Friday, 31 August 2018

Going Back To Jackson

So it was recently brought to my attention that my George Jackson post a few weeks back, still doesn't even come close to covering the bulk of the man's unissued recordings. Between 2002 and 2010 there were 3 compilations featuring over 50 unissued recordings between them. These compilations all focus on his late 70s efforts, recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Going Back To Jackson collects these 3 compilations; Grapevine's 'In Muscle Shoals' (2002), 'What Would Your Mama Say?' (2005) and Soulscape's 'All Because of Your Love' (2010). I've also included Jackson's only official full-lenth album; Black Grape's 'Heart To Heart Collect' (1991) and if you can believe it, 8 additional unissued recordings not featured on any of the Kent collection albums or in my previously posted 45 collection. All files mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders and special thanks to Blue Stax Boy for setting me straight, enjoy!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Sure As Sin

Here's a lady who I was lucky enough to discover as soon as I started digging into soul sounds and one of the first collections I started assembling. Very few soul sisters had half the confidence, conviction or consistent powerhouse chops possessed by one, Laura Lee. Lean and mean with way too much grit for early Motown apparently; a proud and empowering female performer whose prolific recordings often focused on the women's liberation movement of the late 60s/early 70s.

Born Laura Lee Newton in Chicago, Illinois but as a child moved to Detroit with her mother, Ernestine Rundless, the founder of a leading gospel group, The Meditation Singers. Featuring Della Reese, they were the first Detroit gospel group to perform with instrumental backing. The group recorded on the Specialty label in the mid-1950s appeared on the LP Della Reese Presents The Meditation Singers in 1958, and in the early 1960s recorded for Checker Records. As Laura Lee Rundless, she replaced Reese in The Meditation Singers in 1960, and over the next few years toured widely around the country. In 1965, as Laura Lee, she launched her secular solo career as an R&B singer in clubs in Detroit, although she also continued to record occasionally with The Meditation Singers. She first recorded solo for Ric-Tic Records in 1966, with 'To Win Your Heart'. Around this time, she recorded an interesting uptempo adaption of an unreleased Little Richard song, 'You'd Better Stop', titled 'Stop Giving Your Man Away'. A typically "mature " philosophical side by Laura. The following year, she signed with Chess Records and, after initially recording in-house with the label's producers in Chicago, it was decided to send her to Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to record 'Dirty Man'. This became her first hit, reaching #13 R&B and #68 pop. She stayed with Chess until 1969, also recording 'Up Tight Good Man' (#16 R&B) and 'As Long As I Got You' (#31 R&B). A short spell with Atlantic subsidiary, Cotillion resulted in two singles and then in 1970, Lee moved to former Motown producers, Holland, Dozier and Holland's newly established Hot Wax label in Detroit. One of her first recordings for Hot Wax, 'Women's Love Rights', became one of her biggest hits, reaching #11 on the R&B chart in 1971 and #36 pop. In 1972, 'Rip Off' became her biggest R&B hit at #3 but only climbed to #68 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also recorded the album, Two Sides of Laura Lee, while in a relationship with singer Al Green. She made an appearance in the 1973 blaxploitation film Detroit 9000, as a singer in the opening scenes. In 1974 she released her third and final LP with Inviticus/Hot Wax. Most of her material on Inviticus/Hot Wax was produced by William Weatherspoon, formerly with Motown. Lee left Invictus / Hot Wax in 1975 and signed with Ariola Records, but became seriously ill shortly afterward and retired from the music industry for several years. She returned in 1983 with a gospel album, Jesus Is The Light Of My Life, on which she worked with Al Green.

Sure As Sin collects pretty close to everything. PART 1 contains all 3 LPs with the Inviticus/Hot Wax label (1971-74), the belated Chess LP (1972) and the come-back gospel LP for the Myrrh label (1983). PART 2 is a complete singles collection covering both her secular career and confirmed 45s cut with The Meditation Singers (aka The Meditations) where she either sings or shares lead duties with her mamma. Some of the secular singles are alternate versions and mixes to the albums in some instances and there's a hefty amount of unissued recordings included. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

4 LPs with The Meditation Singers (1962-64) with Lee on leads:

He Has Done Something For Me (HOB 241) - 1962
Songs Of Inspiration (HOB 243) - 1962
Sanctified Lord (Gospel MG-3024) - 1963
God's Going To Trouble The Water (Gospel MG-3028) - 1964

Monday, 27 August 2018

I Believe I'll Go Back Home

The spirit of ol' Sam Cooke lived on through many of soul vocalists over the years, but very few, if any captured both his tone and essence quite like Louis Williams Jr. with his secular southern soul vocal group, The Ovations.

