Saturday, September 2, 2023

U.S. Soul/R&B/Jazz/Blues 45's For September

1. TY HUNTER-"Bad Loser"  Chess 1893 1964

"Bad Loser" was the B-side of Ty's final Chess recording "Something Like A Storm". It's mid tempo soulful delivery punctuated by some powerful horns (dig that trombone) and strong backing vocals reminding me of a poppy Ben E. King.

2. ERNIE K-DOE-"My Mother-In-Law (Is In My Hair Again") Duke 378 1964

Ernie's follow up to his 1961 smash "Mother In Law" is this sequel with some funky James Brown style horns is more upbeat than it's predecessor is absolutely contagious thanks to it's tongue and cheek lyrics and perfectly dance-able groove.

3. J.C. DAVIS-"Sweet Sweet Love" Chess 1859 1963

Starting with some swirling organ and a preachers style call "Sweet Sweet Love" kicks into a funky call and response 101 mph gospel soul groove that doesn't hold back for it's brief one minute and fifty second soul/r&n revival.

4. JOE SWIFT'S INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOYS-"Bell Bottoms" Onacrest OC-501 1966

A big thanks to the "Mod Jazz" series for unearthing this amazing little saxophone driven instrumental complete with go-go organ and an irresistible groove (it is sadly missing the inanely hilarious banter between the band during the breaks on the version on "The Return Of Mod Jazz" which was an alternate take).

5. THE EXITS-"You Got To Have Money" Gemini 1004 1967

Punctuated by some sweet backing vocals and congas hammering out a groovy beat this mega obscure 1967 b-side is probably my favorite soul tune at the moment. The tempo, the delivery and the razor sharp back up singers on top of lyrics about financial disparity is absolutely mindblowing.

6. NAT KENDRICK & THE SWANS-"Wobble Wobble" Dade 45-5003 1963

This interesting instrumental reminds me of something Britain's Sounds Incorporated would have done (especially the guitar licks), it's a bit monotonous at times but the precision horns make it worth listening to, like most offerings by sax player Nat Kendrick.

7. KENNY SMITH-"Go For Yourself" RCA Victor 47-8850 1967

This is an amazing little funky soul 45 that starts off with an interesting bit of social commentary about self preservation ("You better think about #1 and go for yourself!") with some twangy guitar licks, powerful J.B. style horns and some chicken scratch rhythm.

8. BILLY JOE YOUNG-"I've Got You On My Mind Again" Paula 240 1966

I discovered this one a few months back thanks to someone on Instagram (apologies for not recalling who). This number could be considered soulful thanks to the infectious brass and the Northern soul-esque "Hey hey hey" vocal interjections but there's something almost "poppy" that probably ruins it's chance of ever being "danceable", but regardless I think it's amazing.

9. BOBBY FREEMAN-"I'll Never Fall In Love Again" US Autumn 9 1965

I was first hipped to this gritty little Sly Stone composition/production via a British cover of this by John Lee's Groundhogs (on Shel Talmy's Planet label) which eventually led me to this original. For the uninitiated it's an incredibly powerful belter with some punchy horns, jangly guitars and impassioned vocals by Bobby "Come On And Swim" Freeman.

10. THE BOBETTES-"I Shot Mr. Lee" Triple-X 104 1960

"1-2-3, I shot Mr. Lee, 3-4-5 I got tired of his jive.." goes the opening line of this macabre sequel to the band's 1957 hit "Mr. Lee" which kicks off with a sax blowing Chopin's "Funeral March". It's uptempo call and response rapid fire vocal delivery are amazingly catchy (with a chorus "shot him in the head boom-boom"). The lyrical fun continues with "5-6-7-8 Mr. Lee had a date, 9-10-11 now he's up in heaven..". The public (my father included) were suitably offended and the record failed to chart.

All scans c/o