Archive for the ‘60s soul’ Category

Any Major Soul 1966

November 29th, 2012 8 comments

Soul music in 1966 “” throughout the 1960s “” was so rich in quality and diversity that one can cheerfully dispense with the year”s great hits of that genre. We need no Reach Out I”ll Be There, Hold On I”m Coming, Knock On Wood, Ain”t Too Proud To Beg, B-A-B-Y or When A Man Loves A Woman to serve a feast of mid-“60s soul.

Of course we have many well-known voices on this compilation: Eddie Floyd, Lou Rawls, The Isley Brothers (with their cover of The Supremes” I Hear A Symphony), Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (with my favourite song of theirs) or Major Lance.

One voice is familiar, but the name is not: Andrea Davis. It was the name under which Minnie Riperton briefly recorded after leaving The Gems (who have featured previously) and joining The Rotary Connection.

The Five Stairsteps appear here with their debut single, a great slice of Curtis Mayfield-penned Chicago soul that served as a double A-side with You Waited Too Long.

The Poets, not to be confused with the Scottish outfit by that name or the forerunners of the Main Ingredient, provide what might well be my favourite track on this mix, She Blew A Good Thing. It was the only hit for the Brooklyn band, reaching #2 R&B and the Top 40 pop charts.

Almost as good is Bobby Sheen“s Dr Love (with that great tempo change halfway through). Sheen never had much success under his own name; he was more famous as Bob B Soxx, the nominal leader of the Phil Spector-produced  Blue Jeans (who were Darlene Love and Fanita James). He also provided one of the voices on The Crystals” He”s A Rebel. Fans of Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift For You will know Sheen’s voice from the songs The Bells Of St Mary’s and Here Comes Santa Claus. Sheen died in 2000 at the age of 59.

Clarence Reid is better known as the sexually explicit novelty soul singer Blowfly, and as the co-writer of such soul classics as Betty Wright”s Clean Up Woman and Gwen McCrae”s Rockin” Chair. The Blowfly moniker reportedly had its origins with Reid”s granny. Mishearing Reid”s singing of Do the Twist as “Suck My Dick”, she berated him: “You is nastier than a blowfly.”

There are not many soul singers from a Jewish background (and even Sammy Davis Jr was a convert to Judaism); one of the few is featured here: Ruby Johnson, who recorded on Stax with Isaac Hayes and David Porter.

Darrell Banks is featured here with his sole hit single, Open Your Heart, for which he falsely claimed songwriting credit; after litigation, the real writer, Donnie Elbert, got 50% credit. The singer came to a tragic end in 1970 when he was shot dead when he pulled a gun on a policeman who was having an affair with Banks” girlfriend.

Fans of The Specials will know Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers” Sock It To “Em J.B., a clever song about one JB performed in the style of another JB “” it”s a tribute to James Bond as James Brown might have rendered it.

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

1. Arthur Conley – Funky Street
2. Eddie Floyd – Things Get Better
3. William Bell – Never Like This Before
4. The Poets – She Blew A Good Thing
5. The Five Stairsteps – Don’t Waste Your Time
6. Bobby Sheen – Dr. Love
7. Fontella Bass – I Surrender
8. The Isley Brothers – I Hear A Symphony
9. Dee Dee Warwick – Lover’s Chant
10. Betty Harris – What’d I Do Wrong
11. Chris Clark – Love’s Gone Bad
12. Martha Reeves & the Vandellas – No More Tearstained Make Up
13. Mable John – Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
14. Jean Wells – If You’ve Ever Loved Someone
15. Lou Rawls – A Whole Lotta Love
16. Don Covay – I Never Get Enough Of Your Love
17. Andrea Davis – You Gave Me Soul
18. Clarence Reid – I Refuse To Give Up
19. Ruby Johnson – I’ll Run Your Hurt Away
20. Baby Washington – Either You’re With Me (Or Either You’re Not)
21. Darrell Banks – Open The Door To Your Heart
22. Major Lance – Investigate
23. Billy Thompson – Black Eyed Girl
24. Roy Hamilton – Crackin’ Up Over You
25. The Sapphires – Slow Fizz
26. The Capitols – Cool Jerk
27. Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers – Sock It To ‘Em J.B., Pt. 1
28. Brenda Holloway – Hurt A Little Everyday
29. Devotions – The Devil’s Gotten Into My Baby
30. The Royalettes – Baby Are You Putting Me On


