1. CANDY MAN AND THE CANDY BARS-"Voodoo Man" U.S. Roulette R-4707 1966
Starting with a maniacal laugh worthy of Screamin' Jay Hawkin's this number is an uptempo go-go groover with call and response backing vocals and bluesy guitar licks behind a funky beat.
2. SHIRLEY MATTHEWS-"Big Town Boy" U.S. Atlantic 45-2210 1963
This number owes more to girl group sounds than r&b but it's uptempo enough with it's soulful hand claps that lend a quasi Motown feel to it (accented by an interesting muted trumpet solo).
3. DUKE BROWNER-"Crying Over You" U.S. Impact 1008 1966
This in demand dance floor smash on Detroit's underdog label Impact has subtle strings (no doubt attracting shuffling speak freaks in Northern dance halls) and strong vocals. The number sounds lost like it wants to be more soulful but can't because the production and backing reeks of blue eyed soul. An original copy will set you back a grand....
4. PATTI'S GROOVE-"It Won't Last Long" U.S. Columbia 4-43484 1965
Starting out with some raunchy guitar this number teeters between plaintiff girl ground sounds and hip swaying soul with lead vocals that remind me of a husky Debbie Harry, but the delivery is rapid fire and therefore quite danceable. In retrospect it sounds, musically, like something The Outsiders (American sort) would have released.
5. CHARLES PERRY-"I've Got A Feeling Called The Blues" U.S. Melic 4138 1963
Starting with some jazzy female vocals like a haunting siren the number quickly turns into a catchy little r&b belter that's like the illegitimate love child between Mel Torme and Roscoe Gordon with a Dave "Baby" Cortez style organ solo spicing things up.
6. THE VIRGINIA WOLVES-"Stay" U.S. Amy 966 1966
This pounding re-do of the Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs hit is one third Four Seasons, one third brassy soul and one third frat rock (dig those punctuated shouts of "Stay!" that sound like a football sideline). Somehow it all works, splendidly. Perfect for the dance floor.
7. CHRIS COLUMBO-"You Can't Sit Down" U.S. Battle B-45904 1962
The flip of Columbo's reading of "Stranger On The Shore is this fairly note for note cover of Phil Upchurch's rollicking instrumental "You Can't Sit Down". Whereas the original has the organ bearing the prevalent role the horns are in the focus here. It doesn't best the original but as one Garcon said "vive la difference".
8. LONNIE SATTIN-"Watermelon Man" U.S. Scepter 1251 1963
This cover of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" is a curious mix of gritty soulful r&b backed with prerequisite Latin rhythm, jazzy flute and suave lead vocals which are sadly detracted by some mildly annoying female caterwauling in the background, like those great Georgie Fame tracks in '64 with The Breakaways screeching in the background.
9. TOM AND JERRIO-"Boo-Ga-Loo" U.S. Jerry-O JO 110 1965
This amazing slice of boogaloo r&b is punctuated by hand claps, a driving beat and some ad libbing vocals calling out latest dance crazes and indecipherable gibberish. It was later co-opted by The Emperors and later Jerry O. as "Karate Boogaloo".
10. PRINCE HAROLD-"Born To Please" U.S. Verve VK 10530 1967
Located on the flip of "Why'd You Go Away" this slick produced, sassy stormer is carried by some incredibly powerful horns and these heavy duty breaks and soulful female backing vocals. Incredible!
Who's got one they want to part with? Asking for a friend....
All scans courtesy of 45cat.com