Friday, April 30, 2010

This Wednesday I'm DJing at Otto's Shrunken Head from 10 to close. Woooo! I'm stoked to be playing at one of the best bars in the city.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gene Dozier - Hunk Of Funk - Minit Records, 1967
Today's funky gem is by Gene Dozier aka Ugene Lloyd Dozier aka Billy Jackson.
Gene had a long career, working with tons of musicians like Dusty Springfield, Lakeside, Shalimar, the SOS Band, Minnie Ripperton, the O’Jays and others. Unfortunately, after all of his efforts he remains a bit obscure. This song is off of the 1968 "Blues Power" album (songs of the funky instrumental variety with a few covers like "Cold Sweat"), and this single in particular broke the R&B top 50. There's a strong beat running through this one as some serious guitar and horn work elevate it to absolute badass. Gene passed in 2007.
Minit is a classic New Orleans label. They released a ton of great music, and if you ever come across anything on the label you owe it to yourself to give it a good listen.
(Ed - The following is from the discography page for Minit at Both Sides Now. Thanks!)
The Minit Label was formed in 1959 in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Joe Banashak and Larry McKinley. Joe Banashak ran A-1 Record Distributors in New Orleans when he formed the label. The man responsible for most of the hits on Minit was Allen Toussaint, who wrote, played piano, arranged, and produced the music. The first artist recorded for the label was Matthew Jacobs, also known as "Boogie Jake," who had three of the first six singles for the label. Ernest Kador (Ernie K. Doe), Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, and Benny Spellman were also early artists for the label. The first hit for Minit was Allen Toussaint's production of Jessie Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Part 2" which reached No. 28 in the summer of 1960. In 1961, Minit reached a distribution deal with Lew Chudd of Imperial Records. Shortly after the deal was formed, Minit had a No. 1 national hit with "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe. At the end of 1961, the Showmen made a fine tribute to rock and roll with "It Will Stand," which only reached No. 61 on the national charts, but has been a standard of sorts ever since. The 1960-63 Minit label has long been known for the early work of some of the most talented and enduring performers on the New Orleans scene. When Allen Toussaint went into the Army in 1963, the hits stopped coming and the Minit Record Label was sold to Imperial.
I've noticed that Minit went through several designs for the 45 labels, here are some examples from my collection:
Here's the first design, a simple orange and black number.
Then we have this design with a clock-themed logo.
And now the final label design, which seems to be a very stylized take on the previous design. This was used until the label closed.
Special thanks for Fleamarket Funk for some of this info!
For a introduction to the music of Minit, I recommend this compilation which contains many of the high points - including "Hunk Of Funk". The Minit Records Story
And now, the clip!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today I found at 45 carrying case from the late 60s - early 70s. Not only covered with funny girlie graffiti related to music of the day, but it was still full or records - and most in great shape! Now if only I could find one of these 15 years older and from Detroit or New Orleans...
Here's a list of the tunes which were inside my "Teenie Time Capsule":
The Cyrkle - Red Rubber Ball / Now Can I Leave Her - Columbia
The Foundations - Now That I've Found You /  Come On Back To Me - Uni
The Drifters - Loneliness or Happiness / Sweets For Me Sweet - Atlantic
Stepphenwolf - Born To Be Wild / Everybody's Next One - Dunhill
The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want / Honkey Tonk Woman - London
New Colony Six - Things I'd Like To Say /  Come And Give Your Love To Me - Mercury
The Hollies - Bus Stop / Don't Run & Hide - Imperial
Herman's Hermits - Leaning On The Lamp Post / Hold On! - MGM
Herman's Hermits - My Reservation's Been Confirmed / Dandy - MGM
The Rascals - People Got To Be Free / My World - Atlantic
Blood, Sweat & Tears - You've Made Me So Very Happy / Blues Pt. II - Columbia
The Monkees - A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You / The Girl I Knew Somewhere - Colgems
Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson / Old Friends Bookends - Columbia
The New Beats - Everythings  Alright / Pink Dally Rue - Hickory
The Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love / SWLABR - Atco
The Union Gap - Young Girl / I'm Losing You - Columbia
The Seekers - When The Stars Begin To Fall / Georgy Girl - Capital
Small Faces - I'm Only Dreaming / Ithcycoo Park - Immediate
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Helplessly Hoping / Marakesh Express - Atlantic
Peter & Gordon - Lady Godiva / Morning's Calling - Capital
The Royal Gaurdsmen - Snoopy vs. The Red Baron / I Needed You - Laurie
The Box Tops - The Letter / Happy Times - Mala
The Lemon Pipers - Green Tamborine / No Help From Me - Buddah Records
The Doors - Wild Child / Touch Me - Elektra
Crispin St. Peters - The Pied Piper / Sweet Dawn My True Love - Jamie

