I start this post by once again thanking each of you for your support. The statistics tell the truth so I must be doing something right. I am still in the process of overhauling the kitchen, so please bear with me. I have deleted some of the earlier posts as they are no longer relevant to the current situation, not to mention it leaves room for more of that funky fresh goodness that you have come to expect… I did save the original text from these posts though because they will indeed be incorporated into future posts as I launch the NEW AND IMPROVED FUFU STEW.
For those of you who have been there from the beginning, you are quite aware of the severe inexperience and overall FEAR of absolute failure that I displayed as I presented my posts. I ain’t even gonna lie. I was quite intimidated, no, I was scared by the wealth of experience that was out there. Check out the new blogroll entitled “They do the hard work, so you don’t have to” to see just who the true experts are in this game, and to who I owe a BIG debt of gratitude. Even now I am still just a little nervous about each post hoping it is worthy enough of taking up your hard drive space, but I’m really glad that you all are hanging in there with me as I work out all the kinks. All I can do from here is move forward, but not without welcoming Colin Dilnot’s In Dangerous Rhythm and tgrundy, bringing you up to the minute details on all that is soulful. I made the cut with them, so in response I’ve added them to the blogroll. If you haven’t checked them out, drop by and “getcho soul together”, to coin a famous phrase… Now we come to the payoff. This week’s post is a big one so I won’t waste any more time and get started.
As I promised earlier this week, here is the next installment of AntiDivas. Before I begin, I must give another shout to Larry for as the old saying goes, great minds think alike. If you haven’t grabbed a plateful of his Bold Soul Sisters collection yet, you better get a move on. It is by far his funkiest one yet without a doubt… and that’s saying something since he is constantly blessing all of us with some of the best and rarest hits time after time. Also, I want to send a rather quiet shoutout to Lily. I know how those headaches feel, I had a real doozey that lasted all day Friday. The rainfall and humidity wreaked havoc on my sinuses. While that is nowhere near the magnitude of a migraine, it was still excruciatingly painful nonetheless. I hope you’re feeling better.
This time I want to hold true to my word and give true respect to just a few of the artists who I have come to love over the years, and even more that I recently discovered who just blew me away immediately. There is nothing quite like the sound of a good chunk of soul being sung by a woman. Whether she’s in love or in pain. Whether she’s pleased or just plain ol’ pissed off, She intends to take command and let you know of her prowess in one way or another. And now without further ado,
Hear Her Roar: An AntiDivas Fix
01 You Got It-Etta James (Cadet). Gotta start strong here, so what better way than with some Etta…
02 Keep Smiling-Natalie Cole (Capitol). Here’s an uplifting tune, taken from Natalie’s sophomore record. The reish CDs are unfortunately out of print. Don’t worry, I slept on them too. Thankfully my LPs are in great shape.
03 Your Thing Ain’t No Good Without My Thing-Marie “Queenie” Lyons (DeLuxe)
04 The Natchez Trace-Dusty Springfield (Atlantic). This is just one of the many bonus tracks from her legendary Muscle Shoals sessions. It’s such a funky monster.
05 Just To Make You Happy-Shirley Karol (Dakar). This track is from Mr. Fine Wine’s “Cabernet Soulvignon” CD. I’ve been a member for two years now and I will always support WFMU for helping to keep REAL FREE FORM RADIO alive and well.
06 Ain’t That Good News-The Supremes Featuring Florence Ballard (Motown). God bless you, Ms. Ballard…
07 You Hit Me Like TNT-Linda Jones (Blue Cat)
08 All I Do-Tammi Terrell (Motown?). Happy birthday Tammi! She would have been 62 today. Those of you familiar with Stevie Wonder’s version will really flip over this one.
09 Evidence-Candi Staton (Fame). Just around the corner from the ‘Shoals… the former Mrs. Clarence Carter is tellin’ it like it is!
10 Do Your Duty-Betty LaVette (Silver Fox). I’ve seen countless copies of this one at the fire hall. I finally copped one as a result of this record here. She just kills Fiona Apple’s classic “Sleep To Dream”, it’s definitely worth picking up.