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Any Major Soul 1965

October 25th, 2012 10 comments

Here is a mix of soul from 1965, though some tracks were released only in 1966. As before, there”s a mix of the well known and the forgotten and relatively obscure.

Cannibal and the Headhunters were the first Mexican-American R&B act to make a wider impression with their hit cover of Chris Kenner”s Land Of A Thousand Dances, to which lead singer Frankie “Cannibal” Garcia added the famous “na, na na na na” line when he forgot the lyrics. The group supported The Beatles during their second US tour.

Another caucasian singer in this lot is Roy Head, who was actually a rockabilly singer. But just as soul singers could do country ““ think Brook Benton, Joe Tex, Arthur Alexander, even Solomon Burke “” so could some country singers do soul, as Charlie Rich proved in the 1960s. Roy Head”s Treat Her Right was a proper soul song; it was kept of the Billboard #1 spot by The Beatles” Yesterday.

Hollywood-born and Detroit-based Kris Peterson might be best known to Frank Zappa fans for her involvement in the Waka Ja Waka album of 1972. For contractual reasons she was prevented from joining Holand-Dozier-Holland”s Invictus label, which is a pity, because her Just As Much shows an affinity with the Motown sound.

The Astors recorded on Stax, but don”t really sound like it. They recorded only five singles for the label between 1961 and 1967. Candy, co-written by Steve Cropper and Isaac Hayes, was their biggest hit, reaching #12 in the R&B charts.

Betty Harris featured on Any Major Soul 1960-63. By 1965 she recorded on the New Orleans Sansu label, where she was produced by Allen Toussaint. She recorded a lot, and her output is loved by soul fans, though that has not translated to great fame.

Marlina Mars (also known as Marlene Mack) was a member of a few New York-based girl-groups, including The Jaynetts, who had a #2 hit in 1963 with Sally Go ‘Round the Roses. At one point she performed as Peaches in live shows of Peaches & Herb. She released a few solo singles in the mid-“˜60s on several labels, without much success.

Rozetta Johnson, who died last year at the age of 68, started out as a gospel singer, tried her hand at secular music, became disillusioned and returned to gospel and jazz. She was later inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

The Charts, a Harlem band, are said to be the only band to be booed off the stage at the Apollo”s amateur night and still go on to have some success. The gang members-turned-doo wop singers were freestyling vocally in ways the crowd did not appreciate that night in 1956, but a talent scout saw something in them and became their manager. They had a hit in the New York area with Everlast, which over the years sold more than a million copies.  Another of their songs, Deserie, was later covered by Laura Nyro as Desirée. A year after Everlast, in 1958, The Charts disbanded for the first time. A reformed version recorded several singles in the 1960s and beyond, but never bothered the hit parade again before disbanding again. In the 1970s they reformed as The Twelfth Of Never and in the “80s as The Charts again.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes homebrewed covers. Password in the comment section.