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Selecter - On My Radio - Two Tone Records, 1979

I usually cover 45s a bit older and in a different style, put I came across this record the other day and could not resist. I bought this record in the early 90's at Reckless Records in Chicago, and it was definitely one of my first record purchases. At the time I was listening to a lot of Ska and Oi! music. I guess I was about 10 years late to the Ska revival party of the late 70s / early 80s, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of this music.
The Selecter was formed in '79, so this was one of thier first records (the first was an instrumental tune, "Gangsters vs.The Selecter".) Pauline Black on vocals and Desmond Brown on the Hammond organ really set the group apart from many of the other acts of the era. The band split in '82 but came back together for several short episodes, most notably in the early 90's during which several new albums were released.
This release was the 3rd single on Two Tone Records. Jerry Dammers of The Specials started the record label in 1979, releasing such acts as The Selecter, Madness, The Beat, Elvis Costello and The Higsons. By 1986 the label was shut down, but what a run they had! Two Tone was an offshoot of Chrysalis, which was sold to EMI in '91.
Jerry Dammers, with the assistance of Horace Panter, created the iconic label artwork. The "Walt Jabsco" logo portrays a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers. This fictional character was based on a photograph of Peter Tosh, a former member of The Wailers. (Thanks Wikipedia!) This has to be one of the most tattooed logos out there, it became the symbol of a cultural movement based around Ska (see: Two Tone).
For those who want to check out more of The Selecter, you can download the full Mp3 from Amazon here: On My Radio or check out album, Too Much Pressure .
And now, the clip!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My new mix for April is up on Soundcloud! Go get it and rock out till this Weds when I DJ again.

Listen to or Download the mix here.

This Wednesday! Come out to Trophy Bar for a Rockin' good time. Let's start the march towards the weekend together!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tomorrow, Thursday the 15th, I'm at K&M Bar for Happy Hour (6-10). Then, Friday the 16th, I'm back at Motor City Bar from 10 till close for a night of debauchery and dancing!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The 3 Honeydrops - "Rockin' Satellite" - Music City, 1957

1957 was the year the first successful satellite, Sputnik, was put into orbit. This was a huge egg on the face of the US who fancied themselves the leaders in space exploration over the Soviets, and was the event that kicked off the "Space Race" in ernest. Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce referred to Sputnik's beeps as "an intercontinental outer-space raspberry to a decade of American pretensions that the American way of life was a gilt-edged guarantee of our national superiority". Hah! Throughout the early 60s one finds quite a few examples of songs inspired by this. I have a particular fondness for ditties about little green men, of which there are many.
The 3 Honeydrops put out two records for Music City, which was run by Ray Dobard in Berkeley, California from 1954-1975. "Honey Drop" / "In The Summer" and "Rockin Satellite" / "You're The One For Me", both in '57. This was the only information I was able to find, and all of it came from . Thanks! If you have more info, please share!
"Rockin' Satellite" tells a tale of going into space and landing on a planet only discover it full of rockin' and dancin' creatures. Actually all the similar songs of this era confirm the dancing prowess of aliens. Must be because of those extra legs.
And now, the clip!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I had a great record shopping day today. It took a lot of digging and I got filthy, but here's what I found for less than $1 a pop. All of these are in the $5-$15 dollar range on FleaBay, but prices there are inflated so who knows what to think.

