Friday, 31 January 2020

This Like That

Friday again, but not your average run of the mill weekend warm up. Would you believe it's the fifth one this month!? That's right, it's Freaky Friday again and we got some more instrumental hip hop for the haters -- lovers and fly-by-nighters welcome too obviously. Now certainly not to the caliber of sir Pete Rock, however, his influence as well as other prominent 90s producers, shines through here. Scotland's Jazz Spastiks have over half a dozen albums backing various rappers they're affiliated with but you won't find a one here. This collection is strictly their instrumental selections. Most of their albums have the complete instrumentals included and they have several additional releases void of vocals all together. Lots of samples, scratching, breaks and the sorts but contrasted well by the lush jazz, soul and funk grooves binding these cuts together.

I literally know SFA about this outfit ... they're two guys from the underground hip hop scene in Scotland apparently. Despite having a bandcamp site and social media presence, I can't find much of any real information on their origins. They've been at it for roughly 15 years, they're decent and they have an extensive body of work. As previously stated, This Like That is just the instrumentals and it contains ten full length CDs, two EPs, plus close to twenty single tracks in an additional folder. I haven't even listened to all of it yet but I'm over half-way through and digging it quite a bit. All files are chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 27 January 2020

GGG Presents Darling Dear Vol. 01

As promised, with the new year, comes new compilations. Here's the first of possibly four or five new anthology's. Only a slight stretch to start ... Darling Dear serves as a precursory companion to the Deep Dish Delicacies series -- essentially it explores the deeper side of doo-wop and rhythm n blues cut in the days before they really called it soul. Containing material recorded between 1953 and 1963 with a primary focus on the 1957-61 slot, during it's most expressive and explosive term. Akin to the Deep Dish series, Darling Dear is simply more impassioned balladry for the most part. If you got a significant other that likes to slow dance, this is the compilation for you! Many thanks to EasilyConfused for planting the seed with your great comps at TZ. Enjoy.

01. The Channels - 1959 - My Love Will Never Die (Fury 1021)
02. The Interludes - 1962 - Darling I'll Be True (King 5633)
03. Yvonne Baker & The Sensations - 1962 - That's My Desire (Argo 5412)
04. The Carousels - 1962 - If You Want To (Gone 5118)
05. Fi-Dells - 1961 - What Is Love (Imperial X5780)
06. The Innocents - 1961 - Beware (Indigo 124)
07. The Romancers - 1955 - I Still Remember (Dootone 381)
08. The Skyliners - 1958 - Since I Don't Have You (Calico 103)
09. The Velvetiers - 1958 - Oh Baby (Ric 958)
10. Joe Perkins & The Rookies - 1957 - Time Alone Will Tell (King 5005)
11. The Clicketts - 1959 - To Be A Part Of You (Dice 92)
12. The Gassers - 195? - Why Did You Leave Me (Unissued)
13. The Tangiers - 1956 - Remember Me (Decca 9-29971)
14. The Dukes - 1959 - Looking For You (Flip 343)
15. Jerry Butler & The Impressions - 1958 - For Your Precious Love (Falcon + Abner 1013)
16. The Paragons - 1961 - If (Tap 500)
17. Rita Zel - 1960 - Need You To Help Me (J & S 1685)
18. The De-Lights - 1962 - I'm Coming Home (Pop-Line BG 0207)
19. The Universals [NY] - 1961 - Dreaming (Festival 25001)
20. Willie Wilson & The Tunemasters - 1958 - I've Lied (End 1011)
21. The Miracles [aka The Jaguars] - 195? - Let Us Be As One (Unissued)
22. The Clovers - 1956 - Your Tender Lips (Atlantic 1094)
23. Otis Williams & The Charms - 1958 - Let Some Love In Your Heart (DeLuxe 6160)
24. Cleve Duncan & The Radiants - 1959 - To Keep Our Love [alt] (Unissued Dooto)
25. Shirley & Lee - 1960 - Keep Loving Me (Warwick 581)


Friday, 24 January 2020

Let's Start All Over

Though not considered a quintessential component of Detroit soul, The Dynamics provided important building blocks for both the motor-city sound and the budding Northern Soul scene to come, some years later in the UK. Their unlikely partnership with 'all white' band, The Royal Playboys, made for both a gritty, raucous explosion of soulful sounds and a political statement against a local government still very much in support of segregation.

