Monday, April 22, 2024

Alma Cogan-"Snakes And Snails"


Alma Cogan-Snakes, Snails And Puppy Dog Tails/How Many Nights Denmark Columbia DB 7622 1965

British 60's female singer Alma Cogan was long associated with the old variety show/pop guard so this completely rockin' July 1965 release (U.K. Columbia DB 7652 where it was titled simply "Snakes And Snails" on stock releases) must have come as quite the surprise to the public and her fans! Written and produced by Searchers drummer Chris Curtis in one of his first sessions behind the producers chair, he put quite a mix together for the recording as told to author Spencer Leigh in a "Record Collector" interview a few years before his death:

"I got Bobby Ore on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, Jimmy Page, Vic Flick and Joe Moretti on guitars and they played out of their skins! She didn't realise that she'd have to sing over a heavy rock backing and she loved it. The backing vocalists were Dusty Springfield, Doris Troy, Rosetta Hightower from The Orlons and me. Boy did we have fun."

Though Curtis has been known to embellish the truth a bit at times regardless of who's really on the record it's an incredible piece of music (Dusty's voice can audibly be heard on the backing vocals). The musical backing is solid and incredibly powerful as is the vocal delivery. The lyrics are completely dark and twisted (imagine a more fatal ending to "Love Potion #9"). It is alleged that Keith Richards panned it in a music newspaper as "one of the worst records I've ever heard".  Regardless of whether that's true the record went nowhere and Alma succumbed to overran cancer the following year at just 34 years of age.


The flip, "How Many Nights" is utterly disposable pop schlock, like something Brenda Lee or Lulu would have been forced to record. Next....

"Snakes And Snails" appeared ages ago on the Past & Present  "new Rubble" series CD "New Rubble Volume 5". 

Hear "Snakes, Snails And Puppydog Tails":

Monday, April 15, 2024

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Traffic "Hole In My Shoe"


TRAFFIC-Hole In My Shoe/Smiling Phases U.S. United Artists UA 50218 1967

Traffic's second American single was released in October 1967, three months after it's British release as Island WIP 6017 where it reached #2, unfortunately it failed to chart here.

Penned and sung by guitarist Dave Mason it perfectly encapsulates the child like "toy town" psychedelic pop genre with lyrics about toy soldiers, bubblegum trees et al. With sitars, flutes, organ, Mellotron etc it has all the necessary trappings of a '67 pop psych record including the spoken word bit (care of Island records supremo Chris Blackwell's stepdaughter Francine)  "I climbed on the back of a giant albatross which flew through a crack in the cloud, to a place where happiness reigned all year round where the music played ever so loudly".  

The flip side, "Smiling Phases" is sung by Steve Winwood and his soulful vocals over a harder rocking musical section than the A-side with just flute, bass, drums, guitar, organ and outside of some phasing on the vocals none of the psychedelic whimsy from the A-side.

Both sides are available for streaming on Spotify and are also on the deluxe edition of their debut LP "Mr. Fantasy" (titled "Heaven Is In Your Mind" in the U.S.).  

Their whole journey from this period has been wonderfully chronicled in the wonderful book "The Island Book Of Records 1959-1968". 

Hear "Hole In My Shoe":

Hear "Smiling Phases":

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Graham Bond 1970


GRAHAM BOND-Walking In The Park/Springtime In The City U.K. Warner Brothers WB 8004 1970

Organ maestro Graham Bond's career had sadly dovetailed by the late 1960's. Addicted to heroin and frequently being tracked down by bailiffs and the police over his bankruptcy situation he was miraculously signed up by Warner Brothers who issued a single comprised of two tracks recorded in 1966 with Dick Heckstall Smith (saxophone) and John Hiseman (drums) AND paid him a healthy sum of  £5,000! The youthful Hiseman (22 at the time) produced by tracks. 

"Walking In The Park" (penned by Bond) sounds like it was literally made up on the spot with it's simplistic word rhymes, but it's a rather rollicking track nonetheless thanks to the band's solid playing. It is NOT the version that featured on the Graham Bond Organization's debut LP "There's A Bond Between Us".  Bond's organ trills are amazing and Heckstall Smith gives 101% as always and Hiseman nails it down nicely behind the kit! 

