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Any Major Soul 1976-77

September 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Any Major Soul 1976-77

The cull to bring the 1976/77 mix down to CD-R length was more brutal than I had anticipated. So much good music that failed to make the cut (hence all the bonus tracks)! Here then is a mix of a few fairly well-known songs, a couple of album tracks, and a handful of quite rare “” and certainly not familiar “” numbers. A few of these rarities are not of great sound quality; I hope the excellence of the music compensates for that.

To me the centre piece in the mix is Marlena Shaw“s Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Boy, the boy of the title being a bit of a waster whom Marlena knows she ought to get rid of “” but when he nibbles her earlobes”¦ooooh! Here Shaw recorded her big-bandish song from the 1969 The Spice Of Life album and added the Yu-Ma monologue. It is marvellous.  Shaw is treasured among the soul and jazz cognoscenti, but wider fame has sadly eluded her. Shaw”s career, which started with a performance at age 10 at the Harlem Apollo, was certainly distinguished. She was not yet out of her teens when she co-wrote the jazz classic Wade In The Water with Ramsey Lewis. Careering between jazz and soul, she fronted the Count Basie band from 1968-72, and before that came up with some soul gems, such as California Soul and Liberation Conversation. By the mid-’70s she had no recording contract. A CBS record exec heard her sing Go Away Little Boy at a nightclub, and signed her up, giving her career a new lease.

The singer with the most off-putting name in this set must be Bunny Sigler. Born Walter Sigler, the nickname refers to the timing of his birth: two days before Easter 1941. The Philadelphia native was an early collaborator with Philly Soul godfather Leon Huff. He had a couple of minor hits in the 1960s, including 1967″s Let The Good Times Roll (featured on Any Major “60s Soul Vol. 1), and was central in the ascent of Philly Soul in the “70s, not only as a singer but also as a writer and producer. Like Marlena Shaw, Sigler continues to perform today.

Billy Paul“s Let “˜Em In is a cover of the Wings song, but with entirely different lyrics, paying tribute to Malcolm X, Martin Luther Kind, Louis Armstrong et al. Vastly superior McCartney”s original, a truth I hold as self-evident.

Arthur Alexander occupies a rare, perhaps unique, position in music history: he had his original songs covered by the Beatles (Anna), Elvis Presley (Burnin” Love) and the Rolling Stones (You Better Move On). More of a writer and arranger than a hitmaker, Alexander enjoyed a very brief revival in the mid-“70s. The gorgeous Sharing The Night Together, which was written by Muscle Shoals composers Ava Aldridge and Eddie Struzick, reached only #92 in the R&B charts. Typically, somebody else had greater success with it, in this case Dr Hook. Thereafter Alexander drifted out of the music industry, working as a bus driver. Just as he began making music again in 1993, he died of a heart attack. He was 53.

Bo Kirkland and Ruth Davis represent the disco influence in this mix. They were both recording independently until put together at Claridge Records, to whom both had signed. The smoothly funky You’re Gonna Get Next To Me was their only hit, reaching #12 in Britain in 1977.

The New World (not to be confused with the early”70s Australian group) were Curtis Mayfield proteges who did not seem to have recorded much more than one single. We”re Gonna Make It was the flip side of Help The Man, a funky number which you can find at the I Wish You Would blog. Curtis Mayfield is represented here with a really lovely track from 1977″s Never Say You Can’t Survive album .

The Fiestas were veterans by the time their Philly soul-a-like was released. The group had enjoyed some success since starting out as an R&B group in 1959, when they had a #11 US hit with So Fine. They later also covered Arthur Alexander”s Anna. Released in 1977, Gonna Hate Myself made no chart impact at all, which is a great shame.

Oh, and about the Lou Rawls” title: it is not me taking liberty with the Queen”s English.

1. Billy Paul – Let ‘Em In
2. Arthur Alexander – Sharing The Night Together
3. The Fiestas – Gonna Hate Myself
4. The Spinners – The Rubberband Man
5. Innersection – I’m In Debt To You
6 . Curtis Mayfield – Show Me Love
7. High Inergy – You Can’t Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On)
8. Marlena Shaw – Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Boy
9. Bessie Banks – Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can’t Do It)
10. Bunny Sigler – That’s How Long I’ll Be Loving You
11. Candi Staton – Before The Next Teardop Falls
12. L.T.D. – Love Ballad
13. Lou Rawls – See You When I Git There
14. Tavares – Whodunnit
15. Bo Kirkland & Ruth Davis – You’re Gonna Get Next To Me
16. Eddie Kendricks – Skeleton In Your Closet
17. New World – We’re Gonna Make It
18. Dee Edwards – I Can Deal With That
19. Brothers Johnson – I’ll Be Good To You
20. Marvin Gaye – After The Dance




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  1. September 25th, 2009 at 19:17 | #1

    aaaawwh, you’ve just made my purrfect Friday even purrfecter. I don’t know half of the tracks and look forward to giving them all a good spin tomorrow while trying my new recipes. Should make for a soulful Saturday.

  2. September 26th, 2009 at 17:26 | #2

    Very sweet.

    But how about that track ‘Go Away Little Boy’. Distasteful listening to a self-righteous matron hector a man! ‘You don’t make enough money,’ she berates him – a money-loving woman is a man what a brutish bullying man is to a woman.

  3. srcstcbstrd
    September 26th, 2009 at 17:52 | #3

    Thanks for this ongoing great collection. And thanks for your hard work in getting it together.

  4. September 26th, 2009 at 21:40 | #4

    George Benson linkage broken

  5. September 26th, 2009 at 23:04 | #5

    Fixed now. Thanks for the alert.

  6. September 27th, 2009 at 22:12 | #6

    funny, that’s the one I was diggin’ the most :)
    besides, she does relent in the end ;)

  7. mikemartz
    October 5th, 2009 at 05:22 | #7

    Love the 70’s soul mixes. thanks for grooves!

  8. Brian
    October 29th, 2009 at 10:55 | #8

    Absolutely top selection. I hadn’t heard most of these songs but they’re all instantly likeable. 70’s soul… you can’t go wrong.

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