The Royal Playboys band was started by bassist and trumpet player Mike Hedgi in East Dearborn, the area of the city with strong Italian, Polish, and Arabic ethnic ties. The teens in the band all attended Fordson High School and were inspired by The Royaltones, local Rock and Roll heroes who had a # 17 hit on Billboard in 1958 with their catchy instrumental “Poor Boy”. Besides Hedgi, the first line-up included drummer Lou Guido, along with Stan Petriw on sax and clarinet, guitarists Jim Wyjecka, Von Dragan, and Hank Rivera, and Stan Topij on accordion and organ. Other later members of The Royal Playboys included Al Siwarski on guitar, Ron (Jerry) Hubbard on trumpet, and Mike Adams on drums. According to Stan Petriw, he suggested the Royal Playboys band name to Mike Hedgi, inspired by a treasured copy of Playboy magazine that he kept hidden from his parents in the attic of his Dearborn home. Early band rehearsals were held in Hank Rivera’s home in Dearborn.  Mike Hedgi’s father served as the band’s manager and agent, and he drove the young band to many of their engagements in his station wagon. One of the band’s important early gigs was at St. Christopher’s Parish in Detroit. It was located across from Herman Gardens, a low income housing project at the intersection of Joy Road and Southfield. The church held weekly dances in its gymnasium that drew hundreds of kids and featured live music from several bands on a raised stage at one end of the auditorium. Al Siwarski remembers that The Royal Playboys looked cool in dark blue tuxedos with pyramid ties and would move in step with the music they were performing. It was at one of these dances that they were first seen by members of The Dynamics. Siwarski also recalled the night when the band’s showmanship at St. Christopher’s almost got them into a brawl. Sax man Stan “Stosh” Petriw liked to jump off the stage into the crowd to blow his solos, and on one occasion he accidentally kicked an audience member in the jaw. The guy got mad and rounded up a few friends to get even with the band. The Royal Playboys had to sneak out of the gym that night to avoid a fight. At first glance, it would seem unusual that a black vocal group would want to pair up with an all-white band from Orville Hubbard’s constituency. According to Al Siwarski, one of the factors in The Dynamics’ interest in having the Royal Playboys back them live and in recording sessions had to do with the difficulty that black artists in Detroit had at that time in getting their records on the air. WCHB-AM was the only black radio station in the early 60’s, and it was thought that having a mixed race grouping might make it easier to get airplay on the major Metro Detroit stations. The Royal Playboys were soon booked in all the major venues in and around Metro Detroit. They played the The Club Gay Haven, the Thunderbowl Arena, the Island Lake Roller Rink, and they were on the same bill with Roy Orbison at Detroit’s Redford High School. Petriw recalled that the band played high school dances hosted by DJ Robin Seymour at Dearborn Divine Child, and appeared around Detroit with many other nationally-known recording artists including The 4 Seasons (featuring Frankie Valli), Jack Scott, The Rocky Fellers, and Paul Anka. Siwarski added that that The Royal Playboys often played dances with popular Detroit deejays Lee Alan, Dave Prince, and Joel Sebastian for free in order to get radio airplay and for the promotional value that the gig provided. The band also played many memorable gigs along with black artists. These included appearing with Marvin Gaye at the Walled Lake Casino and backing The Dynamics at the 20 Grand night club in Detroit where they opened for Joe Tex. The Royal Playboys shared the stage with Chuck Berry, Martha & The Vandellas, The Miracles, and The Temptations.  In addition, they provided the instrumental backing for Little Stevie Wonder during his very first performance as a Motown artist at a roller rink in Brighton, Michigan, in 1962. According to Stan Petriw, the first recordings that The Royal Playboys did with the Dynamics were “Delsinia” b/w “So Fine”, released on the Dynamic Sound label in Detroit. The songs were credited on the record label as by The Dynamics (with The Royal Playboys). Siwarski recalled that Dynamic Sound was one of the many small record companies that used to be located in Detroit. “Misery” b/w “I’m The Man” were recorded in 1963 at the United Sound studio in Detroit by Fox Records, one of the city’s independent labels with an office on West Grand Blvd. The recording facility was used by most of the city’s tiny companies; the exception being Fortune Records which had its own primitive studio. Berry Gordy Jr. used United Sound to record all of his early Motown releases before putting together Motown’s famous Studio A at the Hitsville U.S.A. headquarters during the early 60s. Because Lou Guido had broken his leg, Joe Cyers was brought in to fill the drum seat at the session. Cyers had first met the Royal Playboys at Jim Wyjecka’s house in Dearborn. He had been performing with guitarist Cliff Bramlett as a duo called Cliff & Joe. After rehearsing with The Royal Playboys, Cyers brought Bramlett along to the recording session at United Sound. Six songs were recorded during the session that was engineered by Danny Dallas. “Misery” and “I’m The Man” were recorded first, and featured vocals by The Dynamics and instrumental backing by the Royal Playboys in a line-up that included Cyers and Bramlett. Next, were two instrumentals written by Cliff Bramlett:  “Goodbye Bo” and “Happy Hour”. The last two tracks to be put on tape included “Don’t You Realize”, a song written and sung by Joe Cyers and “Tossin’ And Turnin’” featuring Cliff Bramlett singing