1. The Impressions – Woman’s Got Soul
2. The Astors – Candy
3. Willie Tee – Teasin’ You
4. Don Covay – Mercy Mercy
5. Ben E. King – Cry No More
6. Lee Dorsey – Get Out Of My Life, Woman
7. Roy Head – Treat Her Right
8. Cannibal and the Headhunters – Land Of 1000 Dances
9. Joe Tex – Sweet Woman Like You
10. Sam & Dave – You Don’t Know Like I Know
11. Betty Harris – What A Sad Feeling
12. Barbara Mason – Yes I’m Ready
13. Mary Wells – Me And My Baby
14. Marlina Mars – Head And Shoulders
15. Jack Montgomery – Dearly Beloved
16. Dee Dee Sharp – There Ain’t Nothing That I Wouldn’t Do
17. The Contours – First I Look At The Purse
18. The Marvelettes – Don’t Mess With Bill
19. The Gems – He Makes Me Feel So Good
20. Brenda Holloway – I’ve Been Good To You
21. Dee Dee Warwick – We’re Doing Fine
22. Kris Peterson – Just As Much
23. Gerri Thomas – Look What I Got
24. The Sharpees – Tired Of Being Lonely
25. The Charts – Livin’ The Night Life
26. Kim Weston – Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)
27. The Supremes – My World is Empty Without You
28. Rozetta Johnson – That Hurts
29. Billy Prophet – What Can I Do
30. Baby Huey & the Babysitters – Monkey Man


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Any Major Soul 1964

September 13th, 2012 8 comments

In the past I spread my soul selections over two years, or in the last instalment over four. Frankly, by that method, there is too much great stuff that must be left off. So from here on in we’ll run through the 1960s year-by-year.

Many acts here are well-known, though not all were famous at the time the featured song was released. The Supremes’ Run Run Run, in which Holland-Dozier-Holland tried to go for the Phil Spector sound, tanked at #93 when it was released in February 1964. Their next single, Where Did Our Love Go, went to #1, as did the following four.

Lou Johnson’s song would become famous in versions by other singers, especially Britain’s Sandie Shaw; Lou’s was the original (and here a special shout-out to the late Hal David seems appropriate). Meanwhile Hal and Burt’s muse, Dionne Warwick, chips in here with a song that conforms more to the girl-band sound that was already becoming passé. Though it was produced by Bacharach and David, Get Rid Of Him was written by Brill Building team Helen Miller and Howard Greenfield. It was only an album track and therefore not well-known. And lovely as it is, how could it compete with orther siongs from the LP, such as Walk On By, A House Is Not A Home, They Long To Be Close To You or Reach Out For Me?

Talking of girl bands, Earl-Jean used to be the singer of The Cookies, who featured twice in The Originals series, HERE and HERE, while Earl-Jean did the original of the Herman Hermits’ hit I’m Into Something Good. And talking of originals, the Bessie Banks’ song Go Now was later covered by the Moody Blues. Bessie’s version was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

The Radiants were a Chicago group which included Leonard Caston Jr, who not only wrote the Mitty Collier song that follows The Radiants’ wonderful Voice Your Choice, but also hits such as Eddie Kendricks’ Keep On Trucking and The Supremes’ Nathan Jones, and played the piano on Fontellas Bass Rescue Me. The Radiants were once produced by the legendary Billy Davis (who wrote Rescue Me). Davis also wrote the song that precedes that group’s song. Listen to the lead singer of The Gems, who recorded on Chess ““ it is a young Minnie Riperton.

Linda Carr would go on to become a popular singer in Britain in the 1970s as the frontwoman of Linda and the Funky Boys; featured here is the lovely b-side of her debut solo single Sweet Talk.

Anna King had the distinction of being the only one of James Brown’s backing singers to have an album produced by the self-proclaimed hardest-working man in show business, with his band doing backing duties. Titled Back To Soul, it was also her only one. Come On Home is credited to Ted Wright ““ one of Brown’s pseudonyms.

