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Covered with Soul Vol. 18

August 29th, 2013 6 comments

Covered With Soul 18

Following on from the theme of Covered With Soul in Vol. 5 and Vol. 11, this edition comprises soul covers of other soul songs. One might quibble that “For Your Love” is not really a soul song (nor is, originally, “Try A Little Tenderness”), but it seems to me that Freddie Scott”s version was inspired by the 1967 hit version by Peaches & Herb.

The fun with this series is in wondering in what direction soul singers might take a song. Sometimes the results are quite breathtaking. One of the best examples of that is how The Temptations turn Bill Withers” simple “Ain”t No Sunshine” into a seven-minute plus epic.

As always, this mix will fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-covered covers. PW in comments.

1. Philly Cream – Soul Man (1979)
2. Zulema – Love Train (1974)
3. The Spinners – O-o-h Child (1970)
4. Lyn Collins – Try A Little Tenderness (1975)
5. Sharon Cash – Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay (1970)
6. Vessie Simmons – A Change Is Gonna Come (1971)
7. Al Wilson – I Stand Accused (1968)
8. Billy Paul – Let’s Stay Together (1972)
9. Diana Ross – I Love You (Call Me) (1970)
10. Kimberley Briggs – My Whole World Ended (1972)
11. Wayne McGhie & the Sounds of Joy – Take A Letter Maria (1970)
12. Joe Simon – What A Wonderful World (1976)
13. Freddie Scott – For Your Love (1967)
14. Esther Phillips – Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (1972)
15. Cissy Houston – When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (1970)
16. Ann Peebles – Chain Of Fools (1969)
17. The Intruders – Be Thankful For What You Got (1975)
18. Tina Turner – Back Stabbers (1979)
19. The Three Degrees – Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (1975)
20. The Temptations – Ain’t No Sunshine (1972)

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Any Major Morning

August 22nd, 2013 14 comments

Any Major Morning

Here”s a mix I have played more often than perhaps any I have ever done on this site. I dreamt it up, almost literally, when I had to drop my son at the airport for a red-eye flight. Trying to cheer myself up, I sang the “Good Morning” song from Singin” In The Rain, “Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles, and “It”s Four In The Morning” by Faron Young. Funny enough, none of these made it into this eclectic mix.

It kicks off with the full version of the song you”ll know as the theme to The Sopranos, by London band Alabama 3. I hope you”ll have better mornings than the subjects of the song. It”s based on the 1989 killing of English wife-beater Malcolm Thornton by his wife Sarah, who stabbed him 20 times. A trial in 1990 found her guilty of murder; a retrial in 1996 reduced the verdict to manslaughter and Sarah was set free for time served.

The version featured here of Kevin Ayer“s infectious “Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning)”, the psychedelic rocker”s first single in 1970, is the longer one which remained unreleased until 2003. It has Pink Floyd legend Syd Barrett on guitar, while The Ladybirds, who are best known from The Benny Hill Show, perform the backing vocals.

Perhaps the most obscure track here is Joyce Williams” “The First Thing I Do In The Morning”. This gospel-funk number burns it up, with its hot flutes, sizzling wah-wah guitar and incendiary bass. The only other record Williams seems to have recorded was a single titled “Dance The Wrangler Shake” (take that, Harlem) six years earlier, in 1966 “” for the jeans company.

A few songs here are covers of well-known songs. Harry Nilsson covers Louis Jordan”s 1947 hit “Early In The Morning”, Paul Weller does Paul Lightfoot”s “Early Morning Rain””¦

And listen to the drums on the Tim Rose. Yes, it”s our friend Bernard Purdie again.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-brewed covers.

1. Alabama 3 – Woke Up This Morning (1997)
2. Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning (1967)
3. Harry Nilsson – Early In The Morning (1971)
4. Tim Rose – Morning Dew (1967)
5. Kevin Ayers – Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning) (1970)
6. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Deep One Perfect Morning (1987)
7. The Lilac Time – This Morning (2001)
8. The Pogues – Tuesday Morning (1993)
9. Paul Weller – Early Morning Rain (2004)
10. Brandi Carlile – Late Morning Lullaby (2007)
11. Lyle Lovett – Just The Morning (1994)
12. Rusty Wier – Texas Morning (1974)
13. Dolly Parton – Early Morning Breeze (1971)
14. Isaac Hayes – Early Sunday Morning (1971)
15. Joyce Williams – The First Thing I Do In The Morning (1972)
16. David Ruffin – Morning Sun Looks Blue (1979)
17. Al Jarreau – Mornin’ (1983)
18. Major Harris – Each Morning I Wake Up (1974)
19. The Temptations – Love Woke Me Up This Morning (1972)
20. Tim Buckley – Morning Glory (1967)
21. Townes Van Zandt – I’ll Be Here In The Morning (1968)
22. Bobbie Gentry – Mornin’ Glory (1968)
23. Joan Baez & Bill Wood – So Soon In The Morning (1959)

