Thursday, December 18, 2014
BREAKING NEWS: Get YOUR copy of Mod Fun's 30th anniversary pressing of "I Am With You" b/w "Happy Feeling" direct from the master tapes NOW:
Thursday, December 4, 2014
|Record Collector Bordentown, NJ 2/28/09|
In October (the 16th to be exact) my wife just was driving me to to pick up my car at the end of the day and had her usual Philly rock n roll station WXPN on and who's voice should emanate from the speakers but that of Mac. He was in the studio being interviewed and it transpired that he was playing in Sellersville, Pennsylvania that very night with The Bump Band. With the gig only hours away I was on the fence if I could get home, changed, round up someone to go AND get there by showtime! But my wife prodded me (thank god for that and her) and finally convinced me that I should go. After a few phone calls I found someone willing to join me. I was helped in reaching my decision to go see him when I discovered that the show that night would include his band (my previous 3 or 4 Mac gigs were just him solo or with his bassist Jon Notarthomas). My friend Joe accompanied to the show. We ran into Jon Notarthomas on the way into the pub adjoining the theater where the gig was to be held and he remembered me from previous gigs and said that Mac would be thrilled to see me and thanked us for coming out. The Bump Band put on a stellar gig that night with Mac's purple Hammond (an instrument he'd leave home on solo or due tours) filling the room with soul as they did lots of Ronnie Lane's Faces/solo tracks, a Small Faces cover and a healthy dose of his own material.
My friend Joe was a bit apprehensive about meeting him as he had never met him before. I assured him he would not be cagey (as John Mayall was when we'd met him a month earlier). After the gig he was seated out front and as we approached he lit up when he saw me like we were old pals and complemented me on my seersucker jacket and began telling a story about them being the "band uniform" in The Muleskinners. I mentioned that the last time I'd seen him I presented him with the Muleskinners(his first band) E.P. on Acid Jazz to sign which he had never seen before and was somewhat riled that someone had put it out without his knowledge (later assuring me that he took no offense in my buying it as if he were to get angry at any person who bought an authorized release of his he mused "I'd have no fans"). Always the fantastic story teller he proceeded to tell me that shortly after he was in the U.K. and someone came up after a gig and presented with a stack of the E.P.'s and a check for £200 for them. He mused that it was the most he'd ever made with The Muleskinners and that it was funny that a guy in New Jersey had to clue him on on a British record. I thanked him profusely for everything, wished him well on the rest of the tour and a safe return home to Austin and told him we'd catch him the next time he came around. Yesterday even more than on that night I was glad my wife convinced me I could make it to the gig.
Cheers Mac, wherever you are.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Last night's Philly Soul Syndicate installment of Boogaloo was a smashing success. In the intrest in not being too much of a record snob DJ I brought out quite a bit of well known stuff to keep the floor moving. I decided I'd keep track of all the 45's I spun and here's what you missed from me (all records are U.S.pressings unless otherwise noted):
PRINCE BUSTER & the ALL STARS-Al Capone (Blue Beat) U.K.
BYRON LEE & his SKA KINGS-Last Night Ska (Atlantic)
ROLAND ALPHONSO with BABA BROOKS BAND-Nuclear Weapon (Ska Beat) U.K.
THE MELODIANS-Lay It On (Coxsone) Jamaica
THE MAD LADS-Tearmaker (Volt)
THE CAPER BROTHERS-I Ain't Gonna Write You (Roulette)
DON GARDENER and DEE DEE FORD-I Need Your Loving (Fire)
ALVIN ROBINSON-Let The Good Times Roll (Blue Cat)
MICKEY LEE LANE-Hey Sah Lo Ney (Swan)
THE KINGSMEN-Louie Louie (Wand)
LARRY KNIGHT & THE UPSETTERS-Hurt Me (Golden World)
JIMMY FRASER-Of Hopes And Dreams And Tombstones (Columbia Bootleg)
J.J. JACKSON and the JACKAELS-Oo-Ma-Liddi (Prelude)
BENNY SPELLMAN-I Feel Good (Atlantic)
GARNET MIMMS and the ENCHANTERS-Tell Me Baby (United Artists)
MARVIN GAYE-Can I Get A Witness (Tamla)
THE OLYMPICS-We Go Together (Mirwood)
JERRY BUTLER-Just For You (Vee Jay)
THE MIRACLES-I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Tamla)
THE DAYLIGHTERS-Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) (Sue) U.K.
RAY CHARLES-I Don't Need No Doctor (ABC)
THE SUPREMES-Where Did Our Love Go (Motown)
GEORGIE FAMEand the BLUE FLAMES-Last Night (Imperial)
THE DELLS-It's Not Unusual (Vee Jay)
J.J. JACKSON-Come See Me (Strike) U.K.