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

1. Gene Chandler – A Song Called Soul
2. Little Milton – Who’s Cheatin’ Who
3. The Miracles – Baby Don’t You Go
4. The Gems – All Of It
5. The Radiants – Voice Your Choice
6. Mitty Collier – I Had A Talk With My Man Last Night
7. The Impressions – I’m So Proud
8. Lou Johnson – (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me
9. Jerry Butler – I Stand Accused
10. Lavern Baker – Go Away
11. Irma Thomas – I Wish Someone Would Care
12. Anna King – Come On Home
13. Betty Everett – It Hurts To Be In Love
14. The Velvelettes – He Was Really Saying Somethin’
15. Dionne Warwick – Get Rid Of Him
16. Earl-Jean – Randy
17. Solomon Burke – Stupidity
18. Sam Cooke – Ain’t That Good News
19. Baby Washington – Your Fool
20. Linda Carr – Jackie, Bobby, Sonny, Billy
21. Brenda Holloway – Sad Song
22. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Giving Up
23. Stevie Wonder – Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)
24. The Marvelettes – Too Many Fish In The Sea
25. The Sapphires – Who Do You Love?
26. Bessie Banks – Go Now
27. Nina Simone – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
28. Arthur Alexander – Black Night
29. The Supremes – Run, Run, Run


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Any Major Soul 1960-63

August 23rd, 2012 10 comments

A while ago I compiled a series of mixes covering soul music from 1970 to 1989, all the links of which I”ve updated (till MF zapps them again). So it seems essential to also cover the 1960s ““ for many people the golden age of soul. We”ll start with 29 songs from 1960 to 1963. Some of them are classics, such as I”m Blue, It”s Raining, Ya Ya, Monkey Time or Fingertips (represented here in its full version). Others are lesser known, or album tracks or b-sides ““ but all, in my opinion, great songs.

Some of the names are well-known, and a few still at the beginning of great things, such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and Eddie Holland, who”d have much bigger success as a songwriter and producer at Motown, on which his Leaving Here appeared.

Others have been widely forgotten. Among them are The Sapphires, whose debut single Where Is Johnny Now is a firm favourite of mine. The Philadelphia group was among Gamble & Huff”s earliest protégés; the song features Leon Huff as well as Thom Bell on keyboards.

There is no name on this tracklist that sounds more “60s than Doris Troy. Discovered in New York by James Brown (who doesn”t like his music to be featured on blogs, hence his absence), she had a couple of hits, including a Top 40 hit in the UK in 1964 which The Beatles liked so much that they later signed her to the Apple label.

The Butlers are so obscure that they are a trivia question on Northern Soul pub nights. The group”s claim to fame, and this song”s, is that the lead vocalist is Frankie Beverley, who would become a soul legend as the frontman of Maze.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes front and back covers.

1. Ray Charles – Sticks And Stones
2. LaVern Baker – Bumble Bee
3. Mable John – You Made A Fool Out Of Me
4. The Ikettes – I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)
5. Arthur Alexander – A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues
6. The Mar-Keys – Last Night
7. Gladys Knight and The Pips – Letter Full of Tears
8. Little Milton – Saving My Love For You
9. Lee Dorsey – Ya Ya
10. Irma Thomas – It’s Raining
11. Bettye Lavette – My Man, He’s A Lovin’ Man
12. Ann Cole – Have Fun
13. Marvin Gaye – Get My Hands On Some Lovin”
14. Aretha Franklin – I’m Wandering
15. Solomon Burke – Go On Back To Him
16. Sam Cooke – Nothing Can Change This Love
17. Dee Dee Sharp – Village Of Love
18. The Marvelettes – Playboy
19. Joe Henderson – Snap Your Fingers
20. Betty Harris – It’s Dark Outside
21. Baby Washington – Who’s Gonna Take Care Of Me
22. Eddie Holland – Leaving Here
23. Doris Troy – But I Love Him
24. The Sapphires – Where Is Johnny Now
25. Stevie Wonder – Fingertips (live, full version)
26. Major Lance – Monkey Time
27. Barbara Lewis – Hello Stranger
28. Betty Everett – Gonna Be Ready
29. The Butlers – She Tried To Kiss Me

GET IT! (link updated)

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Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3

December 8th, 2011 14 comments

Last year we had two compilations of classic Christmas soul (plus one featuring newer stuff); here is a third volume. It kicks off with a spoken intro by The Jackson 5. Jermaine is crying — and the manner in which that is established always makes my smile — and he needs yuletide comforting. Wonderful stuff.