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Any Major Soul 1969 Vol. 2

August 15th, 2013 13 comments

Any Major Soul 1969 Vol. 2

Here is the second installment of Any Major Soul 1969, which might actually be even better than the first. Those three opening tracks alone”¦my, what a year for soul that was!

We previously met The Flirtations on the Christmas Soul Vol. 1 mix with their gorgeous version of “Christmas Time Is Here Again”. “Nothing But A Heartache” (which was actually first released in December 1968) was their big hit, reaching #34 on the US Billboard charts and #51 in the UK. It was revived in Britain in 2007 as part of an advertising campaign for the colonel”s fatty fried battery chicken which will give you nothing but a heart attack. The Flirtations continued releasing records into the 1980s, when they briefly became a Hi-NRG act “” you might remember their 1983 song “Earthquake”.

Tina Britt released only one album, titled Blue All The Way. It”s an eclectic mix by a singer who could do the Motown thing as well as the Marlena Shaw thing. She had only one minor hit, a R&B Top 20 song titled “the Real Thing”, composed by Ashford and Simpson.

The best song title on this mix must be “Hip Old Lady On A Honda” by Rhetta Hughes, who has featured a few times (twice on Covered With Soul, the “Light My Fire” song swarm, the Amy Winehouse-inspired mix). Hughes was still a teenager when “Hip Old Lady” came out, having recorded for four years before that. The Chicago singer also has had a career as a part-time actress.

Janice Tyrone“s song here, “I”m Gonna Make It”, apparently features Aretha Franklin. Like Rhetta Hughes, Tyrone had begun as a teenage singer, going by the moniker Little Janice. By the time she was too old to be little, she released the excellent “I”m Gonna Make It”. Alas, it was her final record.

The closing track, by The Ambassadors, is another one of those productions which presaged the rise of Philly Soul, here its funkier side.  The band never had commercial success, but the musicians who played on their 1969 LP, Soul Summit, went on to be big session names in Philadelphia, from the late, great Vince Montana to saxophonist Sam Reed, trombonist Fred Joiner and drummer Earl Young.

I”m not sure whether this series has run its course; the feedback to the last couple of mixes, if measure by the volume of comments, has been unenthusiastic. I have much more soul music to share, but whether to continue I shall leave up to you.

As always the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R, and includes covers.

1. Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!
2. The Impressions – Mighty Mighty (Spade & Whitey)
3. The Flirtations – Nothing But A Heartache
4. The Mad Lads – Make Room (In Your Heart)
5. Sweet Inspirations – Watch The One Who Brings You The News
6. Aretha Franklin – River’s Invitation
7. Tina Britt – Who Was That
8. Clarence Carter – You’ve Been A Long Time Comin’
9. The Chambers Brothers – Girls, We Love You
10. Friends Of Distinction – I’ve Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)
11. Barbara McNair – The Hunter Gets Captured
12. Ila Vann – Keep On Laughing Baby
13. Tony Clark – Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud
14. Rhetta Hughes – Hip Old Lady On A Honda
15. Janice Tyrone – I’m Gonna Make It
16. Solomon Burke – What Am I Living For
17. O.V. Wright – This Hurt Is Real
18. Isaac Hayes – One Woman
19. Linda Carr – In My Life
20. Cookie V – You Got The Wrong Girl
21. Dee Dee Warwick – That’s Not Love
22. Carolyn Franklin – There I Go
23. Sonny Charles & The Checkmates – Black Pearl
24. Stevie Wonder – Angie Girl
25. The Five Stairsteps – We Must Be in Love
26. The Exciters – Fight That Feelin’
27. The Ambassadors – Music (Makes You Wanna Dance)

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Postscript: Turns out that Track 14, Rhetta Hughes’ “Hip Old Lady On A Honda” is missing from the zipped file. You can get it HERE to add to the mix.