The group was formed by Memphis, Tennessee natives Louis Williams Jr., Nathan "Pedro" Lewis and Elvin Lee Jones. Both lead singer Williams and Lewis, had previously sung with the Del-Rios, who recorded for Stax Records in 1962 when they were fronted by William Bell. In 1964, songwriter Roosevelt Jamison recommended the Ovations to Quinton Claunch and Doc Russell at Goldwax Records, and they were signed to record their first release, 'Pretty Little Angel'. It was not a hit, but their second record, 'It's Wonderful To Be In Love', written by the group members, rose to #22 on the Billboard R&B chart and #61 on the pop chart. The Ovations toured widely with James Brown, James Carr, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Percy Sledge and others, before releasing their follow-up single, 'I'm Living Good' written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and recorded in Muscle Shoals. However, it was not a commercial success. Jones left the group in 1966 and was replaced by Billy Young, a member of the Avantis. Several later records by the Ovations on Goldwax failed to chart, including 'I Need A Lot Of Loving' also written by Penn and Oldham, and 'I Believe I'll Go Back Home' co-written by George Jackson, before the group had their second hit with 'Me And My Imagination' written by Claunch with Bill Cantrell, which reached #40 on the R&B chart. The group continued to record for Goldwax, until a dispute over royalties was followed by the collapse of the label in 1969. The Ovations then split up. In 1971 Williams formed a new version of the group, with singers Rochester Neal, Bill Davis, and Quincy Billops, Jr., formerly of The Nightingales. They then recorded a pair of albums for the Sounds of Memphis label, an offshoot of MGM Records, and had a #19 hit in 1972 with 'Touching Me' produced by Dan Greer. In late 1973, the group had their biggest hit with 'Having A Party', a version of the Sam Cooke song which was infused with a medley of other soul hits. The single, which had been recorded by Williams together with backing vocalists, and featuring Dan Greer and George Jackson, reached #7 on the R&B chart and #56 on the pop chart. The group released a couple more singles by 1975 but disbanded soon afterwards.

I Believe I'll Go Back Home collects the complete works. Both LPs and a complete singles discography covering both era's of the group and including plenty of unissued recordings. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Ow Wow Man

Let's wrap up Willie week with one you definitely would not have seen coming. In fact, the focus here isn't a Willie at all but read on and you'll see why I slipped this one in like a backdoor man. A recent request came for this one and it just so happens I already had it laying in wait. Unheralded singer/songwriter and multiple instrumentalist Jesse Anderson (born on August 21, 1940 in Paris, Arkansas) is one of many who has unfairly fallen into the category of “One-Hit Wonder” but whose obvious talents suggest there should have been more commercial success.

Just before turning 20 Anderson and a group of friends, who had formed up as Little Willie Wright & The Aces in Muskogee, Oklahoma, found themselves in Chicago where they hooked up with Syd Nathan’s Cincinnati, Ohio-based Federal Records. Before their first single release they underwent a name change to Willie Wright & His Sparklers, with both Jesse Anderson and Sammy Jr. Faggitt handling vocals, tenor saxophonist Eddie Caddell, guitarist Herbie Welch, bassist Carl Wright, organist Gordon Sims and drummer Willie Wright. There they cut some 11 sides, 8 of which were released in 1960: Slowly Losing My Mind b/w Your Letter (both with Faggitt at lead) as Federal 12372; Got A Feelin' b/w What Will I Say? (both with Jesse at lead) as Federal 12382; I'm Gonna Leave You Baby And I'm Goin' Away To Stay (Jesse at lead) b/w Just Let Me Love You, Don't Change Your Mind (Faggitt at lead) as Federal 12406; and Gibble Gobble b/w Bloodhound as Federal 12414. None could dent the national charts. Unreleased sides were I Want To Love You, Hard Times and Sufferin’ In Mind. In 1962, Jesse had two solo sides released as Federal 12453 - How Long Has It Been? b/w You’d Better Think Twice - following which there appears to have been a 4-year hiatus from recording until the 1966 True Love Express b/w You’re Only A Woman came out on the Chess subsidiary Cadet 5554. He followed that in 1967 with Swinging Too High b/w Get Loose When You Get Loose as Cadet 5588, and then disappeared again for 3 years before turning up at the tiny Thomas Records in New York City whose discs had a distribution arrangement with the established Buddah Records. There, in April 1970, he finally grabbed the brass ring when a tune he co-wrote with Jene Barge titled I Got A Problem made it into the R&B Top 40 at # 35 as well as # 95 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100 as Thomas 805 b/w the Curtis Mayfield-penned Mighty, Mighty. His only other Thomas release, also in 1970, was Let Me Back In b/w Readings In Astrology (Thomas 807) which failed to chart. 1971 found him back in Chicago with Barge’s Outta Cyte Records and the non-charting Oh, Wow Man b/w Woman's Liberation (Outta Cyte 100). What appears to be his last single - Help Wanted b/w Send Me Some Loving C.O.D. - emerged in 1972 for Stanley Lewis’ Shreveport, Louisiana-based Jewel Records as Jewel 835. With the right promotion a number of his solo sides could have - and should have - garnered much greater chart success, not to mention those cut earlier with the group. - bio c/o George O'Leary

Ow Wow Man collects the complete works of Jesse Anderson including the complete recordings of Willie Wright & His Sparklers (though Sammy Jr. Faggitt is singing lead on some of them) from 1960 to 1962 and his complete collection of solo 45s from 1962 to 1972. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Friday, 24 August 2018

From Warm To Cool To Cold

Winding down Willie week with a wonderful addition to the namesake ... while the name may imply a limited girth, Wee Willie Walker is a man with some large contributions and quite far from flaccid! A hard as nails deep southern souler, taking cue's from the likes of the mighty O.V. Wright, with "A voice, part velvet, part sandpaper, is the perfect Memphisian mélange of Sam Cooke, Al Green and Otis Redding." Walker recorded and released sporadically throughout the 60s and 70s with a host of labels including Goldwax, Checker and Hi Records, among others, but failed to garner national acclaim and soon after, fell into obscurity for over 20 years.