Towards the middle we get socially conscious. Stevie Wonder, still just 17 years old, hopes for no hunger and no tears, but for peace and equality of man. Then the Harlem Children’s Choir, who sound rather older than children, provides some seasonal black consciousness from the ghetto, with an inevitable riff on notions of white Christmas.

The Shurfine Singers borrow a concept from Simon & Garfunkel as they sing Silent Night as a news broadcast runs in the background, speaking of war, protest and strife. As on the Simon & Garfunkel track, the news (now at 11pm, not at 7) becomes increasingly louder to drown out the hymn of peace. Unlike the S&G version, the news cast ends with an editorialising Christmas wish.

This is followed by two examples of a genre that was fairly popular at one point: the Vietnam Christmas song. We previously encountered Change Of Pace on Covered With Soul Vol 5 covering Freda Payne’s Bring The Boys Home as the more alliterative Bring My Buddies Back; here they send a letter from Vietnam, explaining that they won’t be home this Christmas. Johnny & Jon‘s Christmas In Vietnam is representative of the anger African Americans felt at the disproportionate number of young black man drafted for the war. So, where in a country song the lament of an unhappy Christmas because “there”s Vietcong all around me” might provoke defiant flag waving, this sombre Southern Soul number seethes with resigned anger.

Things soon become Christmassy again, and we come across a pre-fame Luther Vandross with his band Luther, who perform a song he wrote (two years earlier, he had co-written David Bowie’s Fascination). Vandross clearly didn’t like the two Luther LPs; he later bought the rights to them and prevented their re-release.

James Brown closes the set with the second song called Soul Christmas; needless to say, it’s not the same song as Count Sidney’s. I rather enjoy JB thanking and loving his fans (“people like you don’t grow on trees”) for their support, urging them to come to his next show. So it’s a bit ironic that the man should have died on Christmas Day…

This is the first of three Christmas sets I’ll post this year: the others will cover country music and the acoustic lot. All are timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and I”m making front and back covers for all.

1. Jackson 5 – Christmas Won’t Be The Same This Year (1970)
2. Count Sidney and his Dukes – Soul Christmas (1967)
3. Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa (1968)
4. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – New Year’s Resolution (1967)
5. Mack Rice – Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ (1972)
6. Brook Benton – You’re All I Want For Christmas (1963)
7. George Grant and the Castelles – At Christmas Time (1960)
8. The Staple Singers – The Last Month Of The Year (1962)
9. Aretha Franklin – The Christmas Song (1964)
10. The Temptations – My Christmas Tree (1970)
11. Stevie Wonder – Someday At Christmas (1967)
12. Harlem Children’s Chorus – Black Christmas (1973)
13. The Shurfine Singers – Silent Night & The 11 O’Clock News (1968)
14. Change Of Pace – Hello Darling (1971)
15. Johnny & Jon – Christmas In Viet Nam (1965)
16. Margie Joseph – Christmas Gift (1976)
17. Bill Withers – The Gift Of Giving (1972)
18. Donnie Hathaway – This Christmas (1970)
19. Luther – May Christmas Bring You Happiness (1976)
20. Smokey Robinson – A Child Is Waiting (1970)
21. Linda Lewis – Winter Wonderland (1976)
22. The Impressions – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1976)
23. The Supremes – White Christmas (1965)
24. Booker T. & The MG’s – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1966)
25. James Brown – Soulful Christmas (1968)


More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

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Any Major Ashford & Simpson Songbook

August 24th, 2011 9 comments

I was going to post another mix today, but when one of your favourite songwriters dies, priorities take over. And much as I love the recently dead Jerry Leiber’s repository of great lyrics — he was the Cole Porter of rock & roll — my tribute is for Nickolas Ashford, who with his wife Valerie Simpson wrote, produced and recorded over their career of five decades some of the finest soul music.