"Springtime In The City", another Bond original, is a moody piece of business. It sounds at times like it was made up, lyrically anyway, on the spot. But there's a spooky feel to it with Bond's Hammond organ trills and Dick Heckstall Smith's sax work which meshes perfectly with the improvisational nature of the song (a trademark of any Graham Bond 60's recording). Heckstall-Smith must have had the patience of the Master because he continuously stuck with Bond as the only ever present G.B.O. member!

Rare Portuguese pressing

Both sides were collected on the Warner Brothers 1970 double album compilation "Solid Bond" issued in several countries (also available on CD) as well as being available to hear on Spotify.  

Hear "Walking In The Park":

Hear "Springtime In The City":

Monday, April 1, 2024

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


1. DESTINATION SOUL-"Ease My Mind" Tower 753 1967

With a 1967 release date you'd expect this to sound funkier but it's a weird track. The vocals remind me like an even more "white" Righteous Brothers but I love the driving beat and though some would argue it's not remotely "soul" I beg to differ. And I love the cheezy little Farfisa solo too.  Listen...

2. DON COVAY-"The Popeye Waddle" Cameo C-239 1965

Don Covay recorded for at least half a dozen imprints in the U.S. in the 60's. This one from '62 is incredibly tacky and but I dig the "Do You Love Me" rewrite that's going on in it. Strangely enough Covay is barely on the record as most of the vocals are by female session singers with him periodically injecting his improvisational vocal bursts after each chorus!


This slow burner has been #1 on my soul wants list for almost two decades now and seeing as the last copy went for $350 on Discogs last year the chances my owning it are slim. All griping aside this number is a killer from start to finish. Starting with some moody organ, it's down trodden vocals are a tour de force in full blown soulful misery!

4. BIG MAYBELLE-"Quittin' Time" Rojak ROJ-118 1967

I love pretty much everything Big Maybelle did on Rojac and this one is probably my favorite alongside her renderings of "I Can't Control Myself" and "96 Tears". It's uptempo vibe and frantic beat is a perfect vehicle for her husky voice punctuated by some nifty blasts of horns. It reminds me a bit of "I Don't Need No Doctor", and dig the "Get Ready" lick injected mid song during the break.

5. TONY CLARKE-"The Fugitive Kind" Chess 1935 1965

I'm a sucker for anything Tony Clarke released on Chess so.... This number reminds me a bit of The Manhattan's "Searchin' For My Baby" with it's slow delivery and call and response vocals and like all of Tony's releases on the label it has an air of sophistication and top notch production/backing.

6. EARL KING-"Come On Part One" Imperial X5713 1960

I love this variation of "Let The Good Times" (copied part and parcel five years later by Alvin Robinson), it's got these greasy horns, funky/bluesy guitar and this suave/cool laid back vocal style that's just right and conjures images of a smoke filled, low lit dive bar with this band wailing over in the corner with their shades on while the whiskey flows.

7. THE SOUL SISTERS-"Flashback" Sue 140 1965

I just realized that a in lot of my posts today I have espoused lots of material by quite a few artists and I'm not going to deviate from that pattern on the subject of the duo The Soul Sisters and their Sue records output. This was their seventh of eight singles released on the label and this one is far more uptempo than any of their other releases for the label, like Betty Everett's "Can't Hear You No More" on a handful of speed (dig the exultation's of "Oooo oooo Pow!" periodically throughout the song)

8. JEANETTE WILLIAMS-"All Of A Sudden" Back Beat 568 1966

Delivered with a melody not dissimilar to an uptempo "Take Me For A Little While" this in demand 100mph stormer was penned by Don Robey (under his moniker of Deadric Malone) and doesn't quit. The subtle brass, vibes and frenetic pace of course has rendered this unobtainable thanks to it's popularity on the pensioners soul scene.

9. BILL BUSH-"I'm Waiting" Ronn 17 1968

I really dig this one. It's a mid tempo tune with some jazzy sax and the tempo/beat that anticipates Terry Callier's "Ordinary Joe". The vocalist sounds a bit like Len Barry and I have no idea who was/is. Best of all there's these incessant organ that plays throughout the number that gives it an interesting feel.

