett enjoyed preforming live up until his death in 2006.

I Found A Love certainly isn't reinventing the wheel ... this collection wasn't too hard to find and is largely sourced from FLAC. It includes all 20 albums released between 1963-1981 and a singles/rarities collection (1959-82) that admittedly has a lot of overlap but includes many non-album tracks and Pickett's collaborative works with The Violinaires, The Falcons and others as well. All files mp3 @ 320kbs, chronicled and cleanly tagged with release info. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!


*Note: extract LP parts together

Monday, 16 July 2018

My Thing Is A Moving Thing

Houston has had its fair share of hard hitting outfits and this often instrumental soul/funk combo was one of the greatest! The TSU Toronados were probably best known for supplying the backing on Archie Bell & The Drells' much-imitated dance smash 'Tighten Up'.

The group was formed at Texas Southern University (hence the first part of their name) in Houston by guitarist/sometime lead vocalist Cal Thomas, who'd previously played in an R&B band called the Arabian Knights. Joining him were his brother Will Thomas on guitar and vocals, Jerry Jenkins on bass, Dwight Burns on drums, Robert Sanders on organ, Darryl Busby on sax, Clarence "Creeper" Harper on trumpet, and Leroy Lewis and Nelson Mills on horns. The Toronados built a local name for themselves by backing up numerous R&B artists passing through Houston on tour, and also played on campus and around the club scene. Disc jockey Skipper Lee Frazier signed the group to his new local label Ovide, and they wound becoming the primary house band. It was in this capacity that the group backed some studio sessions by a vocal group from Houston called Archie Bell & the Drells. Bell and his partner Billy Butler set lyrics to a funky riff the Toronados had been playing on their club dates, and the result was 'Tighten Up', a #1 smash in 1968. Unfortunately, none of the Toronados received writer's credit, nor did they get their due for 'A Thousand Wonders' which was included on the Drells' accompanying LP and passed off as a Drells tune. However, this behind-the-scenes success did pique the interest of Atlantic Records, which picked up their singles 'Getting the Corners' b/w 'What Good Am I' and 'The Goose' for distribution in 1969; both were somewhat successful, with the former reaching the R&B Top 40. In late 1969, Volt Records released the harder funk of 'My Thing Is a Moving Thing' which was followed in 1970 by 'Play the Music Toronados'. However, neither was a substantial hit, and the Toronados returned to Ovide for one last single in 1971 before the label was shut down. This turbulence took quite a toll on the group and when the TSU Toronadoes finally reached their breaking point in the early '70s, the group split into two factions. Half the group, including Leroy Lewis, Nelson Mills and Jerry Jenkins, formed South Funk Boulevard, while the Thomas brothers kept the TSU Toronados name and recorded a couple more sides for Frazier's new Rampart Street label, which were never released owing to a dispute over publishing rights. The TSU Toronados group formally disbanded after that, although the Thomas's re-formed it during the 80s to perform locally. South Funk Boulevard on the other hand, morphed into Allison & The South Funk Boulevard Band and though they had very few releases (a couple singles and a poorly distributed LP) under various variations of the name, they were a highly sought-after live act and session group throughout Texas. Several years ago, a treasure trove of unissued recordings displaying a delightful array deep, sweet and soulful 70s funk from this outfit was released digitally.

My Thing Is A Moving Thing collects it all! The complete recordings (issued and unissued) by The TSU Toronados all chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. I've also included the complete works of Allison & South Funk Blvd. Band but with such little info available, most of these files are un-tagged and not dated. Definitely worth digging into though, as their's some real gems scattered about! Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Don't Let Me Suffer

Not a whole lot of recordings but a truly significant range of styles and nearly as many name variations. Be it Eddy, Eddie or Eddie G., Mr. Giles had it goin' on. Soaked in that sweet southern hotsauce but be it the blues, R&B, deep soul, funk or even modern soul, Eddy Giles could groove with the best of em.

For a much better bio than I would comprise head over to (one of my fav's) sirshambling for a great little piece on the man.