Dee Dee Sharp - Gravy / Baby Cakes - Cameo
Joe Tex - Fresh Out Of Tears / Hold What You've Got - Dial
Lovin' Spoonful - You Don't Have To Be So Nice / My Gal - Kama Sutra
The Dells - I Want My Momma / Always Together - Cadet
The Rivingtons - Bird's The Word / I'm Losing My Grip - Liberty
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - The Twist / Teardrops On Your Letter - King
The Ventures - Walk Don't Run '64 / The Cruel Sea - Dolton
BJ Thomas & The Triumphs - Candy Baby / So Lonesome - Scepter Records
Blue Magoos - Tobacco Road / Sometimes I Think About - Mercury
The Electric Prunes - Too Much To Dream / Luvin - Reprise
Del Shannon - Do You Want To Dance / This Is All I Have To Give - Amy
Peggy Lee - Fever / You Don't Know - Capital
Chubby Checker - The Twist / Toot - Parkway
Little Johnny Taylor - Strange Bed With A Bad Head / As Long As I Don't See You - Ronn
Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting / Gamblin' Man - 20th Century
Rolling Stones - 19th Nervous Breakdown / Sad Day - London
Buddy Knox - Party Doll / My Baby's Gone - Roulette
The Larks - The Jerk / Forget Me - Money
Harry Hari - Yes Sir, That's My Baby / Yokohama Mama - Capitol
Rufus Thomas - Do The Push & Pull - Stax
Rufus Thomas - The Breakdown - Stax
The Excellents - Coney Island Baby / You Baby You - Blast

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I've got 3 DJ gigs this week, some come on out and Rock with me!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little Junior Parker - "Mary Jo" - Duke Records, 1962

I recently picked up a couple of 45's by Mr. Parker, who until a week ago was unknown to me. Turns out I probably should have heard of this guy ages ago.
Junior Parker, AKA Little Junior Parker or "Mr Blues", was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1932. As a blues singer with a great voice, he got to work with such cats as Sonny Boy Williamson, Bobby 'Blue' Bland and B.B. King.
During his career he put out tunes on Modern, Sun and Duke. The 45's I picked up were 2 early 60's Duke joints. Interesting note: Parker's tune "Mystery Train" on Sun was later covered by Elvis Presley. For Presley's version of "Mystery Train", Scotty Moore borrowed the guitar riff from Parker's "Love My Baby".
Parker passed on in '71, but he didn't get the recognition he desevered till being inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.
From Wikipedia: Duke Records was a record label started in Memphis, Tennessee in 1952 by David James Mattis (WDIA program director and DJ) and Bill Fitzgerald, owners of Tri-State Recording Company. Their first release was Roscoe Gordon singing "Hey Fat Girl" ... issued on Duke R-1, later amended to R-101.
After forming a partnership with Mattis in the summer of 1952, Don D. Robey (founder of Houston's Peacock Records) took control of Duke. Both labels then headquartered at his Bronze Peacock club at 2809 Erastus Street in Houston, focusing on R&B and gospel music. Robey started a subsidiary called Back Beat Records in 1957 and this later specialised in soul music.
Robey sold his labels to ABC Dunhill Records on 23 May 1973.
Here's a nice collection of Little Junior Parker's music, but you won't find "Mary Jo" on it as that was a B-side. Unfortunately I believe you need to find a 45 for that. Junior's Blues : The Duke Recordings, Vol. 1
"Mary Jo" is about a hot little mama who "went to melt the snow." Dangerously sexy women - how many wonderful songs they have inspired!