Walker's revival in the early 2000s and climb to recent recognition's is actually quite miraculous and certainly well deserved. Much of his current work comes across as lost deep soul sides from his 60s/70s recordings and even with a keen ear, distinguishing between them might be tough without album information. And the more modern soul-blues crossover cuts don't just straddle that line, they blur, erase and re-write that line entirely. Wee Willie Walker is a southern soul singer/songwriter of epic proportions and an essential addition for any fans of this blog. Read up on Willie's story HERE and HERE and dig into this deep soul collection pronto.

From Warm To Cool To Cold is not a complete discography. I've omitted 3 albums; his 2004 self titled release, 2013s 'Live on Hwy 55' with Paul Metsa (as both are more standard blues fare) and 2008s 'Hoochin With Larry' which is a horrible "mid 90s sounding" modern soul steaming turd. It's way out of left field and can be found on Spotify if you really wanna torture yourself ... What we do have is his 3 LPs with Twin Cities powerhouse, The Butanes (2004-2011), 2015s amazing 'If Nothing Ever Changes' LP, a Live Album recorded and released in 2016 with The Greaseland All Stars, 2017s 'After A While' LP with The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra and a (probably incomplete) collection of Wee Willie Walker's 60s/70s issued and unissued sides. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Willie's Boogaloo

We're halfway through Willie week and it's hump day! Seems appropriate to lean towards some smoother, sultry, pantie-dropping all-night dancers and I think I have just the thing for that. Here we have what might be the greatest gradient blend of sweet soul and deep funk I've ever encountered. Willie & The Mighty Magnificents are absolutely fantastic and though not every cut here is a winner, the approach is truly unique and when they're hot, they're on frikkin' fire!

Willie & The Mighty Magnificents were a New Jersey-based soul and funk ensemble led by guitarist/vocalist Willie D. Feaster, who recorded for Joe and Sylvia Robinson's All Platinum label. Initially completed by bassist/keyboardist Val Burke and drummer Arnold Ramsey, the group had a harder, deeper, more Southern-tinged sound than the smooth soul artists who tended to dominate the label's output. Willie & the Mighty Magnificents issued their first single 'Check It Baby' in 1968 and followed it the next year with the cult funk classic 'Funky 8 Corners'. Further single releases included 'Concerto in F', 'Make Me Your Slave' b/w 'Souling' and 'Think Funky'. Their first full-length album, 'On Scene '70' featured some of those previous singles. Saxophonist Tyrone Johnson became a member of the group, and Skip McPhee and Ronnie Pace also filled the drum chair at various points. A second LP, 'Very Soulful' was released in 1972. The group also issued recordings under the name Willie & West, including the single 'Get Away From Me Girl' and a Willie & West LP titled 'At Their Best'.

Willie's Boogaloo collects all 3 of the fore mentioned LPs and includes a bonus folder containing 25 tracks; tracks 1-6 are early singles, tracks 7 and 8 are an issued and unissued side as Willie & West circa 1972 and tracks 9-25 are rare and unissued recordings ranging from 1969 to 1979. All files chronicled (where possible), cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Nobody But You

This week I'll be whipping out the Willie a few times for ya's and I hope you'll find it anything but indecent exposure. Here's a real head-scratcher to get us started ... how can an artist who possesses such immense talents as a singer/songwriter, arranger, producer and who's recorded with some of the greatest studios and labels in the business, go so completely over-looked and underrated for so damn long? I truly can't wrap my mind around it, but such is the curious case of Willie Hightower.