10. THE CHARMAINES-"Rockin' Pneumonia" Fraternity F-931 1964

This Lonnie Mack produced number is in such demand there's not even a scan of it on 45cat so I had to nick it from Discogs! It's easily my favorite reading of "Rockin' Pneumonia", with some great vocals that remind me of a cross between The Shirelles and The Soul Sisters, but it's the greasy musical backing that really sweetens the deal here!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Manfred Mann Channels Bob Dylan


MANFRED MANN-Mighty Quinn/By Request-Edwin Garvey U.K. Fontana TF 897 1968

Manfred Mann's biggest American hit was their January 1968 version of Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" which rose to #10 (and in the U.K. it gave the band their third and final #10. It was forever a staple of the Oldies radio station I was reared on (NYC's WCBS FM 101.1!) and therefore firmly embedded in my psyche. I liked it and when I became British Invasion mad at some point in 1975/1976 it was the first record I ever owned by the band. All too often you get bludgeoned by songs like this but fortunately living in a bubble where all of my television watching is streaming and I don't listen to anything but vinyl and Spotify I have been able to appreciate such staples of my past now in doses I prefer!

"Mighty Quinn" or as my American oldies reissue 45 (with Keith's "98.6" on the flip) said "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)" of course comes from the scratch pad of Bob Dylan. The band were probably the earliest British interpreters of his work and had covered "With God On Our Side" on an E.P. and had a U.K. #2 hit with "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" in their previous incarnation. "Mighty Quinn" was from Dylan's legendary "Basement Tapes" and what the Manfred's did with it was nothing short of amazing. It's such a bouncy little ditty with nonsensical, clever lyrics and the Manfred's giving it 101% with a great beat, Klaus Voorman's flute, Manfred's Hammond, precise harmonies and Mike D' Abo's rousing vocals. 

Speaking of Mr. D'Abo...on the flip we have a composition of his, "By Request-Edwin Garvey".  It's probably one of THE most unusual flip sides to a mega hit you will ever hear!  D'Abo warbles on like he's coming from a 1920's gramophone over some piano and the whole thing sounds like a spoof of the Bonzo Dog Band meets something from a Mel Brooks movie! 

Both tracks are available on a host of Fontana records collections of the band's Mike D'Abo period as well as streaming on Spotify. 

Hear (and see) "Mighty Quinn" on "Beat Club":

Hear "By Request Edwin Garvey":

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Beat Scene- Volume Two Imagined

In 1998 Decca issued a 25 track CD called "The Beat Scene", one of several "Scene" compilations issued of tracks culled from the Decca/Deram archives. Unfortunately any further official volumes were not forthcoming so I decided to create an imaginary track listing of another volume utilizing tunes from the Decca label. 

1. THE BIG THREE-"What'd I Say" E.P. Decca  DFE 8552 1963 

2. BRIAN POOLE AND THE TREMELOES-"Love Me Baby" Decca F 12197 1965

3. THE ZOMBIES-"Woman" Decca F 12004 1964

4. THE MIGHTY AVENGERS-"Hide Your Pride" Decca F 11891 1964

5. THE PETE BEST FOUR-"Why Did I Fall In Love With You" Decca F 11929 1964

6. CHICK GRAHAM AND THE COASTERS-"A Little You" Decca F 11932 1964

7. PHASE FOUR-"Think I'll Sit Down And Cry" Decca F 12327 1966

8. FREDDIE STARR AND THE MIDNIGHTERS-"Peter Gunn Locomotion" Decca F 11663 1963

9. THE CLASSMATES-"Pay Day" Decca F 12047 1966

10. THE MARAUDERS-"Always On My Mind" Decca F 11748 1963

11. THE VERNONS GIRLS-"Dat's Love" E.P. Decca DFE 8506 1962

12. BERN ELLIOT AND THE CLAN-"Good Times" Decca F 11970 1964

13. THE CHECKMATES-"Around" Decca F 12114 1965

14. THE DENNISONS-"Nobody Like My Babe" Decca F 11990 1964

15. THE APPLEJACKS-"I'm Through" Decca F 12301 1965

16. THE ORCHIDS-"I've Got That Feeling" Decca F 11861 1964

17. HEINZ-"I Get Up In The Morning" E.P. Decca DFE 8545 1963

18. GEORGE BEAN-"Why Must They Criticize" Decca F 12228 1965

19. THE BROOKS-"Poor Poor Plan" Decca F 11868 1964

20. LEE CURTIS AND THE ALL STARS-"Let's Stomp" Decca 11690 1963

21. THE PICKWICKS-"I Don't Want To Tell You Again" Decca F 11901 1964

22. THE MOJOS-"Nobody But Me" E.P. Decca DFE 8591 1964

23. KINGSIZE TAYLOR AND THE DOMINOS-"Stupidity" Decca F 11874

24. BOBBY CRISTO AND THE REBELS-"I've Got You Out Of My Mind" Decca F 11913 1964

25. THE SNOBS-"Buckle Shoe Stomp" Decca F 11867 1964

Artwork care of Charlie Starkey

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Randy Newman Feted In Britain