lead. The Dynamics provided the backing vocals on both songs. Following the session, Fox label owner George Braxton cut a deal, most likely with Embee Productions, whereby the single would be released nationally on Big Top Records out of New York. There is still some bitterness over the way things were handled. Cyers and Bramlett were paid the union scale of $52 for the session, but the other musicians chose to be paid royalties. Looking back nearly fifty years later, Al Siwarski recalled that everyone else at the session ended up with empty pockets: “There were promises made, but Fox sold the rights to Big Top and the management at Fox took the money and ran; even the Dynamics lost out”. “Misery” was issued on Big Top in the fall of 1963 and quickly became a major hit in Detroit. The song spent all of November in WKNR’s Top 10 on the station’s Classic Top 30 Survey and did not finally drop off the chart until the following month. The song also did reasonably well nationally, spending a total of 10 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at # 44. “Misery” was the first record by the Dynamics to chart in Billboard and it would be the biggest Pop hit of their career. In addition, "I'm The Man", the rocking flipside of "Misery", became a local hit in Detroit. The songwriting credits for "I'm The Man" listed G. Stratton, A. Wilson, and F. Baker. The Royal Playboys’ single, “Goodbye Bo” b/w “Happy Hour” was released on the DoDe label in early 1964. The instrumental would prove to be the only hit record released by The Royal Playboys. It was a hit in Detroit spending four weeks on WKNR’s Classic Top 30 peaking at #18, and one week at #29 on CKLW’s Big 30 Survey. The band parted ways following the release of its lone single. Petriw and Siwarski then put together a group that had a steady weekend gig for several months at The Village, Detroit’s hot new music club located on Woodward Avenue. It was there that they backed a young Mitch Ryder who was performing at that time as Billy Lee, both as solo artist and also with a black vocal group called The Peps. The Dynamics’ follow-up to “Misery” on the Big Top label in 1964 was “I Wanna Know” b/w “And That’s A Natural Fact”. The Royal Playboys were not used on the session because they were busy promoting "Goodbye Bo". As a result, the magic that infused the recordings of “Misery” and “I’m The Man” was sorely lacking, and the single sank like a stone soon after its release. According to original member Fred "Sonny" Baker, The Dynamics was an R&B quintet made up of himself, Starling Schafer, Lorenzo Campbell, Samuel Stevenson, and George White. Despite a phone conversation with Al Siwarski in which he claimed that the two songwriters listed for “Misery”, G. Stratton and A. Wilson, were both members of The Dynamics back in 1963, Baker stated that George "Ernie" Stratton was the Dynamics' manager; and that Anthony Wilson was their voice coach. Baker said that somehow the credits were listed incorrectly on the record labels resulting in their manager and vocal coach being given undeserved songwriting credits on both sides of the single. Baker vows that he and Warren Tippett wrote "Misery" and that Baker wrote "I'm The Man" on his own. Sometime during the early 60s The Dynamics signed with Embee Productions, run by Detroiters Irv Micahnik and Harry Balk. The pair formed their company in 1959. Many of the acts signed to Embee ended up on Big Top Records, including Del Shannon, Johnny & The Hurricanes, The Young Sisters, Jamie Coe & The Gigolos, and the aforementioned Dynamics. The group would record only two singles for Big Top. According to David A. Carson’s book Grit, Noise, And Revolution, “some Embee artists complained about the unfair contracts, low percentages, and missed royalty payments”. It’s possible that The Dynamics left the company over disputes that were sadly typical of Micahnik’s and Balk’s operation. The following year, The Dynamics reunited with Joe Cyers for a single on the Top Ten label. Cyers co-wrote “Love To A Guy” which was backed with “Whenever I’m Without You”. The songs were recorded at Ernstat Recording on Livernois in Detroit, but the single failed to chart following its release in 1965. The Dynamics recorded a second single for Top Ten later in the year, "Yes I Love You Baby" backed with "Soul Sloopy". Fred "Sonny" Baker said that both of the Top Ten records were distributed nationally by Laurie. The Dynamics' next stop was at RCA. Baker said that the group recorded three singles at the label in 1966 and 1967 but none charted. By this time, Starling Schafer had been drafted into the Army and was replaced by Isaiah Harris. Later in the decade, The Dynamics came under the management of Ted White, the husband of Aretha Franklin. White helped to get the group a contract with Cotillion Records, and they recorded an album called “First Landing” at the American Studios in Memphis. The LP produced two Billboard R&B hit singles in 1969: “Ice Cream Song” and “Dum-De-Dum”. The group, now a quartet composed of Stevenson, Baker, White, and Harris, went on to record the “What A Shame” album for the Black Gold label in 1973. The Dynamics’ last appearances on Billboard’s R&B Chart were for the singles: “What A Shame” and “Funky Key” in 1973, and “She’s For Real (Bless You)" in 1974. The Dynamics' final recordings were on the Columbia label. Following that, Samuel Stevenson went into the ministry, Fred "Sonny" Baker joined a gospel group, George White moved to Columbus, Ohio, and Issac "Zeke" Harris went solo as a blues performer. Original members Starling and Lorenzo Campbell are deceased. Over the years, The Dynamics’ recording of “Misery” has achieved cult Northern Soul status. ~ Gary Johnson [michiganrockandrolllegends]