BILLY PRINCE-Somebody Help Me (Verve)
IKE & TINA TURNER-Two Is A Couple (Sue)
R. DEAN TAYLOR-There's A Ghost In My house (Tamla Motown) U.K.
THE FOUR TOPS-It's The Same Old Song (Motown)
ARETHA FRANKLIN-Soulville (Columbia)
THE FI-DELS-Try A Little Harder (Keymen)
EDWIN STARR-Headline News (Ric Tic)
SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES-(Come Round Here) I'm The one You Need (Tamla Motown) Portugal
THE IMPRESSIONS-Can't Satisfy (ABC)
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014
|GEORGE MARTIN & HIS ORCHESTRA-Theme One/Elephants And Castles U.K. United Artists UP 1194 1967|
"The Move-Flowers In The Rain" is usually answer to a pub quiz question in England that asks "What was the first record played on Radio One"?. This is not correct from what I have gathered. At 7:00 A.M. on September 30, 1967 The B.B.C. launched Radio One, their first all pop music radio station (established in the wake of the outlawing of the popular Pirate Radio) and the first sound listeners heard was Robin Scott introducing an orchestral but modern piece called "Theme One" by George Martin. Former Pirate Radio DJ Tony Blackburn then came on and played "Flowers In The Rain" .
"Theme One" first came to these ears in 1996 when the big Easy/Kitsch/Theme tune music craze began (which perfectly suited my randy dandy boy about town self) and swallowed me whole. One of my first comps of many of this genre was "The Sound Gallery 2" which "Theme One" so elegantly closed and was pretty much required party music in my abode for the rest of the 90's.
One is immediately taken by "Theme One" with it's '66-'67 Macca style bass licks, regal trumpets, sweeping strings all under this wonderful pseudo psychedelic wash called "phasing" (aka "skying", a month after The Small Faces "Itchycoo Park" used the same technique on drum segment) . Classical music it is not. It was later covered by Van der Graff Generator (1972) and Cozy Powell (1979) .
The B-side "Elephants And Castles" is not nearly as swinging. Based around a kitschy organ riff it's pretty Muzaky and verges on elevator music (and not really in the cool "Sound Gallery" style of easy either).
"Theme One" was issued on the essential but out of print CD compilation 'The Sound Gallery Volume two" (which is where this track first came to my attention) and on a still available CD titled "Highlights From 50 Years Of Recording" a slimmed down version of an extensive collection of his material.
Hear "Theme One":
Hear "Elephants And Castles":
Thursday, November 20, 2014
We're doing November's picks a little earlier than usual to plug a new DJ night a few friends of mine and I have launched in the City of Brotherly Love. This month's picks are some of the 45's I'll be laying down at Kung Fu Necktie next week, won't you put on your dancing shoes and come on down?
1. THE DELLS-"It's Not Unusual" U.S. Vee Jay VJ 764
Tucked away on the flip of the original issue of the 1965 "Stay In My Corner" is this storming uptempo cover of Tom Jone's most famous number that really swings literally making it their own by not just increasing the tempo but pulling out all stops in doing it.
2. GARNET MIMMS AND THE ENCHANTERS-"Tell Me Baby" U.S. United Artists UA 694
One of my fave Garnet Mimm's numbers is this call and response stormer from 1964. So loved by The Who that they covered it AND it's B-side "Anytime You Want Me" in their live set throughout most of '65. Give a listen to Garnet's forceful delivery and see why:
3. JAMO THOMAS-"I Must Holler" U.S. Chess 1971
Besides his famous "I Spy For The FBI" Jamo Thomas did not cut a lot of singles in the 60's. This one is from 1966 and is a mid tempo slow boiler with some smooth /laid back falsetto vocals from him on top of an infectious, bluesy little guitar lick reminiscent of "Smokestack Lightning".
4. THE OLYMPICS-"Mine Exclusively" U.S. Mirwood 5513
Topping off the equally popular B-side "Secret Agents" is this track from 1966. One of the many tunes performed live by my U.K. 60's mod heroes The Action, this tune is without a doubt one of my faves by the Olympics coming off somewhere in the vicinity of an uptempo Temptations number in my estimation.
5. THE PHIL UPCHURCH COMBO-"You Can't Sit Down" U.K. Sue WI-4005
Chicago guitarist Phil Upchurch is behind one of the most monster instrumental shakers that ranks right up their with "Green Onions" in my book. Dating from 1961 originally, this two sided smoker never fails to get things moving, on either side.
6. EDDIE FLOYD-"Holding On With Both Hands" U.S. Stax 45-246
Beneath the monster A-side "Big Bird" is this track which sounds nothing like something issued in 1968. Meshed perfectly underneath the trademark Memphis horns and twangy Steve Cropper Telecaster licks this mid tempo burner has always been a choice of mine to spin.
7. TONY CLARKE (and YOU his audience)-"Ain't Love Good, Ain't Love Proud" U.S. Chess 1894
The "live" sound of this May 1964 shouter has always been in dispute. Was it really "live" or was this added in the studio? The debate continues, but regardless this track gets things moving with lots of funky handclapping and smooth female backing vocals.
8. THE MANHATTANS-"I Wanna Be Your Everything" U.S.Carnival 507
Released on the legendary New Jersey label Carnival in 1964 this number is devoid of a lot of the guts that propel most of the songs on this list but that doesn't detract from it in any way as it's a perfect number with a surprisingly simple groove that doesn't leave your mind easily.
9. CHRISTINE KITRELL-"Call His Name" U.S. Federal 45-12540
Perfect gritty, but upbeat r&b from 1965 that sounds honestly like it was recorded much earlier (it was later issued on King in 1968 sowing more confusion) with some interesting breaks but sitting nicely along any smokers from Sue records 1963-1964.
And speaking of Sue.....you can't go wrong with a Soul Sisters 45 on Sue and since we're all about good times, this number pretty much encapsulates what our intentions are. So come by and hit the floor and take a drink, and by all means "get tight" too.