Songwriter Randy Newman sparked quite a bit of interest in the U.K. as early as 1965 but hit pay dirt when Alan Price took his "Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear" all the way to #4 (and it is alleged resulted in Newman securing a recording contract in America with Reprise records). Here are ten British readings of some of Randy's tracks released in the Sixties. Enjoy!

1. DUFFY POWER-"Davy O'Brien (Leave That Baby Alone)" U.K. Parlophone R 5631 1967

Originally released as "Leave That Baby Alone" by Saturday's Children in the US on Dunwich in May 1967, Davy Graham issued his version of this number in October with a full own treatment thanks to the incredible brass and arrangement courtesy of Mike Vickers. Is this a tale of lecherous intent or well meaning moral upstanding? We'll never know but Davy delivers the goods making this my favorite Randy Newman reading ever!

2. THE NASHVILLE TEENS-"The Biggest Night Of Her Life" U.K. Decca F 12657 1967

The hits had long dried up for the Nashville Teens when Decca issued this as their tenth (and next to last) 45. This Newman track may have been an attempt to restart their career (Alan Price did a version on his second British album "A Price On His Head").  It's neo-rag time feel (in no small part to the barrel house Ivory tinkling) is a sign of the times but alas it was not really suited to the Teens.

3. MANFRED MANN-"So Long Dad" UK Fontana TF 862 1967

The Manfred's got the first version of this ditty out (Alan Price later recorded it as well) and it is probably my favorite reading of it. It's boozy, bluesy and incredibly intricate with a nice mix of barroom piano, harpsichord and Mellotron. Riding the crest of that whole Vaudevillian vibe Mike D'Abo and the boys easily handle this sentimental ode to father/son relations.

4. BILLY FURY-"Baby Do You Love Me?" U.K. Parlophone R 5658 1967

By 1967 Billy Fury, like all of his contemporaries was struggling against the tide. His management were trying everything to get him back in the game (his next single would be a Bee Gee number on one side and a Bowie track on the flip) and he too jumped on the Newman train. Sadly this one is incredibly tepid and reeks of chicken in the basket and stale ciggies and even a Randy Newman/Midas touch on the song writing credits could put Billy back together again.

5. CILLA BLACK-"I've Been Wrong Before" U.K. Parlophone R 5269 1965

Cilla gets kudos for being the first British artist to record a Randy Newman number. Randy himself was rather pleased with the results and took the time to frequently compliment it in interviews. I'm not a huge Cilla fan and I will admit this does absolutely nothing for me and it's inclusion here is merely for historical purposes. Next!

6. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD-"I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore" U.S. Atlantic 45-2623 1969

Dusty was late to the Newman party when she cut this one for her oft praised "Dusty In Memphis" LP in 1969. Lyrically it's probably my favorite Newman track, a wonderful social observation about apartment building gossip (previously recorded by The Walker Brothers and prior to that masterfully cut by Jerry Butler). With those two previous versions in mind this leaves me flat. Sorry.

7. ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS-"Mama Told Me Not To Come" France EP Barclay 071081


Originally slated to be the flip side Eric Burdon's first post Animals single "Help Me Girl" on Decca in the U.K. it was hastily withdrawn and issued instead with "See See Rider" on the flip. It was however released as an E.P. track in France AND on his first post Animals U.S. LP "Eric Is Here". Long before Three Dog Night took it to the top Eric interpreted it first. The music reminds me a lot of his ex-band mate's venture The Alan Price Set meets his drinking buddy Georgie Fame and it's lyrically suited to Burdon's then reputation as an all out looner. Interesting!

8. JULIE DRISCOLL-"If You Should Ever Leave Me" U.K. Parlophone R 5588 1967

Tucked away on the flip of her opus "I Know You Love Me Not", Jools ratchets up the emotions with a lush arrangement by Reg Guest. Unfortunately at the end it sounds like the number is out of her range AND it literally sounds like she's sobbing (talk about raw emotion) but the very Walker Brothers meets Dusty orchestration makes it incredible and therefore indispensable .