Born in 1940 in Gadsden, Alabama, Willie was singing in his Church choir at six years of age. By the time he was in his teens, he had formed his own quartet-styled Gospel group, 'The Silver Stars', patterned after his idols The Soul Stirrers. Shortly after Sam Cooke left the group and crossed-over in 1957, Willie decided to do the same, and began singing in local clubs in and around Birmingham. He was soon noticed by legendary civil rights activist and WENN dee-jay Shelley Stewart, who was so impressed by his voice that he sent out a tape to his friend Bobby Robinson in New York. Like most record label owners at the time, Bobby had been on the lookout for "the next Sam Cooke" since his tragic murder in late 1964, and offered to fly Hightower up to New York to record him. With Robinson behind him, Willie soon found himself playing The Apollo. He would make Shelley Stewart his manager for the next ten years. In 1966, Mercury brought in Bobby Robinson to produce the newly signed Junior Parker, sessions were held at Royal Studio in Memphis and Robinson brought Hightower down there to record his next pair of singles for his freshly re-activated Fury Records label. The following year Bobby Robinson helped facilitate getting Willie signed by Capitol Records, as Fury was going out of business. Capitol pulled out all the stops and brought Willie into their New York studio to record with Brill building denizens Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein. The fact that the big label was willing to put one of Hightower's compositions on the flip speaks volumes about the inherent quality of his songwriting. Despite sending Willie out to promote the record, neither side dented the charts. Disappointed by the sales figures, the bigwigs at Capitol decided to re-unite Hightower with Bobby Robinson for a New York session in April of 1968. Released that July, the Gospel-tinged masterpiece 'It's A Miracle' b/w 'Nobody But You' didn't begin to pick up steam until the following Spring when Capitol promoted the record with full-page ads in both Cahbox and Billboard, eventually hitting #18 and #33 on their respective R&B charts. Empowered by their bona-fide hit record, the Hightower/Robinson team was able to place their own compositions on both sides of the follow-up but with no visible promotion, neither side of the record charted. For whatever reason, the next Capitol single released was made up of previously released Enjoy and Fury sides. The Capitol LP that was issued around the same time was actually titled If I Had A Hammer, as it included the earlier Fury hit. The rest of the album was fleshed out by material that was already 'in the can' as well. I'm not sure if it was some kind of contractual thing with Robinson but at this point, Capitol certainly appeared to have lost interest. The 3 singles cut with Fame are among both the finest of deep soul and of the label's entire output but they eluded chart success for the most part. In November of 1970, a Billboard article reporting on the goings-on at Fame claimed that the studio had completed an LP of Willie Hightower. That LP, as we now know, was never released. Although preliminary inquiries have failed to turn up anything, it may be possible that the tapes are out there somewhere! By 1972 the studio's focus was shifting away from R&B however, and Capitol chose not to renew Willie's contract. That June, Hightower was signed by Mercury, who was looking to expand their R&B operation. The contract called for four sides to be delivered per year and, to prove they meant business, the label paired Willie with another legendary Southern producer, Chips Moman. Unfortunately, after about six months recording in Atlanta, Chips Moman 'quit the business cold' and walked away, a decision that Mercury was none too happy with. In April of 1973, they amended Willie's contract, calling on him to supervise and A&R his own sessions. Left to his own devices, Willie returned to his deep soul roots with 'Don't Blame Me' which he wrote, arranged and produced. A follow-up single was in the can and slated for release in July of 1974. The single was never issued however, and that October Mercury terminated their agreement with Mr. Hightower. Monument's R&B outlet Sound Stage 7 had been reeling ever since Joe Simon jumped ship for Spring Records in late 1970. Joe was back at the top of the R&B charts for Spring Records in 1975 and early '76 with new material clearly aimed at the 'Disco Crowd'. I think Monument saw their chance to get back on top when they signed Willie Hightower and handed him off to Jesse Boyce and Sanchez Harley. No matter what you might think of 'Disco' per se, the lone single is incredible and the production is far superior to that on Simon's records at the time but alas, this great record went virtually unnoticed. Willie would not darken the door of a studio for the next six years and when he did, Willie returned to the place he cut his first hit in 1966, Royal Studio in Memphis. Armed with an album's worth of new material he had written, he would record there in 1982 with Willie Mitchell and Hi Rhythm, which is what you would expect. With his singing and songwriting as strong as ever, and Willie Mitchell's updated 'Waylo' sound giving it that eighties feel, I can't believe there was no market for it at the time. The more-or-less finished album remained 'in the can' for the next 25 years, until it was included on a 2007 P-Vine Japanese CD. Alternate recordings of a couple of these tracks appeared on the 1983 (or 1985) 45 release via Adventure One Records. This 45 would turn out to be Willie Hightower's last release. - bio mostly stolen from Red Kelly (SoulDetective).

Nobody But You collects the complete issued recordings of Willie Hightower and includes a few unissued tracks. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to the original uploaders and special thanks to Red Kelly. Enjoy.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

No One Else Will Do

Probably best known for penning a song he never even got around to recording himself until about ten years past his prime. And despite his range of influences and evident capabilities, Clay Hammond has manged to fly under most radars undetected, dropping some seriously deep soul bombs along the way.

Clayton Hammond Jr. was born in Groesbeck, Texas. In 1956 he became a founding member of the gospel group The Mighty Clouds of Joy in Los Angeles, with Little Johnny Taylor and others. Hammond made his first recording in 1959 for the Tag label, and then formed a trio called 'The Three Friends' who recorded for the Cal-Gold and Imperial labels in 1961, with little success. He also recorded a single with his brother Walter as the Hammond Brothers the following year. In 1963, his song 'Part Time Love', recorded by Little Johnny Taylor, reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and #19 on the pop chart. Hammond continued to write songs but with much less success, as well as recording singles for a variety of small labels. He joined Kent Records in 1966, and his four singles for that label, including 'I'll Make It Up To You' are among his most well-known; Richie Unterberger wrote that they "mixed Southern soul, gospel, and blues styles, yet also had a somewhat lighter and poppier production aura than much Southern soul, perhaps because they were recorded in Los Angeles." After leaving Kent in 1969 Hammond issued a few more singles throughout the early 70s and an LP issued on P-Vine in 1977. In 1981 joined doo-wop group The Rivingtons as their lead vocalist, replacing Carl White. He also spent some time in a version of The Drifters. He continued to record as a solo singer for various small labels up to the mid 90s. In 2000 he appeared at the Blues Estafette festival in the Netherlands, and in 2001 and 2010 he performed at the Sweet Soul Festival in Porretta, Italy. Hammond died in Houston, Texas in 2011 at the age of 74.