Let's Start All Over collects the near complete recordings of The Dynamics. Both full length albums and a folder with all the official 45 releases and over a dozen unissued cuts. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

The Dynamics - 2004 - The Train To Soulville (Soulfuldetroit SD1)
The Dynamics - 2004 - The Train To Soulville [inst] (Soulfuldetroit SD1)

Monday, 20 January 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 42

Not too sure who requested Sam & Bill a couple months back, but here they are as promised. It's been rumored that Rabbit & Geno have over a half dozen unissued recordings - if you got any, please share. Also, a better rip of Betty & Roy's "I Love You So" would be greatly appreciated.

Rabbit & Geno - Discography 1958-63 [4sides]

01. Rabbit & Geno - 1958 - Uncertain Love (Bow 301)
02. Rabbit & Geno - 1958 - Why Did You Go (Bow 301)
03. Geno & Rabbit - 1963 - Deep In The Night (TeemA 696)
04. Rabbit - 1963 - Never Before (TeemA 696)

Roy Arlington - Discography 1964-65 [4sides]

01. Betty & Roy - 1964 - I'll Be There (Safice 335)
02. Betty & Roy - 1964 - I Love You So (Safice 335)
03. Roy Arlington - 1965 - Everybody Makes A Mistake Sometimes (Safice 337)
04. Roy Arlington - 1965 - That's Good Enough (Safice 337)

Sam & Bill - Discography 1965-71 [11of12sides]

01. Sam & Bill - 1965 - For Your Love (JoDa J-100)
02. Sam & Bill - 1965 - Beautiful Baby (JoDa J-100)
03. Sam & Bill - 1965 - Fly Me To The Moon (JoDa J-104)
04. Sam & Bill - 1965 - Treat Me Right (JoDa J-104)
05. Sam & Bill - 1967 - I Feel Like Cryin' (Decca 32143)
06. Sam & Bill - 1967 - I'll Try (Decca 32143)
07. Sam & Bill - 1967 - I Need Your Love To Comfort Me (Decca 32200)
08. Sam & Bill - 1967 - Tryin' To Get Back To My Baby (Decca 32200)
09. Sam & Bill - 1970 - Who Will It Be (Capricorn 8001)
10. Sam & Bill - 1970 - Things I'd Do (Capricorn 8001)
11. Sam & Bill - 1971 - Come On Show Me (House Of The Fox HOF-9)
12. Sam & Bill - 1971 - Rainbow Week (House Of The Fox HOF-9) **missing**

Freddie Terrell - Discography 1970-72 [12sides]

01. Freddie Terrell & The Blue Rhythm Band - 1970 - You Had It Made (Capitol 2728)
02. Freddie Terrell & The Blue Rhythm Band - 1970 - Why Not Me (Capitol 2728)
03. Freddie Terrell & Soul Expedition Band - 1972 - Soul Know How To Make Music (Shout 252)
04. Freddie Terrell & Soul Expedition Band - 1972 - Respect Yourself (Shout 252)
05. Soul Expedition - 1972 - Itching (Lefevre Sound 3181)
06. Soul Expedition - 1972 - We Gonna Make It (Lefevre Sound 3181)
07. Soul Expedition - 1972 - I'll Be Standing By (Lefevre Sound 3181)
08. Soul Expedition - 1972 - Take It From The Top (Lefevre Sound 3181)
09. Soul Expedition - 1972 - Night Life (Lefevre Sound 3181)
10. Soul Expedition - 1972 - Get Down On It (Lefevre Sound 3181)
11. Soul Expedition - 1972 - I Don't Know What This World Is Coming To (Lefevre Sound 3181)
12. Soul Expedition - 1972 - There Ain't Enough Time (Lefevre Sound 3181)


Friday, 17 January 2020

Years Of Tears

Ironically, in a round-about way, The Rivingtons are probably best known for the garage rock staple "Surfin' Bird" and sadly, not the superb doo-wop soaked R&B flip-sides they repeatedly churned out through the early 60s, which of course is my preferred stock of their lot.

The Rivingtons were a West Coast vocal group whose lineup featured Al Frazier, Carl White, John "Sonny" Harris, and Turner "Rocky" Wilson Jr. That lineup went through a myriad of re-shapings to get there, along with renamings -- they weren't even the Rivingtons to start with. It all started with Al Frazier, in high school in Los Angeles at the end of the 1940s, who sang baritone and formed his own group, the Mello-Moods, whose ranks included future Platters member Paul Robi. They had aspirations to record, but never got that lucky -- Frazier went into the army and served in Korea, which didn't interrupt his desire for a music career. When he got out he formed a new outfit, a mixed male/female quartet called Emanons (which was "No Names" backwards). They were good enough to wrangle a TV appearance locally in 1952, but that was as far as they ascended. Then, in 1953, Frazier crossed paths with lead singer Thurston Harris, bass singer Matthew Nelson, baritone Leon Hughes, and tenor Willie Ray Rockwell, at an amateur night run by the legendary deejay Hunter Hancock -- they had a group but no moves, and Frazier had some moves to suggest, and suddenly they were a quintet, then went back to being a quartet when Hughes left the lineup. The four-man outfit, called the Lamplighters, were signed to Federal Records, part of Syd Nathan's King Records, and began making their name all over the West Coast during the run -- up to the middle of the 1950s.