9. THE PERSUASIONS-"Big Brother" U.K. Columbia DB 7700 1965

Coming out in September 1965 this one joins Cilla in being one of the earliest U.K. recordings of a Randy Newman track. The Persuasions were an oft overlooked British band that had a fairly innocuous soul sound and this recording is actually fairly interesting falling somewhere between a beat ballad and jazzy and moody mod r&b.

10. ALAN PRICE SET-"Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear" U.K. Decca F 12570 1967

Originally released by Tommy Boyce in the States on A&M the previous year, Alan Price became one of the most prodigious British interpreters of Newman's material (his second LP "A Price On His Head" contained no less than 7 of his tunes on it) and that is no better exemplified than in this brilliant little jaunty track. It's bubbly, kitschy and happy and gave Price his biggest selling British single.

Friday, March 1, 2024

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

1. MARLOWE MORRIS QUINTET-"Play The Thing" Columbia 4-42218 1961

I was first drawn to this number by the interesting song title. "Play The Thing" is a funky little instrumental with soulful organ, powerful brass and some beatnik bongos moving it along nicely.

2. LeBRENDA BEN & THE BELJEANS-"The Chaperone" Gordy  7009 1962

This one was completely new to me until I was hipped to it by DJ Pete Pop on Instagram. I was completely unfamiliar with this kitschy little mondo obscure girl group track by an act who had just two singles on Motown's Gordy outlet. This one reminds me a bit of the Marvelettes early material.

3. HENRY BOATWRIGHT-"I Can Take Or Leave Your Lovin" Capitol 2131 

Most of you will be familiar with the Herman's Hermits original version of this (or The Foundations later cover) but this American version came out third and is my favorite of the bunch. It's faster, catchier and 100% more soulful.

4. HANK DIAMOND-"Soul Sauce (Wachi Wara)" World Pacific 77812 1966

I'm a sucker for any version of Cal Tjader's "Soul Sauce" and this version is interesting to my ears because musically it sounds a bit like a cross between the original and the Timebox cover but it's a vocal version, sung by some clearly very white/antiseptic dudes but the musical backing is tight and infectious.

5. THE YOUNG FOLK-"Lonely Girl" Mar-V-Lus 6017 1967

I may have posted this one before, so apologies if we have. This number is full of slick backing vocal falsettos and great call and responses. This was their only single (that strangely got a UK release on President a few months later).

6. JIMMY McCRACKLIN-"Get Tough" U.S. Checker 893 1958

This was the follow up to Jimmy's most famous single, "The Walk". Utilizing basically the exact same formula of it's predecessor, "Get Tough" sports the same beat, same tempo BUT with different lyrics and a very cool horn section and an absolutely wailing sax.

7. DENISE LaSALLE-"A Love Reputation" Chess 2005 1967

Previously issued on the small Tarpon label, this was the debut release by Denise LaSalle. It's an excellent mid tempo that boasts "I got a love reputation from New York to New Orleans" from an era before things got too "funky" for my tastes.

8. QUINCY JONES-"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Mercury 72496 1965

Tucked away on the flip of his "What's New Pussycat" is this interesting take on the Stones hit that starts out like mellow Muzak and then shifts into a brass heavy Uptown swanky department store incidental music with everything including the kitchen sink thrown in.

9. BILLY PRINCE-"Somebody Help Me" Verve VK-10462 1966

Cheers to my old pal Ty Jesso for hipping me to this one over two decades ago. This cover of the Jackie Edwards composition made famous by The Spencer Davis Group bears investigation. The backing track is the same used on The Jaybirds U.K. Sue release from a few months earlier AND the Wynder K. Frog version on their "Sunshine Superfrog" LP making me wonder how this occured. Regardless of the backing it's Prince's vocals that take the cake in my book that turns the whole thing into a soulful smash.

10. BILL McAFFE-"I Don't Know Why" Galaxy 710 1963

This curious little uptempo groover has backing vocals that recall The Shirelles and a musical feel much like Ray Charles stuff at the same time period. The lead vocalist has an incredible range that goes from smooth Mose Allison  lazy delivery to a wailing James Brown scream.