No One Else Will Do collects the complete efforts of Clay Hammond from 1961 to 1977. 51 tracks including his early singles with The Three Friends, the lone single with his brother Walter, the early to mid 60s sides issued via Galaxy, Duo-Disc and Liberty Records, of course the Kent singles, a bulk of unissued Kent sides, the few early 70s post-Kent singles and the LP on P-Vine Record circa 1977. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 05

Like a little tot with a sweet tooth on a tantrum, I'm getting my fingers sticky once again, digging deep into the ooey-gooey Goodie Grab Bags for the yummy stuff that'll keep me buzzing way past bedtime!

Jeff Dale - Discography 1964-66 [6sides]

01. Jeff Dale - 1964 - Don't Forget About Me Baby (Atco 45-6332)
02. Jeff Dale - 1964 - Language Of Love (Atco 45-6332)
03. Jeff Dale - 1965 - Come To Me Girl (Atco 45-6352)
04. Jeff Dale - 1965 - Where Did I Go (Atco 45-6352)
05. Jeff Dale - 1966 - A Suffering Pain (Atco 45-6405)
06. Jeff Dale - 1966 - Our Love Will Grow Stronger (Atco 45-6405)

Fuller Brothers - Discography 1966-69 [7sides]

01. Fuller Brothers - 1966 - Stranger At My Door (GDL 2003)
02. Fuller Brothers - 1966 - Stranger At My Door [inst] (GDL 2003)
03. Fuller Brothers - 1967 - (I Want Her) By My Side (Keymen 110)
04. Fuller Brothers - 1967 - Moaning, Groaning And Crying (Keymen 110)
05. Fuller Brothers - 1968 - Let Me Love You (Soul Clock 101)
06. Fuller Brothers - 1968 - Don't Knock Me (Soul Clock 101)
07. Fuller Brothers - 1969 - Time's A Wastin' (Soul Clock 105)

Rudy Mockabee - Discography 1969 [4sides]

01. Rudy Mockabee - 1969 - Cheer Up (Daddy's Coming Home) (Atco 45-6721)
02. Rudy Mockabee - 1969 - Sweet Thing (Atco 45-6721)
03. Rudy Mockabee - 1969 - Piece Of My Heart (Atco 45-6748)
04. Rudy Mockabee - 1969 - Think About It (Atco 45-6748)

Lee Jackson - Discography 1965-71 [6sides]

01. Lee Jackson - 1965 - Ad For Love (Atlantic 45-2284)
02. Lee Jackson - 1965 - Keep Your Mouth Shut (Atlantic 45-2284)
03. Lee Jackson - 1969 - Give It To Me (JAS Records 511)
04. Lee Jackson - 1969 - My Love Is Too Strong (JAS Records 511)
05. Lee Jackson - 1971 - Ordinary People (JAS Records 520)
06. Lee Jackson - 1971 - Life Ain't Easy (JAS Records 520)


Monday, 13 August 2018

Won't You Forgive Me

Hands down, the most dynamic duo to ever grace the genres of Soul, Funk and R&B were none other than the immensely talented team of Ike & Tina Turner!! Due to Ike's fairly well documented history of abusive behavior, I certainly had reservations about this post but to overlook the intrinsic part they played in the formation of soul music, their ever-evolving abundant output and the overwhelming influence they had on so many musicians both on stage and in the studio, would be a crime in itself.

Now I'd normally give you a brief history here, I'm gonna pass though as most of you are more than familiar with this power pair. If however, your are not, wiki alone has pages of information. What I will address here is something that was touched on a couple months back on the TZ site. I believe it was Uncle Babkka who over several days pieced together a pretty decent Ike & Tina collection. In his first post he wrote something along the lines of "their discography is a bloody mess!", and I really couldn't agree more. Just scratching the surface ... there has been multiple re-releases for nearly every studio album they've done and in many cases those re-releases have alternate mixes and slight discrepancies in track order to the original releases. On top of that, of the well-over 200 compilations issued over the years, many of them repeatedly bear the same titles as studio released albums. Further muddying the waters is that many of these alt re-releases and various compilations are floating around the web, represented as the original studio releases (even on some creditable sites). A couple years ago I took a stab at putting the Ike & Tina studio LP collection together but never saw it through. After Uncle Babkka's attempt I thought I'd give it another go. I've been able to fill the gaps from UB's posts and think I've amassed the most accurate and best quality collection available anywhere. A handful of these albums were pieced together from various releases but most albums are from the original sources and/or accurate re-masters. This particular collection required finding between 3 and 10 versions of the same albums to obtain an accurate and high quality discography but (Side Note) it's really worth noting that I generally do that for every collection I put together so even if you already have something I post, I might have the upgrade you didn't even know you needed. This is one of those monster posts that require downloading all pieces to extract so just go dump all you Ike & Tina studio releases in the trash and take these instead.

