1. LITTLE GENIE BROOKS-"The James Brown Bougeloo" U.S. Carol 105 1966
No that's how "boogaloo" is really spelled on the label. This 100mph horns backed work out is a TOTAL James Brown pastiche from the horns, the breaks and of course the lead vocals with lots of quotes from various J.B. songs. Any idea who Little Genie Brooks was?
2. THE PIPS-"Room In Your Heart" U.S. Vee Jay VJ 386 1961
This call and response r&b screamer is Gladys Knight and the boys but credited to "The Pips". It has elements of doo-wop mixed in with frantic r&b that works thanks to the tight delivery and energy. Originally issued on the HunTom label, this was reissued on Vee Jay just months later.
3. MARJORIE BLACK-"One More Hurt" U.S. Sue 45-132 1965
This obscure release on the legendary Sue label could easily pass as an obscure Motown side in it's up tempo delivery and the key changes. It's totally danceable and merits immediate investigation to those not familiar with it!
4. BARBRA MERCER-"Hey!" U.S. Golden World GW-21 1965
The vibes and call and response/up tempo backing vocals on this pretty much guarantee it's a huge dance floor classic but copies are surprisingly affordable.
5. ADOLPH JACOBS-"Move Around Easy" U.S. Class 253 1959
This twangy little proto rock n' roll meets r&b number is where the sock hop meets gritty bluesy gut bucket r&b. It's poppy but off set by the greasy saxophone solo and busy bass lines.
6. CHRISTINE COOPER-"Heartaches Away My Boy" U.S. Parkway P-983 1966
Sweets strings, Motown punctuation on the vibes/scronking sax (the number has multiple similarities to a few Supremes numbers) and beautiful lead/backing vocals make this, understandably one of the most sought after soul 45's on the Cameo Parkway label. Pure magic!!
7. THE PUSSYCATS-"Come On And Ska" US Keetch 45-6003 1964
I'm always keen on cash in U.S. 60's ska records, most are absolutely dreadful but this girl group track sounds like The Shangri-La's performing over a Millie Small backing track (with some more soul than Mary Weiss and the girls ever had) !
8. SOLOMON BURKE-"Be Bop Grandma" U.S. Atlantic 45-2114 1961
This one is all over the place. It's r&b, doo-wop, rock n' roll etc. Solomon Burke is clearly emulating Elvis on the lead vocals and the honky/wonky sax and blistering guitar licks make the number. The lyrics are a corny story of a hip shakin' grandma who likes to get down with the rocking hits when she's alone. Creepy.
9. THE ORLONS-"Heartbreak Hotel" U.S. Cameo C-319 1964
Big props to the HBO Elvis documentary for hipping me to this incredibly soulful/call and response storming cover of the King's 1956 hit. It has an almost sophisticated "uptown soul"/Motown feel to both it's delivery and production!
10. GARNET MIMMS-"Looking For You" U.S. United Artists UA 951 1965
One of Garnet's most sought after singles after "As Long As I Have you" is this vibes/female backing vocals/Northern soul strings propelled ditty full of interesting tempo changes and over the top production.