They were doing well, young men loving their work and getting lots of it, and then, while on the East Coast, Thurston Harris suddenly got homesick for Indianapolis and decided to leave the act. The group was on hiatus and might have stayed that way if Willie Ray Rockwell hadn't pointed Frazier to a pair of singers, tenor John "Sonny" Harris and lead Carl White, with Nelson returning to establish the lineup that would carry them for the next few years. The only problem was that the record company felt it was ill-advised to release a new Lamplighters single with a new lead singer, so instead of picking up where the latter group had left off, they were renamed the Tenderfoots and forced to rebuild their reputation and audience. They got four records out on Federal without any significant sales or airplay, and their bookings were similarly slim. They tried to bring Thurston Harris back into the lineup but that didn't last. And they spent time appearing on other artists' records -- including a credit as "the Jacks" behind Paul Anka on "Blau-Wile-Deveest-Fontaine," and were signed to the Jamie label as the Sharps by producer Lester Sill (of future Phil Spector fame) in 1956. They bounced around some more, to Aladdin Records, where they even ended up singing behind Thurston Harris, on records including "Little Bitty Pretty One." Their next stop was Tag Records and then to Combo Records, with "Look What You've Done to Me," which was later picked up by Dot Records for national distribution. Then it was back to Jamie, where they cut more sides of their own and sang behind Duane Eddy, among others (they were the Rebels in that incarnation). Finally, at the very end of the 1950s, Matthew Nelson left the fold and was replaced on bass by Turner "Rocky" Wilson Jr., and that lineup sang behind artists including bandleader/actor/trumpeter Ray Anthony (of Mamie Van Doren fame). There was also a stint as the Four After Fives and another as the Crenshaws, working with producer Kim Fowley on "Hello School Teacher," and backing Roy Milton, and cutting sides for Warner Bros..

Their break came one day when they were fooling around in the studio and Rocky Wilson suddenly came up with the "papa-oom-mow-mow" vocal line, done basso, and everyone loved it. The resulting LP was startlingly compelling record that Fowley steered, along with the group, to a pair of producers, Jack Levy and Adam Ross. They came up with a $1200 advance for the song and against an eventual contract with group, and the name the Rivingtons (derived from the two having once lived on Rivington Street on New York's Lower East Side). They offered the recording to Capitol, who turned it down as a little too far-out (that from a label that recorded Yma Sumac and released the single "Tsukiaki"). Instead, it went to Capitol's younger rival, Liberty Records, who bought it but then sat on it for six months trying to figure out how to sell a song called "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow."

The group and their managers had no doubt how to sell it -- play it, sing it, get it heard. Which is exactly what they did, at a performing showcase for deejays in Los Angeles. The deejays loved what they heard, and asked for a record to promote, and the managers duly provided them with "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow." It spread across the Los Angeles airwaves, and out from there to California, and suddenly there was no decision to be made about marketing the song -- it sold itself, and all Liberty had to do was ship them, the song did the rest. One of the reasons for its appeal was that yes, it was a nonsense song, but the members sang it with such spirit and élan, that it wasn't a "guilty pleasure" or an embarrassing novelty record -- it was silly, but it was also viscerally exciting like the very best R&B dance records, and sung that way. Like an amazing number of other "novelty" singles -- "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "Short Shorts," and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow's distant successor, "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)," it was cut initially as a joke, an after-thought, at the end of a session, and worked its way into the vernacular infectiously.

An album followed, entitled Doin' the Bird, in late 1962, that the group wasn't too happy about, and a follow-up single, "Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow," but not before "Kickapoo Joy Juice" interrupted their momentum. They followed with up with "The Bird's the Word," which capitalized on the first two records on that theme, and then "The Shaky Bird." They rode the crest of a wave for a year, into the second half of 1963. By that time, a Minneapolis-based surf band called the Trashmen co-opted the boom started by the Rivingtons, combining their first and third Liberty singles into a composite work entitled "Surfin' Bird," pushing the beat into warp nine and rocketing them to the Top Ten and linking the Rivingtons forever to the tail-end of the surf music craze and also, to an extent, displacing the originals -- by the time the Ramones began playing it a decade or so later, it was already a standard piece of punk band repertory. The Rivingtons kept making good records but never found a replacement for the "bird" craze around which to wrap their work. "Cherry" was a straight R&B ballad, and "Weejee Walk," which closed out their Liberty career, was an attempt at another dance piece. The group bounced around some more, between Reprise Records and Adam Ross's own label, and Columbia Records, before forming their own label, Quan, in 1967. They were Carlos & the Rivingtons at one point, and in 1973, amid the oldies craze, they did an updated version of "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow." Carl White, who passed away at the end of the decade, was succeeded by Andrew Butler, and as of the early 1990s, a version of the Rivingtons was still performing. In 1991, EMI Records, which had acquired the Liberty library, issued Liberty Years, a 23-song compilation of the group's Liberty sides. It's glorious, a magnificent collection of stunning vocals, and as priceless and essential a body of music as the best work of Bo Diddley, Johnny Otis, or any other foundation rockers you care to name. - Bruce Eder [allmusic]