Won't You Forgive Me boasts all 22 studio LPs released between 1960 and 1980, most of the live LPs in that stetch, all the best rarities collections, Tina's first few late-70s solo releases and the complete Ikettes recordings almost entirely MP3 @ 320kbs. Detailed list in comments. Thanks to original uploaders and Uncle Babkka for re-lighting that fire. Enjoy!


Saturday, 11 August 2018

Things Ain't Right

In most soulie circles Syl Johnson is pretty much a house-hold name and deservingly so. Very few artists delivered the goods with even half the swagger, stamina and straight up consistency that Syl Johnson exerted on the regular!!!

Born Sylvester Thompson in Holly Springs, Mississippi, he moved with his family to Chicago in 1950, where blues guitarist Magic Sam was his next-door neighbor. Johnson sang and played with blues artists Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf in the 50s. He recorded with Jimmy Reed for Vee-Jay in 1959. He made his solo debut that same year with Federal, a subsidiary of King Records of Cincinnati, backed by Freddie King on guitar. Johnson began recording for Twinight Records of Chicago in the mid-1960s. Beginning with his first hit, 'Come On Sock It to Me' in 1967, he dominated the label as both a hit-maker and a producer. Like other black songwriters of the period, he wrote songs at this time exploring themes of African-American identity and social problems, such as 'Is It Because I'm Black' which reached #11 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1969. In 1971, producer Willie Mitchell brought Johnson to Hi Records, for which the two recorded three albums, which generated a number of singles. Produced in Memphis with the Hi house band, these albums contained the hits 'We Did It', 'Back For A Taste Of Your Love' and 'Take Me To The River', his biggest success, reaching #7 on the R&B chart in 1975. However, at Hi Records, Johnson was always to some extent in the shadow of Al Green, commercially if not artistically. Mitchell also chose to use mainly in-house compositions rather than Johnson's original songs. After his years with Hi ended, Johnson produced two LPs for his own Shama label, the second of which (Ms. Fine Brown Frame, 1982) was picked up for distribution by Boardwalk Records. The title track of that album was Johnson's last hit record. Around the mid 80s, Johnson started a fast-food fish restaurant and mostly retired from performing, making only occasional appearances at blues clubs.

Yes, several thorough Syl Johnson collections have been comprised already to date, collecting damn near everything (at least as far as the Hi, Twinight and Federal recordings are concerned). Things Ain't Right combines these catalogs in my usual fashion and includes several one-off's and the Shama 45s (less 1) for a massive singles collection spanning 1959-1981 and includes all those tasty unissued Twinight recordings obviously. I've also collected the complete classic albums, plus his 3 often over-looked early 80s LPs. Almost entirely sourced from FLAC, all files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

*missing single:
98. Can't Nobody Stop Me Now - 1977 (Shama 1236)
99. Let Me Love You - 1977 (Shama 1236)

Friday, 10 August 2018

GGG Presents Sizzlin' Slabs of...

The second edition in this 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; sure, you may find some of those agreed upon great cuts but you'll also find long forgotten LP tracks, obscure 45 sides and unissued recordings or whatever gets me in the groove. 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 Al Green (1967-78)

48 cuts from the sultry sultan of soul music .... Mr. Al Green !!!

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

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

It's Such A Sad Sad World

Here we have a sporadic and bittersweet recording career from an unsung hero of R&B. Sir Lattimore Brown might have been one of the most fantastic deep soulers out there, if not sadly plagued with an epic series of misfortunes.

Here's a short version...
Born 1931, raised by sharecropping grandfather.
Returns from Korea and Vietnam to find wife pregnant with another man's child.
Opens club in Dallas ... with silent partner Jack Ruby. Ruby kills Oswald.
1966: signed to Otis Redding's touring agency RedWal. Redding dies in plane crash.
Remarries in Knoxville, but she dies after heart surgery.
Remarries in Little Rock, but she dies of lung cancer.
1974: riots at his gigs by fans of another artist named 'Latimore'. Southern mafia puts out contract on him because of concert mix-ups.
No royalties from compilation record This Is Lattimore's World.
All Music Guide announces his death in the 1990s.
2005: badly injured by Hurricane Katrina, wife dies of heart attack soon after.
2007: stabbed and robbed in his trailer home.
Dies March 25, 2011. Struck by car in Pensacola as he was crossing the street.

Here's an incredibly detailed and delightful story (c/o Red Kelly, friends and Sir Lattimore himself)

It's Such A Sad Sad World collects the complete recordings of Sir Lattimore Brown between 1960 and 1975. 34 issued sides with Zil, Excello, Dutchess, Sound Stage 7, Renegade and Ace Records and 2 unissued (at the time) tracks that appeared on the 1977 compilation 'This Is Lattimore's World'. Some of these offerings aren't anything too special but when Lattimore is firing on all cylinders, he's absolutely incredible. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Pass The Word

Tony Borders is a relatively obscure (at least on a national scale) Southern Soul artist who, nevertheless, recorded rather prolifically in the late 60s/early 70s for Muscle Shoals producer Quin Ivy, without ever achieving a national hit, either on the Billboard Pop Hot 100 or the R&B charts.