All scans c/o


Sunday, February 18, 2024

Simon Dupree and The Big Sound's Debut

SIMON DUPREE AND THE BIG SOUND-I See The Light/It Is Finished U.K. Parlophone R 5542 1966

British act Simon Dupree and the Big Sound could best be compared to an act like Zoot Money or The Small Faces in that they were a band who cut sometimes trippy pop records while retaining a very soul/r&b sound onstage but ran the difficult gamut of trying to balance the two. 

They made their debut in December 1966 with this Five Americans cover "I See The Light" (first issued by The Five Americans in the U.S. in November 1965 and issued in the U.K. in September 1966). The Simon Dupree version is a bit more frantic than the original and replaces the jangling guitar lick underneath with some descending brass scales meshed in with the frenzied organ (a Simon Dupree trademark). My favorite part of the number is the way the guitar and bass do this wiggy little solo. One can imagine that the number was no doubt a center piece to their live show as their performance of it on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat" (see link below) will prove!

The flip side, "It Is Finished", is an interesting mix of Herb Alpert style trumpet and a soulful but poppy arrangement. The band's Schulman brothers (Derek-lead vocals, Phil-vocals, sax, trumpet, French horn and Ray-guitar, violin and trumpet) were multi instrumentalists and they come to fore in this number with an interesting mix of Farfisa, horns and violin. 

Both sides are available on a host of Simon Dupree and The Big Sound collections, the most recent being a two CD set "Part Of My Past" which collects all their 45 and LP tracks in addition to a host of unreleased material released during their relatively brief (1966-1969) career.

Hear "I See The Light":

Watch the band perform "I See The Light" on German TV's "Beat Beat Beat":

Hear "It Is Finished":

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Freakbeat Scene- Volume Two Imagined

In 1998 Decca issued a 25 track CD called "The Freakbeat Scene", one of several "Scene" compilations issued of tracks culled from the Decca/Deram archives. Unfortunately no further official volumes were not forthcoming so I decided to create an imaginary track listing of another volume utilizing tunes from the Deram and Decca labels. 

1. THE MOCKINGBIRDS-"How To Find A Lover" Decca F 12510 1966

2. MARC BOLAN-"San Francisco Poet" Decca F 12413 1966

3. BEVERLEY-"Where The Good Times Are" Deram DM 101 1966

4. THE MOVE-"Wave Your Flag And Stop The Train" Deram DM 117 1967

5. THE BLUESBREAKERS-"Curly" Decca F 12588 1967

6. THE QUIK-"I Can't Sleep" Deram DM 155 1967

7. STEVE DARBISHIRE-"Holiday In Waikiki" Decca F 12553 1967

8. FIRE-"Treacle Toffee World" Decca F 12753 1968

9. THE POETS-"Wooden Spoon" Decca F 12569 1967

10. THE GAME-"Gonna Get Me Someone" Decca F 12469 1966

11. VIRGIN SLEEP-"Haliford House" Deram DM 146 1967

12. THE ZOMBIES-"Indication" Decca F 12426 1966

13. THE HUMAN INSTINCT-"Pink Dawn"  Deram DM 177 1968 

14. CHRIS ANDREWS-"Hold On" Decca F 22668 1967

15. SMALL FACES-"E Too D" Decca F 12619 1967

16. THE BEATSTALKERS-"Base Line" Decca F 12460 1966

17. THE ARTWOODS-"I Feel Good" Decca F 12465 1966

18. GENE LATTER-"Mother's Little Helper" Decca F 12397 1966

19. THE LIMEYS-"Cara-Lin" Decca F 12382 1966

20. THE LOOSE ENDS-"Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" Decca F 12437 1966

21. THE MINISTRY OF SOUND-"White Collar Worker" Decca F 12449 1966

22. THE CLAYTON SQUARES-"Imagination" Decca F 12250 1965

23. TEN YEARS AFTER-"The Sounds" Deram DM 176 1968

24. KEITH SHIELDS-"Hey Gyp" Decca F 12572 1967

25.  THE ATTACK-"Try It" Decca F 12550 1967

Artwork care of Charlie Starkey

Monday, February 5, 2024

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Herbie Goins and the Night-Timers


HERBIE GOINS AND THE NIGHT-TIMERS-Coming Home To You/The Incredible Miss Brown U.S. Capitol P 5978 1967

Herbie Goins was yet another American ex-serviceman on the London scene along with Geno Washington . Like Geno he had quite a popular live act that were darlings of the London night life in an atmosphere where live gigs by American soul bands were far and few between. Herbie had three singles and an LP in the U.K. on Parlophone and today's selection was his sole American release.

