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


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