They deserve a lifetime achievement award alone for that string of wonderful songs they wrote and produced for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing, Your Precious Love, You’re All I Need To Get By, The Onion Song, Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey and, of course, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The Onion Song is rumoured to have used Valerie Simpson’s voice to stand in for the ailing Terrell (Simpson has denied it).

The inclusion of Kenny Lattimore and Chanté Moore’s version of You’re All I Need To Get By — it was that or that by Martha Reeves and GC Cameron — is rather nice, I think. Lattimore and Moore are a married couple, hopefully as solid (yeah!) as the writers of the song.

Then there were the Diana Ross songs: Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand), Surrender Remember Me, The Boss, It’s My House etc. Or the double-whammy for Ray Charles: I Don’t Need No Doctor and Let’s Go Get Stoned.

One clarifying note: the version of Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand was the first hit for Diana Ross after she left The Supremes; the version here is that by the Ross-less Supremes with The Four Tops. This is, of course, the song which Ashford & Simpson sang at Live Aid with Teddy Pendergrass.

Well, let the music do the talking. Here is a mix of Ashford & Simpson songs (which is so good, it did not need the inclusion of their great hit, Solid).

Nick Ashford died of cancer on August 22, 2011. He was 69. May he rest in peace.

1. Ashford & Simpson – It Seems To Hang On (1978)
2. Quincy Jones with Chaka Khan – Stuff Like That (1981)
3. Diana Ross – It’s My House (1979)
4. Al Jarreau & Randy Crawford – Your Precious Love (1982)
5. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey (1968)
6. The Marvelettes – Destination Anywhere (1968)
7. Ray Charles – Let’s Go Get Stoned (1966)
8. John Mayer & John Scofield – I Don’t Need No Doctor (2010)
9. Marlena Shaw – California Soul (1969)
10. Rosetta Hightower – Remember Me (1971)
11. Aretha Franklin – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing (1974)
12. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Didn’t You Know (You’d Have To Cry Sometime) (1969)
13. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – The Onion Song (1969)
14. The Four Tops & The Supremes – Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand) (1970)
15. Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman (1978)
16. Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1970)
17. Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore – You’re All I Need To Get By (2003)
18. Roberta Flack – Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes) (1989)
19. Brothers Johnson – Ride-O-Rocket (1978)
20. Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure (1979)

GET IT! (PW in comments)

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If you like Amy Winehouse, you’ll like this…

July 25th, 2011 17 comments

I must confess that I find it hard to mourn the death of Amy Winehouse. Don”t think of me as a man possessed of a callous heart. Of course the death of a young, talented woman is a cause for sadness. But Ms Winehouse did not die in a tragic accident, as Otis Redding did, nor did a dread disease claim her, as it did Minnie Riperton. Amy Winehouse was a victim of her own excess; she lived a self-destructive lifestyle which first wounded her talent and then (as it appears) ended her life. My empathy is directed at her parents and those who loved Amy Winehouse without abetting her destruction.

There is tragedy in a life wasted, and sorrow in a talent not entirely fulfilled. I have both of Winehouse”s albums. They are good, but I couldn”t share in the excess of excitement that surrounded the Winehouse phenomenon. To be sure, she was a smart lyricist; a worthy successor of Marlena Shaw. Even her music was agreeable, in the way of a good pastiche. I don”t doubt that she had an affection for old soul music, and she treated the genre with great respect. But “” and here”s the rub for me “” why go for the copy if there is still so much of the source material to explore?

There is an argument  that Winehouse”s retro offerings encouraged her listeners to explore the canon of old soul music. I don”t buy that. Winehouse”s success encouraged the proliferation of mediocre mono-named songstresses who say they are inspired by the soul music of the 1960s (and, usually, “all the old blues guys”, who then go unnamed).