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Any Major Telephone Vol. 2

August 8th, 2013 11 comments

Any Major Telephone Vol. 2

The first Any Major Telephone mix attracted a nice response, in the comments here and on Facebook, with loads of suggestions, some I had already on my shortlist, some I don”t even know. I”ll see what I can find on the suggestions I don”t already have; if I can, then there will be a third volume, compiled by the readers of this blog.

In the meantime, here are 24 tracks of my choosing, all featuring or suggesting telephone calls. Two belong together: In “Woman To Woman”, Shirley Brown tells the woman her man is cheating with to lay the fuck off; in an answer record, Barbara Mason explains to Shirley exactly why her man is straying. It”s pretty brutal stuff.

The Bobby Vee track could have featured on the Bacharach: The Lesser Known Songbook mix, for it”s a David/Bacharach composition (and, yes, that”s how they used to be credited; take a look at the image in the file”s ID3 tag).

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this mix does not in itself imply my endorsement of a track. I want to make the explicitly clear and ask you to remember that when you hear track 5.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments.

1. Mott The Hoople – One Of The Boys (1973)
2. The Mothers of Invention – Telephone Conversation (1968)
3. Jim Croce – Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels) (1972)
4. Little River Band – Home On Monday (1977)
5. Paul Evans – Hello, This Is Joannie (1978)
6. Love Unlimited – Walking In The Rain (1972)
7. Brenda Holloway – Operator (1965)
8. Shirley Brown – Woman To Woman (1974)
9. Barbara Mason – From His Woman to You (1974)
10. Bunny Sigler – Regina (1973)
11. Eddie Floyd – 634-5789 (1967)
12. Johnny Fallin – Party Line (1959)
13. John Lee Hooker – Just Me And My Telephone (1951)
14. Effie Smith – Dial That Telephone (1953)
15. Orville Reed – The Telephone Girl (1927)
16. Jim Reeves – He’ll Have To Go (1960)
17. Bobby Vee – Anonymous Phone Call (1963)
18. Joe South – A Million Miles Away (1969)
19. Ben Folds Five – Your Most Valuable Possession (1999)
20. Kraftwerk – Der Telefon Anruf (1986)
21. Wham! – Battlestations (1986)
22. Sheena Easton – Telephone (Long Distance Love Affair) (1983)
23. Zhan̩ РRequest Line (1997)

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In Memoriam – July 2013

August 1st, 2013 6 comments

JULY-13These are dangerous days if you”re a TV actor associated with the Journey song “Don”t Stop Believing”. In June, the wonderful Jim Gandolfini was taken from us much too young; in July Glee“s Cory Monteith suddenly died at an even younger age. Monteith was not the most talented singer or actor on Glee, but his character exuded a fundamental decency which, from all I”ve read, was a defining characteristic of the man. Kids everywhere will have dug out old DVDs of Glee; educate them by playing the originals of songs covered in the first two seasons of the show on the Origleenals mix.

Monteith was the most headlined death of July, but the headline death must be that of JJ Cale, who provided Eric Clapton with two of his biggest hits, “Cocaine” and “After Midnight”. Both versions were superior in Cale”s kicked back manner. Clapton”s decision to record “After Midnight” persuaded Cale to persist with his hitherto unrewarding music career.

In 1968 the immensely talented and even more troubled Frankie Lymon died at the age of 25 of a drug overdose. His younger brother Lewis Lymon was also a singer, with a very similar voice, fronting a group named The Teenchords who, like Frankie”s Teenagers, were multiracial. Lewis, who died at 69 on July 10, did not reach Frankie”s levels of fame. He did however perform to almost the end of his life, described as a modest and contented person. Read the story of Lewis Lymon on Marv Goldberg”s fantastically retro website.

If you are looking for somebody to blame for the stetsoned country boom of the 1990s, then Jim Foglesong is a good bet: as head of Capitol”s Nashville division he signed such megastars as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and George Strait. Before that he had made his name as the producer of such acts as Miriam Makeba, Doris Day and Robert Goulet. And before that he had been a session singer with the likes of Dion & The Belmonts, Connie Francis and Neil Sedaka.