Don't Let Me Suffer collects the near entirety of Eddy's secular output. Mostly issued via Murco but also the early 70s one-off's with Silver Fox, Stax, Alarm, Custom Sound and the mid to late 70s cuts gathered on the 1979 LP 'I'm A Losing Boy' issued by Vivid Sound. There's a few unissued tracks as well. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

#27 Eddie Giles - 1977 - Jelly Roll (Custom Sound 201)
#33 Eddie Giles - 1979 - Soul Bag (Vivid Sound VS 1015)
looking at those titles and based on their exclusion from several issued compilations, I suspect both tracks are instrumental.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 33

01. Lewis Clark - 1967 - I Need You Baby
02. Barbara Christian - 1967 - I Worry
03. Tony Fox - 1967 - Because
04. Lavell Kamma - 1967 - Begging
05. Wayne Cochran - 1967 - Get Ready
06. Carol Fran - 1967 - Roll With The Punches
07. Archie Bell & The Drells - 1967 - On In One
08. The Webs - 1968 - This Thing Called Love
09. Meditation Singers - 1968 - Let Them Talk
10. Rene Bailey - 1968 - It's Too Late For Tears
11. Bobby Reed - 1968 - I Wanna Love You So Bad
12. The Invincibles - 1968 - Nobody
13. Little Joe Mixon - 1968 - What You See Is What You Get
14. Marva Whitney - 1968 - In The Middle (Part 1)
15. Gloria Walker - 1968 - You Hit The Spot Baby
16. The Trinikas - 1969 - Remember Me
17. Major Lance - 1969 - Since You've Been Gone
18. Shorty Long - 1969 - Give Me Some Air
19. The Buena Vista - 1969 - Kick-Back (192kbs)
20. Elaine Armstrong - 1969 - Tears Begin To Fall
21. The Volumes - 1969 - I'm Gonna Miss You
22. Ted Ford - 1969 - I Can't Give You Up
23. O.V. Wright - 1970 - I Can't Take It
24. Willie Tee - 1970 - Loneliness
25. Marie Queenie Lyons - 1970 - I Want My Freedom
26. Sandra Phillips - 1970 - Some Mother's Son
27. The Minits - 1970 - Pullin'
28. Clarence Carter - 1970 - Devil Woman
29. Wilson Pickett - 1970 - Engine Number 9
30. Honey Cone - 1970 - Are You Man Enough

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 11 July 2018

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 03

Rummaging through the goodie grab bags once again and got my fingers all sticky with these tasty little chunks of funk!

Brother Soul 1972-75

01. Brother Soul - 1972 - Train Song [Part 1] (Janion JS-102)
02. Brother Soul - 1972 - Train Song [Part 2] (Janion JS-102)
03. Brother Soul - 1973 - Life Is Like A Maze (Elmcor ES-103)
04. Brother Soul - 1973 - Feelin' Funky (Elmcor ES-103)
05. Brother Soul - 1974 - Cookies (Leo Mini LS-105)
06. Brother Soul - 1974 - Do It Good (Leo Mini LS-105)
07. Brother Soul - 1975 - Mister Boogie [Part 1] (Leo Mini LS-106)
08. Brother Soul - 1975 - Mister Boogie [Part 2] (Leo Mini LS-106)

Lynn Day 1971-75

01. Lynn Day - 1971 - Bit Off More Than I Can Chew (Big Hit 120)
02. Lynn Day - 1971 - I'll Understand (Big Hit 120)
03. Lynn Day - 1975 - Stop Pussyfootin' Around [w Black Nasty] (Big Hit 123)
04. Lynn Day - 1975 - Sweet To The Bone [w Black Nasty] (Big Hit 123)

The Explosions 1968-72

01. Mystic 5 & The Explosions - 1968 - Don't Let Me Down (Unity 2730)
02. Mystic 5 & The Explosions - 1968 - Girls Get Out The Way, Let A Woman In (Unity 2730)
03. Bobby Cook & The Explosions - 1970 - On The Way (Compose 129)
04. Bobby Cook & The Explosions  - 1970 - Sister Lou (Compose 129)
05. The Explosions - 1970 - Jockey Ride [Part 1] (Gold Cup 555)
06. The Explosions - 1970 - Jockey Ride [Part 2] (Gold Cup 555)
07. The Explosions - 1971 - Hip Drop [Part 1] (Gold Cup 0005)
08. The Explosions - 1971 - Hip Drop [Part 2] (Gold Cup 0005)
09. The Explosions & Juanita Brooks - 1972 - Teach Me (Gold Cup 0905)
10. The Explosions & Juanita Brooks - 1972 - Garden Of Four Trees (Gold Cup 0905)


Monday, 9 July 2018

This & That

One thing that really draws me to soul music is its pioneering empowerment of strong women in music, both on and off the stage. Where many other music communities and outlets were distinctly and deliberately "a man's man world" at that time, the soul and R&B communities celebrated and supported their sisters for the most part. In the same vein as Johnnie Mae Matthews, Joshephine Armstead was both a powerhouse singer / songwriter and a pivotal woman in the formation of the genre as we know and love it!

Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and started singing in the church in which her mother was a minister. After her grandfather introduced her to blues music, she began singing in juke joints and at dances, and sang in a club as part of Bobby Blue Bland's band. She joined a local band, Little Melvin & The Downbeats, as a teenager. Then in 1961, together with Eloise Hester and Delores Johnson, she formed The Ikettes as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. In 1962 she settled in New York City and recorded under the name Dina Johnson, by her own account a pseudonym to avoid being tracked down by Ike Turner. She recorded advertising jingles and sang back-up for such musicians as James Brown, Walter Jackson and B.B. King, before a chance meeting with Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. They began writing songs together, one of the first results being 'Let's Go Get Stoned' which became an R&B chart #1 hit for Ray Charles in 1966. Its follow-up, 'I Don't Need No Doctor' was also a hit, and the trio of writers also had success with songs for Chuck Jackson, Maxine Brown and Tina Britt. After Ashford and Simpson joined Motown, Armstead moved to Chicago in 1967 with her husband, record producer Mel Collins, and formed Giant Productions. The Giant label released her single 'I Feel An Urge Coming On' which, although not successful at the time, later became a favorite with Northern soul audiences in the UK. Two of her follow-up records, 'A Stone Good Lover' and 'I've Been Turned On' both made the R&B chart in 1968. She also wrote or co-wrote hits for other artists, including Ruby Andrews (Casanova), Garland Green (Jealous Kind of Fella) and Carl Carlton (Drop By My Place). She returned to New York after her marriage broke down and continued as a singer / songwriter of commercials. She was a backing singer on Bob Dylan's 1971 single 'George Jackson' and performed in a Broadway play written by Melvin Van Peebles (Don't Play Us Cheap) in 1972. In the early 70s, she signed to the Gospel Truth label, an offshoot of Stax Records, and released several singles as Joshie Jo Armstead, of which the most successful was 'Stumblin' Blocks, Steppin' Stones' in 1974. She also sang as a backing singer for Stax. After Stax Records collapsed, she continued to write songs through her own publishing company, and also worked as a fashion designer. Joshie also performed vocals for four titles on the 1977 Burt Bacharach LP (Futures). In the 80s, after returning to Chicago, she had a spell managing boxer, Alfonso Ratliff. She recorded for her own Prairie Rose Records in the 90s.

This & That collects the complete* recordings of Jo Armstead between 1962 and 1974, including the early offerings as Dina Johnson, the Giant releases, her late 60s one-off on Tay-Ster records, the track from Don't Play Us Cheap, her Gospel Truth releases as well as the unissued LP and a couple other unissued tracks. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

04. Jo Armstead - 1963 - Looking For Lover-Boy (Infinity 028)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

More Power To You

Pianist Harold Burrage started out singing blues and R&B during the 50s and ended up as a linchpin of the emerging Chicago soul sound of the 60s; he made recordings in both styles and more than a few idiomatic shades in between. Burrage mentored young soul singers Otis Clay and Tyrone Davis, but never had a chance to see them fully blossom; he died young in 1966.

Burrage debuted on wax in 1950 with a jumping 'Hi-Yo Silver' for Decca with Horace Henderson's band in support. Singles for Aladdin and States preceded one of his most prolific studio periods with Eli Toscano's Cobra imprint. In 1956, Burrage cut the amusing 'You Eat Too Much' for Cobra, backed by a solid combo featuring guitarist Wayne Bennett and bassist Willie Dixon. Jody Williams added stinging guitar to Burrage's 1957 Cobra offering 'Messed Up,' while 'Stop For The Red Light', his third Cobra 45, was a novelty complete with auto-wreck sound effects. 'Betty Jean', his last Cobra single, is unabashed rock & roll, with Otis Rush on guitar. Burrage also served as a session pianist for the firm, backing up Magic Sam and Charles Clark. After a romping 1960 effort for Vee-Jay, 'Crying For My Baby', Burrage revamped his vocal approach considerably when recording rather prolifically for One-derful's M-Pac! subsidiary during the early to mid 60s. There he sang in a very credible soul style, enjoying his only national R&B hit in 1965 with the driving 'Got to Find a Way' (later revived by one of Burrage's protégés, Otis Clay). -by Bill Dahl (allmusic)