Years Of Tears collects the complete releases as The Rivingtons between 1962 and 1976. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and MP3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 13 January 2020

GGG Presents Deep Dish Delicacies Vol. 29

01. Joe Haywood - 1967 - Say You Will (Deesu 313)
02. O.V. Wright - 1966 - Gone For Good (Backbeat 558)
03. Spencer Wiggins - 1967 - The Power Of A Woman (Goldwax 330)
04. Stacy Johnson - 1966 - Don't Try To Fool Me (M-Pac! 7230)
05. Vick & John - 1965 - Why Did She Lie (Unissued)
06. The Fabulous Denos - 1964 - Once I Had A Love (King 5908)
07. Donnie Elbert - 1964 - Who's It Gonna Be (Gateway 731)
08. Lord Luther & The Counts - 1964 - Two Of A Kind (Lusan 101)
09. Gene Burks - 1963 - Can't Stand Your Fooling Around (Arock 1001)
10. Jimmy Gresham - 1963 - The Price Is Too Much To Pay (Barbary Coast 100)
11. Barbara George - 1962 - Bless You (Sue 766)
12. Wallace Johnson - 1962 - Peace Of Mind (AFO 308)
13. Sam & Dave - 1962 - My Love Belongs To You (Roulette 4445)
14. Harrison Brothers - 1961 - Please Don't Hurt Me (Clock 71836)
15. Larry Birdsong - 1960 - I'm So Glad You're Home (Ace 589)
16. Bobby Bland - 1960 - I'll Take Care of You (Duke 314)
17. Betty Green - 1964 - He's Down On Me (Crackerjack 4018)
18. Timmy Shaw - 1962 - Thunder In My Heart (Bon 003)
19. Hannibal - 1963 - Baby Please Change Your Mind (King 45-5706)
20. Leroy Taylor & The Four Kays - 1965 - I'll Understand (Shrine 0101)
21. Roger Washington - 1965 - I Won't Never Make You Cry (Beacon 563-45)
22. Gloria Parker - 1965 - I'm In Your Corner (LLP 102)
23. Cry Baby Curtis - 1965 - There Will Be Some Changes Made (Romark 110)
24. Art Grayson - 1966 - Be Ever Mine (HBR 462)
25. Johnny Daye - 1966 - You're On Top (Parkway 119)


Friday, 10 January 2020

Love Business

Well we've had a Goodie Grab Bag and a traditional retrospective, now let's wrap this Willie Week with something a little out of the ordinary. Akin to the way Willie Mitchell cultivated the Hi Records sound and became an influential figure in the evolution of southern soul, a couple states over, one Willie Clarke was shaping the Miami sound with a slew of gritty soul and funk compositions, and over a decade before the commercial success of KC & The Sunshine Band and Miami Sound Machine. Clarke with then-partner Johnny Pearsall, founded Deep City Records in the mid 60s. It was the first black owned recording studio in the country. Clarke and Pearsall enlisted Clarence Reid and Arnold Albury and together the four wrote, arranged and produced hit-worthy record, after hit-worthy record. Their efforts showcased the depths of talent and the melting pot of musical diversity that was boiling over in Miami during the 60s. The songwriting partnership between Willie Clarke and Clarence Reid (in my opinion is the finest collaboration in all soul music) was cemented by 1967 and laid the foundation for teenage Betty Wright's impressive career. It forged through tribulations between Clarke and Pearsell and flourished under the wing of Henry Stone and T.K. Productions from the late 60s through to the mid 80s.

WLRN TV/PBS Review produced an excellent hour-long documentary focused on Willie Clarke and his Deep City Records.
Check it out HERE 

Karen Halliburton at 50Bold followed up with an expansive interview.
Check it out HERE

Love Business unlike most collections I post, is a collection of varied cuts from the Willie Clarke songbook. 86 of my fav tracks recorded between 1964 and 1980, preformed by Various Artists and issued on numerous labels. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged (with credits) and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Sticks And Stones

When I launched the first Willie Week and then whipped it out a second time, I suspect the greatest shock and awe was the exclusion of this swingin' dick. I wasn't sure a third outing would be tolerated but I knew if so, Willie Mitchell was making the cut! Arguably the most important Willie to grace rhythm n blues and soul music, quite literally a pioneer in nearly every facet of the industry. Mitchell re-invented and redefined the genre throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Heading Hi Records, he generated more world-wide appeal and popularity for the Memphis soul sound than any other single individual on earth. Mentoring some of the genre's greatest artists, Mitchell was nothing short of masterful as a player, bandleader, writer, arranger and producer.

