Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Andre Williams - "Pearl Time" - Sport Records, 1967

This week I'm bringing you the Black Godfather, Mr. Rhythm, the legend - Andre Williams.
This is a guy music geeks go ga-ga for, but he still hasn't broken into the current mainstream consciousness. But enough so that prices for his records are getting out of hand.
Andre Williams hits the mark on several notable areas for record collector idolitry: fleeting commercial success, loads of personality, a hell of a story, and GIANT tunes.
His early hits were with Fortune Records out of Detroit ("Bacon Fat" hit #9 on the RnB charts in '57). From then on he had a slew of releases on many labels, and worked with such notables as Stevie Wonder, Ike & Tina Turner, Parliment, and Funkadelic.
Then Mr. Williams hit a rough spot in the 80's, his drug addictions at one point leaving him homeless and begging for money on the streets of Chicago.
But in the 90's he staged a comeback, releasing songs in the "Sleaze Rock" style - interesting stuff, but quite different from his older material. I got a chance to see Mr. Williams perform in New Orleans about 3-4 years ago in a divey joint with members of The Morning 40 Federation (another great act I caught a few times in New Orleans but recently disbanded). I won't soon forget him crooning "Let Me Put It In" from his Silky album. Andre Williams is still out there, releasing and touring - I even heard a rumor he lives near here, in Queens.
Now today's song, "Pearl Time", might as well be called "Bacon Fat Pt. II" since the style is so similar. I'm having a hard time digging up much info on Sport Records. Apparently a fella by the name of Andrew Harris ran a "Super Sonic Sound" Studio and also ran the Sport record label. I believe the label was run out of Detroit and also put out some Jay Johnson / Four Sonics tunes (these are also in high demand). If anyone out there has more info, please post a comment and share!
I recently picked up an LP that has all of Andre's hits from the 50s-70s collected together for the first time. Highly recommended! You can check it out here: Movin On: Greasy and Explicit Soul Movers 1956-1970 [Vinyl]
And without further delay, here's a juicy clip to get your Monday going in a better direction.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm back at Cyn Lounge with Ginger tomorrow, some come out and let's get the weekend started together!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've got two gigs coming up at Motor City Bar! This coming Monday or Saturday the 10th, come out and enjoy some good music at one of NYC's premier Rock bars.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Harvey Scales & The Seven Sounds - "Love-itis" - Magic Touch Records, 1968?

This week's 45 is "Love-itis", a slab of driving funk by Harvey Scales which was later covered by the Sonics (not one of their best recordings unfortunately).
Harvey AKA "Twistin' Harvey" is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin native and is well-loved there but not really huge elsewhere. But, he was the first African American song writer to get a certified Platinum record with the hit single "Disco Lady" co-written with Johnnie Taylor. I guess his son is in the Rap game so music runs in the family.
Magic Touch Records was run by Lennie LaCour who emigrated north from Louisiana to the north Chicago area in the early 60s, and had run several labels in the Chicago / Milwaukee area such as Score, Busy Bee and Dynamic Sound before starting up Magic Touch. LaCour got his singers and bands from Chicago and occasionally Milwaukee. From the latter city the most famous label signings were Harvey Scales and Marvel Love. Lacour also produced many of the sides himself. The label started around 1965, and went in several stops and starts, up until the final releases in the early 80s. Towards the end LaCour tried hard to break into the disco market, and a lot of the better soul releases from this period are hidden away as B sides to disco 45's. Thereafter what happened to LaCour is still a mystery.

Thanks to the folks at toodarnsoulful.com ,the Magic Touch label info was grabbed directly from there.

Looks like they may be re-releasing some of Harvey's work soon as I came across this:Love-Itis

And now the clip!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This month's mix is up on Soundcloud, you can check it out by clicking here. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Start the weekend off with me at Legion this Friday!

This week's 45 is:

The Flares - "Foot Stompin" - Felsted Records, 1961

Rule #76: Anything with "stompin'" in the title probably kicks ass.

Felsted Records began as a subsidiary of UK Decca Records in 1954, but was already shuttered by 1964. They tried releasing Jazz, dance and pop music but nothing really stuck. Today's record was released by the even shorter-lived US branch in New York.

I found the below info from a very well informed anonymous reviewer on Amazon (associated with a compiliation containing this track):

The Flares, under that name, are charter members of the one-hit wonder club with their only charter, "Foot Stomping Part 1", reaching #20 R&B and #25 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in October 1961 b/w Part 2. But some of the members did enjoy considerable chart success under other guises.

Beginning as a quintet in Los Angeles in 1953 as The Flairs, the group originally consisted of Cornelius Gunter, Richard Berry, Thomas Fox, Obadiah Jessie, and Beverly Thompson. That year they cut a Leiber & Stoller composition for the Modern label, "She Wants To Rock", which gained considerable regional attention but could not crack the national R&B or pop charts.

Berry would then move on to record with The Robins ["Riot In Cell Block No. 9" - another Leiber & Stoller composition], provided the deep male voice on Etta James' immortal 1955 hit "The Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)", did a bit of dramatic crying behind Donald Woods on "Death Of An Angel", and in 1956 with his group The Pharaohs, wrote and cut the first version of "Louie, Louie" - later a 1963 smash hit by The Kingsmen. (Ed: and don't forget "Have Love, Will Travel" later covered by the Sonics and the Black Keys!)

Gunter would move on to join The Coasters [where he was part of many hits] and, with Thompson and Jessie dropped, they became a quartet with the addition of Tommy Miller and George Hollis, previously with a local group called The Ermines.

By 1961 the group had changed the spelling of the name to The Flares and, now with the Felsted label, the group consisted of Miller, Hollis, lead Aaron Collins and Willie Davis, the latter two having been part of the previous RPM/Modern hits "Why Don't You Write Me?" [#3 R&B/#82 pop in 1955 as The Jacks] and "Stranded In The Jungle" [#4 R&B/#15 pop as The Cadets].

After their one 1961 hit, however, nothing else worked for the them or the Felsted Label, and by 1964 they had broken up, one more victim of the British Invasion.

Thanks for the info, anonymous guy!

Here's a collection of The Flare's work for those interested: Foot Stompin

Anyway kids, here's a little clip to get you stompin' those feet!

Friday, March 12, 2010

This St. Patrick's Day! Come end it with me at the Trophy Lounge in Williamsburg.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This Friday! Stop by Cyn and drink with us as I play music to dance and romance to.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I decided to try to do a series of posts here about some of my favorite 45s. A few things:
  • These are all 45s I own and are near and dear to me
  • The purpose of this is to educate you on good older music
  • I will NOT post full songs - don't ask. Please find some way to buy if you can.
  • Hope ya enjoy and are exposed to a new bit or two
That out of the way, let's proceed. For my first 45 I selected: The Balloon Farm - "A Question Of Temperature" - Laurie Records, 1967 In my book this is a garage CLASSIC. Right now this one is basically a constant in my sets. Balloon Farm was from New Jersey, but apparently they didn't have a ton of NJ pride as they named themselves after a NYC club. This was the only hit Balloon Farm ever produced, topping out at #37 on the Billboard Top 100. After that, the band fell back into obscurity. Mike Appel of The Balloon Farm went on to become an early manager for Bruce Springsteen. Laurie Records, named after the founder's daughter, lives on in NYC and is currently owned by EMI-Capitol Special Markets. If you want to learn more about Garage, you MUST buy this: Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 I own the original vinyl issue from the early 70's, but the new versions are expanded. This is the Garage Rock BIBLE. Great, great music! And here's the clip!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I threw some Soul 45s for sale here on Ebay. Peep it if that's your bag.