11 Drink The Wine-Valerie Simpson (Tamla). A nice deep album cut from her 1972 self titled release.
12 Baby Sitter-Betty Wright (Alston). This is textbook Blowfly at its best. How could I not…
13 Love’s Gone Bad-Chris Clark (V.I.P.). Here’s one that Danny liked a few weeks back. God this song knocks me out!
14 Ease Off Lover-Ramona Jones (Jetstream) Here’s another gem from Mr. Fine Wine’s “Cabernet Soulvignon” CD. I will shamelessly recommend becoming a member of this fine radio station. Various pledges get you some high quality goodies. Needless to say, I opt for the latest collector’s item from Mr. Fine Wine every year just because. This year’s should be in my mailbox real soon.
15 Dirty Man-Laura Lee (Chess). Surprising as it seems, I first heard a barefoot Joss Stone read this song accapella style on an Austin City Limits episode some time back. How surprised I was to hear that she did it almost exactly like what you are about to hear from the lady who would later go on to “…set him up for the ‘Rip Off'”. This one definitely knocks me the fuck out. I don’t want to curse too much on this blog, but sometimes… Check out Colin’s in depth analysis…
16 Big Boss Man-Erma Franklin (Shout). Here’s the other Jimmy Reed classic, done to perfection by Ms. Franklin
17 I Shall Not Be Moved-Freda Payne (Invictus)*. This is the flip side of one of the first records I’ve ever owned. I’ll flip it over in a future post for sure… Read on for a special surprise.
18 Matchmaker, Matchmaker-Marlena Shaw (Cadet). Again… another knockout!
19 Man Size Job-Denise LaSalle (Westbound)
20 For What It’s Worth-Sergio Mendes & Brail ’66. While I am unsure of the vocalist here (a good guess is that it is Mrs. Herb Alpert, otherwise known as Lani Hall), the tune is yet another knockout punch. Thank you PJ for the tip.
21 We Have Love For You-Denice Williams (Kalimba). Here’s one for Groove Provider fans from Denice’s hard to find sophomore record “Songbird”.
22 Time-Margie Joseph (Atlantic). Here’s a soapbox moment for you, just as if not more poingnant than it was 35 years ago.
23 I’m A Winner-Diana Ross (Motown)*. Even super divas can be AntiDivas once in a while… Here’s another long time fave of mine, from her very hard to find “Surrender” CD.
24 Let Your Hair Down-Yvonne Fair (Motown)
25 Shoo Be Doop And Cop Him-Betty Davis (Just Sunshine). Read on for yet another surprise…
26 Love Loves To Love Love-Lulu (Epic). I just love Barbara Peg…
27 We Can Work It Out-Dionne Warwick (Scepter)*. This closing selection is quite the uplifting experience. Taken from 1972’s “From Within”, another childhood memory, and another elusive gem which I am trying in vain to replace as you can tell from the excess vinyl damage. Almost two hours of nothing but cover versions of songs from numerous genres. I would love to get a better copy.
Please download and enjoy “Hear Her Roar”, an .mp3 file, 71 MB.
*I keep speaking of childhood memories and some of the records I heard and owned as a kid. Take a walk down memory lane with me as I bring back an early post. SURPRISE!!!