The mysterious Tony Borders was the most prolific of the artists that Muscle Shoals producer Quin Ivy recorded; apart of course from the great Percy Sledge. And it is on those sessions that Borders’ reputation as a first class southern soulman is based. A further tribute to his abilities is the fact the Ivy was able to lease out so much of his product. When he started out, his early material was definitely country-tinged, as you can hear on cuts like Get Yourself Another Man, Counting On You, Stay By My Side, Can't Stand To See You Cry, and Soft Wind, Soft Voice, released by labels such as Delta and Hall, you will hear that he might have made a name for himself in Country Music had he chosen to go that route. But Soul was his first love, and when handed the right material, he was very good. Unfortunately, the labels he worked for were limited in their ability to promote him on a national scale. His early work is, frankly, not his finest efforts but in direct contrast, every single he cut at Muscle Shoals is essential to any self-respecting southern soul fan. Sadly, for whatever reason, after Quin Ivy threw in the towel Borders didn't record again.

Pass The Word collects the complete issued recordings and includes 10 unissued sides between his Hall (early 60s) and Quinvy (early 70s) sessions. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 35

As stated last week, I wanted to do something special for my final Gusto's Groovy Gumbo offering and I really feel I've achieved that here, on several fronts. First, the possible bad news ... if you've collected all of my artist retrospective's then you have these songs already as I've amassed this final collection with at least one offering from each of them to date. The good news however, comes in form of the arrangement itself. Each one of these 65 selections are tried, tested and true songs that have deeply moved me in one way or another. Like the artist retrospectives and GGG volumes 31-34, this one is in chronological order and spans 1960 to 1975. Due to this, some of you will prefer the earlier half and some the later half but I implore you to give this entire compilation a fair shake all the way through. I've spent a lot of time with this particular set of songs (reducing surface noise, adjusting gain and levels for congruity sake) and even tried several prototypes in a more mixed-bag format but I really feel this one works best with songs delivered in it's intended order. Also, some of you may be wondering about the image used for this one ... Gusto was my beloved mutt of fifteen years. I started this blog and the compilation series, in-part, as an homage to him after his passing last summer. This photo is the view from the tree he's buried beneath. It's beautiful place for a beautiful soul and somewhere we spent many o' wonderful times. Maybe mildly morbid but an appropriate image for this final installment. Lastly, I can't thank you all enough for the kind words, positive feedback, gap filling, file sharing and consistent interest and encouragement. It means more to me than I can articulate, that you've chosen to join me in this journey. Thank you dearly and now without further ramblings ...

Gusto's Groovy Gumbo Volume 35

01. Sam Baker - 1960 - So Long
02. Larry Birdsong - 1960 - I'm So Glad You're Home
03. Ann Cole - 1960 - Brand New House
04. Bobby Bland - 1961 - How Does A Cheating Woman Feel
05. The Famous Flames - 1961 - I Don't Mind
06. The Chantels - 1961 - Anytime Anyplace Anywhere
07. Gene Allison - 1961 - If I Ever Needed Your Love (I Need It Now)
08. Mitty Collier - 1962 - One More Time
09. The Falcons & Ohio Untouchables - 1962 - I Found A Love
10. Sugar Pie DeSanto - 1962 - I Cry Alone
11. Robert Ward & Ohio Untouchables - 1962 - I'm Tired
12. Jo Armstead - 1963 - Sitting Here Thinking
13. The Majestics - 1963 - Baby
14. Bobby Byrd - 1964 - I Love You So
15. Jessie Hill - 1964 - Never Thought
16. Slim & Ann - 1965 - Close To You
17. Little Milton - 1965 - Your People
18. Harold Burrage - 1965 - I'm In Love
19. Eddie & Ernie - 1965 - Turn Here
20. Ted Taylor - 1966 - Help the Bear
21. Otis Clay - 1966 - I Don't Know What I'd Do (256kbs)
22. Vernon Garrett - 1966 - I'm Guilty
23. The Kelly Brothers - 1966 - I'd Rather Have You
24. Clarence Ashe - 1966 - She Said I'll Be A Failure
25. Betty LaVette - 1966 - Cry Me A River
26. Mighty Hannibal - 1966 - The Right To Love You
27. The Sensations - 1966 - Get On Up Mama
28. Roscoe Shelton - 1966 - Soon As Darkness Falls
29. Mighty Clouds Of Joy - 1967 - I'm Glad About It
30. The Jive Five - 1967 - No More Tears
31. Irma Thomas - 1967 - Somewhere Crying
32. Johnnie Mae Matthews - 1967 - You're The One
33. The Masqueraders - 1967 - I Don't Want Nobody To Lead Me On
34. The Vibrations - 1968 - Love In Them There Hills
35. Darnell Banks - 1968 - I Wanna Go Home
36. George Jackson - 1968 - Cold Cold Love
37. Mable John - 1968 - Running Out
38. Howard Tate - 1968 - Give Me Some Courage
39. Wilson Pickett - 1969 - Toe Hold
40. Earl Gaines - 1969 - The Meaning Of A Sad Song (Medley)
41. The Monitors - 1969 - Guilty
42. Johnnie Taylor - 1969 - Steal Away
43. Erma Franklin - 1969 - Baby I Love You
44. Brothers Of Soul - 1969 - Come On Back
45. Chuck Bernard - 1970 - Turn Her Loose
46. Carolyn Franklin - 1970 - Chain Reaction
47. Bobby Powell - 1970 - Don't Do It
48. Gloria Ann Taylor - 1970 - Unyielding
49. The Volumes - 1970 - Am I Losing You
50. Ruby Andrews - 1970 - Tit For Tat
51. The Nite-Liters - 1970 - Horny Man
52. Sisters Love - 1970 - Ha Ha Ha
53. Eddy Giles - 1970 - Ain't Gonna Worry No More [alt]
54. Ollie Nightengale - 1971 - I'll Take Care Of You 
55. TSU Toronados - 1971 - Only Inside
56. Sam Dees - 1971 - Put You Back In Your Place
57. Funk Inc. - 1972 - The Better Half
58. New Birth - 1972 - African Cry
59. Betty LaVette - 1973 - Livin' Life On A Shoestring
60. Ohio Players - 1973 - Food Stamps Y'all
61. Veda Brown - 1973 - I Can See Every Woman's Man But Mine
62. O.V. Wright - 1973 - Drowning On Dry Land
63. Allison & South Funk Blvd. Band - 1974 - Never Let Your Love Grow Cold
64. Rev. Julius Cheeks - 1975 - Fly Away
65. Pazant Brothers & Beaufort Express - 1975 - You've Got To Do Your Best