The death at 37 of Zimbabwean singer and mbira player Chiwoniso Maraire, apparently from pneumonia, is sad for various reasons. For one, her death comes just a year after that of ex-husband Andy Brown, with whom she had two children. For another, she was an outspoken critic of the police violence which the Mugabe faction tends to unleash on the country”s people. And she broke taboos by playing the mbira, which in Zimbabwean tradition is reserved for men only.

Outside Europe, Dutch jazz singer Rita Reys was known only to aficionados of her genre; on her continent she was known as “Europe”s First Lady of Jazz”. At her peak she was backed by the Pim Jacobs Trio; on one tour, Pim proposed to her and they married. On their wedding day in 1960 they were presented with the first copy of their first album together, aptly titled Marriage in Modern Jazz (the featured track comes from that LP). Pim died in 1996; Reys soon made a comeback, as her late husband had urged her to do.

 

Texas Johnny Brown, 85, blues musician and songwriter, on July 1
Texas Johnny Brown – Two Steps From The Blues (1998)

Rolf Graf, 53, Norwegian musician, producer and music journalist, on July 1
Rolf Graf ““ Maxine (1985)

Gary Shearston, 74, Australian singer and songwriter, on July 1
Gary Shearston – I Get A Kick Out Of You (1974)

Johnny MacRae, 84, country songwriter, on July 3
Conway Twitty – I’d Love To Lay You Down (1980, as writer)

Bernie Nolan, 52, lead singer of Irish pop group The Nolans, on July 4
The Nolans – Crashing Down (1982)

MC Daleste, 20, Brazilian rapper, shot on stage on July 7

Brett Walker, 51, songwriter, musician and producer, on July 8
Alias – Waiting For Love (1991, as writer)

Jim Foglesong, 90, influential record executive and producer, on July 9
Miriam Makeba – When I’ve Passed On (1966, as producer)

Lewis Lymon, 69, doo wop singer, on July 9
Lewis Lymon & The Teenchords – I’m Not Too Young To Fall In Love (1957)

Peppi Marchello, 68, member of rock band The Good Rats, on July 10
The Good Rats – Injun Joe (1974)

Teddy Days, 48, bassist of metal band Hellion, on July 10

Charles Pope, 76, singer with soul vocal group The Tams, on July 11
The Tams – Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me (1964)

Cory Monteith, 31, actor and singer (Glee), on July 13
Cory Monteith & Mark Salling ““ Beth (2009)

Curly Lewis, 88, legendary western swing fiddler, on July 14

T-Model Ford, 93, American blues musician, on July 16
T-Model Ford – To The Left And To The Right (1998)

Jack-Alain Léger, 66, French singer, on July 17

Carline Ray, 88, pioneering jazz guitarist, on July 18
Mary Lou Williams – Lazarus (1970, on bass)

Peter Appleyard, 84, Canadian jazz musician, on July 18
Peter Appleyard – S’ Wonderful (1959)

Georgy Guryanov, 52, drummer of Russian band Kino, on July 20

Faye Hunter, 59, bass player of rock band Let”s Active, suicide on July 20
Let”s Active – Every Word Means No (1981)

GiGi Hines, 76, blues singer and songwriter, in a car crash on July 22

Dominguinhos, 72, Brazilian composer and singer, on July 23
Dominguinhos ““ Querubim (1981)

Chiwoniso Maraire, 37, Zimbabwean Mbira singer, on July 24
Chiwoniso Maraire – Listen To The Breeze (2008)

Pino Massara, 82, Italian musician, composer, record producer, on July 24
Nat “˜King” Cole ““ Cappuccina (1961, as composer)

Steve Berrios, 68, Latin jazz drummer, on July 25
Alphonse Mouzon – My Life Is So Blue (1973)

Walter De Maria, 77, composer and drummer in Velvet Underground precursor The Primitives, on July 25

JJ Cale, 74, singer-songwriter, on July 26
JJ Cale – After Midnight (1972)
JJ Cale – Louisiana Women (1973)

Mick Farren, 69, British music journalist, author and singer with The Deviants, on July 27
The Deviants – I’m Coming Home (1967)

Rita Reys, 88, Dutch jazz singer, on July 28
Rita Reys and the Pim Jacobs Trio ““ Broadway (1960)

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