"Coming Home To You" was Herbie's third and final single in the U.K. issued as Parophone R 5533 in December 1966. It was not issued in the U.S. until August of the following year. "Coming Home To You" boasts some powerful horns and a mid tempo funky Stax style groove with some soulful vocals by Herbie. 

"The Incredible Miss Brown" is incredibly odd. It reminds of something Georgie Fame would have been talked into recording when he ditched The Blue Flames and moved to CBS (curiously several former Blue Flames found employment in The Night Timers after getting their walking papers) or Zoot Money's tongue and cheek "Nick Knack". It's not an awful song but the variety show jazz feel is somewhat hokey despite the really solid backing by The Night Timers.

Both tracks are available as bonus tracks on the 2008 Zonophone reissue of Herbie's 1967 LP "NO. 1 In Your Heart". 

Hear "Coming Home To You":

Hear "The Incredible Miss Brown":

Thursday, February 1, 2024

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


1. BOBBY RUSH-"Sock Boo Ga Loo" Checker 1181 1967

This one is a 101 mph full on party that sounds like it was literally made up as it went along, not meaning that in a negative sense, it just has that "the tapes rolling what can we do" feel! Scat guitar, funky bass, wonky greasy horns and a throbbing "go-'go" feel!

2. LITTLE LUTHER-"Eenie Meenie Minie Moe" Checker 1090 1964

This number is a really cool cross between electric urban blues and a funky back beat that would not be out of place on a mid 60's Ike & Tina Sue 45! The lyrics are completely disposable and nonsensical but what a groove!

3. WILLIE SMALL-"How High Can You Fly" Jessica 401 1965

Here's one that's totally new to my ears. It's uptempo, funky, sophisticated and punctuated by some very solid horns that really move it along! The melody is completely infectious, especially how the horn section does a musical response to his vocal "call"!

4. ELMORE MORRIS-"It Seemed Like Heaven To Me" Crackerjack 4006 1962

This one is a mellow ballad of sorts that verges on doo-wop (not exactly my favorite genre) but it's the lead vocalist's voice and how much soul he exudes during the more somber parts of thew track that get me.

5. BOB & EARL-"Everybody Jerk" U.K. Warner Brothers WB 6059 1969

I can't find any information on this one. It was released in 1969 and sounds almost like a follow up to the duo's "hit" track, "Harlem Shuffle" (which was released in 1963!). Curiously it was only released in the U.K. and Germany. That said it's an amazing track, danceable, upbeat and slick!

6. R.T. & THE POT LICKERS-"Sticky Pig Feet" Hooks H-1001 1964

As the title might imply this is a full on greasy. raunchy little instrumental that follows the grand "food" r&b instrumental trend of the 60's with a driving instrumental while the "vocalist" ad libs ingredients over the tune punctuated by him shouting the song title. The guitars have a raunchy blues meets rockabilly feel and funky horns reminded me of The Mar-Keys if they were allowed to be more raw.

7. VIC HENDERSON-"Soul Sauce" Coral 62467 1965

I am a sucker for ANY cover version of Cal Tjader's "Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro)" and this one is probably in the #2 spot on the list (#1 belongs to Timebox). This version is incredibly cheezy but there's something "soulful" about it that grabs me (I think it's the vocals).

8. ELMO JAMES-"Done Somebody Wrong" Fire 1031 1960

I love anything blues on the Fire label and this Elmore James number first came into my orbit 40+ years ago via The Yardbirds, but this is old original favorite grandaddy and it doesn't get any grittier! The perfect mix of his blues shouting and blistering guitar is irresistable!

9. JOANIE SUMMERS-"You've Got Possibilities" Columbia 4-43567 1966

With a slightly sophisticated Latin back beat this number is charming. The lyrics are kitschy and the brass is punchy and though the vocals don't really match the musical backing I like it. I remember Joanie from my childhood as appearing on game shows frequently and never realized she had a career as a singer (next you'll tell me that Brett Somers has a Northern soul 45)!

10. HOAGY LANDS-"The Next In Line" Laurie LR-3381 1967

This number was on one of my earliest Northern Soul compilations back in the late 80's and at the time it never did much for me. That said I has come around over the years. The slick production and female backing vocals and vibes add the prerequisite Northern cachet but it's the solid vocals and cheezy organ solo that do it for me.