So, to help the proponents of the former argument, here is a mix of songs which I might have named “If You Like Amy Winehouse, You”ll Like This”. I”ll call it, without any efforts to engage my imagination (for shortly I have a dessert to prepare for dinner), Any Major Soul Women. I imagine that Amy Winehouse would have been inspired by many of these singers; maybe she even based her sound on some of them. I can imagine her singing most of these songs.

As always, the mix is times to fit on a CD-R. Due to shortage of time, alas, no covers.

1. Anna King – Sittin’ In The Dark (1964)
2. Baby Washington – You Are What You Are (1966)
3. Betty Everett – Until You Were Gone (1964)
4. Rhetta Hughes – Cry Myself To Sleep (1969)
5. Irma Thomas – She’ll Never Be Your Wife (1973)
6. Laura Lee – Mama’s Got A Good Thing (1972)
7. Ila Vann – Got To Get To Jim Johnson (1967)
8. Erma Franklin – You’ve Been Cancelled (1969)
9. Fontella Bass – I Surrender (1966)
10. Marlena Shaw – Go Away, Little Boy (1969)
11. Mitty Collier – Little Miss Loneliness (1963)
12. Tami Lynn – I’m Gonna Run Away From You (1972)
13. Candi Staton – I’ll Drop Everything And Come Running (1972)
14. Jean Knight – Pick Up The Pieces (1970)
15. Sandra Wright – Wounded Woman (1974)
16. Esther Phillips – I Don’t Want To Do Wrong (1972)
17. Margie Joseph – Sweeter Tomorrow (1971)
18. Lyn Collins – Take Me Just As I Am (1973)
19. Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons – Your Thing Ain’t No Good Without My Thing (1970)
20. Linda Jones – Don’t Go (I Can’t Bear To Be Alone) (1972)
21. Barbara Mason – I Miss You Gordon (1973)
22. Rosetta Hightower – I Don’t Blame You At All (1971)
23. Tammi Terrell – That’s What Boys Are Made For (1968)
24. Brenda Holloway – I’ll Always Love You (1964)
25. Dee Dee Warwick – We’re Doing Fine (1965)
26. Jean Wells – Have A Little Mercy (1968)
27. Lorraine Ellison – Try (1969)
28. Ruby Andrews – Overdose Of Love (1972)

GET IT or HERE  (PW in comments)

1960s Soul
1970s Soul
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Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2

December 9th, 2010 14 comments

The first Christmas soul mix was very popular. Thank you to all the kind people who took the time to say nice things about it (and about my efforts here in general). Comments are always appreciated.

As I pointed out in the blurb for the first mix, I held back a lot of great stuff for the follow-up. So this one might be even better than the first compilation. You be the judge of that.

Be advised that in this batch are a couple of tracks that might not appeal to your mother: Rufus Thomas (Carla’s dad) makes little effort to disguise his punnery, missing out only on Santa coming only once a year. It may be necessary to point out that Clarence Carter’s Back Door Santa is not an invitation for yuletide anal sex (and here we welcome the lost and probably disappointed Google user); the back door of the title is just that: a door. With hinges.

Charles Brown, who appears here with Christmas In Heaven (not the Monty Python song), incidentally wrote one of the great Christmas pop songs: I’ll Be Home For Christmas. As in the first mix, the voice on the Rotary Connection’s track ““ here a psychedelic take on Silent Night ““ is that of the great Minnie Riperton. And there is a justification for the inclusion two takes of Silent Night: they are both excellent and very different from both, one another and the standard versions.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. It also includes a really good (though long) bonus track and front/back covers.