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Crate Digger
Originally published January 29th, 2007
It was a chilly Monday here in good ol’ Baltimore. What a perfect time to try to get the room in shape. Now that I can finally see some of the floor in here, it’s a good excuse to get another nugget on the box so off we go. I was a little under the weather yesterday which forced me to sleep most of the day away, but I did have recurring thoughts of when I was younger. I can vividly recall the hifi that my uncles fashioned to accomodate the 45s they brought home. Suffice it to say the original turntable was broken so they put another one in its place, and since 8-tracks were all the rage back then, they plugged one of those in there too. And then there was the day they let me play DJ… What a joy it was for me. I got to get my ears dirty with everything I could find. There was no rhyme or reason to what I played at the time, if it sounded good, I let the record run to the finish. If it sucked, I tossed it. Eventually I found my favourites and played them to death until the inevitable sound of fish being dipped in hot grease resulted. I wasn’t very kind to needles either. I got all kinds of idle threats thrust upon me all the time, but what did I care. I had the music bug and I was going to get my fix if it meant I had to spend my entire life being punished (well at least four months, but that comes later). Luckily for me I got my very own record player. It was my mother’s old hand me down Panasonic with AM/FM dials that looked like a tachometer on a race car. It even came with a stack of you guessed it, those same 45s that I tried so desperately to destroy just a couple of years earlier. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time for just a little while. Given all the stuff going on in the world today, it would sure be refreshing. I’ll try to recreate that moment with this quick mix of tender morsels. These records hold a special place in my heart, and it does my heart real good to be able to share them with you today. In most cases they are the original records from when I was a kid, so the surface noise is there on purpose. I had to replace a few that didn’t survive all the abuse, but for the most part this is the way I heard it at the tender age of five. Here’s the playlist:
01-No Matter What Sign You Are-Diana Ross & The Supremes (Motown)
02-Big Ladies Man-The People’s Choice (Phil L.A. Of Soul)
03-Got Myself A Good Man-Gladys Knight & The Pips (Soul)
04-Julia-Ramsey Lewis (Cadet)
05-Something’s Got To Change-Ray Charles (Tangerine)
06-Bewildered (1970 version)-James Brown (King)
07-Hey Ruby, Shut Your Mouth-Ruby & The Party Gang (Law-Ton)
08-Happy (Is A Bumpy Road)-Supremes (Motown)
09-Cool Aid-Paul Humphrey & His Cool Aid Chemists (Lizard)
10-(We’ve Got) Honey Love-Martha & The Vandellas (Gordy)
11-Any Way You Wanna-Ramsey Lewis (Cadet)
12-A Mother’s Prayer-Joe Tex (Dial)
13-Knucklehead-Bar Kays (Volt)
14-Can’t Get Over Losing You-Delfonics (Phillly Groove)
15-Misdemeanor-Foster Sylvers (Pride)
16-Crazy Bout My Baby-Marvin Gaye (Tamla)
17-Over At My Place-Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose (United Artists)
18-Since The Days Of Pigtails (And Other Fairy Tales)-Chairmen Of The Board (Invictus)
19-Dark Side Of The World-Diana Ross (Motown)
20-Stop Sneaking Around-Brenda & The Tabulations (Top And Bottom)
21-Love Can Turn To Hate-Honey & The Bees (Josie)
22-Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music-Supremes & Four Tops (Motown)
23-Shine On Me-Supremes (Motown)
24-Funky Nassau pts. 1&2-The Beginning Of The End (Alston)
I will go on record to say that it was this stack of 45s (along with some others that were lost and never found again, or are readily available on CDs in some form or another) that introduced me to the wonderful world of soul. (deleted phrase). It’s nice to know that there are a lot of you out there who still appreciate this stuff, and I am forever grateful for all the knowledge. Had I known then what I know now, I would have kept these old records in a little bit better shape. Oh well, you live and learn, right? There’s always Records By Mail because like the disclaimer reads, I DO support good music. If it’s out there I’ll find it. (deleted phrase)…
Now for your second surprise…
I found out over at JR Heatwarps’ place that the first two Betty Davis CDs will be reissued 15 May 2007 complete with loads of bonus material. This is a good thing since Ms. Davis didn’t see dollar the first in residuals from the first round of reishes, considering the astronomical sums the internet charged for import copies! Long story short, I was lucky enough to score both of them this morning and since you’ve been extra good and cleaned your plates, here’s a sneak peek.
You Won’t See Me In The Morning, a previously unreleased recording
Git In There, a rough altenate mix from the Record Plant vaults, decidedly different from the original!
Now it’s time to go and sit with the Guru since I burned precious fuel searching the yard sale circuit this morning with no success. Three bucks a gallon is a bitch to say the least. I’ve already got the next recipe on deck so I am gonna try to be just a little more regular with the rotation. Here’s hoping that all of you have a groovy week, at least try to make the best of it. I’m glad that you saved a small part of it for me.
Peace and blessings.