More Power To You collects all* of the releases on fore mentioned labels as well as Burrage's early 60s efforts on Paso and Foxy Records, plus a hefty amount of alternative cuts and unissued recordings spanning both significant periods of his recording career. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

*Missing #3 Sweet Brown Gal - 1953 - Aladdin 3194
also ...
#44/45 (M-Pac! 7222) may not be an accurate reflection of that single. 'Take Me Now' may in fact be the later released 1967 version which I believe is a bit longer than original. And 'Your Friend' has been a bit of a conundrum. I've come to suspect that it is another issuing of 'That's A Friend' (same year, same label) and somewhere in the mix, the title got changed. Certainly a matter of conjecture but I've yet to see any evidence indicating otherwise and Harold Burrage definitely had a habit of recording/releasing several versions of the same song, as indicated with this collection. Both phrasing's "Your Friend" and "That's a Friend" are featured in the lyrics. If anyone out there can definitively unveil this mystery, I'd be quite grateful.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 32

01. Rosco Gordon - 1963 - Little Bit Of Magic
02. Thelma Harper - 1963 - My Man
03. Tammy Montgomery - 1963 - If You Don't Think
04. Sinner Strong - 1963 - Don't Knock It
05. The Miracles - 1963 - My Oh My What A Groove
06. Tommy Tucker - 1964 - Oh What A Feeling (256kbs)
07. Donald Jenkins & The Delighters - 1964 - I've Setttled Down
08. Gladys Tyler - 1964 - I Am Confused Over You (192kbs)
09. Dorothy Prince - 1964 - Every Night
10. Clarence Ashe - 1964 - Only Time Will Tell
11. Wilson Pickett - 1964 - I'm Down To My Last Heartbreak
12. M&M's & The Peanuts - 1964 - Can't Say No
13. Danny Woods - 1965 - You Had Me Fooled
14. ZZ Hill - 1965 - Hey Little Girl
15. Prince Charles - 1965 - Sick
16. Marie Knight - 1965 - Cry Me A River
17. Hattie Littles - 1965 - Love, Trouble, Heartache & Misery
18. Ty Karim - 1965 - You Just Don't Know
19. Johnny Adams - 1965 - (Sometimes) a Man Will Shed a Few Tears Too
20. O.V. Wright - 1965 - You're Gonna Make Me Cry
21. Peppermint Harris - 1965 - Wait Until It Happens To You
22. Etta James - 1966 - I Prefer You
23. Sandy Hollis - 1966 - Tables Will Turn
24. Percy Milem - 1966 - Call On Me
25. Rodge Martin - 1966 - Lovin' Machine
26. The Shotgun Express - 1966 - Curtains
27. Ray Charles - 1966 - I Don't Need No Doctor
28. Judy White - 1967 - Running Out
29. The Velvelettes - 1967 - Save Me My Ship Is Sinking (192kbs)
30. Bobby Marchan - 1967 - You Better Hold On
31. Sonny Fisher - 1967 - Hurting
32. Jimmy Hughes - 1967 - I Worship the Ground You Walk On

(MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Trying To Make It Through

Known for his showmanship and outlandish costumes, often incorporating a pink turban, The Mighty Hannibal was a man of many talents ... and vices. A skillful songwriter and more than capable singer in the realms of R&B, Pop, Deep Soul and Funk. Many of his songs carried social or political themes.