William Lawrence Mitchell was born and raised in Ashland, Mississippi. Mitchell moved to Memphis when he was in high school. He attended Rust College. At the age of eight, he began to play the trumpet. While in high school, he was a featured player in popular local big bands. He later formed his own combo, which from time to time included musicians such as trumpeter Booker Little, saxophonists Charles Lloyd, and George Coleman, and pianist Phineas Newborn, Jr. Working extensively with Memphis outfit, The Four Kings (featuring a young Don Bryant on lead vocals) through the late 50s, Mitchell produced some incredibly creative rhythm and blues recordings for local label Stomper Time Records. In 1960 Mitchell landed a job with the Home of the Blues label as a producer, though he also recorded a few singles for the label before signing with Hi Records as both a recording artist and a producer in 1962/63. Under Willie Mitchell, the musical direction of Hi changed significantly from rockabilly to R&B as Mitchell helped fashion the modern Memphis’ soul sound. As a musician he had mild personal success with “20-75” before hitting big with “Buster Browne” (#29, 1965) and “Bad Eye” (#23, 1966). The pinnacle of Mitchell’s personal recording career was in 1968 with “Soul Serenade” (#10). After Hi president Joe Coughi’s death in 1969, Mitchell took on more production and administrative duties and soon his own recording career was eclipsed by his genius as producer. Known at the recording studio as "Papa Willie", Mitchell earned his nickname by taking over the reins of Hi Records in 1970 and guiding it through its most successful period. Mitchell's productions have been much noted for featuring a hard-hitting bass drum sound (usually played by pioneering Memphis drummer Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. & the M.G.'s). Working with one of the most influential singers of the 70’s, Al Green, Mitchell pioneered a Memphis soul sound which scaled heights of elegant spirituality and musicianship as well as popularity. Green began his success with “Can’t Get Next To You” (#11 R&B, 1970) and followed with his own composition “Tired of Being Alone” (#11, 1971). In 1971 Green and Mitchell teamed up on “Let’s Stay Together,” Peter Guralnik, author of Sweet Soul Music, writes: "It marked the first full realization of Willie Mitchell’s vision of soul music on a higher plane, employing a muted string section, soft sophisticated melody with a gospel twist." For the next four years Green and Mitchell had a number one hit each year. This was more than Stax artists’ Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Booker T. & the MG’s achieved during their entire combined careers. The ethereal combination of Mitchell’s refined production and Green’s spiritual vocal gymnastics paid off not only aesthetically but financially as well. In his career with Hi, Al Green would sell more than 20 million records. Hi and Mitchell produced other known artists including Ann Peebles (“Part Time Love” 1972, #7 R&B, and “I Can’t Stand the Rain” 1973, #6 R&B), Don Bryant (“Don’t Turn Your Back On Me”), George Jackson (“Aretha Sing One For Me”), Ace Cannon (“Tuff”), and Bobby Blue Bland’s highly influential album, “A Touch of the Blues” as well as others. Through the 80s Mitchell ran his own independent record label, Waylo Records. Acts on the label included Billy Always and Lynn White. In 1987 Joyce Cobb recorded several singles for Waylo, one of which made it to No. 3 on the British R&B charts: "Another Lonely Night (Without You)". He and Al Green revived their successful recording partnership in 2003 when Green recorded I Can't Stop, his first collaboration with Mitchell since 1985's He is the Light. Their 2005 follow-up project was Everything's OK. Mitchell died in Memphis on January 5, 2010, from a cardiac arrest. His final work was producing the Solomon Burke studio album, Nothing's Impossibile, released in June 2010.

Sticks And Stones collects the complete Mitchell recordings from 1959 through to 1973. A bakers dozen of LPs and a 45s collection featuring his pre-Hi efforts and including some unissued cuts. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs. Thanks to original uploaders, enjoy.

Monday, 6 January 2020

GGG Presents Goodie Grab Bags Volume 41 (Special)

With the new year now in full swing, seems only appropriate to whip out the Willie and wave it around a wee bit. For you more recent followers, don't be too alarmed ... it's just Willie Week ... again. In previous installments I've been guilty of exposing and parading around plenty of Willie's! Willie Hightower, Wee Willie Walker, Willie D. Feaster and William Bell, just to name a few. Well, this time around we're gonna get a sneak peak at several more truly impressive specimens. As is the tradition, I've got three posts planned for this week so don't forget to check in on hump day. And today we kick it off with this special edition of Goodie Grab Bags ...