(All files MP3 @ 320kbs unless otherwise noted)

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Cry Me A River

The competition for my second favorite female soul vocalist is both vast and fierce but the number one spot is a no-brainer! It belongs to the incredible Bettye LaVette. Sure, there are plenty of ladies with greater octave range, larger catalog's and considerably more chart success but Bettye's voice gets under my skin like no one else's. This is one of the first collections I ever wanted to post but couldn't find an audible version of one song despite searching often for well over a year. I recently rectified that and am so very pleased to finally share this collection.

LaVette was born in Muskegon, Michigan and raised in Detroit. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not begin singing in the church, but in her parents' living room, singing R&B and country and western music. She was signed by Johnnie Mae Matthews, a local record producer. In 1962, aged sixteen, she recorded a single, 'My Man, He's A Lovin' Man', with Matthews, which became a Top Ten R&B hit after Atlantic Records bought distribution rights. This led to a tour with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and then-newcomer Otis Redding. She next hit the charts with 'Let Me Down Easy' on Calla Records in 1965. This led to a brief stint with The James Brown Revue. After recording several singles for local Detroit labels, LaVette signed to the Silver Fox label in 1969. She cut a handful of tracks, including two Top 40 R&B hits: 'He Made A Woman Out Of Me' and 'Do Your Duty'. The Memphis studio musicians on these recordings have since become known as The Dixie Flyers. In 1972, she signed once again with Atlantic/Atco. She was sent to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama to record what was to be her first full-length album. Titled Child Of The Seventies, it was produced by Brad Shapiro and featured the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, now known as The Swampers, but Atco chose not to issue the album. The mid 70s saw a brief stint and two 45s with Epic, and in 1978 she released the disco smash on West End Records 'Doin’ The Best That I Can'. In 1982, she was signed by her hometown label, Motown, and sent to Nashville to record. The resulting LP (her first album actually issued), titled Tell Me A Lie, was produced by Steve Buckingham. The first single, 'Right In The Middle (Of Falling In Love)' hit the R&B Top 40. She briefly gave up recording for a six-year run in the Broadway smash Bubbling Brown Sugar, appearing alongside Honi Coles and Cab Calloway. Fast forward roughly fifteen years, after LaVette had played her own personal mono recordings of Child Of The Seventies for Gilles Petard, a French soul music collector, he sought the master recordings at Atlantic, whose personnel had previously thought they had been lost in a fire some years back. In 1999, he finally discovered the masters and then licensed the album from Atlantic and released it in 2000 as Souvenirs on his Art and Soul label. At the same time, Let Me Down Easy - Live In Concert was issued by the Dutch Munich label. Both albums sparked a renewed interest in LaVette and in 2003, A Woman Like Me (produced by Dennis Walker) was released. A slough of awards and further albums followed in the coming decade and a half, with her most recent released just earlier this year. However, the focus of this collection is the less blues-laden earlier portion of LaVette's career.

Cry Me A River assembles a complete and chronicled career retrospective from 1962 to 1984, including both issued and unissued recordings. Most of this material has been re-issued in the past two decades and is easily available, with the exception of the Karen Records singles and a couple one-offs. All but these few offerings were sourced from FLAC. I did my best to clean up the less desirable tracks, all files cleanly tagged and exported as MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.