1. J Hines and the Boys – A Funky Christmas To You
2. Smokey Robinson – Christmas Everyday
3. Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns – Silent Night
4. Lee Rogers – You Won’t Have To Wait Till Christmas
5. Carla Thomas – All I Want For Christmas Is You
6. Brook Benton – Soul Santa
7. Roscoe Robinson – Tis Yuletide
8. Baby Washington – White Christmas
9. Stevie Wonder – Christmastime
10. Solomon Burke – Presents For Christmas
11. Electric Jungle – Funky Funky Christmas
12. Rufus Thomas – I’ll Be Your Santa, Baby
13. Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa
14. Jimmy McGriff – Christmas With McGriff Pt1
15. The Twistin’ Kings – Xmas Twist
16. Otis Redding – Merry Christmas, Baby
17. The Soul Stirrers – Christmas Joy
18. The Persuasions – You’re All I Want for Christmas
19. Meditation Singers – Blue Christmas
20. Gene Toone – Baby Boy
21. Charles Brown – Christmas In Heaven
22. The Emotions – Black Christmas
23. Rotary Connection – Silent Night
24. Marvin Gaye – Purple Snowflakes
25. The Supremes – Silver Bells
26. The Temptations – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
27. The Funk Brothers – Winter Wonderland
Bonus track: Ohio Players – Happy Holidays

GET IT! (PW in comments)


More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place


Categories: 60s soul, 70s Soul, X-Mas Tags:

Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1

December 2nd, 2010 16 comments

Christmas got funky, Christmas got soul! The analytical eagle-eyed reader may have deduced, by astute observation of the post’s title, that this year’s Christmas mix is dominated by soul music, and that there will be at least one more compilation. Indeed, there will be at least a second mix of Christmas soul tracks from the heyday of the genre ““ the 1960s and ’70s. I have held back a few cracking numbers anyway. Still, this is a really great bunch of songs.

The Flirtations, one of the great girl-bands of the late 1960s, are unjustly forgotten. One singer appears twice on this selection: Minnie Riperton first duets with Sydney Barnes on the Rotary Connection’s Christmas Love, and later reappears as the lead singer of the girl group The Gems, whom she split from in 1965.

As always, the mix is times to fit on a standard CD-R. It also includes a front and back cover.

1. The Flirtations – Christmas Time Is Here Again
2. Rotary Connection feat. Minnie Riperton – Christmas Love
3. The Emotions – What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas
4. The O’Jays – Christmas Ain’t Christmas (Without The One You Love)
5. William Bell – Everyday Will Be A Holiday
6. The Salem Travellers – Merry Christmas To You
7. Isaac Hayes – The Mistletoe And Me
8. The Staples Singers – Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas
9. Soul Duo – Just A Sad Christmas
10. Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas
11. Kim Weston – Wish You A Merry Christmas
12. The Supremes – Twinkle Twinkle Little Me
13. The Skyliners – You’re My Christmas Present
14. Stevie Wonder – A Warm Little Home On A Hill
15. The Soul Stirrers – Christmas Means Love
16. The Gems – Love For Christmas
17. The Jackson 5 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
18. Al Green – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
19. Marvin Gaye – I Want To Come Home For Christmas
20. Ike & Tina Turner – Merry Christmas Baby
21. Gary Walker – Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag
22. Otis Redding – White Christmas
23. Joe Tex – I’ll Make Everyday Christmas (For My Woman)
24. Soul Searchers – Christmas In Vietnam
25. Smokey Robinson & The Temptations – The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
26. Booker T. & The MG’s – Jingle Bells

GET IT! (PW in comments)

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doop Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Or all in one place

Categories: 60s soul, 70s Soul, X-Mas Tags:

Any Major 60s Soul Vol. 2

June 5th, 2009 5 comments

60s_soulHere is the second volume of “60s soul tracks. Some of these songs are pretty well-known, but many others are hidden or forgotten gem. Eddie Holland”s track is as much a gem as it is a historical curiosity; it”s one of the few records he released on Motown before Berry Gordy decided that Eddie, with Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, should work exclusively as one of the label”s in-house writer/producer teams, in particular for the Supremes and the Four Tops . Read more…