Willie Hatcher - Discography 1963-76 [14sides]

01. Will Hatcher - 1963 - This And That (Thelma 90796)
02. Will Hatcher - 1963 - It Takes Two (Thelma 90797)
03. Willie Hatcher - 1967 - Searching (Columbia 44259)
04. Willie Hatcher - 1967 - Good Things Come To Those Who Wait (Columbia 44259)
05. Willie Hatcher - 1968 - Have A Heart Girl (Cotillion 44014)
06. Willie Hatcher - 1968 - You Got Quality (Cotillion 44014)
07. Willie Hatcher - 1969 - Tell Me So (Excello 2310)
08. Willie Hatcher - 1969 - Who's Got A Woman Like Mine (Excello 2310)
09. Willie Hatcher - 1971 - Head Over Heels (King 6360) +
10. Willie Hatcher - 197? - I Gotta Know (Unissued)
11. Will Hatcher - 1975 - Who Am I Without You Baby (Wand 11286)
12. Will Hatcher - 1975 - What's Best For Me Is Better For You (Wand 11286)
13. Will Hatcher - 1976 - You Haven't Seen Nothing Yet (Wheelsville 001)
14. Will Hatcher - 1976 - Ain't That Loving You (Wheelsville 001)

Willie Gauff - Discography 1968-72 [7of8sides]

01. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 1968 - Everybody Needs Love (Kent 495)
02. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 1968 - Whenever I Can't Sleep (Kent 495)
03. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 196? - Farewell (Kent Unissued)
04. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 196? - I Know She's Gonna Leave (Kent Unissued)
05. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 1969 - Communicate Not Hate (Eureka 101)
06. Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers - 1969 - It Takes A Whole Lotta Woman (Eureka 101)
07. Willie Gauff & The Kind Brothers - 1972 - It Hurt So Bad (Watts Way 201)
08. Willie Gauff & The Kind Brothers - 1972 - There's A Girl (Watts Way 201) **missing**

Willie Williams - Discography 1966-71 [8sides]

01. Willie Williams - 1966 - With All Of My Soul (ABC 10860)
02. Willie Williams - 1966 - Have You Ever Been Played For A Fool (ABC 10860)
03. Willie Williams - 1967 - Just Because (ABC 10958)
04. Willie Williams - 1967 - It Doesn't Pay (ABC 10958)
05. Willie Williams - 1969 - Just To Be Loved By You (RCA-Victor 9736)
06. Willie Williams - 1969 - Name It (RCA-Victor 9736)
07. Willie Williams - 1971 - The Baa Baa Song (Lakeside 3100)
08. Willie Williams - 1971 - Psyched Out (Lakeside 3100)


Friday, 3 January 2020

On The Right Road

Let's kick the year off on a good foot. It's been a mighty long stretch without some sanctified soul here on the site, so let's dig into one of the greatest's of all today. Since the early 50s, The Pilgrim Jubilee Singers have used their hard rockin' gospel music as a powerful means of testifying their faith, love, and charitable hope that humanity will find a way to bring itself closer to the kingdom of heaven. Over its long history, the group has undergone numerous personnel changes while maintaining an abundant and magnificent output of gospel soul and funk.

The first incarnation originated in the 40s on the Mississippi Delta by Elgie and Theopholis Graham, but the most famous version of the Pilgrim Jubilees began in Chicago, 1952, when younger Graham brothers Clay and Cleve resurrected the group. Since then, these two have remained the group's spiritual and musical core. While growing up in Mississippi, all four Graham brothers were trained to sing. It was Theopholis who left the first group to live in Chicago; the rest of his brothers followed in 1951, and all four briefly sang in the group. The Pilgrim Jubilees toured quite a bit (when not working their day jobs, which for the Graham brothers meant working in their separate barber shops), and this proved too much for the older brothers, who gradually dropped out. Shortly thereafter, Clay and Cleve invited baritone Major Roberson and lead singer Percy Clark (both from Mississippi) to join. They also took on guitarist Richard Crume and bassist Roosevelt English, and began recording; through the 50s, they released sides and albums for assorted labels, including Peacock, Nashboro and Savoy Records come the 80s. Soon after signing to Peacock in 1960, the band gained national exposure with their label debut, "Stretch Out." Its success allowed the Pilgrim Jubilees to finally go professional. Crume eventually left the group to join the Soul Stirrers, but the other three have remained together and carried on well into the 1990s. ~ Sandra Brennan [allmusic]

On The Right Road gathers the entire Pilgrim Jubilees discography between 1952 and 1984. Fourteen albums in one file, and another with complete singles (1957-77) and a collection of their earlist cuts and outtakes. I believe the bulk of these recordings were shared by (gospel) Bob over at TZ some time ago and almost entirely sourced from vinyl. I've filled the few gaps and given nearly every song here the ol' Groovy Gumbo TLC. All files chronicled, cleanly tagged and mp3 @ 320kbs*. Thanks to Bob and/or original uploaders, enjoy.

*1952-57 Recordings @ VBR
**new main link includes the singles as well (thanks again @mfarkas2)