James Timothy Shaw was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and started singing doo-wop as a teenager. In 1954 he joined his first group, The Overalls. From that time, Shaw credited Grover Mitchell as his singing voice mentor. In 1958 Shaw moved to Los Angeles where, under the name of Jimmy Shaw, he recorded his debut solo single, 'Big Chief Hug-Um An' Kiss-Um' a novelty song initially issued on the Concept label. Subsequently working as a singer with Johnny Otis, Shaw went on to sing in another group featuring H. B. Barnum and Jimmy Norman. In 1959, at the suggestion of Aki Aleong, Shaw adopted the name 'Hannibal'. He then released a few singles on the Pan World label. In 1962 Shaw joined King Records, who released four further singles, the biggest seller being 'Baby, Please Change Your Mind'. Between 1962 and 1965 Hannibal also worked as a pimp in Los Angeles, a lifestyle that soon saw him dropped by King Records. He returned to Atlanta, added 'The Mighty' to his existing moniker and was recruited as the frontman by Dennis St. John & The Cardinals. They ultimately backed Hannibal on most of his subsequent local recordings and played live engagements with him around Atlanta. His teen dancers 'Jerkin The Dog' and 'Fishin Pole' garnered some moderate success in 1965/66. Later the same year Hannibal adopted a more socially conscious stance. His wife and him penned the deep soul smokehouse 'Hymn no. 5'; a no holds barred commentary on the opium epidemic suffered by returning Vietnam vets. It duly became his best known recording, reaching #21 on the Billboard R&B chart. The success the track brought however fueled Hannibal's own growing heroin addiction. Come 1969, Hannibal spent eighteen months in prison for failing to pay a tax bill. Released from jail and free of drugs, he restarted his recording career in the early 70s now billed as King Hannibal. He issued a few singles and an album on the Aware label 1972/73. Finding a new direction with gospel based recordings, his songwriting nevertheless suffered in the late 70s. Hannibal was employed as a cameo role actor, and on the staff as a record producer at Venture Records, before working for the Atlanta Voice newspaper. Hannibal's recording career quickly died after his 1981 flop 'Disco Hoedown' and his recordings slipped into obscurity until a series of compilations were released between 1998 and 2001. Hannibal lost his eyesight in 2002 because of glaucoma but he continued to perform live, and enjoyed a seventieth birthday celebration on stage in 2009. He contributed the following year on Elton John and Leon Russell's first album together, 'The Union', by co-writing the track 'There's No Tomorrow'. Hannibal died on January 30, 2014, at the age of 74.

Trying To Make It Through collects pretty close to everything between 1958 and 1978 ... 20 singles issued by 12 different labels, the 1973 LP 'Truth' issued by Aware Records, half a dozen unissued recordings and a mid 60s live TV performance of 'In The Midnight Hour'. I omitted his 'Disco Hoedown' 12" single because it's even worse than it sounds (if you can believe that). All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy!

Monday, 2 July 2018

Cryin' Days Are Over

One of the greatest southern soul groups of all time were not actually from the south at all. Brothers Robert, Curtis and Andrew Kelly plus Charles T.C. Lee and Offe Reece who usually handled the lead vocals, were from Chicago, and known as the Kelly Brothers!

The Kelly Brothers were originally a gospel group that surfaced on Vee-Jay Records in 1956. They cut a couple singles for Nashboro Records in the late 50s before signing with Federal Records in 1960. From there the singles flowed, recording 8 sides in their first session and releasing them all within the year. Both sides of their third single became radio hits in the region and showcased the groups vocally intense, guitar driven approach. Another session in 1962 churned out 8 more sides and a companion LP. By 1963 though, the group was not making a lot of moolah on the Gospel Highway so they heeded the advice of producer Alfonso Thompson and began singing secular soul songs. Thompson actually renamed the group The King Pins, and they waxed several singles for Federal. Still performing on various gospel programs as The Kelly Brothers, the dual identities proved problematic. Ironically, The King Pins breakout single for Federal was 'It Won't Be This Way Always' was a secularization of a gospel song. It reached #13 on the R&B charts. Whiler the group released more singles with the label, none had the same impact. Signing with Nashville-based label Sims Records in 1964 and reverting to The Kelly Brothers name, the group worked with fellow Chicago residents Dillard and Rufus Crume. With Curtis and Robert now handling the majority of leads and the labels production team, The Kelly Brothers sounded more southern than ever. The group released 11 singles with Sims between 1963 and 1967, then signed with Excello in 1968 and returned to their former gospel roots the following year, releasing an LP with Creed Records. Difficulties finding the right market led the group to call it a day in 1970.

Cryin' Days Are Over collects pretty close to everything by this incredible group. The 3 early singles, the complete Federal recording as The Kelly Brothers and The King Pins, the Sims single (less one song), the later Excello singles, the Creed LP, the one-off 1967 single for King Records; credited to TC Lee & The Bricklayers and a handful of unissued recordings. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.